"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." (1 John 4:4)
These words follow a warning about false teachers and false spirits who deny that Jesus is God's Son. A warning about those who have been deceived by Satan and teaching things that are wrong.
John is reminding his readers that they don't have to be discouraged or defeated because of false teachers, because they are not greater than the God we serve - than the Holy Spirit living in each of us.
Satan and his demons deny the truth and want to deceive us. They attack us and try to defeat us.
But, we won't be defeated, because we have the Holy Spirit living in us and He is greater.
If this is true, then why are there so many defeated Christians walking around? If the Holy Spirit living in us is greater than anything Satan can throw at us, why do so many of live as though we can't get free of the lies that keep us chained?
If we're living out of the the truth of this verse and so many others in Scripture that talk about Satan already being defeated, then we should be living lives confident in our God and sure of the freedom He has purchased for us. Yet, the reality is so different from what it should be for too many Christians - even Christians who would declare these truths with their words.
I think the reason why so many Christians live a defeated life is because we only believe these words - this truth from Scripture - in our heads. We say we believe it, but it hasn't made its way to our hearts yet. And until it becomes something we believe in our hearts, we'll continue to live bound up and defeated lives. Because when we believe it with our hearts, it means we are willing to act on it.
Learning to believe the Holy Spirit living in us is greater than anything else Satan tries in our lives isn't something that will just happen. It won't just occur by accident.
We have to choose to trust God that it's true and act on it first. As we do, we will being to believe it in our hearts, as well as our heads. But, we have to make the choice first. The more we make the choice, the easier it becomes to live believing that because we've experienced it to be true.
What is one area in your life where you're struggling to believe that Holy Spirit in you is greater than the one who is in the world? Will you choose today to step into the truth and start living like its true in that area?