During my college years, I worked as a counselor at a Bible camp. Each summer I packed up all of my necessary belongings in one gigantic blue plastic tote, loaded the tote and myself into my old red Toyota, and headed north. The camp I worked at was in northern Minnesota, six miles down a dirt road and nestled among pine trees that gave way to an expansive lakeshore. It was a place where the Holy Spirit roamed as free as the campers, filling hearts and opening eyes and giving new life.
We spent our days playing games, studying the Bible, doing arts and crafts, swimming, singing, and laughing. We did so much laughing in that place! I felt closer to the Lord at camp than at any other time or place in my life, and I know I wasn’t the only one. There was room for the Lord to move and an expectancy that He would.
But even more meaningful than the memories of fun and laughter, of Scripture study and crafts, is the memory of how we began each day at camp.
Every single morning, each camper and staff member gathered around a flagpole. (There wasn’t actually a flag on the pole, but it served as a pretty nice gathering spot.) One staffer was appointed to lead each part of the morning opening, which began with a silly song to wake up our bodies. Next was a prayer in which we asked God to bless our day. And finally, a word of Scripture.
This was not simply a Bible reading. What happened was this: the appointed staffer would pray over and choose what we called a decree. A decree was something each of us is because of God, as found in Scripture. We had a full list of these decrees that kept growing throughout the summer, and each morning we would holler one out at the top of our lungs.
I am a child of God!
I am beloved!
I am forgiven!
I am chosen!
I am fearfully and wonderfully made!
Hundreds of kids exclaiming these truths first thing in the morning? It was a powerful and holy way to begin each day. And when it was my turn to lead, I would almost always choose my personal favorite: I am more than a conqueror through Christ!
You don’t have to be a camp counselor or a camper (or be anywhere near a camp) to cry out this truth. Whatever the challenge, whatever the battle, the Lord has promised that we can overcome. We are more than conquerors — equipped and ready to fight whether we feel up to the challenge or not. That’s right. Even if we don’t feel ready, God is for us. God loves us. And nothing can separate us from that love.
No matter what. Full stop.
Friend, walk confidently with your head held high into that battle that scares, accuses, or condemns. God has gone first, and nothing can come between you and His love. Because of His great love, you are more than a conqueror.
What, then, are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He did not even spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. How will he not also with him grant us everything? Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies. Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the one who died, but even more, has been raised; he also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
Because of you we are being put to death all day long;
we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:31-39 (CSB)
Lord, give me the confidence of an early-morning camper. Help me stand on the truth that I am already more than a conqueror, equipped for whatever fight I face. Thank You for Your love, bold and complete. Amen.
This article was written by Anna E. Rendell, as published in Empowered: More of Him for All of You.
Empowered: More of Him for All of You, by Mary Carver, Grace P. Cho, and Anna E. Rendell is designed to incorporate the five major components of our being — physical, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual. The sixty Scripture passages and devotions invite you to see from different angles how God empowers us, and each day ends with prayer and reflection questions to deepen the learning. Grab a copy now. We pray it blesses you.
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