Dr. Tony Evans is the founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, founder, and president of The Urban Alternative and author of over 100 books, booklets, and Bible studies. The first African American to earn a doctorate of theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, he has been named one of the 12 Most Effective Preachers in the English-Speaking World by Baylor University. Dr. Evans holds the honor of writing and publishing the first full-Bible commentary and study Bible by an African American. His radio broadcast, The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, can be heard on over 1,400 radio outlets daily and in more than 130 countries. Dr. Evans’ sermons are also streamed and downloaded over 20,000,000 times annually.

what does it look like when you leave

your first life it means that you have

to find time for him when you have time

for other things most folks will have to

find time for for this show or that show

cuz it’s understood that when that time

comes and that show was on I’m there the

reason why we have to find time for God

is cuz he’s not first love he’s when I

get around to your love it has to do

with priority he wants to know he’s

first that he has been relationally

prioritized not just programmatically

included first love is where there is a

fire for him

John is writing to the seven churches of

Asia Minor as you’ll see in a moment

seven is the number of completion so

this is a message to all churches for

all time and he’s talking to the whole

congregation he says I want you to tell

this to the whole congregation but in

each one of those scriptures I read you

he said he who overcomes meaning it’s

possible to be in the church and in the

congregation and not be one of the

overcomers but he tells the whole church

everybody who has come to Christ has

overcome the Greek word overcome the ko

is a word that means to prevail to win

one’s cause or to be victorious in

different and difficult circumstances so

it has to do with being victorious in

the midst of or over or in or through

whatever the circumstances are that are

illegitimately holding you hostage so

right now if you have something that

should not be holding you hostage but

that is holding you hostage then you

need to be an overcomer because that’s

what the word means but why do you tell

me John that I have overcome and then

John you come back in revelation and

tell me well you need to overcome when

John says you have overcome he’s dealing

with your legal status Christ has made

every believer and overcomer

legally but what you have legally does

not mean that’s what you’re experiencing

personally you have overcome spiritually

legally because you come to Christ but

you may not yet have overcome in terms

of it work

out in your life in terms of you

experiencing it in fact the only reason

you need to overcome is there’s

something to overcome to overcome means

to overrule a sin or a set of

circumstances that are illegitimate it

is to overrule them so I want to say to

you as we move forward

whatever is illegitimate in your life

sin and all circumstances God wants you

to overrule and not have it overruling

you particularly on an ongoing basis and

therefore God wants you to experience

overcoming in fact I’m gonna go a little

bit deeper one of the reasons why God

allows some things that he does not

approve is to give you the experience of

being an overcomer the Bible makes it

clear if you are going to be an

overcomer a purveyor

that the link has to be made between

your state and your standing between

your position and your practice between

what’s legal and what you experience

literal to understand stay with me here

to understand the key to being an

overcomer and whatever needs to be

overcome in our lives you have to watch

this begin to look at Jesus differently

okay let me say that again if you really

really really want to be an overcomer

prevail you must begin to

look at Jesus differently before he ever

gets to talking about being an overcomer

in chapters 2 & 3

he gives us chapter 1 he begins in

Chapter 1 of the book of Revelation

verse 1 saying the revelation of Jesus

Christ he says I’m a disclosed Jesus to

you he says in verse 4 I’m writing to

the churches he takes this look at Jesus

in verse 7 behold he is coming with

clouds every eye will see him even those

who pierced him and all the tribes of

the earth will mourn over him so it

shall be

Amen now watch this Jesus is talking in

verse 8 I am Alpha and Omega who was who

is and who was and who is to come the

Almighty he tells John and verse 11

write a book John then says in verse 12

I turned to see the voice that was

speaking to me Jesus speaking to him and

having turned I saw seven golden

lampstands in the middle of the

lampstands I saw one like a son of man

clothed in a robe reaching to his feet

girded across his chest with a golden

sash his head and his hair were white

like white wool like snow his eyes were

like a flame of fire his feet were like

brandished bronze when it had been made

to glow in a furnace his voice was like

the sound of many waters in his right

hand he had seven stars verse 17 when I

saw him I felt with his feet like a dead

man and he placed his right hand on me

and said do not be afraid I am the first

and the last the living one if you and I

are going to be overcomers and practice

not in principle you’re going to have to

see the jesus that john saw this is not

Jesus meek and mild this is not Jesus in

a manger

no no no this is Jesus on fire he says

like the burning of a furnace he says

when he spoke it was like the rushing of

many waters like oceans and seas just

thundering and he says when I saw this

Jesus it knocked the brother off his

feet I fell down like a dead man walking

see we got this man may pam be jesus and

that is nothing not to overcome in jesus


because we really do not understand who

Jesus is since his resurrection and

ascension see when John is writing Jesus

has already died already rose and

already going back to heaven and when he

sees this Jesus who’s now up in heaven

this Jesus is in charge this Jesus is

controlling the agenda Colossians 2:15

says I disarmed them so the reason why

the devil can defeat us is because he

can deceive us into thinking their

bullets still in the gun but what Jesus

did on the cross the scripture says is

he disarmed them he took away the

authority so now you’re beaten by

deception that feels like reality looks

like reality seemed like reality that’s

why the scripture says in Romans 8:37

you are more than conquerors and him who

loved us and gave himself for us that’s

why John 16:33

says in me you’re gonna have peace

because I have already overcome the

world he speaks in these superlatives

because it is your connecting with this

risen Christ Romans 5:10 after he says

God demonstrated his love toward us that

while we were sinners Christ died for us

and verse 8 he comes to verse 10 and


and we are saved or delivered by his

wife what do you want you to know is

when you begin to look at him

differently and relate to him as the

risen Christ who is ascended who’s now

functioning with fire in his eyes not

soft skin but hair like wool and in a

voice like sunder

that’s who you’re dealing with and

that’s who you must relate to you say

but my problem is so big and it’s been

there so long my problem is so big you

don’t know how long I’ve been dealing

with this addiction you don’t know how

long I’ve been dealing with this

circumstance you don’t know how long if

my problem is so big let me explain

something on the cross Jesus Christ

lifted the sins of the whole world for

all men for all time on Calvary so what

did you tell me the size of your problem

was you’re dealing with somebody who

handled the world and it’s sin and its

accompanying circumstances so it may be

bad but it ain’t that bad but if you’re

connecting it to the wrong Jesus that is

a misconception of the biblical risen

Jesus then you’re applying it to

somebody that’s too weak to handle it

and so your view my view of Jesus has

got to be adjusted if we’re going to

experience the victory of this exalted

Christ look at chapter 12 of Revelation

verse 11 and they overcame him there’s a

word because of the blood of the Lamb

because of the word of their testimony

and they did not love their life even

when faced with death mmm at one verse

will shift how you relate to Jesus

when you shift how you relate to Jesus

he shifts how he relates to you because

now you’re relating to him as he is not

as you want him to be because a lot of

folk come to church worshipping of Jesus

as they want him to be not as he

declares himself to be so Jesus says let

me explain this to you

it says they overcame him referring to

Satan in that context they overruled him

they prevailed against him when three

things were in place these three things

can be summed up in one word their

identification with Christ now follow me

closely here when they properly

identified with Christ they prevailed

let me say this as I get into this God

places victory in your reach not in your

hand big difference what does that mean

it means that they begin by the blood he

says to understand that the cross 2,000

years ago was relevant right now see for

many people the cross is a historical

event if what Jesus did 2,000 years ago

which is why he left us with communion

you don’t make it relevant today it

becomes a two thousand year old event

that you’ll benefit from eternity and

I’ll be useless in time in other words

the reality of what Jesus accomplished

on the cross which was why he said when

he got up from the dead Matthew 28:19

all Authority has been given to me in

heaven and on earth translation I’m in

charge now

I’m in charge now I haven’t come to take

sides I’ve come to take over I’m and I’m

in charge now

I call the shots so if he’s not calling

the shots you don’t get to overcome

he says secondly they overcame him by

the word of their testimony you will not

overcome whatever you’re needing to

overcome if you are a secret agent

Christian so let’s get that straight


trying to camouflage it by talking about

I believe in God won’t cut it okay God

using God name won’t cut it God has

placed everything in the hand of his son

at the name of Jesus every knee will bow

every tongue will confess that Jesus is

Lord to the glory of the Father

so the father is glorified when Jesus is

the superstar oh and then he hits us

with a zinger here’s his with a zinger

number three because he says number

three and they did not love their life

even when faced with death oh they

overcame him because of a love

relationship that they possessed with

him that transcended dying now that’s

some serious love when it transcends

dying but it’s not unusual most parents

if they had to would give their life for

their children most parents because of

the depth of their love you’re at men

who would give their lives for their

mates because of the death of their love

it was a choice between the two so in

the human level we know what it is to

sacrifice the life

for love right he says to be an

overcomer cuz cuz he got fire in his

eyes to see an overcomer that’s why

that’s why Paul says I look now he said

I die daily everyday when I get up in

the morning I said I am dead to me and

I’m alive to you

you are my life you’re not just a place

I go on Sunday

you’re my defining definition you are my

life If any man would be my disciple he

must design deny himself take up his

cross and follow me is that that there

is this understanding that I am pursuing

a relationship with somebody that I want

to fall in love with more than life

itself in other words this is serious

commitment but you probably got some

serious stuff to overcome so this is not

casual Christianity here that’s what I

love what Paul says Paul says Paul says

for me to live is Christ and to die is


now you don’t go looking for death you

don’t go wishing death but he says but

he says for me to live is Christ and to

die is gain

Paul says I don’t know whether to stay

here or to go home to be with Christ

he said I’m betwixt in between if I if I

stay here it’s to serve Christ

if I die is to go be with Christ and if

I suffer he says I reckon that the

sufferings of this present time is not

be worthy to be compared with the glory

that shall be revealed unto me so he’s

saying basically I’m in a no-lose deal

live in Diana it’s is all Christ so if

I’ve got to be rejected because of

Christ I’ve got to be misunderstood

because of Christ I’ve got to be not

like because of Christ not because of

not foolishness but because of Christ

then that’s the way it is once you have

now identified with Christ you have

positioned yourself to be an overcomer

you have positioned yourself to see the

move of God overrule in the

circumstances of life there must now be

a shift in perspective you must change

your look you must look at Jesus now

differently as the sovereign on fire

Lord who now rules and you must look at

everything else you know we all believe

in the son s UN we believe in the son

right I believe this but I know too many

people go around do this all day looking

at the Sun just walking yeah I believe

in the Sun because I’m looking at the

Sun all day let me think the main reason

you believe in the Son I believe in the

Sun we believe in the SU in the main

reason we believe in asks you in is

because because of it we see everything

else we don’t go looking at the Sun all

day but we look at everything else all

day but because of the Sun you see

everything else

well what’s true in the physical world

because of the S Oh n you’re supposed to

look at everything else

everything else is supposed to be

because of him shining whether you see

him or not and therefore brought in line

with him now the main thing I do is the

treadmill the main exercise is a

treadmill I will admit to you I am


that’s not something like I look forward

to do it okay

me myself and I have to have a meeting

in the morning at 5:30 or 6 o’clock or

we meet myself and I we’ve got to have a

congregational gathering I am laying

there in bed and I am saying do I want

to do this today say yeah I know what

you’re talking about so it’s all struck

do I’m not really gonna do this today we

we have to have a we have to meet it cuz

it’s not something I want to do but do

you want to get healthier and I do want

to lose some weight so the goal of

overcoming the weight affects the

getting up to get on the treadmill but

it’s still it’s still a problem because

walking and going nowhere is just a

struggle so I drag myself out of bed

walk into the room where the treadmill

is right in front of the treadmill is a


I sit in that chair and try to talk

myself to getting up out of that chair

to get on that treadmill the problem is

or Dannette treadmill I sweat on that

treadmill I’m huffing and puffing on

that treadmill I’m struggling because I

got this goal in mind but I’m struggling

on this tread nuts a struggle so what I

always do to mitigate the struggle of

overcoming the treadmill and the fact

that I don’t want to do it is that turn

on the news so right in front of me I

stare at the news for 45 minutes it has

my undivided attention that news does

not take away the sweat I don’t sweat

let’s go I’m looking at the news it

doesn’t take away the breathing it

distracts me it gives me something else

to focus on

and I discover I can go longer when I’m

focusing on that than when I’m focusing

on this I got to do this but I try not

to make this my focus I try to make that

my focus because when I make that my

focus it affects how well I do this if

you really want to overcome bad enough

then Jesus says you got to do this but

the way you do this is by focusing on

that and if you understand that I have

already overcome and you walking through

this thing you need to overcome it’s sin

or circumstance but you’re looking at me

and you say okay Jesus I thank you are

you already overcome this you’ve already

overcome my emotions you’ve already

overcome my circumstance you’ve already

overcome my pain you’ve already come out

overcome my addiction I just want to

thank you that you’ve already overcome

it I’m sweating and I’m tired but I’m

more than a conqueror in Jesus Christ

who loved me and gave himself from

and I just want to give you glory cuz

I’m a focus on the news of heaven during

my struggle on earth I know the devil’s

been slamming you

I know circumstances have been beating

you I know sins have been owning you I

know it looks like the evil one is

controlling you but Jesus Christ on the

cross has already pre-scripted that you

are a winner

he’s already pre-scripted that my

relationship to him your overcomer

he’s already pre-scripted that Satan has

no longer any control over you

he’s already prescriptive that greater

is He that’s in you than he that’s in

the world

he’s already prescriptive that those

folk don’t control you anymore

he’s already prescriptive that’s that

circumstance doesn’t control you anymore

I know you’re being thrown down I know

you’re being beaten up but you can now

look at it and declare I am an overcomer

and I’m coming back at you in the name

of the Lord Jesus Christ


did you know you are an overcomer God

says you are every believer in Jesus

Christ is an overcomer because you have

become one with the one who has overcome

the issue is learning to act like an

overcomer because you’ve learned to

think like an overcomer and that is

affected how you function the problem is

if you don’t know who you are then you

won’t fulfill the destiny of what the

Lord Jesus Christ has given you and me

now in order to be an overcomer that

means you have to have something to

overcome there’s going to be a challenge

there’s going to be a trial it’s gonna

be a difficulty the key is learning what

it means to overcome a hindrance to you

doing and becoming what God has created

you to do and become that’s what God

wants from you that’s what God wants

from us and there’s no greater feeling

than the feeling and the sense of

victory that you get when there was an

obstacle in your way and you were able

to override it and not have it override

you it’s one thing to be in the

circumstance it’s another thing to be

under the circumstance but the best

thing of all is to be on top of the

circumstance and that’s what overcoming

enables you to do