I John 5:3-5 (NLT)
Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
I love it when our children sit down to play a board game or cards together. Putting away technology and communicating with each other, it warms a mama’s heart for about the first half an hour that is. I can usually sense the escalation before that actual disagreement ensues. Inevitably, lines are drawn and everyone picks aside for the battle. My sweet little darlings turn into the fiercest of rivals when it comes to winning. They each are staunch competitors who abhor losing. You win some; you lose some has never been part of their personal philosophy in life and it shows in such moments. I really should invest in a striped referee shirt and whistle or obtain a garden hose for inside the house to separate them in such moments. Taking an alpha stance I send them all to their corners, game over. They reluctantly go huffing, puffing and complaining all the way. This is not reminiscent of the past when they were all children. No friends, this is reality with my adult children (including our son-in-law), the teenager, and tweenager. Everyone loves to win. Nobody ever wants to lose. What if I told you that you never had to lose again? What if I told you that you would be victorious in all things? Would you believe me?
The most treasured parenting advice that I have ever been bestowed is to pick and choose your battles. This is a complete act of maturity that comes with experience and time. When my older three were smaller, it was my way or the highway. I was adamant about a lot of things that really didn’t matter in the long run, but at that moment felt monumental. I was young. Parenting was new. I was inexperienced. Couple that with a failing marriage, imperfect life, I needed control or at least I thought so. The marriage ended in divorce. I was a single mom. I wanted to make good choices regarding those little people despite my own faults and failures. It was a tough time. Then I met my husband! No, he is not my savior – but he expressed a desire to seek God again so I joined him on that journey and we have never looked back. My plan of attack in life has changed with my relationship to Jesus. I fight differently than before. I live in victory even on the days that look like complete flops. We achieve victory through our faith. The more faith I have the more victorious I become!
I Corinthians 15:56-58 (NLT)
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
Victory is the ultimate and decisive superiority in any battle or contest. No matter who your opponent or enemy is in this life – you have victory and the power to successfully overcome any encounter simply because you know Jesus Christ. He is the power in us to overcome the world and everything in it. Sin gave us a death sentence which made fighting for anything futile because we were all dying anyway. The Law only fortified the claim of sin on our life keeping us from everything God had planned and prepared for us as His Children. Christ showed ultimate and decisive superiority over death and the grave removing every other claim on our life paying every single debt we owed. We are given freedom in Jesus that allows us to win again. Not only that He already fought our battles and won the war. Now we can live from victory to victory but instead of fighting meaningless battles that have already ended – confident hope allows us to live in victory lane – the place where winners receive their prize.
We feel the need to win so much so that we decide to fight for ourselves. This is a fatal error that forfeits the Power of God in us to try to do all these things God has promised in our own strength. My kids do not fight about a clear cut winner. No it stems from cheating whether real or perceived. If they think that someone is not playing fairly, they pounce on one another. Welcome to life! Love has grown cold. Sin is rampant. I believe the statement should be added “Life is not fair” to round out the sentiment. Without love and full of sin is the absence of faith and forfeit of victory in life. We must decide if we want to win or lose. To win is the forfeiture of self to claim Jesus and His Kingdom. You are not forced to be triumphant but you can choose to triumph. If you are looking for a more perfect love outside of God’s Unfailing and Conditional Love, it is a lost cause – you will never find it. If you think you will win any other way than through the Cross – you are wrong.
Four years ago, I thought our life was as close to perfect as would ever get. We were living the dream. High on religious righteousness, I think somewhere deep down I believed that we had it all together and slowly Jesus was taking a backseat rather than remaining in the driver seat. It was subtle and quite unintentional. I was clueless that my priorities had become so out of whack. The rat race will do that to you sometimes. When the doctor looked at me with tears in his eyes to tell me that our son had cancer, EVERYTHING changed in that moment. My entire existence came crashing down around me. All those structures that I had built for security gone in an instant. My heart that I thought to be so solid shattered like glass on the concrete floor of his hospital room. Where was victory? How could death come calling? I needed Jesus. I went straight to the Cross. You think that I am kidding, but even in my wandering I know who I belong to. I know what His Word says. I know what belongs to me. I just forget sometimes…
Colossians 2:13-15 (NLT)
You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.
At a point in our life when we were growing in Christ exponentially, our youngest daughter developed rapid onset and quite debilitating asthma. It was crazy how fast it came on. For months and months it got worse and worse. Coincidentally at the exact same time, we were in the process of unlocking the power of faith and confident hope through our relationship with Christ. In that moment, our life did not immediately line up with God’s Word. I wanted to know why but daily doctor visits and constant treatments leave little time to pray and study God’s Word for an answer or to find victory. Finally when enough was enough, I boldly stepped into the Presence of God and claimed healing for our daughter. Believe it or not, she was healed that moment. She has not had another dose of medicine for asthma or had another attack since then. The doctor even called it a modern day miracle based on her immediate and complete curing of the disease. Not a wheeze, crackle or rattle since that day.
The Cross of Jesus Christ is where we find constant and complete victory for our daily life. When we choose to live in the shadow of the Cross nailing every sin, sickness, problem, battle, trouble and trial – we will live in complete victory every day by faith. Faith allows us to continue living and loving while Christ works out all the details for our good. Our daughter’s ordeal lasted about four months while her brother’s lasted four years, how long are you willing to wait for the win? Taking a firm hold on faith and standing in complete confident hope that your God is doing exactly what He promised to do that you will continue to thrive in life rather than merely trying to survive. You can. You have the power to do so. It’s not you or me but His Power in us.
Romans 8:37 (NLT)
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
Do you believe that you are victorious today? What about overwhelming victory like a shutout? It says we are, but it is only credible in my life by faith. I win in all situations simply because Jesus loves me.
Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God’s Power is in me. The very same power that resurrected Jesus from the dead and called Him from the grave lives inside of me. It is given to me when I ask Jesus to be my Savior and make Him my Lord. I release that power when I am totally convinced by faith that God’s Love for me is real and powerful enough to keep me close to Him no matter what happens in my life. When I do not allow fear, worry, anxiety or stress snuff out the spark of faith beginning to rise up but fan it with God’s Word and His Spirit until it is a significant force in my life. I have the victory. I will win. All I have to fight for is more faith in God’s Love along with enough hope to wait until He moves me from glory to glory and victory to victory like He promised. It may take a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year or even a lifetime to achieve winning record. The one thing that the Lord always promises is no matter how long it takes it will always be worth the wait!
I John 4:4 (NLT)
But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.
In the seventies, there was a show called “Sanford and Son” about an old junk dealer and his son, Lamont. Fred Sanford was quite a character. He was always involved in money making schemes that backfired and trying to get out of work even faking heart attacks. Old Fred makes me think of most people including myself at times. We want what we want when we want it. We act out when we don’t get it. Yet all along we have the victory. I belong to God. I don’t have to try to sneak a blessing out of Him or trick Him into moving on my behalf. I just have to have faith that He is in love with me and live according to that belief in confident hope.
What if we walked through life like winners? If we truly believe that Jesus won for us and victory belongs to us, then we would never face another opponent in life. Think about it. Does a racecar driver who just won a receive, was handed the trophy, covered in champagne and interviewed by media – go back on the track and do it all again? No he won! He celebrates his victory! The competition is over. There is no need to fight amongst ourselves. Our prize is an inheritance. It has my name on it. It has been planned and predestined for me so you cannot have it. You are no longer a threat to me because I am not fighting for scraps under the table but sitting at my Father’s Table enjoying the meal. There is a place there for you, too, if you want it. Faith is your ticket in. Hope will keep you there fully content until He comes!
Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world. The tighter we grasp this concept, the closer to everyday victory we become. When we become wrapped that tightly in the Love of God, this world has nothing worth fighting for and we live a triumphant life with Jesus. I cannot show you the way just say follow Him. Victory is mine because He lives. Because He lives I can face tomorrow, the next day and the one after that if that is what it takes to win whatever I am battling today. I don’t have to fight just faith my way to victory each and every day! In the moment that we are faced with the end of this life is the place most of us to begin to really live. Don’t wait! Live victoriously today. Triumph in each moment. It is our right as Children of the King!
2 Corinthians 3:18 (NLT)
So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.