When you think of “victory” , what images come to mind?
Winning the match?
Winning the game?
Squashing your opponent?
Hands in the air?
Champagne bottles popping?
Just picturing all that brings my heart a light joyful feeling. Is that what you feel too?
Now what comes to mind when I ask you to picture a “victorious life in Christ”?
Do the images of a cross, or an empty tomb, or heaven come into your mind? Is the feeling you get just as joyful or is it a more subdued feeling?
Victory within the world’s standards is fleeting. It can be intensely exciting in the moment, but it wears off. Victory as a Christian is deeper, more profound, and will last for eternity.
Victorious Christian living starts with the fact that Jesus set us free of our sins.
That means we can proceed without the burden of guilt, and remorse, for days and years on end. Isaiah 6:6-7 says: "Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”
Isaiah was touched by coal. We have been touched by the love of Jesus through his sacrifice. We too have had our guilt removed.
Yet forgiveness is also contingent on forgiving everyone else.
If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive you.
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
We need to cut people free from the I.O.U. of life by forgiving them because they (if repentant to Christ) have already been forgiven by the God who alone judges the living and the dead. Now, optimally it is great when we move forward…that is our victory. We can be healed and transformed into someone new-- free of the pain inflicted by others or by situations. That is victory.
As to victory over our future sins, we must pray not to follow through on temptation.
“Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.”
There he told them, “Pray that you will not give in to temptation.”
Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
And don’t let us yield to temptation but rescue us from the evil one.
We CAN have victory over our temptations too:
1 Corinthians 10:13
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
We also have victory calling forth the peace that God has already given us:
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 (NLT). We have already been given the peace.
We do not need to always pray for peace. Sometimes what we need to do is acknowledge we have been given God’s peace, and we want access to that feeling. We want to be unblocked from distractions and stress that keep our minds whirling. We need to be focused on the victory of Jesus within our life in all circumstances.
We must walk peace out by faith. Mulling over the negative situation over and over again will NOT bring peace. Sometimes life needs to breathe a bit before the next step gets taken. Allow God to move and stay calm and faithful in the meantime.
A victorious life is a life filled with thanksgiving and praise to God,
even in the midst of sorrow or confusion. At the times when it is hardest to find something to praise God about--- that is the exact time we MOST need to open our mouths and hearts and praise away.
Praise God for the last day it was good weather. Praise God for your family members and/or any friends you have. Praise God for your acquaintances. Praise God for food, clothing, and shelter. Praise God for miracles in the past and miracles yet to come. Praise God that He has got this situation and then declare in Christ’s name that you know it will work out for the highest good for all concerned --- regardless of whether or not it looks like it will.
Psalm 34:1-8 (GNT)
I will always thank the Lord;
I will never stop praising him.
I will praise him for what he has done;
may all who are oppressed listen and be glad!
Proclaim with me the Lord's greatness;
let us praise his name together!
I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me;
he freed me from all my fears.
The oppressed look to him and are glad;
they will never be disappointed.
The helpless call to him, and he answers;
he saves them from all their troubles.
His angel guards those who honor the Lord
and rescues them from danger.
Find out for yourself how good the Lord is.
Happy are those who find safety with him.
When we walk by faith we are victorious.
We have to walk by faith. Hebrews 11:1-2 “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.”
It is not easy to walk by faith.
Life is difficult and seldom reflects the truth we have in God. We humans like to look at reality. The reality is maybe we just got laid off, or have a flat tire, or have too many responsibilities and feel like we are gonna pop. What we have to focus on is the unseen. We need to focus on what the Word of God says about our life. It says we are blessed. Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world." A flat tire really doesn’t compare to eternity in Hell. … So we have to have perspective.
Living victorious we can conquer fear…
knowing that fear and worry are of the devil. Jesus has already won that fight. By the time we are in grade school, we have learned to fear negative consequences. We have also picked up on worrying about what might happen around us. It is “natural”. But as maturing Christians we need to change that.
We need to cast our cares.
I Perter 5:7 states: “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” This isn’t just a nice saying. It is an instruction, for us to do something, from someone who walked with the Lord physically for three years. So he should know. Sure, It will take practice but there is never an opportunity that can’t be turned into practice.
Walking in total victory means staying connected to our true source.
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.”
Living a vitorious life means we should be growing more like him every day.
1 John 2:6 (NLT)
Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
Romans 6:11 (NLT)
So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Ephesians 4:21-25 (NLT)
Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
Living victorious is dependent upon being obedient
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NLT)
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.
James 1:22 (NLT)
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.
Psalm 34:9-10 (NLT)
Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.
All of this put together sounds like a lot to do and a lot to keep in mind; yet, we have been given a promise from God that He will help us. Psalm 37:23-24 (GNT) "The Lord guides us in the way we should go and protects those who please him. If they fall, they will not stay down, because the Lord will help them up."
Living the victorious Christian life is a very full concept.
It takes many images to get a full picture. It may not always seem exciting but it is always thrilling to know we are God’s children, heirs to the kingdom of heaven, soon to be home with the Father.
Are you living in victory today?
Until Next Time~