The new year represents a fresh new start for you! Many are drafting resolutions and making plans for how they will be a better version of themselves. Unfortunately, after time, many of these desires fall by the wayside, and we are left feeling defeated. We lack victory another year and we cannot pinpoint why.
So, what does it mean to "have victory"?
In simple terms, victory means to overcome against all odds. Scoring a job you hoped for, maintaining a fitness goal or having healthy friendships are everyday victories that many can relate to. Then there are the bigger battles ... Overcoming depression, failure of a business, dropping an addiction or recuperating after a death of a loved one. These are the bigger battles that will take more effort and a strength that can only come from one place ... a personal heart to heart relationship with Christ.
Your relationship with Christ and how much you understand and utilize your God-given authority will make or break your ability to walk in victory.
Here is the GREAT NEWS!! YOU ALREADY HAVE THE VICTORY!
We are not fighting for victory but from a place of victory! Let me explain..have you ever seen pro-wrestling? If you have, you understand that each match has already been rigged for the winner. Although the victor may take a few great hits and seem to be defeated, they will win! It is in the script! So, during each match they are not fighting FOR victory! Instead, they are well aware that they have ALREADY won, all they have to do is follow the moves! They have an attitude of victory every time.
These verses make it very clear that those who believe in Christ are ALREADY victorious!
Deuteronomy 20:4- For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
1 Corinthians 15:57- But thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through CHRIST which strengthens me.
So why do Christians who already HAVE victory still live defeated lives? Just like the wrestler, unfortunately, he still has to follow the moves to end as the victor. He cannot simply stand in the ring and smile. It requires him to take a step, make a move, and fight the enemy. His victory is walked out through his actions!
In 2017, you CAN experience the victorious life! Consider the following tips to having your best year yet.
· Letting Go of the Past - Let's face it! We have all been through some crazy events. Whether abuse, a painful divorce, or a church hurt, it can be easy to feel "less than". Many blame themselves or perhaps have extreme shame. In my own life, the shame of my past kept me silent and in bondage. In my own mind I simply was not "good enough" to have a great life. I challenge you to have some self-reflection and ask yourself what is the lie and in Christ what is the truth. Make note of areas you may be holding onto and the lies that keep you there. Let go and receive the truth in its place. Remember when you decided to accept Christ you became a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
· Your Relationship with Christ- Your relationship with Christ will be the key to your success. Maybe you accepted Christ for "fire insurance". Maybe your idea of God is one that is distant, cold, or untouchable. I can assure you these are thoughts I could relate to years ago. However, I found quite the opposite. I have so many examples of how the Lord touched my heart, transformed my marriage and answered prayers I had not even uttered out loud.
· Your Faith and Your Words - 1 John 5:4 says we will achieve victory through our faith. In other words, it will be our faith that takes us from being defeated to being victorious. Your faith in God will always speak the opposite of what your physical eyes can see. If your doctor says you have 1 month to live, your faith will declare, “I shall live and not die" (Psalm 118:17). If your teenager is going astray, your faith will declare "My child will not depart from you Lord" (Proverbs 22:6). Your faith will encourage you when all seems to be going astray.
· Recognizing your Authority - The Bible says that as believers of God we can do all that Christ has done and more (John 14:12). If we consider the life of Christ, he was FULL of miracles. From healing blind eyes, to speaking peace over a storm, to raising Lazarus from the dead, there was nothing too difficult for Him. This is where some people pause and say..."well He was God...of course." This is true but when he did these things he was a man just like you and me. No special powers, he had the same authority given by God as we do. And He does not lie. He has given you the authority to battle against sickness, demonic powers, and more through His name (Mark 16:16-18). This means you do not have to roll over and surrender when you are facing an attack from the enemy! You have the authority to make things change in HIS name! (Luke 10:19)
· Fighting the Real Enemy - Many of us fail to walk in victory because we are unaware who the real enemy is. Your neighbor or co-worker may act pure evil, but they are NOT the real enemy. The devil is the one who seeks to "kill, steal, and destroy" (John 10:10). He will use every weapon against you. Slander, gossip, temptation, fear, rejection are just a few of his tools. And he has NO issue using those you love to make it happen. The enemy hates relationships. We see this with Adam and Eve, he knows if he can turn you against each other he has won. Instead, lets fight the real enemy. Even Jesus experienced the enemy's attempts. But with every try, Jesus fought the enemy with the Word of God (Matthew 4:11). REFUSE to accept any thought that attempts to rob you of your victory. Recognize that if a thought defeats you, shames you, or causes you to not move into what God has called you to do, it is NOT from God!
2 Corinthians 5:4-5- The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
The enemy is well aware that YOU ARE VICTORIOUS! The moment you accepted Christ, you won! The only thing the enemy can do is lie to you to convince you that you are not worthy or confuse you about who the Lord is! Do not fall for his trick this year!
When the enemy says you are too poor to start your business,remember you are victorious in the marketplace.
When the enemy tries to convince you that you will die, remember by His stripes you are already healed.
When the enemy tries to tell you that you are not worthy of God's love, remember Jesus already knew all that you would ever do and He still died for you!
When the enemy persuades you that you will never beat this addiction, remember you can do ALL things through Christ!
When the enemy tells you that you are defeated, remind him that you are VICTORIOUS!
May you walk in victory in every area of your life! Fight the enemy but LOVE God and those around you even more!
If you are not sure how to have a relationship with God, I encourage you to read Romans 10:13. Anyone who believes in their heart and confesses that Jesus is the Lord will be saved. They WILL have unlimited access to all that the Jesus has to offer and experience an unshakable love. If you have already accepted Christ, your first step to a great relationship is to talk to Him. Whether you pray out loud, journal, cry out your sorrows, He will listen and He will answer. The more you spend time with Him in prayer and through reading your Bible, the more you will feel in tune with what He is trying to teach you.
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