1 John 5:4, “for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith.”
I remember growing up in the Southern Baptist church. Singing hymns are some of my fondest memories. We used to sing “Victory in Jesus”. You know the one that I am talking about, “…He loved me ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him. He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood.”
Yah, we don’t talk about victory anymore.
I know a girl in my church who is dealing with a specific area of sin. I know of it because I attend a human run church, but she has never spoken to me about it…yep, it’s gossip. I empathize with her, but I am hesitant to bust in and say, “Hey, I heard that you are committing a sin that I have a lot of experience with, just thought you might want to talk.” It usually doesn’t go over well like that. I will be praying for God to give me an opportunity to talk, so she will speak to me again.
I was thinking about this hesitancy, on my part. I used to be one of those people who excused my behavior because the bible did not specifically mention Neiman Marcus or dark chocolate. Unfortunately, this philosophy extended far beyond shopping and food, into moral territory.
The nature of sin tells us that our choices are circumstantial. When I was participating in this sin, I believed that I was unique. My situation was unique. In my mind, there were consequences that I was willing to deal with. You know that twinge of conviction that we feel sometimes? Well, there are times when it was more like two semi-trucks colliding in my heart. That twinge grows, as we burden ourselves with the weight of consequence.
Here is the problem…when facing obstacles and struggles, we don’t see the victory. The opposite of the situation that we are in might spell loss to us, not victory. If you tell your girlfriend who is living with a guy, that she is not making the best choice for herself, she will see loneliness as the alternative. She will not see victory.
So, how do we invest in victory? I think that we have to take areas that have been given to us in victory, even when were headed for failure, and without shame confess them, AND PREACH the victory. That’s it, preach it ladies…we have to make young women and peers understand where we have been, where we struggle, and tell everything about the fight and the victory.
Let’s make it even simpler…we can memorize this verse. This passage says to us, IF you are born of God (have accepted Jesus as Savior), then you are a conqueror. Period. If you are a Christian you are already a conqueror, meaning that you already have victory over sin in your life. Get your conqueror hat on and get to it. You have everything that you need to defeat sin because Jesus, through His Spirit, lives in you.
Think of your latest struggle. You are a conqueror… you have victory. And, yes, it is that simple. You might have to lay it down more than once, but you will have victory.
A few months ago, I had to offer up a sin that had shackled me for years. It was the two semi-trucks colliding in my heart. I knew that I had to hand over this fight because continually losing the same battle was crushing me.
That night, on the floor of my prayer closet (it is really just my closet, but I like to pray in there) God freed me from it. I have not struggled, again, in that area. Thank you, Jesus. He gave me complete freedom. Not long after that a girlfriend of mine sat with me and confessed the same sin. I told her of my victory, and she was freed from it that night when she went home. God glorifies Himself when we strip ourselves down and ask Him to fight on our behalf. Then, we are conquerors.
The most important component of victory is in the next sentence. It is up to us. Faith is like TNT. It is explosive and reckless. It surprises us and leaves sin in complete devastation because it speaks to the heart of a holy God. Faith takes us out of the equation. Faith simply says, “Jesus, I believe that you are who you say you are.” Then we let the God of the universe, the Victor, invade.
That is what God’s victory is like, in one second it can take over. We need to change the understanding of struggle to include the opportunity to prove that we are faithful, and the opportunity for God to invade.
We need to stop thinking of our struggles from the standpoint of defeat, of what we have to give up, as if God will leave a void as penance. He wants to fill us with Him, not leaving any cell without the invasion of His Spirit. We are not alone and we have the promise of victory, if we just believe that God is already the conqueror of every single moment of our lives.
This, ladies, is what we need to tell each other. V-I-C-T-O-R-Y.
Father, thank you for your victory. Thank you for giving the very power of You, living in us. Show us places in our lives that You want to grant the victory and let us be willing to lay down our struggles to You.