FIGHT FROM VICTORY, NOT FOR VICTORY
Ephesians 6:11 – Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
God does not need you to defeat the devil today. Jesus has already done it and given you the victory. (Colossians2:15, Romans 8:37) Your part is to enforce the victory by simply standing your ground, which is victory ground. In other words, you “fight” from victory ground by standing. You don’t fight for victory.
In Ephesians 6:10–18, the passage on spiritual warfare, the word “wrestle” appears only once (verse 12), while the word “stand” appears four times—“stand against the wiles of the devil”, “withstand in the evil day”, “having done all, to stand”, “Stand therefore”. (Verses 11, 13–14) Four times the Holy Spirit tells us to stand. Yet, many Christians are focusing on wrestling their way to victory!
My friend, you are already on victory ground. You already have everything in Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:21, 23) You are already blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3). The devil knows this. And that is why his tactic is to deceive you and make you think that you don’t have the victory.
So when he attacks you by saying, “Look at that small sum in your bank account! How are you going to pay the bills?” stand your ground. Declare, “I am not trying to be rich. I am already blessed in Christ!” It doesn’t matter how much you have in the bank. You are richly supplied because you are in Christ. And as the need arises, the supply will be there if you believe it.
It is the same with healing. The devil will try to attack you with symptoms in your body. He will try to put pain in your body, and make you feel weak here and there, so that you think that you are still sick. He is trying to make you believe that you don’t have your healing. That is the time to be conscious of Jesus’ finished work and declare, “I am not trying to get healed, I am healed! I am standing on the victory ground which Jesus has given me!”
Beloved, it makes a world of difference when you fight from victory and not for victory!
WHEN THINGS LOOK HOPELESS …
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. – Habakkuk 3:17–18, NIV
The prophet Habakkuk knew what to do when things seemed completely hopeless. When he wrote this verse, his world was literally falling apart. He had nothing. Things seemed destitute. So what did Habakkuk do? He rejoiced and praised the Lord in spite of everything. He knew that God was bigger than His problems, and He already had a way to get Him out of those circumstances. Habakkuk was looking beyond His problems to what God could do in His life!
Let’s follow Habakkuk’s example. When something bad happens to you, thank God — not because you’re suffering, but because you know He has the answer. When things look hopeless, praise Him because He will bring hope to your circumstances!
I will praise Your name, for You have done wonderful things. —Isaiah 25:1
The discovery of penicillin revolutionized health care. Prior to the 1940s, bacterial infections were often fatal. Since then, penicillin has saved countless lives by killing harmful bacteria. The men who recognized its potential and developed it for widespread use won a Nobel Prize in 1945.
Long before the discovery of penicillin, other silent killers were at work saving lives by destroying bacteria. These silent killers are white blood cells. These hard workers are God’s way of protecting us from disease. No one knows how many invasions they have stopped or how many lives they have saved. They receive little recognition for all the good they do.
The Lord gets similar treatment. He often gets blamed when something goes wrong, but He seldom gets credit for all the things that go right. Every day people get up, get dressed, drive to work or school or the grocery store, and return safely to their families. No one knows how many times God has protected us from harm. But when there is a tragedy, we ask, “Where was God?”
When I consider all the wonderful things that God does silently on my behalf each day (Isa. 25:1), I see that my list of praises is much longer than my list of petitions.
In what ways does God’s goodness undergird your life? What are you thanking Him for today?
God keeps giving us reasons to praise Him.
GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS ….
Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: – Luke 18:1-2
This is not an exact comparison of God to this unjust judge, teaching us that we should badger God until we weary Him and He grants us our request.
Rather, Jesus is contrasting His willingness to answer our prayers with this unjust judge’s unwillingness. The parable is a contrast, not a representation.
Not only do we have God who is a just judge who will avenge His elect speedily, but we also have Jesus as our advocate or attorney who is always making intercession for us. However, we have an adversary (the devil) who is constantly accusing us and misrepresenting God (the judge). This causes men to give up (faint) and not even plead their case with God because they doubt that He will answer them anyway.
Jesus is saying that our Father is not an unjust judge that we have to pressure into doing what is right. Many times we put more faith in people and their willingness to do what is right than we do in God. Satan has deceived us about the willingness of God to answer our prayers and Jesus is countering that deception with this parable. Jesus is encouraging us to pray (petition God) and not doubt His willingness to grant our requests. To teach that we must pester God until He gives in to our pressure is not good theo
GIVE IT YOUR ALL
‘…I will go…And if I perish, I perish.’ Esther 4:16 NIV
Esther, a Jewish girl married to a pagan king, risked death to break with long–standing tradition, marched into her husband’s throne room, spoke her mind, and rescued her people from annihilation. One girl saved a nation because she was willing to put everything on the line. Are you feeling inadequate today? Are you thinking, ‘Someone else should be doing this job instead of me’? Then read these words by clergyman Edward Everett Hale: ‘I am only one; but still I am one. I can’t do everything; but still I can do something: and because I can’t do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can do.’ How many people did it take to rescue the dying man on the Jericho road? One Good Samaritan. How many people did it take to save the whole known world from the consequences of a seven–year famine? One man, Joseph. John Maxwell writes: ‘God has put a dream inside you. It’s yours and no one else’s. It declares your uniqueness. It holds your potential. Only you can give birth to it. Only you can live it. Not to discover it, take responsibility for it and act upon it is to negatively affect yourself as well as all those who would benefit from your dream.’ Poet John Greenleaf Whittier wrote, ‘For all sad words of tongue and pen; the saddest are these, “It might have been.”’ In your twilight years, will you look back and feel you’ve spent your life struggling to fulfil other people’s expectations? Or know that you lived to the fullest by striving to fulfil your God–given dream? Think about it now, while there’s still time to change direction.
‘I waited patiently for the Lord to help me…’ Psalm 40:1 NLT
The Psalmist said: ‘I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair…He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what He has done and be amazed.’ (Psalm 40: NLT) Waiting means trusting that God knows what He’s doing, even when He doesn’t give you all the details. Perhaps you’re single and looking for someone to share your life with. Maybe there’s a relationship at your fingertips, but you know it wouldn’t be pleasing to God. It isn’t the right person, because he or she doesn’t share your values, goals, or commitment to Christ. Maybe they’re putting pressure on you to get involved sexually even though you’re not married. Sampling the product before you buy may be the world’s way, but you know it’s not God’s way. Still you’re tempted to think, ‘I’m tired of waiting. I’m going to reach for whatever satisfaction I can get and worry about the consequences later.’ Samson did that and ended up losing his sight, his strength, his reputation, his freedom and his life. Hold out for God’s best! Pray: ‘Lord, I don’t want to get involved in any relationship that I know would dishonour You, hurt me, and bring pain to the lives of others. You said the plans You have for me are good. So even though I sometimes feel no one understands how hard it is, I’ll trust in You and wait patiently.’