The Herald Weekly Vol XVIII : 3

Victorious Living

“Whatever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4).

Only those who have been born of God are the only true overcomers. The Bible says Christians are overcomers because we have overcome the world and are known as victors who have defeated the world. It is in John’s writings that Christians are addressed as the ones who have overcome and conquered the world. In the past, human beings were never thought to be capable of becoming conquerors. Only the Greek gods and goddesses were believed to be conquerors and unconquerable. The name Nike belonged to a Greek goddess who was believed to be unconquerable.

Believers are overcomers because Jesus Christ has overcome the world for them. He said, “I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33). Jesus effectively conquered Satan and his wicked system through His death on the cross and resurrection on the third day. Christians are overcomers through faith in Christ’s death and resurrection, and are partakers of His inheritance, righteousness, life, death and Holy Spirit. Since Christ is Victor, we “Christians partake of His victory, The believers, then, is a victor. Those who have been born of God are true overcomers,” as John MacArthur puts it. Hence, in principle, we can live a victorious life in Christ.

Living a victorious life is being able to overcome the doubts of our faith, conquering temptations that are common to man, and the assailing attacks of the Devil. Christ has won the victory for us when He arose from the grave. It is signified in what Paul the Apostle said, “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1Co 15:54-57).

1. To live in victory, Christians must think victoriously.

“But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1Cor 15:57). We must yearn for victory in our lives. Put away all negative thoughts, and long for victory in the Lord. A passive mind will not gain the way of a victory.

To have the hope of victory, go to God with the hope of gaining over what is against or defeating us. Indeed, we are serving the God of hope, not the God of defeat, pessimism or disillusion. We go to a doctor with the hope that our ailments will be cured. Or we see a lawyer with the hope that our legal problems will be resolved. So it is with God. The Apostle Paul said, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Rom 15:13).

Victory is in the Lord. King David wrote, “O sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory,” (Ps 98:1). David the Psalmist is confident in God because he has experienced the work of God in times of trouble, trials and tribulations. He can say “sing unto the Lord” even though he had encountered many struggles, battles and failures in life. He had wept and mourned before, but he learned to live in praise. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” (Ps 42:11). In short, David did not dwell on defeats, but led a victorious life because his hope was always in God.

2. To live in victory we must get our eyes off from circumstances.

The Apostle Peter sank into the sea because he was disturbed by the boisterous waives of Galilee whipped up by the wind when he was walking towards Jesus on the water surface. Walking on the surface of the sea was a feat no other disciple had experienced before. But when he lost his focus on the Master, he quickly sank like heavy lead into the sea. Thank God, Jesus pulled him out of the water, and led him back to safety in the boat. When we look to Jesus who is the Author and Finisher of our faith, He will carry us through the many difficult and sometimes impossible times in life.

Sometimes it is hard to focus our faith in the Lord as we are overwhelmed by a host of problems. It is difficult to claim victory when faced with the loss of health or n the loss of a loved one, or of our possessions. In such situations when the attacks on our spiritual life come hard on us, Jesus is our shield and defender, our refuge, shelter and a very present help in the time of storm. He is our Hope. Hence, focus on the promise in Christ and not on the present problems.

3. Never give up hope of victory.

Too many Christians give up when they are attached by the fiery darts of the devil which are ever so active. We have to always be vigilant and sober in our daily life. We must remember that when we stop moving forward, we may be heading for defeat. When we cease from praying, we are giving space to worldly forces. Getting tired of our devotional life each day is living in the sphere of spiritual defeat. Giving excuses in serving God may be another sign of living in the negative territory of defeat. We must not allow defeat to take over and take advantage of us. Our walk in the Lord is too precious to forgo His promise of victory which is always there for us to claim. James urges us to resist the devil and go to Christ for assistance and strength. In Him is where our victory lies.

4. We don’t need to stay defeated.

In Samaria, there was a story of four lepers standing at the entrance of the city gate. A severe drought hit the country. Many people had died or were dying. The land was under siege by the mighty Syrian army. To continue to stand outside the city’s gate would mean sure death. The thought of going into the Samarian city was unthinkable because the army would slay them. To stubbornly stand outside the gate would mean they would end up like dead dogs. The other choice of going to the Arameans (or Assyrians) was precarious because they would never be accepted. However, the lepers decided to do something. They entered the city and found that their enemies were gone. A plague had descended on the enemies the previous night. Many of the Syrian soldiers died. The rest fled away like frightened rats. Not only that, they found food that was left behind. They discovered how delightful it was to have hungry stomachs. The main point in this event was that the lepers did something instead of waiting for death to come upon them. Let us never allow defeat to swallow us up. Do something, get up, and get moving. Put your faith in God, do His work and you will see how He can truly bless you.

We are not to be bogged down by worldly distractions and Satan’s snares. But we must want to be victorious, and have the vision to win in the spiritual battle against the Devil, the world and self.

The problem is that some Christians try to live in two worlds: to be a friend of the world and to be a companion of God. James said that this would not work. It would bring conflict between the physical and the spiritual aspects of our life (Jam 4:4-5). He made a very striking comment: “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

The believers during James’ time were trying to love God, and have an affair with the world. That kind of living would not work simply because friendship with this world makes a person an enemy of God. The world system is under the control of the evil one (Eph 2:3) which is opposed to God. To befriend the world is to accept and adopt its values and desires. We cannot live with one foot in the Kingdom of God and the other foot in the world. We must not love the world or the things in the world. Why is this so? This is because anyone who loves the world will not have the love of the Father in him. The lust of the eyes and flesh as well as the pride of life will so overwhelm him that God has no place in his heart (1 Jn 2:15-17).

Let us be challenged to desire to live victoriously for Christ’s Kingdom’s sake: never to give in or give up because Jesus has won the victory for us in the world.

Pastor Bob Phee
(1st printing 31 Jan 2016)

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