Yes, yes, I know I’ve been gone for far too long!! Right now I am actually away for two weeks of church camp, but I have had this message on my heart and mind for several weeks now and finally feel ready to put it all into words.
How do you define victory? In our world and culture, people place high value on living a “successful” life. But what is that exactly? Is it making a lot of money? Living a safe and healthy life? Or is it something completely different? And as a Christian, what should I consider to be victory?
Romans 8:37 declares that we, as sons and daughters if the One True King are “more than victorious through Him who loves us” and yet I’m reminded of one of my favorite hymns that says, “So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, until my trophies at last I lay down” and Jesus warns His followers not to store up treasure on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. (Matthew 6:19-20) What is the victory that Paul is writing about in Romans then? Obviously, Jesus doesn’t equate victory with earthly trophies or possessions.
My view on victory has changed a lot over the past couple of years. I used to feel great for winning a competition or acing a test, but there have been and will continue to be days when my results are less than I had hoped for. I will undoubtedly let my own self down. The only kind of victory and success that will never fail is victory in Jesus.
Jesus claimed the ultimate victory over sin, death, and hell when He rose from the dead on that very first Easter Sunday. And now, He invites us to live and reign with Him in that victory and freedom. We can triumph mightily over Satan’s schemes and over the curse of sin. That kind of victory doesn’t necessarily, or even usually, mean a happy life that is deemed “successful” by the world’s standards. It means living knowing that every single day, no matter what is happening on this earth, it doesn’t hold a torch to the victory that Christ has already claimed for us.
I think that a big part of what it boils down to is our perspective. Christ doesn’t ask us to live in victory, or command us to do so. He simply states that we are. So we need to realize that and live in the freedom and power that it provides! We need to remember that as Christians have the power of the Holy Spirit inside us, enabling us to powerfully claim victory in the name of Jesus. Victory in the truest and fullest sense of the word. Eternal, irrevocable, unparalleled victory. And when we start to truly see that and live in that, everything else starts to fade and pale in comparison. Earthly things don’t seem to be as big of a deal anymore, and that’s the way it is supposed to be.
Oh victory in Jesus, my Savior forever
He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood
He loved me ‘ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood