Victory, from the Old French word victor, means to triumph or overcome in a struggle. A personal victory might be losing weight, breaking a bad habit or making the dean’s list. There are team victories, political victories and victories in war. Most victories require tremendous strain and effort, but are extremely rewarding.
In Christian circles you hear of a “victorious Christian life,” a time when sin is conquered, fear is overthrown and love for God and other’s flows freely.
Our natural tendency is to think a “victorious Christian life,” is gained in the same pains taking efforts other victories have been won, giving it our all, trying as hard as we can to win. This could not be farther from the truth.
It is true, Jesus desires for us a life free from fear and sin, loving God and others in the same sacrificial way He has loved us, but He is not asking us to change.
God is not looking for a changed life. He is offering an exchanged life.
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2nd Corinthians 5:21
Christ has exchanged His life for ours. Not only did He die in our place to rescue us from eternal separation from God, but He also imputed His righteousness to us. We have become the righteousness of God.
There is not trying hard to be righteous. In Christ we are righteousness.
But you say, “That might be true, but how is victory realized in my own life? How is sin defeated, fear banished, love unleashed and joy experienced?”
The answer is still the same. With His exchanged Life.
Consider the great summary verse Paul wrote about the Christian life:
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20
The victory is not in trying harder. The victory is in embracing the death of our old nature on the cross and depending upon the newness of our life in Christ. Christ did not die so that we could be changed. He died so that we might die with Him and be raised with Him in newness of life.
Victory is in realizing our crucifixion with Christ and depending upon Christ in all we do. Yielding to His abiding Spirit, we bear fruit for the glory of God. Apart from His work in us, we can do nothing. ( See John 15:5)
We need to stop trying so hard to pattern our lives after what we read about Jesus in the Bible. There’s only one person who can truly live the victorious Christian life and it’s not us. It’s Jesus in us.
We have been made new. In Christ we have all the love, joy, peace, patience and hope we will ever need. Ours is to realize our newness in Him (counting as fact the death of our old self (See Romans 6:11) ) and yielding to Christ in us to love whoever get’s in our way.
Victory is not in trying harder. I’m pretty sure we’ve all tried that.
Victory is in remaining in the love of Christ and yielding to His Spirit.
The old has gone the new has come.
Challenge: Consider an area of your life in which you feel defeated. Trust that Jesus wants you to have victory in this area even more than you do.
Bring this area before the Lord right now:
Lord, you know how discouraged I am in this area. I’ve tried so hard to be like you, but have failed miserably. I know now that victory is not in trying harder, but in resting in You. Open the eyes of my heart that I might know your great love for me. Teach me to remain in your love and yield to your Spirit in me as I allow you to become my victory in this area.
Lord, You are my Victory.