“Every child of God can defeat the world, and our faith is what gives us the victory. No one can defeat the world without having faith in Jesus as the Son of God,” (1 John 5:4-5 C.E.V.)
When was the last time a sermon challenged the level of victory in your life over the things of this world? Does your pastor confront the inner issues of your heart with the Word of God, or are you massaged by a message that allows you to feel sufficiently spiritual in your current religious exercise? If the attending of services at the house of God does not cause me to develop a passion to become more like Jesus than I am probably a member of the wrong house.
Spiritual growth can be measured by the amount of change that has taken place in your life; your attitudes, activities, and aspirations will constantly be challenged, convicted, and corrected by the Word of the Living God and the person of the Holy Spirit. Maturity in Christ predicated by having a heart that has been broken, cleansed, and reformed to love and live like God’s. Are you ready to keep reading?
I thank God for the divine law of “Seedtime and Harvest”, and I love to be challenged in the area of my giving; knowing that when I release what is in my hand towards God, God will release what is in His hand towards me. However, the only aspect of my faith that most preachers are willing to challenge is in the area of my financial contributions to their ministry. When was the last time you were confronted with your thought life, the way you treat your spouse, or God forbid, the things you entertain yourself with? I have heard a lot of sermons on how God wants to give me the things of this world, and I have heard a lot of preachers tell me how to get God to give me those things. What I find in the Bible is a gospel that commands the death of my will, my wants, and my ways so that my life might be filled with His will, His desires, and His ways.
Victory in Jesus is not measured by our ability to achieve success in the eyes of the world using the principles of the Word of God. Victory in Jesus can be determined by the desires of your heart. God changes the hearts of men and women by the power of the Holy Spirit as they submit more and more of their lives to Him. God’s plan for your life is to become just like Jesus. Ask yourself the following questions and see how much of your life you’ve been submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ lately.
- What are the things that you spend the most time thinking about?
- What are the things that you have invested the most heavily in?
- Do you spend more time in a movie theatre or sitting in front of a television than you do filling yourself full of the Word of God?
- Do you spend more time taking care of your physical body than you do talking to your Father in heaven?
- Are you more concerned about achievements than relationships?
- Does your prayer list sound like it should be sent to Santa Claus, or does your heart cry, “He must increase, but I must decrease”?
- Are the lives of the lost on your mind?
- When was the last time you lost yourself praying in the Holy Ghost?
- Are you burdened by the moral and spiritual climate of our nation?
- What brings you the most joy?
- What are your favorite things to do?
- Who do you spend the most time with?
Brothers and sisters, I am not trying to make you feel any less spiritual than you really are. It is time for you and I to once again be confronted by the living Christ. Our lives have been redeemed out of this sin-saturated culture surrounding us and have been placed on the highway of God’s holiness. The Word of God challenges all of us to pursue Jesus Christ with all of our heart. The faith that overcomes the world is a faith that sees eternal realities, experiences the power of God, and loves Jesus Christ to such an extent that the sinful pleasures, secular values, ungodly ways, and selfish materialism of the world not only lose their attraction for us, but also are looked upon with disgust, aversion and grief. There’s an old song that says:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
- Victory in Jesus is having enough heavenly backbone to say “No” to the things of the world and not regret the decision.
- Victory in Jesus is facing the reality of who you are by looking into the mirror of the Bible and crying out to God for change in your life.
- Victory in Jesus is refusing to allow the little foxes to spoil the vine of your fruitfulness.
- Victory in Jesus is loving those who won’t love you back, caring for those who could really care less, and giving to those who can never repay you.
The victory of the Lord Jesus Christ is found as our lives are molded into His image. We come to the place where people don’t need people to remember our name, as long as they know they have been in the presence of God while they were with us. We come to the place where the truth is more important than our reputation. When we find ourselves caring more for the eternal destiny of those who live in our neighborhoods than we do for temporal pleasures we can indulge ourselves in. Victory in Jesus comes when we find more joy in giving our lives away than we do in achieving and acquiring the desires we once had.
Victory in Jesus is when sin has lost its luster and the ways of this world seem as perverse as the Bible says they are. Victory in Jesus is when the manifested presence of God is a regular occurrence in your life. Victory in Jesus is the power to resist the temptation to sin. It is the power to refuse to answer the call of compromise. It is a heart that forgives those who have abused it, a mind that takes captive thoughts that violate the Word of God, and a will that says, “I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Victory in Jesus Christ is the faith to believe that because He lives that you can live just as He does.
May your heart burn for Him.