Sometimes I feel like I’m walking through my days as though I am defeated. As though I’ve lost the race but I still need to get to the finish line so I drag myself along, tired and without much joy or motivation. Repeating to myself my sad little mantra; “That’s just the way it is.” As if somehow the acceptance of defeat makes it better. This morning it dawned on me how silly that really is. It occurred to me that the set-backs in my life that are being used as weapons against me by the enemy of my soul should instead be directing my attention to the Savior of my soul. Why have I surrendered anything in my life to Satan as his plunder? Immediately the verse that came to mind was 1 John 4:4. — You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one that is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
We are victorious! Christ’s blood on the cross made that an irrevocable truth. (1 Corinthians 15:57). So why don’t I live that way? As I looked to the Word of God, I came across a passage of Scripture that I thought explained our assurance of victory well.
“Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” – Deuteronomy 20:3-4
This passage of Scripture showed me a few things. First of all, it reminded me of the inevitability of the battles. “Today you are going into battle…” It doesn’t say today you might go into battle. Sometimes life in a fallen world is going to be hard.
What follows is the instruction of how not to feel when you head into the battle. “Do not be fainthearted…afraid…terrified…give way to panic.” I’m pretty sure these are exactly the emotions that overcome me when I recognize that I’m in a situation that I cannot control. In a battle that I can’t seem to win. So if these are the responses I should not have, what should I be replacing them with. A thesaurus seemed a good place to look and here are some of the antonyms I found: brave, bold, confident, undaunted, composed, calm, content, encouraged, assured. Of course there’s many more, but I’ll focus on these for a while.
Next is the very important reminder of who exactly it is we have with us in our battles — the Lord our God! This is the same God that created the universe with his Word. This is the the same God that rescued the Israelites from Egypt, David from Goliath, Daniel from the lion’s den, and the list goes on. This is the same God that sent his Son to die to rescue us from hell and raised him from the dead to defeat death. That is who we have in the battle with us. That means that we are without a doubt winning. Even the devil knows that! He just tries to keep us from believing it.
This passage of Scripture ends with the awesome reminder that it is God himself that is dong the fighting for us! He’s not just following along carrying our armor and cheering for us. Whether we can see it or not, he is busy fighting! And the reason he is fighting? To give us victory!
But thanks be to God! He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! – 1 Corinthians 15:57
…for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. – 1 John 5:4-5