Victory? Doesn’t that imply involvement in some sort of competition, skirmish, or battle?
The Christian proclaims that Jesus Christ won the victory over sin, death, and the grip of satan. Yet, because I am still earthbound, I struggle against the enemy of my life who prowls about seeking to deceive and devour me.
Both God and satan want me, but what they will do after they have me is as different as heaven and hell.
So here I am, in the midst of battle. Daily warfare. Satan, the world and my own flesh are fighting against me. There is no truce, no compromise. Some attacks are bold, others sly and subtle. The goal for my enemy remains the same: stir up doubt. Then remove all hope.
The tempter of my soul has but one question: “Did God really say . . . ?” And, in my moment of doubt, my own feelings betray me. My focus is distracted from God’s Word and Promise. I detour into dangerous territory: the land of Me. Attitude, choices, and behavior are affected. So are the people in relationship with me.
In the battle, I need all the help I can get. I need Sunday mornings where God divinely serves me. Where I’m reminded of what He’s done and is doing for me more than what I can do for Him. Admittedly, I’m not fond of old German tunes. “Did God really say . . . you must sing such awkward melodies with notes too high?” But, I must confess. Once the Spirit adjusts my attitude, I am emptied out to be filled with the power of God’s Word captured in the lyrics. Once my attitude is adjusted, I can better visualize soldiers all around me. The company of saints. Warriors victorious before me. Now in glory.
If I knew that tomorrow the men of my family were going to war, I would be left weepy, weak and vulnerable singing a contemporary praise song led by an entertaining band. I need holiness — whether my men are going to war against an enemy we can see or I am engaged in battle against an enemy I can’t see. I don’t need a flurry of sight and sound that will momentarily lift my mood. I need Christ the Cornerstone. I don’t need distractions of stage and screen. I need Divine Order. Divine Holiness. Divine Service. I need to get out of myself and be unstrapped from my feelings to trust the Commander-in-Chief.
Victory? Jesus won the victory that gives me eternal life. But, while I’m earthbound, I’m engaged in a war between ideas. Between good and evil. Between Truth and deception. Between God and self. In this present darkness, my enemy schemes against me.
So, God help me stand firm. Do not let me slip into the attire of frivolity but strap on the armor of battle. Whether I am at home, in the community, or in worship, bind me with the belt of truth. Cover me with the breastplate of righteousness and shield of faith so no flaming darts will pierce my soul. In my hand, secure the Sword of the Spirit.
Keep me alert. Help me persevere — to victory.