VICTORY IS MINE
What does Victory look like to you? In sporting events we often see the winners raise their hands or a trophy in the air. In wars there are sometimes parades of the conquering soldiers and military equipment through the streets of the conquered territory. But there are also quieter displays of victory—like when someone leaves their doctor’s office after hitting the 5 year mark after getting an all clear from a fight with cancer. Or it might be a case the quiet joy of a person leaving that last rehab appointment after recovering from a serious auto accident. Or perhaps, it’s a bloodied head, bowed in death after proclaiming, “It is finished.” Yes, victory takes many forms.
In each of these, and many other cases, there has been a battle or contest. Sometimes this struggle may have been very one-sided, with an outcome that seemed fairly certain. But at other times the final result was quite doubtful, indeed. The victory is perhaps all the sweeter in the latter case. At times we are the ones fighting the battle and awarded the victory because of our own efforts, but other times someone else is fighting for us. We think of how intently the people at home in Great Britain and the U.S. watched the reports coming in from WWII battles, wondering if Hitler and his allies would take over the world, or if freedom would win in the end. It was not just the combatants who celebrated when Hitler was defeated, but those in the nations for whom they fought who rejoiced.
In a very real sense we are like those sitting on the sidelines as a war is waged for our benefit, as well as being engaged in a battle ourselves. When we sing, “Victory Is Mine,” we are declaring what has been done for us in Christ, as well as what we are appropriating from that victory as we wage our own war. In other words, because Jesus has won the victory for us, we can lay claim to that victory in our lives. Victory is ours!
There is a frequently used and very appropriate illustration that helps us understand this a bit more. When President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, those in slavery were granted freedom. But through ignorance of this event, the deception of their slave masters, or their own fears many former slaves remained in bondage. And even for those who understood the fact of their freedom, there was a struggle of many decades to appropriate all the implications of that truth.
All the benefits of the fact were not realized in an instant.
Victory is ours. On the cross Jesus conquered Satan and sin. That victory is ours if we trust that He did that for us. We are no longer under the curse. We are no longer slaves to sin. Like those former slaves, we have been granted freedom and victory. But also like them, our old master would like us to believe we are still bound, and he’d like us to believe we are better off that way than to have responsibility to live free. Or he’d like to deceive us into thinking that somehow submission to Christ (as former slaves still had to submit to the government which freed them) is somehow more oppressive and less beneficial than our former life of slavery.
But this is one of those times when the truth truly sets us free. We do need to remind ourselves that victory is ours. Jesus has won it for us. He has already taken His place on the throne and has seated us with Him in heavenly places. The same Holy Spirit power that raised Christ from the dead is at work in us now. There is no sin, no temptation we face that we cannot conquer because of His victory—His victory is ours.
This does not mean there isn’t still a battle. First, there is a battle for truth. We have to remind ourselves of things such as mentioned above—of all that He has accomplished and promised—and of the power He has given us, through His Spirit.
Next, there is a battle to appropriate the truth in our lives. In many wars, the fighting goes on for a while after the declared victory, as pockets of resistance are brought under control. When God gave Israel the Promised Land, He said, “It’s yours. Go get it. I’m with you.” They had to fight, to deal with resistance, warfare, pockets of entrenched enemy. While they did fight for a while, they also got weary of battle, and eventually compromised with some of the entrenched enemy, allowing them to remain. Sometimes we do that, too, allowing besetting sins to linger. We end up not gaining that full victory, and perhaps even become slaves again.
What about your own life. Do you need to remember, “Victory Is Mine?” Is there a tenacious enemy you are tired of fighting? Is he whispering deception and discouragement? Or are there entrenched places where you have just resigned yourself to compromise with sin? Do you think victory is beyond your grasp? Soak up and stand on the truth of God—Victory is yours!
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries