“Mike, it’s Brad calling about our accountability session coming up on Thursday. Let me know if you are still available. And just to remind you – you agreed to keep a journal for the two weeks listing all your victories and your defeats. Be sure to print-off a copy for me for our discussion.”
Sometimes in our Christian experience, we talk about defeats and victories. Are you getting victory over a certain sin or did you go down to defeat today? It’s okay to use such terms provided we aren’t softening the blow or skirting the issue or avoiding the underlying problem.
Repeatedly Moses told the people of Israel they had only two choices: they could either obey the Lord’s commandments or disobey them. On one of those occasions, Moses said it this way:
See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way that I am commanding you today. Deuteronomy 11:26-28
Later in the same chapter, he used two mountains to drive home his point. Mount Gerizim represented Obedience, Blessing and Victory. Mount Ebal represented Disobedience, Curse and Defeat. In between the two was Shechem where the Levites stood to recite the options – blessings or curses.
Every day, we find ourselves standing in the valley between the two mountains. Every day we come to a stop at the crossroads: “Will I or will I not? Will I resist or succumb? Will I obey the Lord or obey the demands of my flesh?”
When I go down to defeat in a particular matter it’s because I have obeyed my own desires and disobeyed the Lord. We say: “I’d love to have victory over a certain habit but lately I seem to be having more defeats than victories.” Really, we are just letting ourselves off the hook. Victory and defeat are just euphemisms – just fancy, sugar-coated words for:
faithful love-my-Lord obedience
raw love-my-self disobedience.
It’s ludicrous for us to keep on talking about victories and defeats – they are merely the results of the choices we make. We need to focus on the choices we make and ‘why’ we make them.
If we are serious about wanting victory, then we must address the issue of obedience in our lives. When we obey His Word, the result is victory. Victorious Christian living is nothing more than living a life of devotion and loving obedience to the Lord. Defeat is caused by disobedience that occurs when my love for Christ is waning.
The Lord Jesus said: “I do always those things that please Him (the Father).” John 8:29. He lived a life of unhesitating obedience, sweet surrender and unswerving devotion to His Father. The life of victory! Galatians 5:16
Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.
Warmly in Christ
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