"For the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you."
What is victory?
The dictionary definition is” a success or triumph over an enemy in battle or war, or an engagement ending in such triumph. (I think we can all agree that we are at war. If that sounds foreign to you, check out my blog series on spiritual warfare from 2016.)
Victory is the successful outcome of a struggle. But what about when we don’t yet see the outcome? Can we still have victory as we wait? The answer for us as believers is a definite yes!
How can we have victory now, before the outcome? How can we live a victorious Christian life in the midst of the struggles and hardships? If we wait for one conflict to finish, another will arise. This side of Heaven, we will spend much time fighting in the battlefield and the rest of the time preparing.
We cannot gain true victory in our lives by our own ways, with our resources, or with the latest self-help strategies. When we go out in our strength, we may win a few battles, but we will never win the war. We will never gain the true victory over our hearts and minds, to fight against the enemy of our souls. We will never have lasting and total victory on our own, because the one true Victor (Jesus) is the only One who ever brings true freedom and wins in the end.
Habakkuk, one of the minor prophets in the Old Testament, is a short book containing the conversation between a man and God. The man, Habakkuk, was really frustrated because God was allowing certain circumstances.
He didn’t understand it, he didn’t like it, and he told God plainly how he felt.
Instead of condemning Habakkuk, God answered him. (He wants us to be honest with Him!) God basically told him that he wouldn’t believe it even if He told him the incredible things He was going to do.
Through time and wrestling, Habakkuk came to trust in the fact that God is faithful. He was going to intervene. He could stop fighting and start trusting. Even though circumstances were still bad, even though the livelihood of the people was at stake and everything was failing, God was good. God was going to intervene. In verses 17-19 of chapter 3, we read of Habakkuk’s victory:
Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.
Did you catch that? Before the actual victory comes in the physical, Habakkuk has victory in his heart and mind when he starts to praise the Lord. He knows God is going to work it out.
Praise brings victory.
We too can trust Him, because He is trustworthy. If He were to tell us all of His plans for our lives and circumstances now, we probably wouldn’t believe Him either! We don’t need to know, though. We need to trust. This brings me so much comfort. No matter what is happening around me, I have the victory.
I know my God is moving and I know this battle will be won.
I don’t always know when or how; but I don’t have to. (After all, I’m not God, He is.)
In order to have this victory no matter what, here are a few things we must do:
- Understand the faithfulness of God. He is in control (not us), and He has a plan. He doesn’t lie (Numbers 23:19, Titus 1:2) and He doesn’t ever sleep (Psalm 121:4).
- Let go of trying to fix things on your own. (This creates more problems, like we see over and over in the Word of God and in our own lives as well.)
- Talk to Him in prayer. If there’s something specific that you should be doing right now, He will reveal it to you (Psalm 32:8, Jeremiah 33:3, John 10:3-4).
- Let go of any sin you’re holding on to (Hebrews 12:1-3). Since God has already won the victory for you, why do you hold onto broken chains? Let go. These things will hinder the true victory in your life, delay your breakthroughs, and prevent you from hearing His voice. They will only keep you stuck, miserable, and betraying the heart of God.
What do you think?
How can you rejoice and trust God when your victory has not yet come?