Let's Lay Some Groundwork: The Victory Has Already Been Won

Okay victorious ones, if you’re reading this today, it’s because your Father is pursuing you. He’s pursuing your victory. He wants it more badly than you do and He will continue to pursue you relentlessly until you’re all He created you to be. I can never hear the reminder that He is FOR me enough. As you’ve probably heard me say, my hope and prayer with this blog is that your theology in the Word of God would become the daily, ongoing reality of your life. The Father did not send Jesus from Heaven to Earth, live a sinless life being fully man, pay the price for us on the cross and resurrect Himself from the grave so you and I would have beliefs that sound nice in the Bible or make cute coffee mugs. He came so that our actual lives would be changed. He came so that we would be able to live the abundant life He created us to have. You and I are on a journey of learning to take what became ours when we became a believers. It is as if when we gave our lives to Jesus, the Father deposited a large inheritance into our bank account, and we’re now learning what we have and withdrawing from what is already ours. But before we can make it a reality we do actually have to know the theology. So this post will be a bit theological, but knowing this is essential to it becoming our reality.

The first thing that we need to settle in our hearts is that the victory has already been won. In Christ, we fight for victory, from victory. We battle to make what already belongs to us in the spiritual realm become ours in the natural realm. So before we get into the nitty gritty of how to live in victory, I want to show you in Scripture that Jesus has already won the victory on the cross. If you know feel like you already know these Scriptures well, pause for a minute and ask Holy Spirit to do a fresh work with these words in your heart today.

  1. Because of Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension, the power of sin has been broken. You became a new creation when you became a Christian. “We know that our old self [our human nature without the Holy Spirit] was nailed to the cross with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin. For the person who has died [with Christ] has been freed from [the power of] sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live [together] with Him, because we know [the self-evident truth] that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has power over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin [ending its power and paying the sinner’s debt] once and for all; and the life that He lives, He lives to [glorify] God [in unbroken fellowship with Him]. Even so, consider yourselves to be dead to sin [and your relationship to it broken], but alive to God [in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus. -Romans 6:6-11

  2. Jesus has triumphed over the devil and his demons and completely disarmed them. “having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of legal demands [which were in force] against us and which were hostile to us. And this certificate He has set aside and completely removed by nailing it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities [those supernatural forces of evil operating against us], He made a public example of them [exhibiting them as captives in His triumphal procession], having triumphed over them through ]the cross.” -Colossians 2:14-15

  3. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. “...The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” -1 John 3:8

  4. Jesus has made the devil ineffective, impotent, and powerless. “Therefore, since [these His] children share in flesh and blood [the physical nature of mankind], He Himself in a similar manner also shared in the same [physical nature, but without sin], so that through [experiencing] death He might make powerless (ineffective, impotent) him who had the power of death—that is, the devil— and [that He] might free all those who through [the haunting] fear of death were held in slavery throughout their lives.”

Meditate on these verses over the next few days, because these are a few of the many verses that reveal that once we’ve placed our faith in Christ, we now share in His victory, which means you have every right to be free. You never have to wonder if freedom and victory are God’s will for you or not. It’s an overwhelming yes, in Jesus’ name. But if you’re like me, you might be kind of frustrated right now. You know the Word says that says these things, but it’s not what you’re experiencing. Maybe the enemy’s influence feels strong right now. We’re going to get there, but today is about laying the groundwork. I’m going to leave you with my favorite verse on victory.

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us].” -Romans 8:38

Victory Gals, Let's Do This.

Hey friends! I’m so glad you’re here. In case you missed this on Instagram, I shared that I sensed the Lord leading me to write on the topic of victory in Christ for the next good chunk of time, until I’ve said all He’s told me to say. Who knows how long that will be, but I’m hoping for 6 months - year. I’ve known for a number of years now that writing will be a part of my calling in life, and battling for victory in Jesus has been my mess that He is turning into my message. When I was really walking through my season of warfare, the kindness and goodness of God in combination with faithfulness of His servants really provided me so much equipping and encouragement. I’ve read dozens of books, did several Bible studies, listened to every single podcast and teaching I could get my hands on, in addition to my own daily (hourly) time in the Word, which became life to my bones and light to my path. As I was discerning whether this tug on my heart to write on this was from God or not, I wondered what I could add to all the wonderful resources that are already out there. The one thing I didn’t have was a sister that was just a step or two ahead of me on the journey. Someone that had gone through what I was going through, but wasn’t so far from that time in their life that they couldn’t remember what those painful nights are really like. I wanted a sister that could talk to me over coffee, instead of from a stage, that felt like half friend and half coach.

I hope in some small way, through the blessing of the interwebs, I can be that sister to you. I haven’t forgotten the deep confusion that sets in during times of battle. I haven’t forgotten what it’s like to literally stop washing the dishes, fall on my knees, and cry out to God to help me take my thoughts captive and set me free from my tormented mind. I haven’t forgotten the nights I slept with my Bible under my pillow, in case I needed it in the middle of the night, and begging God for some truth to transfer by osmosis to my mind. I haven’t forgotten not really knowing how to explain to friends what’s going on, other than something happened, and now you’re in a daily all-out war to live in peace. I haven’t forgotten what it’s like waking up to be with God at 5:15, because you might actually fall apart if you cannot get some time alone with him. I know what it’s like the be the one who’s texting all the friends for prayer again. I could come up with a million more scenarios, but trust me when I say I have been there. Though it all.

I also know what it’s like to see clearly again when the battle is over. I know the taste of sweet victory. I know what it’s like not just to read that it is for freedom that Christ set me free (Galatians 5:1) but to actually feel free. I know what it’s like to live in peace, to miss a quiet time and actually be okay if it happens in the evening instead of the morning. I know what it’s like have the theology of freedom and victory also be my daily, ongoing, consistent reality. I know what it's like to be able to breathe again, to be able to devote thought to helping other people and doing good in the world, because my mind is no longer tormented. Heck, I can actually relax and watch a movie and read a fiction book now if I want to! That may sound weird to you, but it's something I couldn't do during my season of warfare!

Have you ever read the word “yolked” in the Bible? It’s not something we say anymore unless you talking about an egg, but you should look it up on google images. It’s essentially a bar that connects two oxen with a hole to put their heads through. When training a new oxen, they would always pair it with a seasoned oxen, so the seasoned one could shoulder more of the load and teach the new oxen. We may not be oxen, but let's link together on this one. I'm going to teach you everything I know about living free and victoriously in this next year.  As they say, freedom isn't free. But neither is staying in defeat and bondage, so you might as well pay for freedom instead of defeat.

If this resonated with you right now, I want to tell you something that is going to sound like the exact opposite of truth, but in reality, nothing could be closer to the truth: You're so extremely blessed right now. You're blessed when prayerlessness is a luxury you can't afford. You're blessed when not reading the Word is not an option, because it's the only light you have to take the next step. You're blessed when you can't leave the house without your Bible or those 3x5 index cards with Scripture on them. It doesn't feel like it now, but when this battle is all said and done (and it will be) you'll come out a spiritual billionaire. A mighty warrior. I can testify.

The only thing that I hate more than what I went though is who I'd be if I hadn't. I have a feeling you'll be able to say the same at the end of this year. 

Let's do this.

Let's not forget about victory. Let's not forget about deliverance.

I don't believe I've ever been a part of a church that preached a prosperity gospel, so I'm not 100% sure what falls under that umbrella, and I don't think it's a good use of my time or mind space to read up on a false doctrine when I could just be reading the Word. But I've sensed and been influenced by a wave in the opposite direction that I believe rose up in response to the prosperity gospel, which talks about suffering often and at length. I refer to it as the opposite, the suffering gospel. It seemed to be weaved into every sermon and every song, by multiple pastors, churches, and leaders. The message was not to waste the suffering in our lives, because God ordains it as an opportunity to grow and become more like Christ. After all, there are many verses that call us to patiently endure suffering and assure us that God will work all things together for our good. If you're thinking that nothing sounds wrong with that, (which I don't necessarily either) than hang on and hear me out for a minute.

What if you heard that in every sermon every Sunday? What if all the "famous" pastors were saying the same thing, and you trusted them? What is you saw how God brought good, and maturity out of the suffering of others that you slowly and subtly started to believe that suffering was the ultimate sign of maturity and holiness? This is the spot I was at after being immersed in the suffering gospel for many years, until I was hit with some suffering of my own. This time, it was trickier to identify, because on the outside it might of looked like I WAS KILLIN' IT in life. Nothing actually changed in my circumstances. But on the inside my world had fallen apart. The nutshell version of it is this: long standing, unresolved issues in my heart and life created a big foothold for the enemy to come in a do what he does best: lie, accuse, intimidate, confuse, doubt, fear, seduce, guilt, and shame. I had a massive wounding in my heart and I have a massive calling on my life and I couldn't go forward with both. If I was really going to go for it with my calling, my heart needed healing. And thus I entered a long process of inner healing, deliverance, freedom, and realizing what Jesus really purchased for me when He died on that cross and rose from the grave victoriously. That could be a whole blog post (or book) of it's own but the point of if here is that I was definitely suffering. But in the culture I was in, I was so heavily under the influence of the suffering gospel that I'd forgotten that Jesus wanted me to live victoriously. He wanted to deliver me from the enemy and give me an abundant life. I wasn't even sure how to wear the armor of God, what warring in prayer was, how to discern the will and heart of God for me on the matter, how to demolish strongholds, and how to discern enemy activity and engage him in battle, instead of thinking that everything bad happening to me (internally) was a result of my sinful flesh. 

It all came to a halt when I realized I couldn't get free and live in ongoing victory and stay in the suffering gospel culture. If I was going to get a breakthrough, I needed to be around people that believed Jesus wanted a breakthrough for me more badly than I did. And it came, although I stayed in the wilderness a lot longer than necessary because I believed God wanted me there. The Holy Spirit taught me how to live in peace, wear the armor, pray from victory for victory, discern what God is doing and partner with him in accomplishing that. He healed my heart and made me new. I still have giants to slay, but they're the giants in the Promised Land and not the wilderness. 

"Suffering" is a broad word and covers so many different things that happen in you or to you. I absolutely DO NOT think that when we come to know Jesus that everything will be comfortable and easy and he'll get you a new car. But I do think that what we misdiagnose, we will also mistreat. If we do not know how Jesus responded to the people who suffered in the bible (I'd suggest you read the gospels and see how He responded to someone who is suffering in the way you are), that we cannot discern how He would responded to us as well. Jesus suffered the cross and all that he endured on the way (the ultimate suffering), suffered persecution, laid his reputation on the line, didn't have a place to lay his head at night, was left by his closest companions, was misunderstood, had a broken heart over people, and was so stressed that He sweat his own blood. He also healed everyone that came to him, delivered people from demonic influence or possession, made a way for us to be right with God and victorious through Him, forgave sins, taught his heart out about what it's like in the Kingdom and manifested what the Kingdom is like wherever He went. 

I've had to contend with both ways of suffering (in and outside of God's will for us). My concern is that many people are trying to suffer well with things God wants to set them free from. My concern is that we've swung so far to the opposite extreme of the prosperity gospel that we've embraced hellish situations that break God's heart. My concern is that we've forgotten that the cross didn't just forgive our sins, but the resurrection power empowers our victory. My concern is that we've forgotten how to fight, how to get free and stay free, and have made ourselves doormats for the enemy to come in and kill, steal, and destroy we're not sure what to embrace and what to fight. My concern is that we've become complacent with going from mess to mess instead of from glory to glory.

This is a conversation I want to continue to talking about and equipping you with. This link (http://lindseyfalls.com/blog/2016/2/15/resources-for-spiritual-victory?rq=victory) is a post I wrote a while back might be a good place to start. (Sorry- hyperlink isn't working and I want to get this out!)