My spiritual father has a favorite saying he’s used for years when things get tough. No matter how difficult the situation, he’ll put a big smile on his face and say, “We win!”
He means, of course, that for believers, heaven’s victory will be a sweet ending to the lifetime of battles we’re facing now. Someday, all will be right again.
He should know. He’s fought many battles, won some and lost some, and is now in the biggest fight of his life: Stage 4 metastatic cancer.
His perseverance is an inspiration to me. Yet somehow, when life gets tough, even the promise of heaven’s victory seems far off, not immediately helpful.
We win - but what if we die of cancer first?
We win - but what about the marriage that fell apart along the way?
We win - but if we win, why does Jesus sometimes seem absent in the here and now?
WHAT IF YOU'RE WINNING?
I felt like I was losing last week.
In an early-morning quiet time, I considered my situation: my family was scheduled to leave on a long weekend trip the next day. I had several meetings to attend prior to that and packing to do as well. I hadn’t written a single word in two weeks. Some relational issues with a close friend were cropping up uninvited, and on top of it all I was feeling tired, run-down, and definitely sick.
This trip was important: my middle son was scouting out a college he really liked, and I needed to be there. The various meetings were also important to me and were bearing fruit for the Kingdom. Yet the enemy was attacking me with sickness, and everything in me wanted to call it all off. I was losing this battle, and I knew it.
As I prayed, wondering what to do (and secretly wishing for my pillow!), I heard the Spirit of God whisper: “What if you’re winning?”
I perked up at His voice. “Winning?!” I asked Him.
It was almost laughable - nothing was going my way at that point! My head was pounding, I could hardly stay awake to pray, and I’m sure He knew I had a greater desire for my bed than for Him at that moment!
“What if you were winning… what would you do then?” He asked again.
Suddenly, everything went clear. The enemy had convinced me that I was beneath, not above; defeated, not a victor. I knew exactly what I’d do differently: I’d kick him out!
So I did.
I commanded that sickness to leave in the name of Jesus. (It did).
I set my heart to pray for the difficult relationship.
I spent time with the Lord instead of my pillow, and tackled the weekend with all its meetings and challenges in HIS strength, not my weakness!
Because I shifted my perspective from a natural to a spiritual one, I began acting like the warrior and victor that I am, and my circumstances quickly followed suit.
SEE YOUR VICTORY!
2 Kings 6:8-23 describes a similar situation for the prophet Elisha and the young servant who had replaced Gehazi.
The King of Syria makes war against Israel but the prophet's predictions repeatedly thwart his efforts. The strategies of heaven are greater than the strategies of man!
Finally, in complete frustration, the Syrian king sends a great army with horses and chariots to surround the city of Dothan, where Elisha resides.
Commentator Alexander MacLaren writes: "The 'great host' sent to capture Elisha shows the terror which (Elisha) had inspired, and the importance attached to getting possession of him... It is odd...it never occurs to the Syrian king that Elisha, who knew all his schemes, might know this one, too, or that horses and chariots were of little use against a man who had Heaven to back him." (MacLaren's Commentary on 2 Kings.)
The "rookie" servant, still more sensitive to his senses than to the Spirit, sees the enemy army and warns Elisha in fear. Elisha sees the army but also sees the armies of God. He prays the servant's eyes will open and says: "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." (2 Kings 6:16.)
Again, MacLaren's notes enlighten us: "Elisha did not pray that the heavenly guards might come, for they were there already. And what a sight the trembling young man saw! ...he saw that same fiery host that had attended Elijah in his translation, now enclosing the unarmed prophet and himself within a flaming ring. The manifestation, not the presence, of the angel guards was the miracle. It was a momentary unveiling of what always was, and would be after the curtain was drawn again.
Friends, these angel armies still surround us today! They are sent as ministering servants to those who will inherit salvation. (Hebrews 1:14.) They are God's warriors, ready to carry out His Word.
Not only that, but we have the mighty Spirit of God dwelling on the inside of us, whispering the same strategies that Elisha once heard to deliver us from our own battles! I heard just such a strategy that night, and I saw the terror God drive my own enemies away.
I have heard the Lord saying that this is the year to "See and Decree." Yet I also hear Him saying, "Now is the time to Decree and See!" What you decree will come to pass (See Proverbs 18:21; Mark 11:23). Your prayerful and prophetic decrees of victory are the catalysts for change in your life!
My spiritual dad says, “We win.” But it’s better than that. WE WON!
Our victory is not some far-off hope we cling to until we reach heaven’s gates. The truth is, we’ve already won. Jesus won! Choosing to abide in Christ makes us victors in the here and now.
The difference between a defeated believer and a victorious one is that the overcomer takes his authority in Christ and reminds the devil of his defeat!
REFLECT ON THIS:
What situations are weighing you down today?
What seems hopeless or insurmountable to you?
What if you’re winning?
I pray you’ll always make decisions based on the knowledge of your victory, not the lie of defeat!
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.