Let’s Stop Living in Defeat

Do you ever feel defeated in your Christian life?  Ever wonder how in the world to be victorious in your walk with God when you can’t even handle the silly stuff of life, like frustration over dirty dishes in the sink or sibling squabbles, much less the serious stuff like addictions, feelings of worthlessness, or family rifts?

Put another way, are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?

The weekend before Easter I had the honor of speaking at a women’s retreat for 250 college gals.  Their chosen theme?  Victorious!

Which got me thinking….”How do we live victoriously, anyway?”  What are the necessary pieces we need to have in place to live in victory rather than in defeat?  Are there things we should know?  Do? Not do?

As I prepared my talks I kept one question in mind: what would I tell my 20 year old self (and by default, my several-years-older-than-that self) to enable me to live in victory over the long haul of my life?

Although there are probably numerous components to living in victory, this weekend I focused on three elements which I believe are absolutely crucial for you, for me, and for anyone who wants to live victoriously:

  1. Surround yourself with others who will help you be more like Jesus
  2. Spend regular time with God, allowing him to speak personally to you through His word.
  3. Immediately recognize Satan’s lies and quickly replace them with God’s truth.

The more I’ve reflected on these elements, the more I am convinced they hold the key to living in victory rather than defeat.  Sadly, too many of us fail to hedge in our lives with these safeguards and end up struggling with the same old stuff over and over and over again.  I know.  I’ve done it.  And very likely, so have you.

If you recognize yourself as one who has been living in defeat rather than in victory recently, take a look at the list again.  What’s been missing in your life?  Maybe you need to call a godly friend. Meet her at a coffee shop, go on a walk, or take the kids to the park. Talk, laugh and just be. Or call a Christian counselor, if you need to. If you’ve been hit or miss at Bible study or church, do yourself a favor and go each week. Let the spiritual health and vitality of others spill onto you.

Other believers are essential for your victory.

Perhaps you need to spend a few minutes with your Bible open, pausing long enough to let God love on you. The gals at the retreat told me that one of the most helpful things I shared was how I have my quiet time. On the chance that you may find it helpful too, here’s what I do:  Before I open my Bible I say “God, if you were here with me right now, what would you say to me?” Then I read until a scripture hits me, as just what I need.  I pause and write it down, word for word, thinking about it as I do.  Then I pray, writing my prayers out long hand (very, very messy!) in a journal or spiral notebook, or whatever I have handy. This keeps my mind from spinning onto the errands I have to run, or work I need to do, or emails I need to check. I do this virtually every day, even if it’s only 10 minutes. Sometimes it’s at Starbucks, sometimes it’s in my car, sitting in a parking lot between appointments, sometimes it’s at home. Don’t worry about how much time you should spend reading or praying, just do what you can. Never forget that Christianity is a relationship, not a religion. Spend time letting God love you and allow yourself to love Him back.

Spending time allowing God to speak to you is essential for your victory.

But maybe experiencing victory means something else for you. Perhaps you need to start thinking about what you think about, and refuse to allow your thought life to spiral into negative, destructive emotions, which in turn spills into negative, destructive actions. There’s only one way to combat a lie; you must root it out with the truth. Each time you find yourself thinking a thought that clearly doesn’t come from God, stop in your tracks. Replace the lie with the truth, speaking it out loud if you can. Seriously, there is power in speaking the truth (of course, if you are in the middle of the grocery store I recommend waiting until you’re back in your car to try this!)

Combating lies with the truth is essential for your victory.

So, my sweet friends, what’s the take away for living in victory rather than defeat?  Three simple elements.

  1. God’s people
  2. God’s presence
  3. God’s truth

Don’t live in defeat one more minute. Envelop your life with these God-given resources and live.

Victorious!

Comments

  1. Pam Apffel

    Wise words – here’s to living in His victory, not my defeat!

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