2 Corinthians 2:14, “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.”
We all want to live victorious lives. I don’t believe there has ever been a man or woman in this world who began their journey thinking to themselves that they would be vanquished by the fiery arrows of the enemy, that they would succumb to the snares, or that they would end up being conquered rather than conquerors.
However optimistic the genesis of their journey, one need only look at the current condition of the church to realize that although none started out planning to succumb, untold numbers have done, and are doing just that.
History teaches us that having the benefit of numbers on your side, or being in the majority is in no way a guarantee of victory. One need only be reminded of Gideon’s small band of warriors utterly decimating the overwhelming numbers of the Midianites, or Elijah executing some four hundred and fifty men by the brook Kishon, to realize that when it comes to spiritual matters numbers are irrelevant. The enemy could outnumber you, they might possess the high ground, their stratagems of attack might be impeccable, yet if God is on your side, the battle will be yours, and victory within your grasp.
The reason so few are living truly victorious lives, and so many struggle day in and day out seeing little progress for all their efforts, is that very few today, even in the church understand the paradox of victory.
First we must surrender, and then we will overcome. First we must submit, and then we will have victory. In order to become victorious over sin, and over our own hearts, we must begin by allowing ourselves to be vanquished by our Lord and Savior. True victory begins with defeat, a vanquishing of the flesh, of our preconceived notions, of our selfish desires, for only in Christ will we perpetually be led to victory and triumph.
Once we have been conquered, once the flesh has been vanquished we no longer approach battle thinking of trusting in our own strength, we are no longer boastful of our own prowess, but limp like Jacob after his defeat at Peniel, having to trust in the sovereignty and power of our God and Father. Often we fight with God, not realizing our impotence until He merely touches the socket of our hip and it pops out of joint. In order to obtain victory our ego must not only be bruised but rather shattered and our own will not merely bent but broken, replaced by His will, and His power.
It is when all seems lost that victory is closest. When only darkness and distress surround us, the certainty of victory is surer, for the power of God is revealed in us and through us in our weakness.
Today God is looking down from the vastness of heaven, seeking out those whose hearts are wholly His, those who have discovered the key to victory, and no longer trust in themselves, but in Him, who have surrendered the illusion of control, and opened their hearts giving God His rightful place there.
If only we would realize that in and of ourselves we are nothing, and can do nothing. If only the true measure of our impotence were revealed to us as it was to Jacob, if only we would submit to Christ, who has the power to destroy every sin, break every chain, and give us a victorious life in Him.
When the power of God is made manifest through us in our weakness, in our trials, and in our suffering, when in spite of our circumstances we continue to have joy and peace, to trust and obey God, the fragrance of God is diffused in every place.
True and lasting victory, consistent overcoming of both temptation and trials, is only possible when we surrender our all, when we allow ourselves to be vanquished by the love and grace of Christ Jesus our Savior.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.