Victorious Versus Defeat
The enemy has been defeated. He was defeated by Christ when Jesus died on the cross. When the sin debt was paid, sinners could be saved and taken from the kingdom of Satan. When He arose from the dead Jesus destroyed the last weapon Satan had to hold over man. Death has no power over believers anymore. Satan did all he could from the beginning to keep Jesus from the cross. He began his opposition when he had Cain kill Abel in the garden of Eden. Little did he know that he had killed the wrong man because it would be through a descendant of Seth, that the promised Messiah would eventually come into the world some four thousand years later.
Christ has the victory, yet many of God's people live defeated lives. Why is this. I want to discuss this with you in this message. Of course all the unsaved are defeated by God's standard, but sad to say myriads of believers are living defeated lives as a believer. They do not honor Christ and they are not really serving him. Their view of God is so far removed from that in the Bible, still they persist in living as they do. What do they achieve by this? Second best in life, dishonor to the Savior, and one day embarrassment at the Judgment Seat of Christ where they will receive no rewards because of the way they lived after salvation.
Often we hear of our military defeating the enemies of our country and way of life. Although they are often defeated, still the enemy tries to regroup, and make more attacks if they can. They want to do all they can to hurt or damage those they hate. Often times they know they cannot win, but still they proceed with sneak attacks or using the lives of their own innocent people on suicide missions. Our military cannot achieve victory if they are pinned down and the enemy has more fire power. The military must use all available resources in order to win and defeat their foes; As believers we must use all our resources that have never failed in our battle with the Wicked One.
Satan is deceiving so many Christians today. I see believers living in sin having a miserable life, but content to live that way to enjoy their sin. I see believers who don't go to church and can't pay their bills, because they do not have the wisdom on how to use their money. I see believers in church even, who are doing the same thing with their money and they stay in debt and can't hardly give anything to the work of the Lord. They will not tithe, or live committed to the Lord and yet they wonder, why is it I can't get ahead. Why is it I'm always behind with my bills? How can another brother or sister give as much as they do and they make about the same amount of money as they do each month? What they don't realize is they have the victory available, but choose to live in defeat. We are told to be content with such things we have,
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. Hebrews 13:5 NIV
To true believers in Christ what a precious promise, He has promised to always be with us. So let's remember, also what he said in the Sermon on the Mount.
"No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life; whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? ... So don't worry about these things, saying, "What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?" These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:24 27,31-34 NLT
Listen to what the Apostle Paul said about life needs,
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
Philppians 4:11 NIV
The Apostle had learned and he knew the Lord made a way for those that trusted him. We all can have a victorious life if we learn some vital lessons and apply them. The problem is we often know, but we don't apply. Therefore we live in defeat, shame and no real witness for the Savior.
First we must be saved. Then we must submit ourselves to him moment by moment and day by day. Serving our Lord is a full time job. And the Devil will make it as difficult as possible. We must realize we are not our own because Christ has bought us with his own blood. So we are his, and we do not belong to our self anymore. Now we are to be doing his will. The Jews thought they were doing God's will, but they were not. Many people today, think they are doing God's will, but in reality they just may not be. I received a call today from an organization who wanted to know if I was the pastor. I told him I was and he said, do you do fund raising? I said, "NO, NO, we pay our tithes." He excused himself and quickly got off the phone. Now that man probably thinks he is doing God's will, helping churches get extra funds by selling this, that, or the other. But God's will for the church, is not to use the world's ways of doing things. Members of the church give to God their tithes, love offerings and gifts, and these pay the bills and support missions. The church does not need fund raising, it just needs for all its members to be faithful in their giving to the Lord. If a church needs money they need to wait on the Lord and be faithful in their giving. They do not need to go deep into debt. But that is a message for another day. We find it difficult to trust, obey and wait on the Lord don't we. Still, that is what we are to do. We can do that with the aid of the Holy Spirit if we are willing.
Do you know what happens when we don't obey the Lord? Do you think the Lord just over looks it or doesn't care? Let me share a passage of scripture concerning disobedient Christians.
My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Hebrews 12:5-8
Many real believers live in misery today because the Lord is whipping them because of their disobedience to him. He allows trouble and trials to his children because he loves them and wants the best for them in life. A life of sin dishonors him and hurts the growth of the church. He cannot allow his children to live in sin without disciplining them for their disobedience. So we need to know we are saved and then begin to claim the promises of God so we can live the kind of life the Lord wants us to live. Then the things we need God will bring into our lives as he sees fit. We must trust the Lord and then learn to wait upon him. He does not operate on our schedule. He is often never in a hurry. His interest is in you and I learning to trust, obey and wait. That is the formula for pleasing the Lord.
And He said to them, Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses. Luke 12:15
It's not what we have or don't have that makes us successful in God's sight. But are we saved, trusting and waiting upon the Lord? That is the way to please the Lord and get victory.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57
I know what I am talking about. Many years ago I was a believer, but was not totally committed to my Lord and I had constant financial problems along with other troubles. But when I decided to live a committed life, life took on a different look. Though I have never had much money and own only a few things necessary for living, I am as happy as a jay bird! I know of nothing I need, and I don't have any debts. Why is this so? Because I learned years ago that living by God's Word is best. I give my tithes and love offering as I should to the work of my Lord in a local Bible Believing Church. I don't go for fads, or gadgets, or fancy cars. I drive a small truck. (New and given to me debt free) My wife and I seldom eat out, we like home cooking and we have never taken a vacation in the nearly thirty years we have been married. She is pleased, and so am I. Have I missed anything in life? I doubt it. We've seen the mountains and the ocean, so we are satisfied. Personally, I am very glad the Lord gave me a work that kept me busy everyday in his church. I wish everyone knew the joy I have had these many years.
What I have been trying to say is, you don't have to live a defeated life. Jesus Christ is with us believers and we can take him at his Word. I deeply regret that I did not follow that path when I was saved at the age of fourteen. I had to learn the hard way, but so many of God's people never learn and that troubles me.
Have you learned yet? Are you totally committed to the Lord on the job, at home, at church, and with your time and finances? Someone reading this may be struggling. They want to but just can't see how they can tithe and give love offerings unto the Lord. The Devil will keep you defeated just as long as you want him too. When you decide to do what is right and follow the formula I have submitted in this message you will then have a peace, and joy that words cannot describe. We give not to get from God because that is the wrong motive, but we give because we truly love the Lord and we want to obey him and help share the gospel by our giving so others can hear and come to know the Lord.
Could it be someone reading this is living a miserable life? You have been saved, but you have stayed from the right way? Why not give yourself totally to the Lord confessing all known sin and ask for forgiveness and cleansing. Then ask him to help you to live a victorious life of faith. Get into a real Bible Church and begin to lean on the Word and apply God's truths to your life. Discover for yourself, there is something in life better than the pleasures of sin. Get rid of this idea of doing what I want, get to know what your Savior wants and start pleasing and serving him. Then when you arrive at the judgment, as you will one day, because it has been appointed for all of us, by obedient living there will be some rewards for you. So trust, obey and wait.
Heavenly Father, thank you so much for loving us as you do and providing a way for us as believers to live a victorious life for the glory of our God and Savior. Help those who may be struggling to yield to the Lord I pray in Jesus' name. Amen, Preacher