According to the Bible, Christians should be living in victory instead of defeat – in joy, instead of despair. Yet, most of what we hear from the saints are testimonies of defeat, and most of what we see in the faces, and hear in the voices is not joy, at all. It is lack of enthusiasm for God and Christ. It's an "I'm-just-going-through-the-motions," lackadaisical attitude toward the things of God, toward the Church, and toward the people and servants of God.
Realize that when we become Christians, that is only the first step in our walk with Jesus.* That is the step that gains us entry into the joy of the Lord (heaven), and yes, we are so joyful in the beginning of our Christian walk, as we should be; but over time, and after facing many trials and tribulations, many of us lose our joy. Many of us become skeptical and outwardly disappointed. Why?
Because we've experienced many defeats instead of many victories like the ones we read about in the Bible.
Why is there a discrepancy between what God's Word says, and what we're actually seeing and experiencing?
HERE ARE TWO ANSWERS*: 1. LACK OF TRUST 2. LACK OF PATIENCE.
Lack of trust. What does that mean? It means that God's people are not fully trusting in Him, clinging to Him. They either don't seek Him for guidance, or get ahead of Him, or lag behind. To see more victories, we need to cling to God – truly trust in God, and lean not to our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). Please understand that developing trust is a process and it rarely happens overnight; so with each problem, we must determine to do less and less of trying to make our own way – and even that process starts with asking for God's help. We must be humble and realize that without Him (Jesus), we can do nothing (spiritual) (John 15:5). So, we should ask the Lord to help us to trust more in Him, and lean not to our own understanding, devices, wit, resources.
This world and the enemy's plots are clever and often treacherous. We need a Master Navigator (Jesus) to lead us through it... in the same way that Moses needed God when he parted the Red Sea to lead God's people to safety. We need the Master Navigator to help us when we are tossed about on stormy waters... in the same way that Jesus walked on the water in the middle of a storm saying, "Be of good cheer!" and "Do not be afraid." (Matthew 14:22-33). The whirling winds ceased and there was victory!
When we are surrounded by problems... when we are surrounded by the enemy... do we inquire of God, like David did when he was surrounded by the Philistines? That's another example of clinging to God. (Read 2 Samuel, below, and notice the pattern.)
Now the Philistines (enemies of God's people) had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim
SEEK (CLING TO) THE LORD
So David inquired of the Lord,
“Shall I go and attack the Philistines?
Will you deliver them into my hands?”
TRUST THE LORD
The Lord answered him, “Go, for I will surely deliver the Philistines into your hands.”
So David went to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them.
Right now, if you have a problem... if you are facing giants or stormy winds... I implore you to call on the name of the Lord! He, alone, can help you and He has all the answers!
Ask Him for help and/or guidance.
Ask Him for forgiveness and plead for mercy! (Psalm 28)
Determine in your heart that you will change. (Oftentimes, we face issues because the Lord is trying to compel us to make a change in character or behavior.)
Ask for prayer from your pastor, other ministers, friends, family, etc.
Then, WAIT on the Lord! (Exercise patience)
Patience is a fruit of the Spirit. Sometimes people will trust God for a little while, then after a few days or weeks, they'll resort back to the old way of doing it themselves. This can lead to defeat, or to a re-test! "This same thing keeps happening to me!" they say without realizing that God was just on the verge of delivering them when impatience stepped in and cut off the victory.
MORE TRUST IN GOD AND MORE PATIENCE = MORE VICTORIES!
Be blessed and encouraged knowing that God loves you! Amen.
~Apostle Tracey Smith
* Receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior is the most important step in our path to eternal life. Afterward, we need to work on developing a relationship with Christ our Lord through prayer, reading the Bible and applying it, fasting, and congregating with the saints in church.
**There may be other reasons for lack of victories, but as an obedient servant of the Lord's, I will share only what the Lord has given me for this hour. I give all glory and honor to Jesus Christ who is the Son of God, and acknowledge that He has all the answers.