Today Pastor Cass talked about Contending for the Faith, part two in his lesson. He made the comment that we go from victory to victory in our Christian life, but that we have to contend for it.
The word Victory stood out to me. In every instance, the only way to have a victory is for there to be a battle. Jesus won the war on the cross, but we have to engage in battles in our life to gain the victory.
So many times, I just want to pray for Christ to deliver me from a situation. If I press hard enough, God usually does deliver me, but I end up later facing the same type of battle again. He may allow me to retreat for the moment, but the enemy is still there if he is not completely defeated. I can never gain victory over the enemy in that area if I don't engage in the battle.
I think of how many situations that I complain that I have to go through. I think of the client's I work with and the self defeating patterns that many engage in. Their faces flashed before me, the scenarios flashed before me, as Pastor Cass preached.
We have grown in a society that expects instant results. When we do not get them, we shrink back and decide it must be bigger than we are because we can't gain the victory with one little attempt. We see our immediate failure as proof that we can't overcome. But I get the message - we have to engage in the battle - to the very end - in order to gain victory.
I have overcome a lot in my life, when I was in the situation i didn't see the way out - but I kept pressing on. I knew that God was there with me, even when I didn't see or feel Him. When I thought I couldn't go on, His strength would come or He would send others to come along side me and encourage me. In the end, the victory came - not easily, but completely.
I haven't had to spend my whole life in battle. I have though been able to see battles come to an end and have obtained victory in a lot of areas in my life. What I realize is that I need to allow God to take me through the battlefields of those areas that I still haven't seen victory in. I have to trust that if I stand and fight, past where I want to give in, He will bring me to victory. (Romans 8:31 If God is for us, who can be against us?)
(Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.) We are more than conquerors in Christ - but all conquerors have to stay in the fight to complete the battle!