Study 4 LIVING VICTORIOUSLY
(Scripture Portion: Exodus 14: 1-14)
Many of God’s children are living defeated, unsatisfying and unsatisfactory lives. They have never entered into the experience of the peaceful life (Isaiah 30: 15); the overflowing life (John 7: 37-39); the abundant life (John 10: 10); the joyful life (John 15: 11); the liberated life (Romans 6: 7); the triumphant life (2 Corinthians 2: 14); and the loving life (1 John 2: 5) – and yet they long to do so!
1. WHAT IS MEANT BY A LIFE OF VICTORY?
Seven characteristics of such a life are mentioned above, and many other scriptures could be cited. Consider the following:-
- (1) It is not a life in which it is impossible to sin, but a life in which victory over sin is possible. The first is unobtainable in this life, but the second is attainable.
- (2) It is not an abnormal life or a life to be enjoyed by just a few of God’s children, but it is His provision for every Christian.
- (3) It is not a life where there is no temptation, but a life where temptation is overcome – look up Hebrews 4: 15.
- (4) It is not a life of outward victory only, but a life of inward and outward victory.
- (5) It is not a fully grown life where further growth in grace is unnecessary or impossible.
The victorious life is a life of victory over SIN, SELF and SATAN; a life of freedom from the power of sin as well as freedom from the penalty of sin; a life that is not only “reconciled to God by the death of His Son”, but a life that is also “saved through His life” (Romans 5: 10).
2. IS SUCH A LIFE REALLY POSSIBLE?
Is it God’s will that we should live such a life of victory? Has He made provision for each and all of His children to be victorious all along the line? If so, we sin against Him by accepting and being satisfied with anything less than His will. If it is not His will it would be a sin against Him to seek or to expect to live this life. Reverse the question for a moment: Is it God’s will that we, His children, should live defeated lives? Is it necessary for us to be beset and overcome by such things as temper, touchiness, untruthfulness, pride ? Let the following scriptures, (and those already mentioned in the opening paragraph of this study), supply the answer:- Matthew 1: 21; John 8: 34-36; Romans chapters 6, 7 and 8, which are summed up in Romans 6: 14; Philippians 4: 13; 1 Thessalonians 4: 3; 2 Timothy 4: 18; Hebrews 7: 25; 1 John 1: 7 and 9, and 2: 1. These scriptures make it abundantly clear that God desires all His children to experience a victorious Christian life.
3. WHAT IS THE SECRET OF THIS LIFE OF VICTORY?
The secret is a four-fold one, and for the sake of simplicity and clarity it may be stated thus:-
- 1) Victory is not gained by human effort. We shall be on the way to living a life of victory when we have truly learned this simple lesson. It is absolutely impossible to live this life in our own strength – see what 1 Samuel 2: 9 says. Here is the reason for all our failure; we have tried to gain the victory over sin, self and Satan in our own strength, and we have failed every time! Remember this: God has excluded the work of man from every tense of salvation. We are not saved from the guilt and penalty of sin by our own works (Ephesians 2: 8-10; Titus 3: 5); we are not saved from the power of sin by our own works (Romans 5: 10); we shall not be saved from the presence of sin by our own works (John 14: 3) – see all this illustrated in Exodus 14: 13-14.
- 2) Victory is given – it is a gift! 1 Corinthians 15: 57 makes this clear. The victorious Christian life is God’s gift, and it is offered to everyone who will receive this gift. Indeed, the victorious life which He offers to all men is the victorious, triumphant life of His Son. The Lord Jesus in a human body triumphed gloriously in His life and by His death over sin and Satan; and now His victorious life is offered to you and to me as a gift to be received, that His victorious life may be reproduced in and lived out through our human bodies. There is only one victorious life, and when you received the Lord Jesus (John 1: 12), you received that life. Did you realise that? Now you must let Him live His life in you and through you – look up Joshua 6: 16 – the victory over Jericho was not gained by effort and striving, but by simple trust and obedience. That victory was a gift!
- 3) Victory is gained by a choice. It is vital to see this. As long as we are in this world we shall be faced with a choice, as Joshua faced the Children of Israel with a choice (Joshua 24: 15). This choice involves a definite, conscious act of the will. Every time we are tempted to sin, if we are to experience victory we must deliberately choose to please our Lord Jesus Christ who has already gained the victory for us, and who is waiting to give the victory to us – and the moment we choose Him we receive His power and enabling – look up Romans 6: 13.
- 4) Victory is maintained by an attitude. Victory is only victory, of course, as victory is maintained. What then is the secret of continuous victory? Here it is in a sentence:
“LET US FIX OUR EYES ON JESUS… WHO GIVETH US THE VICTORY…”
And the scriptural warrant for this is found in Hebrews 12: 2 (our part),
and 1 Corinthians 15: 57 (His part)