And have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth (Revelation 5:10)
Characteristics of a Victim/Victor
A victor is a conqueror, an overcomer—someone who enforces the victory Christ wrought over the Enemy, within their life… someone who uses their authority in Christ, their power of attorney, to bring victory to the lives of others.
Whereas, a victim is someone who is deceived, or continually defeated by their circumstances. A victim is someone who remains passive in the face of the Enemy’s attacks, whether that attack is directed at their own life, or the life of their loved ones.
Please don’t misunderstand me. A victorious life does not mean a problem-free life. However, as victors, we are to reign over our circumstances, rather than allowing those circumstances to overwhelm us. How do we do this? Romans 5:17 indicates we can reign in life through Jesus Christ. However, as humans, we are weak and finding that continuous strength to stand victoriously in situations that may have devastated us, sought to undermine us, is sometimes just not there, or can be the furthest thing from our mind. In times like these, we should emulate David, who finding himself feeling disheartened and overwhelmed, called out to His God in prayer.
Hear my cry, O God;
Attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Self-sabotage or Kingdom Rule?
Have you abdicated your throne?
Yes, we are to submit our lives to God and allow him pre-eminence in our lives but the onus is upon us to rule, subdue and take dominion… the onus is upon us to enforce God’s Word and the principles of His Kingdom on this earth, in our circumstances, in our communities, even in our church. Jesus has already won the victory for us – that is why the Bible calls us “more than conquerors”!
It takes discipline and perseverance to be a victor (Hebrews 6:12)
I believe it takes the same amount of energy to wallow in despair and pessimism and remain a victim. So, why expend that negative energy? Is it not better to use our strength to fight for victory, fight for a change in our circumstances, fight to maintain a sound, well-balanced mind, fight for what God has freely given to us, fight for his will, plan and purpose to be effected in our lives? Do you agree? Then (as Paul encourages us to do), let us fight the good fight of faith, let us lay hold of the eternal life, the abundant life for which Jesus’ blood has so dearly paid (1 Timothy 6:12; John 10:10).
How does a victor persevere? Through hope, through faith.
Hope anchors the victor’s soul in peace, the peace that surpasses understanding (Hebrews 6:19, Philippians 4:7). Hope stabilizes the victor’s emotions. Hope protects the victor’s mind. Victors may feel cast down by adversity, by the afflictions of their life. They may sometimes succumb to the lies and taunts of our adversary the devil—but like David, victors choose to speak the Word of God to their souls (see Psalm 42:5-6, Psalm 43:5, Psalm 27:13) and, in doing so, victors choose to awake, choose to arise, choose to clad themselves with strength, put on their armour and stand against the wiles of the devil. The victorious lifestyle does not just happen – it is a choice.
Now victims sabotage their own well-being. How? Through unbridled fear and unbelief, which in turn leads to pessimism.
And how does pessimism stamp its hallmark upon a victim? Through compliance! Through permission! Through heart and soul agreement about the ‘reality’ of their circumstances (whether that agreement, compliance or permission is done out of ignorance or not)!
Each time a victim chooses not to stand on the truth of God’s Word but focuses upon the undesirable circumstance, their heart despairs. Despair is loss of hope. And as we saw above, hope anchors our soul (i.e. our mind, will and emotions). Therefore, where there is no hope, emotions become erratic, the thoughts of our mind negative and our will undisciplined and contrary.
Fear or Faith?
A victor is motivated by faith. However, a victim is immobilised by doubt and fear.
Victors heed the Apostle Paul’s direction that we: “…continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and [be] not moved away from the hope of the gospel…” Colossians 1:23.
On the other hand, victims give credence to and empower their circumstances by failing to look at Jesus who is the author (originator) and finisher (completion) of their faith; choosing instead to concentrate on that which is temporal and therefore, subject to change (Hebrews 12:2-3; 2 Corinthians 4:17-18).
Am I saying that we should pretend our problems, trials and tribulations do not exist? No dear reader – I am most definitely not saying this! I am not advocating that we live in denial. I am saying acknowledge your difficulties yes, but deny them the ability to permanently distract, distress and disempower you.
Whose report will you believe?
You are a born-again believer. In whom, or in what do you believe?
Do you believe in an omnipotent and gracious God… a loving and compassionate Christ… a resourceful and helpful Holy Spirit? (That takes care of the “in whom do you believe?”).
Do you believe in your fear-induced thoughts… the seeming impossibilities of your circumstances…the perpetual goading of the Enemy? (And that takes care of the “in what do you believe?”).
Women of Warfare! – Choose to exercise hope. Choose to live by faith. Choose to be a victor!