How Much Do You Want It?
It does not matter how revolutionary a book is or how excellently it may be written. A book is but a block of wood until it explodes in the heart of the reader. The goal of this blog is to ignite a passion in you to go for IT! The IT in this chapter is victory.
This Blog asks you, “How MUCH do you want it?” There is something that I want you to want and I want you to want it bad. You have an astonishing amount of victory available to you in Christ.
You can conquer feelings of inadequacy, depression, insecurity and confusion. You can take more ground from the enemy than you ever imagined. You can force changes in the world that you never dreamed of. The plain truth is that we only have as much victory as we want. Victory is not an issue of age, talent, intelligence or even opportunity. Victory has everything to do with passion.
No one embodied an incomplete appetite for victory more than King Joash: 2 Kings 13: 14-19 “Elisha had become sick with the illness of which he would die. Then Joash the king of Israel came down to him, and wept over his face, and said, “a my father, my father, the chariots of Israel and their horsemen!” And Elisha said to him, “Take a bow and some arrows.” So he took himself a bow and some arrows. Then he said to the king of Israel, “Put your hand on the bow.” So he put his hand on it, and Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands. And he said, “Open the east window”; and he opened it. Then Elisha said, “Shoot”; and he shot. And he said, “The arrow of the LORD’s deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria; for you must strike the Syrians at Aphek till you have destroyed them.” Then he said, “Take the arrows”; so he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground”; so he struck three times, and stopped. And the man of God was angry with him, and said, “You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck Syria till you had destroyed it! But now you will strike Syria only three times
Notice that even though this king could cry and even though God intended to give him total victory, he could not find the passion to strike the ground enough to win! So I ask you again, “How bad do you want it?”
Victorious Saints were far more common at other times in history. What has happened? What is blocking this generation of Christians from experiencing the real victory promised in the Bible? There are two major factors that mollify our passion for victory. Satan works overtime to give victory a bad name. The one thing that I know will change you and ignite your passion is when you find out what victory really is. Do you remember the parable that said that the Kingdom of God is like a treasure hidden in a field? The man went and sold everything he had and bought the field. Everyone else must have thought him insane to pay so much for a useless parcel of ground. When you see the treasure that victory really is the price will seem insignificant. ‘
When Christians hear the word victory they think of an arduous life of drudgery. They assume that a person with victory is someone who has forsaken all to lead the life of a monk. Of course Satan gives holiness and victory a bad rap! His only hope is that you will never know what you are missing. His goal is to get you to accept a cheap counterfeit. Having failed at that, he will try to convince you that victory is beyond reach. The truth is, without victory life is much harder. Walking in victory is so fulfilling and addictive that you will wonder how you ever lived without it! This is not to say that a life of victory is without discipline. It is a much disciplined life.
However, the truly victorious do not notice the price of victory because joy fuels their sacrifices. They have a school girl crush on the Lord! What, some might call fanaticism will actually become a normal way of life for you.
Culture of Compromise and Detente.
Another big reason that passion for victory is hard to come by is that we live in a culture of compromise and detente. 911 exposed how incapable of outrage many in our nation are. After 3,000 innocent Americans were incinerated in the Twin Towers many wanted to form committees to study, “what we did to make the terrorists mad.” They wanted to send in the grief counselors to mute the deep sense of loss of the victims’ families; almost as if it were wrong to grieve. They simply wanted to be “back to normal as soon as possible.”
Walking in victory is so fulfilling and addictive that you will wonder how you ever lived without it!
One day as I had breakfast, a highly decorated retired Admiral of the U.S Navy sat at the table across from me. He was almost 90 but his mind was sharp and his eyes were clear. I went over, introduced myself and soon we were comparing America’s reaction to Pearl Harbor with modern America’s reaction to September 11
He described a nation that galvanized, became one and made whatever sacrifices it took to win. He characterized our reaction as half-baked and superficial. “You all sang the national anthem at sporting events for a while.” He said we do not understand that, “when someone wants to kill you there is no substitute for victory.” He went on to tell me why people speak evil against our young men and women in uniform. “These soldiers embody duty, honor and sacrifice.” These are attributes that our culture of compromise hates!
Then he reminded me of the words of Admiral Yamamoto. “When his colleagues congratulated him for his victory at Pearl Harbor Yamamoto said, ‘I did not know that our declaration of war did not reach Washington until 55 minutes after we attacked. I cannot imagine anything that would infuriate Americans more. I fear that all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” Whatever became of that resolve?
One of the worst things we ever did was to learn French. It is the French who coined the term detente; the worst substitute for victory ever. Detente literally means “loosened crossbow strings.” In medieval times you would show your crossbow with the strings loosened to prove you would not attack.
Detente is the polar opposite of Teddy Roosevelt’s advice to “speak softly and carry a big stick.” Jay Leno joked, “Why should we be surprised that the French did not help us to liberate Baghdad? They did not even help us liberate Paris!” General George S. Patton said, “I would rather have the German army in front of me than the French army behind me”
Winston Churchill had another name for detente. He called it appeasement. Appeasement was the policy of the English Parliament toward Hitler in the 1930’s and Churchill despised it. Ancient Israel doubled the number of wars she had to face because of detente. Each time that Israel settled for an alliance when she should have demanded victory, she invited terror in her midst. Detente in the life of a believer means peaceful coexistence with Satan. This is what you are seeing in teachings that diminish, ignore or deny the existence of the devil. Detente quarantines sin and destructive habits instead of eliminating them.
Detente is a nervous pact with darkness that permits you to appear spiritual while still in its pocket. This subtle covenant with the enemy rears its ugly head every time you try to make real progress as a Christian.
No matter how eloquent a teacher is, they cannot change the reality of war. Whenever you schmooze with evil you are warring against God and creating a glass ceiling for your prayers! Psalms 66:18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.” Detente believes you can serve two masters, but in all such amalgamations evil takes the upper hand. The prisoner of detente will never progress until they declare war on Satan and possess God’s hatred for evil. Now let’s get a real definition of victory.
More than Conquerors
Forget what the world calls victory and set aside your own ideas of victory. Only God can truly define it, so let’s go to the owner’s manual to get a clear definition. Romans 8:37 tells us, “We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” The victory that overcomes the world is a two-edged sword with a sharp piercing point. One edge of that sword is total victory and the other is entrenchment and the sharp point is a passion to win after you win.
Total Victory: What Jesus did to the devil on the Cross was total victory. If only we could have been there when the crucified Christ kicked in the devil’s teeth, stripped him of the keys of hell and the grave. Colossians 2: 15 says, “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. ”
Let me give you two instances in the Bible that expose the supremacy of Christ and the utter helplessness of the enemy. The first shows that resistance is futile! Matthew 8:28 says, “When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon- possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. 29 And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” This horde of demons did not bother to run or hide from Christ. His presence alone evokes pure terror in demons!
Another example is Revelation 20:1: ” Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him. ”
We know that high ranking angels have names. We know about Michael and Gabriel. In this case the messenger is only referred to as “an angel.” This shows that the even lowest ranking angel has the power to chain the prince of devils! This awesome and unquestioned supremacy is what Satan sees when he runs into a child of God. When you surrender to God, He declares war on Satan through you. That declaration is all the devil sees when he comes near you and it fills him with terror! This is total victory.
Victory is entrenchment: The original language describes him as a conqueror bent on further conquering. Sun Tzu, a Chinese general that lived over 3,000 years ago explained entrenchment this way: “First, place yourself beyond the possibility of defeat and then wait for an opportunity to attack the enemy. “This axiom of war is the pure definition of “more than conqueror.” Entrenchment means you are dug in. You have taken ground that you will never give back. To secure any piece of ground you must eradicate the enemy and make sure there are no breaches in your security. Spiritually, that means that you are utterly uncompromising. It means that you have evicted everything that exalts itself against God. Jesus said, “Satan is coming and He has nothing in me.” Entrenchment means you are welded to God.
Now we can read the rest of the verses.
Romans 8:37-39 “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” To secure any piece of ground you must eradicate the enemy and make sure there are no breaches in your security.
Remember the three Hebrew boys answering the angry King. “Can your God save you from the fiery furnace?” Their response is the stuff of victory, “Yes He can but even if he does not, we will not worship the golden statue! Their connection to God was unconditional and transcended all circumstances. This no-matter-whatness tells the enemy of your soul that you are beyond defeat.
Victory is a passion to win again and again: The Book of Revelation shows Jesus, the most awesome of all warriors riding on a white horse. The original language describes him as a “conqueror bent on further conquering.” The old song says “The lion of Judah shall break every chain and give to us the victory again and again!”
The true warrior understands that battles lie ahead. He has already mentally and spiritually gone into the future and resolved to win those battles. Here is an amazing thought…you can discourage the devil! You can get a reputation in hell for never letting up, backing down or giving in. You can get a reputation in hell for never letting up, backing down or giving in.
Victory: If you want it bad enough you can have it. You can kneel before your King right now and let Him give you the heart of a warrior, the unrelenting passion of a conqueror and the inexhaustible fire of the Holy Spirit.