This will come as no surprise to those who know me, but I hate to lose. Period. It is one of my least favorite things in life. Losing is not just awful, it is the polar-opposite of God’s will for us. Of course, I don’t mean that it’s God’s will for us to win every competition we find ourselves in, as nice as that may be. Rather, God deeply desires for us to walk in true victory over our daily struggles & sin, but also over the devil himself.
God’s desire for us to live in this kind of victory was so great that He gave of Himself to make it possible. He sacrificed His son to overcome the power of sin and the grave, all so that we might live with Him eternally in heaven. God’s name, Jehovah Nissi, identifies Him as God our Banner – the banner that brings victory. He goes into battle, not just with us, but for us.

  • Deuteronomy 20:4: God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

We can stand firm with no reason to fear, panic, or tremble because God goes into battle for us with the expressed purpose of saving us! But all too often we find ourselves struggling to attain the victory that God has sacrificed so much of Himself to give. In these situations, I find that we’ve either taken the credit for the work that God has done Himself, or that we never let Him fight for us in the first place.
Often, we find it naturally intuitive to run to the Lord in our time of need. At the end of our rope, we turn to God seeking His victory in our circumstance. Yet, when God delivers, we are quick to dismiss His work and simply focus on our change in circumstance. Scripture addresses this kind of “spiritual plagiarism” head on.

  • Psalm 115:1: Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.
  • Psalm 29:2: Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.
  • Revelation 14:7: Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgement has come; worship Him who made the heavens and the earth and sea and springs of waters.

In these times we must celebrate what God has done for us, not forget it. When the Pharisees asked Jesus to quiet those worshiping Him, He simply said that if the people were quiet the rocks would cry out. Personally, God has done so much for me. I refuse to take credit for that work or to allow a rock to steal my voice in worship of the Lord for the great things He has done.
Another barrier to our walking in the Lord’s victory is that we don’t let Him in on the fight. This seems contrary to reason, but we often struggle to walk in victory because we deny the severity of the battle we’re facing. We’ve bought into the half-truth that God will not test us beyond we can bear. I call it a half-truth because it’s less than half of the scripture.

  • 1 Corinthians 10:13: No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

The full truth is that God will most absolutely tempt and test and stretch us beyond what we can bear in our own strength. How else will we learn to depend on Him if we are never in need of His strength, power, love, grace, mercy, healing, forgiveness….We must realize that in those tests God is standing arms wide open, waiting to embrace us, to fight our battles for us, and escort us into the victory He has always intended for us.
This Sunday, we continue our Names of God series with a combined service to celebrate the Lord’s Supper and study the name Jehovah Mekaddishkem, the God who sanctifies us. As you prepare for that, walk in the truth that Paul wrote in Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” God has made victory ours, but to walk in it we must let Him fight the battle and then worship Him for all the good things He has done.
In His Service,
John McRae