Originally created 11/30/02

Obeying Christ is crucial in achieving victory



Having pastored churches for more than 20 years, I have observed the lack of victory in the lives of many Christians. One would think that these Christians don't realize that we don't strive and pray toward victory, rather, we strive and pray from victory. Victorious Christian living is possible now, thanks be to Calvary and the empty tomb.

In Joshua 3 the Israelites are finally getting ready to enter the Promised Land. Forty years earlier they had failed at their attempt to cross the Jordan River into the land flowing with milk and honey, because they listened to the report of the majority. Joshua tells them that God is about to part the waters of the Jordan River like he had miraculously accomplished years earlier for their parents at the Red Sea. Victory at the Red Sea involved the obedience of one man, Moses, in holding up his rod. At the Jordan River, victory came by obedience of all of God's people stepping into the water. Joshua 3:15-16 states that the waters stood still when the priests led the people of God into theriver.

Victory can be experienced by an individual Christian and by an entire church that seeks to be obedient to God.

God wanted his people then, as he does now, to experience Galatians 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives within me. And the life I live now, I live by the faithfulness of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me." This is the foundation of victorious Christian living.

As the year soon comes to a close, I'm led to ask myself, "Has this been a year of significant spiritual growth in my life? Is there a new level of Christian devotion and discipline in my life?" It has been said that faith is not believing in spite of the evidence, but faith is obeying in spite of the consequence. To experience real victory I must be obedient to Christ no matter the cost.

Can you identify an obstacle that exists between you and fulfillment of God's best for your life? Is the obstacle worth the lack of victory in your life? The answer is presented in these words of a song, "Got any rivers you think are uncrossable? Got any mountains you can't tunnel through? God specializes in things impossible. He'll do what no other friend can do."

The Rev. Tony Christie is the pastor of Woodlawn Baptist Church, Grovetown.