It is possible! We walk this earth desiring to be victorious over our flesh – wanting a life of victory, to be victorious over sin. We have fallen and have tried to stand up once more. Our tired life have failed some and have won some. But mostly, failure clouds us and we lose hope. Just like Paul in Romans 7:15, we feel the same.
“For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate”
I want to share what I have learned in Pastor Nate’s blog post. It somehow answered the question: how to live a victorious christian life. It was such a timely post for me since I was going through my own set of struggles and really wanted to be victorious over sin. I want to be like Paul.
12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Just like Paul, I am not writing this post to say that I have achieved perfection or already sinless. I see the possibility of perfection only upon death, when we are in heaven. The word “perfection” actually talks about maturity. As we go through this life, are we constantly growing in our relationship with God? Are we spiritually maturing in our view of God? Are we become more like Jesus? Are we sinning less? These are questions which might help evaluate your journey to “perfection.”
But even though, we realize, total spiritual maturity is still a long way to go we need to press on. We shouldn’t be quitting. It is a daily decision to want to mature. A daily desire to grasp (lay hold) of what God wants from you. He wants you to be victorious. He wants you to live that life of abundance in Him alone.
Realizing that you haven’t achieved total spiritual maturity yet, but you need to claim it and press on for it, you need to do this one thing – forgetting what lies behind. You cannot run with you focusing on what you left behind or what you are running away from. You are running away from it for a reason, right? Why do you need to go back at it again? Why do you want to focus on what you’ve run away from the first place? I like what Pastor Nate wrote about Religiosity and Relationship.
Both involve moving away from evil, but with different focuses. Religiosity is focused on what’s behind. How many sins can I say I don’t do any more and I can feel good about that? The difficulty is that the “hunger” of the flesh is mighty and the more you focus on what you know you should not have, the greater the desire of the flesh will be to have it. Like a dog that is focused on its tail, even when it finally catches it, it has accomplished nothing!
That is why you don’t need to look back even while you’re walking forward. What you left behind is nothing compared to what is before you – Jesus Christ. We should reach forward to what is ahead. We should focus and pursue Jesus rather than the goal of being victorious over sin. In reality, victory over sin is impossible without Jesus in the equation. When we pursue Christ, we will feel less the thirst of our flesh to sin.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. – Galatians 5:16
When we fill our mind with Christ and grow in our knowledge of Him, our minds become captivated that the thought of sin no longer have any space to grow inside. The love of Jesus. Knowing God. The knowledge about Jesus. The desire for Jesus is what makes us victorious. When we fully understand who Jesus is and how much He loves us, it propels us to hate and not want sin. Sin will never give us lasting pleasure, only Jesus can give us contentment and peace. That is why I also believe the prize is not victory over sin. Victory over sin comes with the prize. The prize is actually Jesus. And at the end of our Christian marathon, we should also aim for another prize and that is Jesus saying to us “well done, good and faithful servant.”
May we be encouraged to press on! I know it’s not easy. But we need to push ourselves to the limit because what is ahead, is just so good that it should motivate us to endure. I want to know Jesus more. May we together journey in knowing Jesus more. God loves you and me.
I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment below on how to live a victorious christian life.