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Grace Notes

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DAILY VICTORY
by Philip Owen

            I.  Victory Is the Goal.   I don’t know about you, but my chief desire is daily victory, and therein is my chief battle as well.  With few exceptions, my goals are daily goals, my battles daily battles, my needs daily needs.  I want victory and blessing today—now!—yesterday is past, and tomorrow isn’t available yet.  How, then, can I be assured of fulfilling the Lord’s will today—not merely receiving His passive acknowledgement of today’s activities but His active participation in them—for His glory and my good?

            II.  A Renewed Mind Is the Key.  We cannot stumble into success or fall into victory; both are the product of a deliberate, conscious desire.  Several verses, however, afford specific direction for our desire.  Writing to the church at Rome, Paul said, “Therefore I urge you brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (12:1, 2).  He strikes the same theme in his epistle to the Ephesians:  “be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (4:23).

            III.  The Work Is Ours.  The process actually begins with God, who gives the believer a new nature—His nature—which “is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him” (3:10b).  Believers received a renewed mind from Jesus Christ, a mind that enables us to comprehend as well as achieve victory.  It must be that way because the natural man is spiritually dead and has no ability to obtain victory over the flesh.  Victory is a domain reserved exclusively for children of God.  How, then, is the work ours?  The new nature we have been given still resides within a body that has retained the old, fallen, sinful nature.  It is incumbent on the believer daily to seek the Lord’s face and to heed God’s Word in the power of the indwelling Spirit.  The verses quoted above provide clues concerning how we daily renew minds that have been renewed eternally by the Lord.  We must present our bodies (the means through which we think, feel, and act) as a living and holy sacrifice, and we must refuse to be conformed to the spirit and actions of this world.  We must “lay aside the old self” (Eph. 4:22).  We must “consider the members of . . . [our] earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed” (Col. 3:5a).  In other words, victory in Jesus Christ requires a love for the Lord that impels us to refuse sin and anything that hinders His work in us.  We must desire His will enough to become, as it were, spiritual athletes, actively training, by living for the Lord, refusing fleshly desires daily, one moment at a time, and continually.

            IV.  The Word Is God’s.  We said that victory for a Christian begins with Christ.  His redeeming grace includes the power to live a holy, victorious life.  Though God will not force us to live holy lives, the power to do so lies within us in the Person of the indwelling Spirit who energizes our new nature.  As we yield ourselves to the will of God, the Holy Spirit does a marvelous work.  Paul explains that “though our outward man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day” (II Cor. 4:16:b).  The Lord “freshens” our inner man as we turn to Him “renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him” (Col. 3:10b).  As we see Him, we reflect His image; we manifest His likeness.  He fills us with His power, His knowledge, and His wisdom.  It is this supernatural help that enables us to triumph over the daily sins and difficulties we face.  His assurance makes mundane daily chores meaningful, His love that makes odious tasks joyful, His support that makes labor refreshing.  Victory is that fellowship in the Lord that follows obedience and makes of all our labor a ministry, one that is fruitful in the Lord.  Begin today to “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom . . . . [And] whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Col. 3: 16a, 17).

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