The story of my victory over self.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
I have experienced the greatest, most triumphant deliverance that a human being can know! I have been blessed to live God’s dreams and humbly shout the cry of victory. I have seen every single promise fulfilled in my life and what made it all the more amazing and breathtaking was the long season of waiting that preceded the year of the Lord’s favor upon my life for all to see! I remember my moments of loneliness and prayer, quietly embracing the beauty God can weave in us through suffering and later reaping its blessed reward- the nearness of God’s presence. I am not just writing this because I wish it were true or because I enjoy writing things that touch the deepest places of the soul. No. I truly, absolutely, completely lived everything I have said and so much more! I have experienced such an intensive season of trial after I have decided to follow Jesus without ever turning back. I never thought that would be the road He prepared for me but I also didn’t have the vaguest idea of the eternal treasures that would await at every turn- in the midst of the greatest sorrow and the fiercest of flames. This is not to say that we can never find God in the midst of joy but suffering is allowed in our lives for the very purpose of shaping us and God is the God that refines our faith like gold is refined in the fire. I have been blessed with humility and confidence in a God that is still the same God who parted the Red Sea, used Esther to save the Jewish nation, and performed miracles through the hands of His followers. I didn’t hear of these things in people’s experiences or even just by reading The Bible- I have lived them. God gave me the grace of living out the joy and fulfillment of the death of self, the very thing that He tried to accomplish by allowing me to go through so much suffering. He wanted me to understand His will in all things. Knowing and doing the will of God gives wings to the soul and makes one taste the joys of eternity. Oh, how the enemy hates this! Satan has fought greatly to destroy the unbelievably beautiful plans that God had for my life and he never stops fighting. I am more and more aware that we should be extremely vigilant in guarding our hearts and the preciousness of our faith after experiencing any kind of breakthrough in our lives because satan wants to take us right back into slavery and it is so easy to live a mediocre, self-serving life and to miss out on the beauty of selflessness. As much as I am aware of this great fight, I am also learning that it is more than possible to live a life of continual victory by fixing our eyes upon Jesus Christ. We can remain humble and untainted by sin if we make every effort to turn our eyes upon Him by making Him the very pursuit of our existence. It is not an easy life, it is the road less taken. It requires us to die to ourselves daily but all we need to do is be willing because Christ Himself has triumphed over sin and self once and for all and He is our victory! In order to live a life of continual victory, we must fix our gaze upon Jesus- the founder and perfecter of our faith who is alive and more than able to raise us to life by the power of His resurrection. He showed us that those who look to God will never be ashamed- even if they have to taste death! We must also die on our own cross by denying ourselves! It is life’s highest privilege and the secret to living a life of triumphant victory. You, too, can experience your own story of victory over self!!!