Victory! What does this term mean to you? Perhaps it means you have succeeded in something you never thought you'd be able to complete, or that you triumphed over something that held you back in life. Maybe it carries the idea of having achieved superiority to your enemy - no longer having to engage that enemy in battle because you have been declared "victorious" over that enemy. If we look at this in the truest sense, any victory is really a sense of achievement where an advantage is attained and maintained. There is something in the one who is victorious that screams, "I have overcome!" There was an obstacle in your way and now that obstacle no longer stands as any impediment to your progress or success in life. I wonder just how many obstacles God has removed for us without us even knowing they were gone - allowing us to walk victoriously in areas we never really had any idea how to overcome?
Victory comes one way and one way alone - through the work of God in our lives. It is only in Christ that we truly can be successful over the things that hold us bound. God defeats our enemies - even when our enemies are our own thoughts, emotions, and doubts. There are tons of us who are facing obstacles that aren't external to us, but are right there in the thoughts we frequently reconsider and ruminate on repeatedly. There are those of us who find our emotions huge hurdles to overcome, binding us to some specific course of action because we cannot seem to overcome how we 'feel'. Still others of us are intent on doing something that will result in a life-change we desire, but all those doubts and frustrations keep creeping up, paralyzing us, holding us back from ever taking more than the first step. Obstacles aren't always easy to identify, but when they are within us, ever-present with us, we find their taunts hard to overcome.
It is only through God we can be successful in overcoming these internal hurdles. No amount of self-help, positive intent, or mind reset techniques can help us. We might get to 'feeling' a little bit like we can take on these hurdles, but if we were to be honest here, these tactics and techniques might work for a while, but they aren't lasting! They fizzle as soon as the next negative thought pattern takes hold, crumble when we find ourselves too fatigued to try any harder, and evaporate when we realize changing our thinking isn't all that easy. God defeats all our enemies - even those that are of our own making! Success - how would you define that in terms of your present 'internal enemy'? In order to define our success, we must first be able to name our enemy correctly! This requires honesty on our part and the help of our Savior to help us understand the true enemy that stands as the obstacle in the way of our victory.
We don't have to overcome on our own. We don't have to understand every nuance of that internal obstacle that mounts defense after defense, avoiding any attempt to eradicate it from our midst. What we do need is God's presence, power, and peace. As his presence begins to be entertained and made a more prominent thing than the obstacle that stands in our way, we find that obstacle begins to lose its power over us and his peace begins to permeate our entire being. We aren't asked to use our power, but to rely upon his. Yes, we will be asked to take steps of obedience toward the obstacle and then to actually begin to tear it down in his power, but we don't do that alone - he guides us step by step until it is finally removed. On the other side of that obstacle stands a victory we won't know without his help. Don't go it alone - remember he desires to go before you in the battle! Just sayin!