29 Jan Victorious Living that Glorifies God
We live in an age where, for many, how to get our needs met matter more to us than bringing glory to God Almighty. Part of God’s program of restoring the fallen race of human beings was to bring mankind back into fellowship with Himself. Before the fall, what God had in mind for our relationship with Him was such that we are to be under His authority, while taking charge of the earth to see His will come to pass on earth as it is in heaven. This should be our experience on earth, according to God’s plans for the human race.Genesis’ account of the fall of mankind shows that God indeed delegated authority on earth to the human race (See Genesis chapters 1-3).
The life of authority under God should be demonstrated by our obedience to His Word. His Word, and His expectations of us, should draw the boundaries for our lives. These boundaries should affect every area of our lives: our thoughts, words and actions. Letting God’s Word define the boundaries around our lives is the surest way to bring glory to God in all aspects of our lives. It is not enough to want our needs met. The process we go through to get these needs met must be such that honours His Word, plans and purposes for our lives. To get these things right; our esteem of God should not be a function of what we are going through but who He said He is in His Word, the Bible.
The account of the fall of mankind through the deception of the enemy, Satan (the serpent), shows us God’s nature; He does not usurp the authority He has delegated. He also allows things to happen on earth, expecting us to use our authority to handle things right.
Read Romans 5:12-21 (NKJV)
Genesis 3:1-7 (NKJV)
The Temptation and Fall of Man
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
In the beginning, Adam and Eve fell and many are still falling today. When we think about how Satan tempted Eve in discrediting the nature of God and enticing them with what already was theirs, one wonders why many still fall for those same lines of deception namely the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.
1 John 2:15-17 (NKJV)
Do Not Love the World
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
Genesis 3:4-13 (NKJV)
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Satan used the same lines of deception when he tempted our Lord Jesus Christ. What we see and how we interpret the things around us is usually a function of what is at work in us. It shows that Satan has no new tactics to use on the human race.
Read Luke 4:1-13 (Also see Matt. 4:1–11; Mark 1:12, 13)
We need to develop the skills of mastering the traps of the enemy and how to defeat him and his schemes all the time. Many have fallen into the delusion of the enemy where they worship their needs rather than the Lord who supplies their needs. Jesus answered all the temptations with, ‘it is written’. He did not follow the thoughts introduced by the enemy nor did He begin seeking how to be in the good books of Satan. He was set to honour the One whose written words were sufficient to meet all needs.
Two things stand out if we are to get things right in our walk with God. One is our motives, and the other is our focus. Keeping our motives (why we do what we do) pure and our focus (what we look forward to and what inspires us) right are important.
Read Hebrews 12:1-2
We need to always deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus. Let Him be our pattern for life.
Matthew 16:24-27 (NKJV) (See also Mark 8:34–38; Luke 9:23–26)
Take Up the Cross and Follow Him
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
Romans 8:28-29 (NKJV)
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
In denying self and taking up our cross, (which represents the will of God), we need to trust God for the outcome we desire. And since He is able to do beyond what we can ask or think according to His power that is at work in us, we can expect greater outcomes in the end.
Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV)
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…
Joseph’s Journey to Destiny
In studying the scriptures, one person stands out in his journey to the destiny God had for him. His name is Joseph. Against all odds, Joseph did all it took to fulfil the destiny God had for his life. The story is well known but the lessons are for a lifetime. Joseph, the great grandson of Abraham, was sold as a slave by his brothers and found himself facing a temptation to do things contrary to God’s ways when faced with the offer to commit adultery with Potiphar’s wife. Read what he says:
Genesis 39:7-10 (NKJV)
And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her.
If Joseph’s need for freedom from slavery was upper most in his heart, he may have considered that God was not being fair to have allowed him to be sold as a slave. He may have become offended at God. He might have taken the law into his own hands, instead of please God. After all, he did not go looking for Potiphar’s wife’s offer; (think on these things). Rather, he lived within the boundaries of God’s Word. His highest desire was to be pleasing to God and give Him all glory.
Genesis 39:11-23 (NKJV)
But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside, that she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. And so it was, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and fled outside, that she called to the men of her house and spoke to them, saying, “See, he has brought in to us a Hebrew to mock us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. And it happened, when he heard that I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me, and fled and went outside.” So she kept his garment with her until his master came home. Then she spoke to him with words like these, saying, “The Hebrew servant whom you brought to us came in to me to mock me; so it happened, as I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me and fled outside.” So it was, when his master heard the words which his wife spoke to him, saying, “Your servant did to me after this manner,” that his anger was aroused. Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison. But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper.
Through faith in God, diligence in His work, serving any master he had, and seeking to bring glory to the name of the Lord, we see Joseph rising up to fulfil the demands of his destiny in God.
It seems Joseph’s life exemplifies what it means prophetically to arise and shine.
Isaiah 60:1-5 (NKJV)
Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising. “Lift up your eyes all around, and see: They all gather together, they come to you; Your sons shall come from afar, And your daughters shall be nursed at your side. Then you shall see and become radiant, And your heart shall swell with joy; Because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, The wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you.
These scriptures were literally fulfilled in his life. But he had to arise, not allowing his peculiar circumstances to determine his actions. He had the option of allowing bitterness or feeling sorry for himself- he took neither of these options. Joseph’s case was the case of one who would rather see God glorified rather than seek how to get his needs met. He did not allow his circumstances to define God but rather let God be glorified in spite of his circumstances.
Many times, believers find themselves in peculiar circumstances and wonder how to be victorious in their situation in life. Usually the issue of self pity, borne out of sin consciousness, generates thoughts that amount to self doubt. These thoughts can make us feel undeserving of God’s blessings in our lives.
Stepping Up into a New Dimension of Victorious Living
Remember that all things work together for our good (Romans 8:28-30). What do we do to get all things to work together for good?
To experience God’s Word in our lives, we need to come to terms with His ways, plans and purposes for our lives. We need to accept who He says we are, what He says we can do and have what He says we have. He loved us enough to send His only begotten Son to pay the eternal sacrifice for our lives and the choice of response is ours if we are to experience all He has made available to us through the cross of Calvary.
Ephesians 1:3-6 (NKJV)
Redemption in Christ
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
The problem is mainly in our souls. Everything we have been through in life has made deposits in our souls (i.e. our mind, will and emotions). These things play major roles in how we interpret our circumstances and form what we believe and therefore affect how we act towards our challenges.
James 1:2-8 (NKJV)
Profiting from Trials
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
James 1:21-26 (NKJV)
Doers—Not Hearers Only
Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.
Submission to the authority of God’s Word demands that we count it all joy when we face trials of our faith. We thereby develop perseverance and experience some growing up in the face of our trials.
The trials work for our good when we do what the Word says in the face of the trial. We need to lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness (teachableness) the implanted Word which is able to save our souls. Instead of doing what we feel like doing, we do what the Word says. We avoid deception if we are not content to just hear the Word, but strive to be doers. Many times the reason we are not doers of the Word of God is because of our prevailing beliefs. Many times people are not conscious about their beliefs about certain aspects of their lives. Beliefs usually inform behaviour. Wrong beliefs need to be confronted with the truth of God’s Word for there to be meaningful changes in our lives. Our identity in Christ, no matter what we hear or read about, will go a long way to inform how we handle our challenges in life. Our trials are designed for our good because we are growing up to conform to the image of the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ.
We all have beliefs that we are usually not conscious of. As believers, it is easy to claim that we believe the Word of God, but if we judge our responses to the things that happen in our lives regularly, we will see certain beliefs at work in us. We need to check these beliefs, find out how they came in, then consciously confront them and replace them with God’s kingdom beliefs so our lives can be in conformity with the development of the nature of Christ in us. For example, where do you get significance from? Do you get it from your relationship with God or from accolades from people for a job well done? This calls for adjustment in the beliefs that govern different aspects of our lives. Also, do you have a low or healthy esteem for your life? How angry do you get when you feel insulted? Is your self esteem dependent on the opinion of others? Sometimes we have beliefs about God and His ways so much that we actually believe things differently from what the Bible says.
To walk in victory that brings glory to God demands that we recognise, amongst other things, who we are in Christ, what has been provided for us in the realm of the spirit and how to translate these things into the natural realm. We learn to count on His Word and not our feelings or our circumstances. It is according to His riches in glory that He shall supply all needs and not according to the limitations of our human efforts.
Philippians 4:19 (NKJV)
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
The realm of God in the spirit is already loaded with the things that were wrought in Christ Jesus. Our salvation is an established reality in this realm. All that God has provided for us exists in this realm by His grace. Faith is the channel through which these things flow into the natural realm.
Read Ephesians 2:4-10
A faith connection is needed for the flow of God’s goodness to flow into the natural and God will be glorified.
The Place of an Effective Prayer Life
To experience victory in every aspect of our lives and glorify God in these aspects, an effective prayer life plays a major part. For starters, prayer is not just about asking for our needs to be met. The conditions for an effective prayer life includes intimacy with God, a willingness to walk in obedience and living a life of faith to please God. The will of God is known and established through prayer.
Romans 8:26-27 (NKJV)
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
We need to depend on the Holy Spirit to help us in effective prayer. Praying in the Spirit opens us up into the realm of the Spirit of God. He knows the will of the Father, sees what is in our spirits and knows how to enable God’s will in our lives.
John 15:7-14 (NKJV)
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Love and Joy Perfected – “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.
You abide in Him through a lifestyle that is in harmony with His ways. The Word abides in you to the extent that you practise doing the Word, and it lives in you in abundance as you meditate in it. All of these will affect your desires. Bearing prayer fruit is seeing answers to our prayers that have brought about God’s will being fulfilled on earth through us. Whatever we expose our hearts to can influence our thoughts, desires and our beliefs. Any beliefs contrary to God’s Word should be confronted in the place of prayer. We can get really involved with God and our hearts’ contents in the place of prayer. It is through such intimacy with God that we see how to apply His grace (both divine enablement and unmerited favour) into our circumstances. We can receive strength to do His will and enjoy His unmerited favour as we respond in faith to His provisions in Christ. So we see the interconnection between our hearts’ content and our prayers as well as our obedience to God’s demands of us. Our inner life needs constant attention for our motives and focus to stay on course so that we bring glory to God as we expect to walk in victory in every aspect of our lives.
What brings glory to God in our lives has to do with our hearts’ obedience to God, the honour we have towards Him and our desire to be pleasing to Him as we seek to do His will in our lives. To be victorious in life and to experience the healing provided for us in Christ, amongst other provisions, we need to know how to get into a climate of faith, having prepared ourselves as carriers of His power and then to see the release of that power. All these are possible in the place of prayer.
In summary, to walk in victory that brings glory to God, do not allow your circumstances to define you. You are who God says you are. You have and can do what God says you have and can do. Maintain a healthy relationship with the Lord through worship, prayers and making declarations of faith by speaking the Word of God regularly. Pray in the Spirit regularly.
Be willing to learn lessons from every experience by letting the Spirit of God teach you how to get the results that will glorify the Father God. You are more than a conqueror through Him who loves you.
Romans 8:37 (NKJV)
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
Rev. Kola Ewuosho