28 May One Simple Step To Never Lose Again
Why The Constant Loss?
Do you ever feel like you lose a lot? I can tell you, in the last five years I have personally suffered many losses. How then can I write an article on “one step never to lose again?” What if the reason that we always feel like we are losing is because we have the wrong definition of winning! Take a moment… What would make you feel successful? What would make you feel prosperous? What would make you feel like you were “winning?” Be honest with yourself. How do you think most people would answer this question?
The Western Victory
In the West, there is a tendency to view victory in terms of material gain. The obvious emphasis is on property gains – land, house, car, TV, etc. Gains of influence and power are another form of victory recognized in the West. There are also health related victories – muscle gains, weight loss, winning a battle over disease. The list goes on and on.
The Christian Victory
Now think for a moment about what a victory is to Christ. Let me rephrase that as a question. What was the biggest “win” of all time? It was a sacrifice. Christ not only sacrificed his body, but his entire life. Christianity is based on a win and that win was the consecrated life, brutal torture, suffering, death and eventual resurrection of Jesus. We tend to focus on the death, burial, and resurrection, but neglect to emphasize and fully honor the lifelong sacrifice that made the death, burial, and resurrection what they were.
When I was young I saw the movie Braveheart. I am still struck by the end (Spoiler Alert). William Wallace sacrifices his life and as he is being brutally tortured, he screams “FREEDOM.” To the Samurai, death in battle was an honor. Many modern soldiers feel the same way. Isaiah said it was God’s pleasure to crush the son (Is 53:10). The point is simple. Not everyone has the same measure of success. In our culture success is mostly based on personal gain and accomplishment. It’s about being recognized and immortalized.
However, according to the Bible, victory comes through sacrifice and often suffering. Kingdom sacrifice is not about sacrificing one part of your life for the sake of another part of your life. It’s about sacrificing all of your life for someone else. Jesus said, “But many who are first will be last, and the last first (Mt 19:30).” So while we are worried about being recognized and being regarded as successful, Jesus says that many of those in “low” positions are being, and will be, honored in eternity. It is not necessarily the senior pastor or CEO who will be honored in heaven. It may be the janitor or a volunteer who is honored in heaven. It may be both. We tend to honor those with servants in this world, but in the kingdom it is the servants themselves who are honored.
A Personal Example
Let me give a more personal example. I left my job over four years ago to begin studying the things of God. Eventually that turned into books, teaching opportunities, and now a ministry. All the while, my wonderful wife has worked outside of her gifting to help keep us afloat financially. This was divinely directed and has been agreed upon continuously – for those who would disagree with this course of action. It has only been in the last five months that I began receiving any pay for the work that I did and the little I receive is still more than four times smaller than prior to leaving my job. All of this has been an enormous sacrifice. However, for me, it has been easier. I have been blessed with the opportunity to really dig into the heart and mind of God and share those discoveries with an increasingly large audience. It is my hand typing these words, my voice speaking to crowds, and my name that gets put on things, but it is my wife’s publicly unrecognized service that makes those things possible. It won’t always be this way, but for now it is. You see in this world, I get honored. But according to the kingdom, my wife is the one deserving of honor. I get a lot out of sharing with people. I am blessed by the process. My wife doesn’t often get to share in that, yet she is just as responsible for the success of the ministry. Without her service, none of this would be possible.
So why do we always feel like we are losing? Because we are looking through the wrong eyes. We have the wrong definition of victory. Kingdom victory is found in Christ’s sacrifice, the carrying of our daily cross, and the service to others. When we learn to align our definitions with God’s definitions and when we begin living for Him and by Him, then we are free to truly succeed. What’s the one step to never lose again? Die to yourself, become the servant of all and release control to God. Do this, and you’ll never lose again, because in our weakness He is strong. Certainly this is easier said than done. As always, I don’t claim to be speaking this from a place of personal mastery, but rather from a recognition of Christ’s commission. His command to pick up our cross daily and follow Him is not some arbitrary overlording abuse. He is showing us how to achieve VICTORY – true victory, as defined by The Victorious King.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? What would happen if we viewed victory through God’s eyes? Leave a comment below and share to get your friends in on the conversation.
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