Summary: The victorious life is not derived from external influences; it is settled inwardly in the Christian’s identity.
This Is The Victory
(4) For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.
(5) Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
Develop this story:
(6) And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.
(10) "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"
EOLS: The victorious life is not derived from external influences; it is settled inwardly in the Christian’s identity.
Savor with me a moment that we’ve all known in our lives, let’s call it “The Big Win.” It may have been a come from behind, it may have been from an underdog position; it may have been a surprise or the culmination of a long process. It may have been something with great fanfare, or it may have been an intensely intimate, personal situation.
I remember when my sister bought a ping-pong table and we played for days, over and over. She was quite good at the game! I couldn’t seem to beat her but I could play her a decent game. She had played in her college dorm for years and was quite good.
After a couple of days of playing game after game, I improved to the point where I slipped one in on her; I finally won a hard-fought game! It was probably a bit of a fluke, but nonetheless I savored it! I must admit though it wasn’t earth-shattering. I knew I’d had a lucky game, and she was still the better player by far. I didn’t mean to gloat, really I didn’t. But I think I probably did smirk at her and maybe celebrate just a little bit too loudly! She just got real quiet.
I’ll never forget that look in her eye when we started the next game. It was absolute, sheer determination. Something had deeply moved my sister inside and she was determined her little brother would not replicate the feat that had just overcome her. I remember to this day the face she wore and it defines intensity! She began to smash that little plastic ball and make it spin in directions contradictory to the laws of physics. No more “Ms. Nice Girl”, little brother was going down! I tried to lighten the mood by joking around, and Sis wouldn’t say a word…for the entire game.
I was never so glad for a game to end! She destroyed me, and made sure that I understood my win was nothing more than a lucky break! I tried to make some casual lighthearted conversation to penetrate the mood and she was still quiet; I was starting to wonder if she was mad at me. I realize now she was leveling off of her adrenalin rush! She finally punctuated the silence with a comment I will never forget:
“There is NO feeling like victory.” You’d have to hear her say it to appreciate it but it was the most determined, intense look and inflection that I could imagine. I’ll never forget it. It was one of those little instructional moments in life-something so simple yet quite profound.
It’s not been long since I teased her about it, and I would dare say she remembers. She whipped me in ping-pong many more times until we moved on to something else. But that day I saw something in her that I’ve thought about many times. She was/is one of the most determined people that I had ever met.
She’s a sweet retired school teacher and grandma of sixty today, but the determination is still there. I’ve watched her all my life and there’s no one I admire more than my sister. She’s been through some deep waters in her life and that steely-eyed, set-jaw determination combined with her pure and simple faith in Jesus Christ has brought her victory in life. The ping-pong game was simply a demonstration and a chance to see inside her personality, her determination and her ability to overcome.
I guess the deal with sports and games is that they are demonstrations of and sometimes preparation for real life. Sometimes I think people get too carried away with competition, but
The fact is, we all savor victory. We desire it in our own lives, in the things we pursue. We pay to watch sports teams and athletes get the win so that we can savor it vicariously. We go to see movies that depict victory and overcoming tremendous odds. We ascribe meaning and import to contests which sometimes in themselves don’t make a lot of sense.