Sometimes we have the dream but we are not ourselves ready for the dream. We have to grow to meet it.”
–Louis L’Amour (Bendigo Shafter)
“The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him— my father’s God, and I will exalt him!”
–Exodus 15:2 (NLT)
Sometimes I wonder. Yes, I really wonder when I hear people on their worship pogo-sticks hopping around singing, “I’m blessed, but bless me more.” One of the things I wonder about is, have they really seen the hand of God or are they just following a fad or spouting out words that they really don’t have a clue about?
Yes, all of God’s creation is in one sense truly blest. Those of the household of God have other kinds of blessing. But until–until they face the battle they do not know true victory.
“When the hosts of Israel, let by God,
Round the walls of Jericho softly trod;
Trusting in the Lord, they felt the conqu’ror’s tread,
By faith they saw the victory ahead.”
Look at the verse and the ones to follow and there are some common themes: victory, faith, and obedience. Victory does not come without obedience. You cannot have obedience unless you know what to obey and how to obey, therefore, you must know the Word of God. Faith comes through the Word of God and you cannot please God without faith.
Battles may come, and storms may rage and the only way to have real victory is to obey the Commander and follow His orders. However, in the midst of the battle you do not see the victory, but through obedience to God’s Word you know that there is victory ahead.
“David, with a shepherd’s sling and five stones,
Met the giant on the field all alone;
Trusting in the Lord, he knew what God had said,
By faith he saw the victory ahead.”
Living your training is obedience. When was the last time you were in the Word? When was the last time you had a devotion, much less spending time in the study of God’s Word? When was the last time you went to the Lord and didn’t ask for a blessing, but said you would be obedient despite the cost?
“Daniel prayed unto the Lord thrice each day,
Then unto the lion’s den led the way;
Trusting in the Lord, he did not fear or dread,
By faith he saw the victory ahead.”
Remember those daring words of Winston Churchill, “Never, never, never quit.” No matter how hard the battle rages–don’t quit. No matter how many casualties you see fall around you–don’t quit. No matter, the wounds that are inflicted on your body–don’t quit. Battles are often won through sheer tenacity knowing that you have Someone on your side that will always be there fighting along with you. If the enemy knocks you down, get back up–don’t quit. When the devil sneers and comes at you with a vengeance, stand firm and don’t quit.
“Often with the carnal mind I was tried,
Asking for deliverance oft I cried;
Trusting in the Lord, I reckoned I was dead,
By faith I saw the victory ahead.”
Victory is still ahead. Perhaps you have fought in several battles in life. You may have seen the thousand faces of war and your body has the scars to show for it. Then you are one to stand for others to see as a model of trusting in the Lord, no matter what.
If you haven’t yet faced a battle, large or small, you can look at those who have gone before you. Men such as David and Daniel, men who may have know personally. Victory is there; they made so will you, just keep trusting in the Lord.
“When like those who’ve gone to that land,
By death’s river cold and dark I shall stand;
Trusting in the Lord, I will not fear or dread,
By faith I see the victory ahead.
Victory ahead! Victory ahead!
Thro’ the blood of Jesus, victory ahead;
Trusting in the Lord, I hear the conqu’ror’s tread,
By faith I see the victory ahead.”