We christened the year 2009 as the year of Victory. This was not ambition vocalized; it was in obedience to the prophetic utterance. In this regard, earlier this year I had mentioned the difference between a ‘blessing’ and a ‘victory’.
While blessing is a ‘win-win’ situation where everyone is happy, victory is a sensitive issue to understand. The word victory smells violent because it tends to a ‘winner-loser’ situation.
We are to understand that the word ‘victory’ that I am going to use often in this letter, does not necessarily refer to victory over people. Because the Bible says: ‘We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places’. Ephesians 6:12
People are not our enemies.
The word Victory (from Latin victoria) is a term, originally applied to warfare, given to success achieved in personal combat, after military operations or in any competition. Success in a military campaign is considered a strategic victory, while the success in a military engagement is a tactical victory.
In terms of human emotion, victory is accompanied with strong feelings of elation, and in human behavior, victory is often accompanied with celebration.
‘Superiority’, ‘Supremacy’ or ‘mastery’ in any field is good. But that alone will not result in victory. Knowledge of the strength and weakness of the enemy is essential to prepare for victory.
‘Favorable Result’ and ‘Good Performance’ is not victory. At best it is a blessing.
Going a step further ahead, ‘A win’ is necessarily not a victory.
If what makes a ‘triumph’ is the declaration of the winner, the prize and the reward, then essentially what makes ‘victory’ is nothing less than a ‘celebrating the victory’.
‘Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise’ Psalms 106:47
When playing sports, a good game well played helps log runs, goals and scores. In cricket, runs are recorded in numbers, in soccer/football, goals are represented in numbers; in every game, scores are mere numbers.
Any winning score without declaration of the winners and its celebration, without the prize and the reward is just success at best but never a victory.
Conditions of victory in a believer’s life
Paying a price with Diligence
He arose, and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword: and the LORD wrought a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to spoil … But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the LORD wrought a great victory.
II Samuel 23:10, 12
Waging a war is essential for victory. It demands hard work, preparation, sacrifice and at the end of the day, paying a price.
In daily life, without celebration, victory stands the risk of being tarnished into mundane routine life. Without celebration, the enemy is not seen defeated. Especially in a believer’s life, celebration is very crucial because it makes the
victory tangible. The promises and the signs of being ‘more than conquerors’ immediately follow. The Bible instructs that in our life, we must celebrate because then there is a chance for hope that God gives in our lives.
For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: Isaiah 38:18
God had commanded celebration with vivid, prolonged and clamorous expressions to be a part of the celebration lifestyle of the Israelites.
And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. Leviticus 23:40
It is a God ordained spiritual principle to celebrate for the blessings to follow us and continue in our lives. If our personality types and the false pretensions do not allow us to celebrate the goodness of God in our lives, we stop the blessings of God in our lives.
Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the LORD thy God in the place, which the LORD shall choose: because the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice. Deuteronomy 16:15
There is something that the Bible teaches that transcends human understanding. We understand celebrating the victories that are already won. But it is very difficult to understand the issue of praising God and celebrating while still in distress. But the prophetic is always to rejoice and that all the benefits of victories would follow because the victory is already ours through Jesus Christ.
And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. I Samuel 2:1
Rejoicing like all other emotional responses would go over the limit and do damage if not done with caution.
Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Psalms 2:11
There is the risk of straying away from the shadow of His wings during rejoicing. And remember, a shadow is not static. It is moving and dynamic in daylight even if the source casting the shadow is stationery like a tree. How much more when we consider the living moving God! We need to e very sensitive while discerning the shadow of His wings to live therein. There is no fencing or a line drawn around a shadow. Such sensitivity is essential especially while rejoicing so that all our rejoicing happens only in the boundaries of the shadow of His wings.
Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. Psalms 63:7
Through times and seasons where everything prompts utter despair and hopelessness, the wisdom God’s word offers is to celebrate still.
Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3: 17,18
In the words of Jesus, it is clear that celebration is our choice and decision and not based on the feelings or the factors that are around us.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you Matthew 5:11,12
Apostle Paul through his rich experience endorsed it
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice. Philippians 4:4
I urge that we celebrate in spite of all the circumstances in the goodness of the Lord. Rejoice. We can do it especially when we have so much to rave about!