We win. I thought I should start with that reminder. It’s important that we remember this every day, especially in a crazy year like 2020! When all hell breaks loose around us, we need to remember that heaven is for us, and the One who holds the cosmos together abides within us.
You know that, right?
Furthermore, if we forget that Jesus already defeated the enemy of our soul on the cross, we won’t live our lives from victory, we’ll be forever fighting for victory. We must remember this so that no matter how crazy our world gets, or whatever may seem to be true, we know “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Rom.8:37)…and “in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” (Rom.8:28).
You may have heard the old story about the turkey and the eagle:
“A turkey and an eagle react differently to the threat of a storm. A turkey reacts by running under the barn, hoping the storm won’t come near. On the other hand, an eagle leaves the security of its nest and spreads its wings to ride the air currents of the approaching storm, knowing they will carry it higher in the sky than it could soar on its own. Based on your reactions to the storms of life, which are you? A turkey or an eagle?” (unknown source)
This story should locate us and our response to 2020.
NOTE: Be sure to read Tom and my conversation about this story in the comments below. You can go to them here.
31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isa.40:31 NIV)
How do we do this? Paul had some pretty good advice in Philippians 4:
4 Be cheerful with joyous celebration in every season of life. Let joy overflow, for you are united with the Anointed One! 5 Let gentleness be seen in every relationship, for our Lord is ever near. (Phil.4:4-5 TPT)
Notice the wording…BE cheerful and joyful…LET joy overflow. That means this is up to us! We have the power to release joy in our lives! We LET gentleness be seen in every relationship. We can do this when we live like we’re aware of God’s presence with us and in us at all times.
While this may not change our circumstances, it will change our perspective, and we will grow in faith through it instead of ending up broken and ruined.
6 Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, 7 then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ. (Phil.4:6-7 TPT)
How do we not get pulled in every direction? Not worry? We give everything over to God. This is cathartic prayer. We tell Him everything and give it over to Him (which means it’s not ours anymore!) This requires learning how to trust and not lean on our own understanding.
But it’s more than just an ongoing heart-dump; it’s an opportunity to grow in God! Here’s what Graham Cooke says about our troubling circumstances:
“The Holy Spirit is the one who teaches us to love the learning that is present in every circumstance. And He’s empowering us to learn the nature of God in the context of relational learning.”
You see, times of trouble are just “wind currents” for you and me to catch and soar to higher heights with God! Holy Spirit teaches us through relational learning, which is critical to all spiritual growth.
8 So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always. 9 Follow the example of all that we have imparted to you and the God of peace will be with you in all things. (Phil.4:4-9 TPT*)
What we choose to feed our heart on affects everything about our outlook on life, even our health.
I’ve said this before but it bears repeating; we’re not called to be Twitter-led, circumstance-led, politically-led, we’re called to be SPIRIT led! What happens when we feed on the news day and night? You do understand their main job is not to give you the news (especially, unbiased news!) It’s to keep you agitated so you’ll keep watching for their ad sponsors.
But when we’re constantly in this agitated or fearful state we’re living from our reptile brain. It’s the “angry mob” brain—the fight-or-flight mode of thinking.
Beloved, you cannot hear God when you’re living in fight-or-flight mode (like the turkey). However, if you’re like the eagle waiting for the storm’s wind currents, your heart will soar into the heavenlies and He “will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ.”
Here’s the thing: You can only go in one direction at a time. You can either worry or pray and be grateful. You can’t do both. So you choose whether to walk according to the world around you, or walk in a peace that’s totally counter-intuitive, it makes no sense, and it transcends human understanding.
The peace of God is no small thing! It’s the greatest weapon you and I have against the enemy of our soul. He’s absolutely powerless to counteract it!
“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet…” (Rom.16:20 NIV)
What this all means is that 2020 is shaping up to be an awesome year for incredible growth in God for you! And remember…you win.