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The Winner - A Devotion

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Psalm 118:14-17 (NLT)
The LORD is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly. The strong right arm of the LORD has done glorious things! The strong right arm of the LORD is raised in triumph. The strong right arm of the LORD has done glorious things! I will not die; instead, I will live to tell what the LORD has done.

We live in a football town with a major university. Each fall thousands of hopeful fans flood the stadium in pursuit of victory. All organizations have winning and losing seasons. Coaches will come and go based on their performance as the love of fans is fickle this is a constant current. No kid who straps on pads and dons a helmet thinks about losing. They have their heart set on victory. They play to win leaving all their heart and strength on the field week after week. By the time these young men reach the collegiate level, they have spent the majority of their young life working to attain their dream of becoming a professional athlete on the national level. Parents have poured their time and energy in the development of their children’s athletic ability. Signing them up to be coached by the best, hauling them back and forth to countless practices and events, forking out thousands of dollars for prestigious camps. They have celebrated victory, consoled in defeat and comforted the many bumps and bruises associated with winning and losing a football game. Some athletes are born with natural talent and ability while others learn such skill through discipline and hard work. Everybody wants to win. Everybody desires victory in life.

The team from our town won the National Championship last night. The town is in great celebration. I love football. However, it is not my heart and soul so when my body called out for rest I gladly obliged heading to bed in the first quarter. It did not help that our team was playing poorly although highly favored. Nevertheless, I quickly fell asleep. Not long after my husband came to bed long before the end of the game which only confirmed that out team was still not playing well. A couple hours later, I was pulled from blissful sleep by the breathless whispering of my daughter and husband. I asked if everything was alright, she said, “Yes, we are the champions!” My husband quickly got up and they raced in the living room to watch the final play of the game and celebrate long distance with the team we so closely follow. Excitement filled our house after midnight and cars could be heard racing past the house to buy the celebratory gear at the nearby sporting store. Victory was won! We did it. A perfect season with a perfect record despite a not so perfect game. After a few minutes, I stumbled back to bed knowing that this morning would be tough. It felt good to wake up a winner this morning. In fact, I wake up a winner every morning not just when my favorite team ends up on top.

Romans 8:28-30 (NLT)
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.

If you get nothing out of this devotion today, I want you to grasp one thing – “You are a winner!” In every situation and circumstance of your life is potential for great victory! Not because of anything you have done, effort you have invested or really anything that you can do. God has predetermined that everything in your life will work together for good! God created you and called you for a purpose – to have victory. He gave His Son to die for our many sins so our victory would be inevitable and secure. All that we must do is come to Christ, and remain in right standing with Him. It is in this place that we will be overtaken by His Glory! What glory is there for God in our defeat? None. So you see, God preordered your victory. Jesus secured it on the Cross. The Spirit is constantly at work within you pressing and pushing you to win which will always be outside of our comfort zone, beyond our comprehension and at the end of our endurance. It is a gift to be obtained and utilized by those who put all their faith and trust in the Lord. Simply by believing that God has purposed you to win will change your attitude to produce winning activity in your life!

2 Samuel 22:35-37 (NLT)
He trains my hands for battle; He strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow. You have given me your shield of victory; Your Help has made me great. You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping.

God has purposed you to win in every situation of life. Personal victory is not elusive but it is exclusive. The Lord trains our hands for battle so why do we constantly try to rely on our own strength? He strengthens our arm to draw a bronze bow. I remember long ago learning to do archery. It looks effortless until you draw back your first bow strength and feel the pressure that will push the arrow forward to hit the target. My teacher put their hand over my hand holding the bow and overlapped my fingers to help draw back and steady the bow. With one simple release, the arrow hit the target albeit barely. I picture God doing this with us. However, if you have ever tried to teach another person to do something new, you know that there are some people who are not teachable and insist on doing it themselves. Many times these same individuals grow frustrated with failure and give up due to poor technique and a lack of instruction. In fact, the Word of God warns us that people perish due to ignorance. Lord, I pray that you would make us all teachable and give us a hunger for more knowledge in our pursuit of victory through Jesus Christ. The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. It is sharper than any two-edged sword and will always lead me to victory by crushing the lie of the enemy. (Hebrews 4:12)

God has not just empowered you but also protects you. He has given me a shield but not just any old covering. He gives me a shield of victory. Faith is the name of that shield. The more faith I develop in my life the more protected I will be from the fiery darts of the enemy that are hurled at me constantly. (Ephesians 6:16) Without faith that becomes confident hope, your heart will fail. Without God’s Help, you will never win the against the enemy of your soul. He is cunning. The devil knows every lie in the book including the one that you are most vulnerable to because on your life experiences.

God has made a wide path for our feet called righteousness. When we walk according to God’s Way through life, we are guaranteed victory. He makes our way straight leveling our path. (Isaiah 42:16; Isaiah 49:11) The players who won the national championship began playing the game backyards and behind community centers in their home town. However, each new opportunity that they were willing to take led them all to the great stadium where victory was won! Each practice developed skills. Many coaches invested in their life. Many of them even gave glory to God!

Proverbs 21:30-31 (NLT)
No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the LORD. The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD.

Victory always belongs to the Lord. Human wisdom, understanding and personal planning will never stop the Will of God coming to pass in our life. His Plan stands firm forever. It is preordained. It is predestined. God is constantly working to give us victory. (Isaiah 12:1-2) It is a gift straight from the Hand of the Father to His Children. We are powerless when it comes to having all that God has promised and prepared for our life. This gift comes by faith. No matter how much credit we take for discipline and self-control who created your mind, soul and body. Every ounce of your ability and potential come from God. Another gift! We can do nothing but choose to operate in the Power of God designated for our life and enjoy the blessings thereof. You cannot outdo God. So what is keeping you from victory today?

Psalm 32:5-8 (NLT)
Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment. For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”

Could poor coaching be the problem? Not on the Lord’s side, I can assure you. We tend to rebel against God’s Leadership and the Spirit’s Guidance in our life because we think our way is better and do not have confidence in the Lord. God always has the big picture in mind. He does not live moment to moment or play by play, if you will. God lives from glory to glory. He is looking forward to the next time that He can reward you for a win and release more and more promises and blessings in your life. He is advising us and watching over us in an effort to proper us and propel us to victory. Why resist? Our victory is in the Lord – alone. Yet we run from refuge to refuge looking for greater success. (Psalm 62:1-2) If you will just stay put and let the Lord work out the details of your life – you will advance. (Psalm 62:6-8) You will prosper. You will win! The Lord has promised to give you strength and victory. (Exodus 15:1-3) The Lord will be the banner of victory over our life. (Exodus 17:12-15) Keep Him lifting up and every battle belongs to you no matter how tired you become. You must only finish to win. (I Corinthians 9:23-26) To give up or give in now is to choose to lose. God’s Way leads every participant to victory if you will choose His Way as the best course for your life. It always takes you to the finish line by faith. (2 Timothy 2:5) Not only will the Lord lead you to victory and strengthen you for the win, He will fill you with joy as you go!

Romans 8:31-37 (NLT)
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

Let’s bring home the prize today shall we – despite EVERYTHING overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loves us! You are a winner in disguise today. What is keeping you from walking in the Glory of God ready to break out in your life? Faith overcomes the world but fear can overtake you. (I John 5:3-5) This is the sad reality for most believers today. Their victory is shrouded in fear and doubt. What are you afraid of? What do you fear? There is no spirit in this world greater than the Spirit of God that lives in you! (I John 4:4) The enemy has tricked you into believing that he is more powerful. I break that lie of the devil in your life today and speak to the Living Spirit of God within you to manifest in all His Power today! You are an overcomer! You win in every situation and circumstance by faith no exceptions. There is no limit to God’s Love for you so you are not exempt from any of His Power as His Child. It belongs to you. It is God’s Gift to you through His Son Jesus Christ. He paid a high price for your victory so win! How do you win? By the Blood of the Lamb (by faith) and the Word of your testimony (by belief), that’s it. (Revelation 12:10-12) The winning combination and secret to your success! Stop trying to figure out everything God is up to in your life and just do what He is telling you to do. Victory is seldom secured in one action but a series of events that culminate in a win. Choose to win today! Victory is mine through Jesus Christ. In all things, we overcome because God is for us. He loves us! Say it with me, “I win!”

I Corinthians 15:54-57 (NLT)
Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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