Hiking in the Mountains

Called to Conquer

posted in: Inspiration | 3

Hiking in the MountainsEvery human being created is called to conquer.  You were built for victory.  You were designed for success.  You are an overcomer, planned from the beginning to defeat the enemy and bring the power of God to bear in every situation that is facing you today, tomorrow, and forever.

You can see God’s fingerprints in the fact that defeating the enemy only really requires some pretty simple skills like will power, good judgement, and a clear vision of the facts.  However, although these are pretty straightforward to understand in the clear light of day, because these are some of your best weapons for succeeding in life, they are also the areas most often placed under siege by the enemy.  If the enemy can get you to give up, make a poor choice, or lose sight of God’s vision for your life, they win and you lose.

The challenge is, one of the enemy’s favorite weapons is the lie.  You’ve seen this in countless movie plots, where the entire conflict and resolution between the two romantic leads is based on a misunderstanding or a cleverly insinuated misrepresentation of the facts that is cleared up once the two restore a clear agreement on what actually was going on and then live happily ever after.  Whether it is a lie you are told, or a lie you tell yourself, or a lie you believe because you’ve never thought of questioning it, the sting at the heart of the lie is that is loosens your grip on reality and opens the doorway to poor decision making, losing your way, and potentially long stretches of defeat in your life.

So, let’s take a quick look at the basic attack plan that the enemy uses in their attempts to prevent you from fulfilling your destiny as an overcomer.  The plan includes two basic attack trajectories: external and internal.

External attacks include everything outside of your control, negative influences that are aimed at bringing you down like sickness, disease, injury, abuse, tragedy, failure, and all the other many circumstances and challenges that you face every day that strive to stop you in your tracks, push you down, hold you back, or defeat you.  In most cases, the lies embedded in an external attack are direct assaults on your motivation.  “You can’t win.”  “Give up now.”  “You’re not strong enough”  “You’re not good enough.”  “Nobody cares about what is happening to you.”  “You are alone.”

In the case of external attacks, your mission is to dismiss these lies and remain focussed on God’s plan for your life.  “I may be sick, but God is working to heal me today.”  “I may be facing a really hard disease, but God’s divine health is flowing over me.”  “I may have been abused, injured, hurt, and left out but God is going to restore double everything that I have lost.”  “My friends, my family may not understand what I am going through today, but God is with me, I am not alone.  He knows my history.  He knows where I’ve been and everything that has happened to me and He still has a plan for my life — a plan to bless me, a plan to heal me, a plan to restore what was lost, a plan that will provide me a future and a hope.  God is with me, I will not let this defeat me.”

External attacks are direct assaults where the lies have mostly to do with the conclusions that we draw from experiences in life.  Internal attacks, on the other hand, are in the realm of lies that result from your own choices and approach to life.  These internal challenges and trials include attacks that have traditionally been called temptations, where destructive behaviors and unhealthy choices strive to present themselves as appealing and preferred.  Internal attacks can also include the resulting havoc, obscurity, depression, guilt, shame, fear, and doubt that come either from poor life choices and past mistakes or in connection with an external attack as a sort of two front war on your spirit.

The key to dismissing the internal lies, the lies you tell yourself, the story you may be believing today about how your past defines you; the key to pressing through the negative noise and finding the eternal destiny of blessings, favor, and success that God has promised and planned from long before you were even born is this – the battle is actually not between you and the enemy, it is between the enemy and God.  

God is fighting for you.  The enemy is fighting against you.  It is up to you to choose which side you want to be on.  What do you want?  What do you actually, truly, deeply want?  Do you want the guilt, the shame, the fear, the doubt, the lies, and the defeat?  Do you want the lust, the anger, the pity, and all the rest of the negative self-justifying lies that the enemy is offering you as supposed comfort in your circumstances?  Or do you want to engage with the reality of what is actually happening and change your life forever?

This is not a trivial question when you consider its full consequences.  It is easy to say, “Of course I want to be blessed. Of course I want the good things.  Of course I want to be healed.”  Really?  You want to give up pornography so that you can experience actual intimacy with a woman?  You want to give up that self-justifying anger so that you can actually pursue conflict resolution find a mutually acceptable solution?  You want to give up the pity party and the sob story and the sad history for a new life starting today?  You want to give up your habits, your beliefs, and your comfort zone when you discover that they are out of touch with reality and change who you are to become who you can be?

This is the kind of challenge that was facing a man who had been sick a very long time when Jesus met him at a pool famous for its healing powers in Jerusalem.  He had found a way of life.  He was getting by.  He was surviving.  And he had a story that he was holding onto about his history that gave him comfort.  He had a lie that was keeping him satisfied in his mediocrity instead of discovering everything that God had in store for him.  “I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up.  Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”  Really?  For 38 years there had never been a single good samaritan?  No one had ever offered to help? There hadn’t been a single opportunity to change?

And so Jesus, seeing the man and knowing his history, challenges him, “Would you like to get well?”

What a question!  If you had been sick for 38 years like this man, wouldn’t you want to be made well?  But consider this — he was 38 years out of the job market.  He likely had no marketable skills other than lying on a mat and begging.  Jesus was offering him a way out of poverty, out of sickness, out of defeat, but in order to get there he was going to have to give up everything.  Now, its true that “everything” for him was not much of a life, but still he was going to have to start all over again.  He was going to have to re-invent himself, re-educate himself, find a job, find a house, make a life for himself.  Did he want that?

“Would you like to get well?”

Unlike so many of Jesus’ miracles, this man didn’t ask to be healed.  In fact, the only response he gives is, at best, a passive acknowledgement that maybe life could be better if he could get out of his current circumstances, “I can’t sir, for I have no one to put me into the pool.”  Not a resounding affirmation and certainly not a cry for help, but it is an opportunity for Jesus to challenge every one of his preconceptions — his defeated attitude, his lack of motivation, all of the lies he had been telling himself for 38 years about how no one cared about him, no one could help him — lies that had kept him enslaved to that mat on that spot on the porch at the pool in Jerusalem, begging and barely surviving instead of receiving the blessings that God had in store for him.

“Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”

In that moment, his entire life came into focus.  Was he a sick beggar? Or was he a child of God, created on purpose for a purpose with a future and a hope?

“Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”

This would mean giving everything up.  This would mean more challenges ahead.  This would mean he couldn’t accept his own excuses anymore, he would have to be accountable and take life face on, rise to the occasion, and overcome the challenges that were certainly coming.

“Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”

When you have the opportunity.  When you see the reality of the choices facing you.  When God opens your heart to receive his answers, and you arrive at that moment of decision.  Stand up, pick up all your history of trouble, your past mistakes, your negative mindsets, the lies that are holding you back, pick it all up.  See it for what it is, a prison that you chose for yourself.  And walk right out on it.

“Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”

What do you want?  God is offering you success, healing, restoration, fulfillment, peace, joy, and eternal life today.  You were created to be an overcomer.  You were designed to be victorious.  You have what it takes.  You are not alone.  You were called to conquer.  You are called to conquer.  The choice is yours.  God is ready to work with you today to defeat every attack:  external, internal, and joint operations.  God is fighting for you.  God will give you the victory.  

“Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”

 

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“God’s Answers Are Always Simple. God’s Answers Always Work.”

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3 Responses

  1. Malcolm

    The part about fighting on the Lord’s side made me think of this:

    And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “ Are You for us or for our adversaries?” So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” Then the Commander of the Lord ’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so. (Joshua 5:13-15 NKJV)

    Is the Lord on my side or not is not the right question. Am I on His side is what I should be asking.

  2. Clark Echols

    Your list: “You were created to be an overcomer. You were designed to be victorious. You have what it takes. You are not alone” can also include: You make the meaning of your stories! Listen to God, and make His story for you to be your story, and His love and wisdom will create the meaning of your new, healed life!

  3. clarkechols

    Your list: You were created to be an overcomer. You were designed to be victorious. You have what it takes. You are not alone” can include: You make the meaning of your life. So listen to God’s meaning for your life, and then make it your new, healed life’s meaning!

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