The Level of Victory

Neil Girrard
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Scriptures Referenced in This Article:
          (Follow the Scripture links if you want to study the Scriptures for yourself.)
Gen. 5:24 π Psa. 11:5 π Psa. 53:1 π Prov. 30:8-9 π Isa. 5:20 π Hos. 9:7 π Jn. 14:30 π Rom. 8:14 π 1 Cor. 5:7-8 π 2 Cor. 6:17-7:1 π Eph. 6:21 π Col. 3:5 π Col. 3:18-21 π 1Ths. 4:7 π Heb. 11:5 π 1 Jn. 2:15-17 π 1 Jn. 3:3

Exhortation is sometimes given to attain to the level of victory, to come higher in one’s walk with God and to overcome. This exhortation is indeed a valid and necessary one – but it requires that we understand what exactly it means.

This exhortation is especially vulnerable and susceptible to one’s paradigm, those relatively hidden, “subconscious” presupposed ideas and beliefs that color and influence the whole of one’s other ideas and beliefs. If one believes that modern “church” practices are the appropriate way to follow Christ and God, this exhortation becomes “Go to ‘church’ more. Do more for God.” If one believes that there is nothing particularly wrong with their nation’s culture, this exhortation becomes “Be free to do what you want to do – God loves you as you are. Relax, rest in Him and enjoy life as He has given it to you. Grace wins every time, after all.” If one believes that God is appeased by “tithes and offerings,” this exhortation becomes a justification for working longer hours to earn more money. So long as God gets His cut, any excess or increase is believed to be and is even called His “blessing.”

But is this really where this exhortation should take us? Any “elevation” or “attainment” in our walk with God that must be defined in terms of our involvement with religious organizations or “ministry” is merely a deception. Any “victory” that does not include abandonment and rejection of one’s cultural values that conflict with God’s values is merely a cleverly disguised defeat. Any “overcoming” that incorporates covetousness, spiritual or financial carelessness or negligence, self-centeredness, greed or materialism is simply a cloak for sin. Yet these are the things most often put across and perpetuated as “Christianity.”

Conversely, a person who abandons the “church” and goes on to experience great interactions with God, receives wonderful revelations and enjoys quiet but deep fellowship with only a very few other saints is deemed insane or even apostate. (see Hos. 9:7 ) A person who believes that television and movies depicts too much sexual perversion, violence and anti-God sentiments and abandons watching both is considered weird and anti-progressive. ( Col. 3:5 , 1Ths. 4:7 , Psa. 11:5 , 53:1 ) A person who abandons the “rat race” of competition for wealth or power and instead learns to be content with whatever God provides and instead focuses on simply and quietly being a good husband (or wife) and father (or mother) is considered extremely foolish and unwise. ( Prov. 30:8-9 , Col. 3:18-21 , Eph. 6:21 , etc.) Yet each of these, in their own way, represents a true victory, a genuine elevation and attainment in one’s walk with God and an overcoming of sin, selfishness and Satan. How twisted and warped our perspective of the way of following Christ and God has become! Modern churchianity is little more than the institutional calling of evil good and good evil. ( Isa. 5:20; top )

Enoch walked with God and pleased Him and in due course God took him from the earth. ( Heb. 11:5 , Gen. 5:24 ) This is the prescribed manner in which we must come higher – we must walk with God wherever He might lead us. John wrote, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” ( 1 Jn. 2:15-17 ) It is not, like Enoch, that we are to leave this world and somehow get off the planet or entirely isolate ourselves from all other people. Rather, like Christ, we must labor alongside God to purify ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit so that we will truly be His children. ( 2 Cor. 6:17-7:1 , 1 Jn. 3:3 , Jn. 14:30 , Rom. 8:14 , etc.) It is not that we get ourselves out of this world – whether the worldly expression we are ensnared in be the “church,” the culture or the work-world – but rather that we get all elements of this world out of ourselves. This purging of all of the old leaven and truly being unleavened ( 1 Cor. 5:7-8; top ) is the only true and complete and total victory over all that stands against us before God. And only God can define what exactly this victory will look like in each individual’s life. Any man-made standard of “holiness” or “righteousness” will, of necessity, be incomplete or too restrictive to fit everyone. Man-made rules and restrictions can only touch upon outward behaviors and can never fully represent or express the divine nature which Christ and God has placed within us.

Let us indeed heed the exhortation to attain to the level of victory, to come higher in one’s walk with God and to overcome all that stands against our life in Christ and God. But let us do so by understanding exactly what God intends in this exhortation.

Let he who has ears hear.

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