Given September 14, 2010
There are times in our lives when we get into a battle that, for whatever reason, we emerge unsuccessful. You might say we were defeated. But know this: suffering a defeat does not mean that’s the end of the struggle. Well, that could mean the end of the struggle and the decision is yours. The only way this defeat you’ve just suffered would spell the end is if you surrender. If you give up and don’t go back into battle against your foe, you’ve lost. By surrendering, you say you cannot prevail and you submit to the enemy, accepting whatever conditions he places on you. That’s the end as you know it. However, there is another solution and I’d like to give you seven steps to victory.
1. Retreat – When it looks as though, again for whatever reason, you will not prevail, it’s pointless and dangerous to continue at that time. Retreat to a safe place. Call out to Jesus and run to Him, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10).
2. Regroup – You must gather yourself together in this safe place with your General, get calmed down, “my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27), and be ready to listen.
3. Repent – Like I said before, there is a reason you suffered defeat in the previous battle and it was not the fault of the General. It was some misstep, wrong turn, unguided decision that YOU made that turned the tide against you. Maybe you thought you could handle this battle on your own without the General’s plan. Ask the Him for forgiveness and vow to follow His orders.
4. Re-evaluate – Listen closely to your General to see where you went wrong and hear His plan for victory the next time. It’s OK to ask questions but the General has the authority to reveal His plan, or parts of it, to you or keep it to Himself. Trust Him and believe that He knows what He’s doing.
5. Re-arm – Once the new battle plan is in place, (you really don’t have to understand it, just follow it), you must check your weapons. What you used last time didn’t perform too well so re-arm yourself with the weapons the General gives you. “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11). And when you do this, “no weapon formed against you will prosper.” (Isaiah 54:17).
6. Re-enter – So now you are refreshed and encouraged, you have a good strategy, you’re armed for battle and ready to go after the enemy again. So off you go with the confidence of a warrior. Now, two things may happen here; you may have to fight with the guarantee of victory, “Now thanks [be] unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ,” (2 Corinthians 2:14), or the General may say, “Step aside and watch this.” “Moses answered the people, “Don’t be afraid! Stand still, and see what the LORD will do to save you today. You will never see these Egyptians again.” (Exodus 14:13). Either way, this time, victory is yours!
7. Rejoice – “O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.” (Psalm 47:1). You can wait until the end of the battle but why wait? Even if you have to fight, begin shouting with the voice of victory right away. That tactic has worked to defeat the enemy before. “Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever.” As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.” (2 Chronicles 20:21-22). Praise always puts the enemy on the run. It should surely be offered up when a victory is won but also must be confidently proclaimed at every point in a battle from beginning to the end.
I have heard it said that, as Christians, we are always either in a trial, coming out of one, or going into one. Our Christian walk is that way; we must be tried and tested in order to be promoted to the next level. But rest in the words of Jesus, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). Get into the Seven-Step Plan today and you might start with step 7. Be blessed!