In one of Charles Wesley’s great hymns we find that he had learned the secret of living, and fighting, from the point of a victory accomplished, rather than simply striving to obtain the victory. Does this make sense? How is it in this world that can we ever obtain victory if we do not strive to do so? And is the Christian life not a matter of “running to win?”
Wesley wrote: “…Thy mighty working let me feel, SINCE I AM BORN OF GOD…” He continues: “…Let nothing now my heart divide, SINCE WITH THEE I AM CRUCIFIED.” There is not doubt that Wesley’s prayer is based on a work, a victory already accomplished. His appeal to God is for the manifestation, the experiential realization of that victory in his life, the very tangible “overcoming” life.
Perhaps the first thing to consider here is the definition of “victory.” We know that the greatest victory of all time and eternity is that of Christ, when He declared: “It is finished.” It is a victory that is all-inclusive, over every enemy of that which is right, good, and godly. He conquered sin, death, the flesh, the devil, and the world….He overcame them all…and is seated at the right hand of God. When one comes to Christ, and is born of the Spirit, just as he is PUT INTO Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:30), he is put INTO His victory. His victory becomes that of the believer. So, the victory that we are talking about here is Christ’s victory.
The second thing we must grasp is that this life to which we are called is one of faith. And though this victory is ours because of the gift of God, it will not be mine in experience unless I make it mine by faith. It has been said that, “Truth is not mine unless it becomes me.” The same applies to victory. It is not mine in experience unless I make it mine by faith. And faith lays hold of Christ’s victory as our own.
Basically the only difference between “trying” to be victorious, and “living” in the victory of Another, is FAITH. In our pursuit of the experience of victory, the Christian begins with Christ, and ends with Him. There is always great effort required in running a race, fighting a good fight, and overcoming. But through it all, we are called to live, abide in Christ’s victory. “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 15:57) “Now, thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph IN CHRIST, and maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge by us in every place.” (2 Cor. 2:14) This is present, real time victory, triumph. May it be our experience this day because we have chosen to live FROM/BY the victory of Another…by faith.