Living a Victorious Life
Living a Life of Victory
(AKA Everyone Loves a Winner)
When I think about winning and losing, my thoughts go almost exclusively to sports. I have never been an athlete. In fact, at my peak fitness, I was running an 11 ½ minute mile. If you don’t understand that stat, it means I’m super slow. On the playground draft, I was never chosen first. The only competitor fight over me was who wanted to be the one to race me and earn a guaranteed win.
Enter Academic Bowl Team; I moved on the something I was good at: memorizing stuff. I discovered I have a knack for remembering odd vocabulary words (e.g., apiary – beehive) and strange facts about people and places. I’d found my people. Of course, I was on the B Team, but I was alright with that position. Everyone had a small ‘specialty’. Wendy (a ballet dancer) knew a lot of French words. Jason was a math wizard. When there was a math question, the rest of us just put our pencils down and waited to Jason to buzz in the answer. The rest of us were general information teammates.
The key is not the will to win…everybody has that.
It is the will to prepare to win that is important.
Moving through life, I learn more about myself each day. Sometimes, it can be exciting to discover a hidden gem about myself (e.g., Who knew I had the discipline to say ‘NO’ to a donut?) or the age-old statement “Yeah, I should have seen that a mile away…”. The most interesting gem I have learned about myself is this:
Every morning when the alarm goes off, I think: “Is this going to be a good day or a bad day? If I don’t get out of bed, I don’t have to answer that question.”
Yes, I have my own Schrödinger’s Cat philosophy at the beginning of the day. If the day never starts it can be both. I can consider this way of thinking being in the WIN column, but in truth it is not a win. You can’t win if you don’t participate.
I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning show and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
What does winning look like when following Christ? Paul compared his life to a race that must be finished. He noted that we even have fans (the heavenly saints and angels) cheering us on. Check out Hebrews 11 - you are NEVER alone.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1 - 3
How does obedience to God lead to a victorious life? Well….first I’ve got to get out there and start running….Here’s what I look like running….
When I first attended Calvary, the pastor focused on a sermon series on the victorious life a Christian could have. Here are my notes from some of those sermons. Remember, I love my bullet points! Here goes….Let’s start with the Bad News first….
1. Failures are a fact of life, but being a failure is not your destiny.
2. Our failures do not have to be final.
3. Failures are no match for Jesus and God’s plans for you.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
I may not become the next ‘prophet to the nations’ but I can roll up my sleeves and get out there!
KEYS FOR VICTORY
1. Study God’s Word
2. Practice living holy as God is Holy.
3. If you are not connected with a community of strong believers – NOW IS THE TIME.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—
put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Skills to work develop!
Build your team!
4. Possess complete love
5. Possess complete joy
6. Build solid friendships in Christ
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
John 15:9 – 17
Road to Victory
e Plan & Common Sense
1. Use your head!
2. The person who acts in obedience to God is right.
3. Those who continue to act against God are playing for the other team.
4. The choice for victory is ours to make.
5. Identify the difference between righteousness and disobedience.
6. Stay active in the ways of God.
7. Possess a God-focused vision.
8. Live a complete life and finish the race.
7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.
I John 3:7 – 10
Yeah, I know some of the phrases are ‘old fashioned’. Sometimes that is the best language. Spoken word can become too informal and lack the sincerity, respect, and directed urgency. No one creates a legacy of victory without (a short list to be sure, in no particular order):
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7
Whatever happened yesterday will not stop me today.
DaLeesa J. Flick Wyatt
Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.
Go. Win. Today.
If you live in the OKC area, and aren't connected with a solid group of
believers, come join us at:
Calvary Church of the Nazarene
3100 N. Rockwell Avenue
Bethany, OK 73008