Having victory implies there is some kind of fight going on. We know ultimate victory is given to us by Jesus, who won it all on the cross. We know his final victory will be consummated when heaven and earth are made new at the end of time.
But what about our victory? Which fight are we in right now?
Scripture teaches us we are fighting a spiritual war. It’s not against armies or opposing nations. It’s a different sort of battle altogether, which means it’s critical that we understand the rules of engagement.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.
2 Corinthians 10.3-6
This battle takes place in the hearts and minds of people. You want victory? Start by renewing your mind (Romans 12.1-2), and continue by turning over your heart to God (see Galatians 5.22-26; Colossians 3). You have to learn to control your thoughts, stop yourself from spiraling mentally into depression or lust, and teach yourself to think Christ-centered thoughts instead. You have to learn how to defend your beliefs, articulate your faith, and think through the things that trouble you about your relationship with God. These are the “strongholds” Paul refers to in his letter to the Corinthians.
In a physical war, armies move across the theatre of war and capture enemy positions, slowly advancing their forces into occupied territory. That’s what we have to do with our minds. We’ve grown up in a world completely dominated by ideologies, ideas, and desires contrary to God. Step-by-step, bit-by-bit, we have to advance through the battlefield of our minds, our will, and our emotions and take back all the territory in opposition to God. We have to fortify God’s word in us and defend the work of God’s Spirit with mental and intellectual reinforcement, with community and relational support, and with determination and prayer.
The battlefield is your mind. The victory, then, is in your mind too. Maybe not just in your mind, but certainly first in your thoughts, evaluations, and considerations.
Think on that.