Does the Bible lie? The answer is, no, the Bible does not lie. God’s Word is truth, and He cannot lie. However, it is difficult not to notice what we perceive to be an inconsistency when our lives fall shot of God’s promises of victory. We want to believe in a better tomorrow filled with hope. Yet, all we are getting is discouragement. It makes us wonder…
Where did my victory go?
I’ve been there… several times, if I am honest. The crushing weight of financial pressures had me questioning every scripture I had read on prosperity. It was especially bad when I felt like God didn’t respond fast enough, or in those moments where I wondered why He always responded just in the nick of time. Why couldn’t victory be earlier? Why did I have to go through that anxiety?
A close friend of mine cried out to God for years to restore her marriage. The couple was living as frenemies. They didn’t talk to each other, a lot. When they did communicate, it was always hostile.
Her husband would criticize her about every area of her life. Nothing was off-limits. He wouldn’t help out around the house at all. And if he did, it was a half-hearted attempt. Being a dad? Forget it. He barely interacted with them. He worked his 9-5 job, came home, ate, watched television, and went to bed. That was it. He projected his unhappiness with himself onto her. She became his target. My friend was exhausted of the ongoing combat in her home. She had enough.
“Where is God?” she secretly wondered. “I need Him now. Where is the victory that I have been promised? Our marriage shouldn’t be this hard.”
She was correct. It shouldn’t be this hard. Neither is losing weight, breaking addictions, etc. Yet, there is one territory that often remains unexplored. That area in regards to victory can be summed up in one sentence:
What are you thinking about?
Your Thinking becomes your reality
Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
What are you meditating on? Do you see a life filled with victory or defeat? In our minds, we “prepare ourselves” for the worst case scenario. In fact, many self-help books actually teach you to visualize the worst that can happen. Why would you do that? All it does is create anxiety.
In “preparing ourselves” for the worst, we prepare for what to do in case of a bad outcome. It is the “just in case God doesn’t show up” scenario. But when does God not show up? If it aligns with scripture, and that IS what you believe, then He has to. We believe for the worst, and hope for the best. We call it, “faith”. But is it?
Well, the last time I looked up faith, it read, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1). It is the substance of things hoped for, but haven’t physically manifest yet. But if your thoughts are negative, what do you think that you are going to get? Now, you could argue that you hope things will end in victory. However, if you are planning a worst case scenario, are you really meditating on the victory?
You can’t hope for the best but believe the worst. Faith doesn’t work that way. The just in case thoughts, doesn’t put your faith in God. It places your faith in yourself. Trust me, I know. We are not surrendered to God for the outcome. We are relying on our own strength for what we want to see happen.
When faith (unknowingly) falters
Where is the faith in God? There isn’t any. Faith says that you believe in God’s promises because they are yes and amen. They are guaranteed! Why aren’t you seeing the victory? Because what you are meditating on… your vision for your future… is flawed. We shouldn’t be seeing tomorrow as a failure because that is what will manifest. Seeing ourselves as flawed, somehow? That will manifest.
This is often why weight loss methods fail. They focus in on eating habits. But the victory begins in the mind long before it manifests elsewhere. Think about it; most overweight people don’t want to be overweight. It gets to a point where it is not healthy. Most know they need to lose weight. This is okay, if you realize that you need to make changes. Then it is scriptural. Not okay if you see yourself and unworthy, unlovable, or ugly because of it.
When we do this, we have a negative image of ourselves. We see ourselves as only worthy if we are slender. Our worth becomes determined by our clothing size, or the bathroom scale. We become defeated by it.
Changing the Narrative
It is all about changing our mental narrative. We put weight back on not because we like being overweight. It is because we are still that person. We don’t have a new vision for ourselves. Our new vision should be one where we are healthy and happy. What we envision today becomes tomorrow’s victory.
Stuck in a bad marriage? What future are you seeing for it? Are you thinking about all the things that he/she does wrong? You aren’t going to get very far. You will receive exactly the vision in your head.
Even if your spouse did change, you would never see it. You are too focused on their failures to notice their successes.
Are you thinking about what God says to meditate on? Things that are pure, noble, lovely, etc? There is nothing negative in that. Does your life need improvement? Make your requests known to God! Yet nowhere in there does it say to think of a back-up plan. That is NOT putting your faith in God. Instead, as Philippians 4:8 says, meditate on things that are excellent or praiseworthy.
Where’s my victory?
Your spouse’s flaws, dwindling bank account, etc are not worthy of praise! But God’s goodness is. Thank God that He is working in your spouse, on your finances, etc. Listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Too often we focus on the miracle but ignore the still small voice guiding us out of our situation and into our victory.
Get a new vision for your future! This will sustain you when times become tough, or you get discouraged. No one wants to live in defeat! Ask God for a new vision- the one that He has ordained. Align your victory with His. Then, watch your life transform.
Defeat isn’t meant for you- victory is. However, sometimes a life of victory just involved aligning our thoughts with the promises of God. It involves surrendering to Him. He doesn’t want you to fail, nor would He set you up for misery. But your future will never change until you set your eyes on the prize and claim it as your own. Your faith will grow stronger as you see God manifest. Also, what you are meditating on- the positive- will manifest in your victory. Not your defeat.