Scripture: 1 John 4:1-6
Observation: John warns against listening to false prophets, anyone who doesn’t believe Jesus came in the flesh and was the Son of God. He assures us that when we belong to God, we’ve already won the victory over anyone who opposes us.
Application: This past summer was the best kind of summer for one simple reason: the Olympic Games.
I’m overly obsessed with the Olympics. It’s borderline ridiculous (and by "borderline ridiculous" I mean most definitely ridiculous.) For two weeks, all I did was watch sports I barely knew anything about (skeet shooting, I’m looking at you), stalk NBCsports.com for the latest medal count, and read every article I could find about the Olympics. (I was particularly fascinated with this piece on how they feed the athletes – guys, they made 60,000 meals daily for Rio athletes. SIXTY THOUSAND PER DAY. That is crazy town.)
Oh, and don’t even get me started on the sappy expose stories they do on the athletes during primetime…all the feels, my friends. I love a good, heart-wrenching story about the athlete who lost his mom at age 12 and had promised her on her deathbed that he’d make it to the Olympics one day – and then despite college rejections and injury and other broken relationships, he makes it to the Olympic Games and competes for his mom. ALL THE FEELS.
Anyways, I digress.
Here’s the thing about these Olympics athletes: they’ve spent years (and often decades) training and practicing and preparing. Yet even the very best athletes – the most dedicated, the most disciplined, and the most decorated – never know if victory really will be theirs. There’s no certainty that they’ll end up on the podium. There’s no sure thing.
That’s a scary, risky place to be, isn’t it? When we’ve worked hard, given everything we have to something, only to realize that nothing is certain. A relationship may not work out. Our application may not be accepted. A promotion may go to someone else. We just might fail. And truthfully, that’s a reality that my control-loving heart has a hard time accepting – I want to know that victory is guaranteed.
Nothing in this world is guaranteed – but finding security and hope in Christ Jesus? Now that reality is guaranteed, and it turns out that victory is already ours.
“But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the Spirit who lives in the world.” (verse 4)
I want to speak those words of truth over some of you who need it most today – the victory is already yours.
For the one suddenly faced with divorce, for the one who endured a miscarriage again, for the one who was ridiculed for choosing right over wrong, for the one who can’t make the grades needed to graduate, for the one who was told she’s not qualified, for the one who lost his job, for the one who was told you don’t quit fit here – the victory is still yours.
This world around you? It’s too often full of lies. It’s full of rejection and persecution. It causes you to doubt yourself, diminish your worth, damage your confidence.
God tells you a different story: the victory is already yours. No one or nothing can bring you down.
“If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
God is FOR you, and the victory is already yours.
Live victoriously today.
Prayer: God, I pray I can live victoriously, full of light and a confidence that comes only from you. Let me walk in humble confidence in the victory that is already mine.
- Is there any influential person in your life who doesn’t proclaim the message of Jesus as John writes it in verses 1-3? Invite God into your life to reveal if there is anyone who isn’t pointing you towards him.
- Where are you struggling and need a reminder that victory is already yours? Speak the truth in verse 4 over yourself today.