When we decide that we are going to listen up to God and make what the Bible says the final authority in our life, the first step to walking in victory is to take hold of God’s promises for our situation.
That means reading His promises, listening, memorizing and keeping before us what God says. The moment we step into faith we have entered a battle. God’s word is described as a sword (Ephesians 6), and He expects us to use it. The weapons we have been given are mighty for bringing down strongholds and taking territory.
“In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17)
There are times however when in the midst of the battle we may face a setback. We sustain a “faith-hit”. Circumstances may not turn out as we have expected or planned. We can be left with more questions than answers, and feel confused and disappointed.
It’s important to understand when we are in this space that we don’t know everything, we all have things to learn no matter how long we’ve been around. At these times we ask God for wisdom, and the next steps to take on our journey. As I say, no experience is ever wasted in life if we continue to learn, hold onto Jesus, and refuse to give up.
We can overcome any discouragement at these times by looking to Jesus and His promises. He is no respecter of persons, but of faith, and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. In Him there is no darkness, or shifting shadows; He does not lie or change his mind. (Hebrews 13:8; Numbers 23:19) I’ve learnt that setbacks are temporary. We may lose ground in a skirmish but we are not going to lose the war.
“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)
When our second daughter was a little girl she was covered with chronic eczema. She had regular hospital and specialist appointments, and would often have infections as the eczema became infected all over her body. Several times a day we would have to bath her in special medicated lotions, then cover her from head to toe in ointments and moisturizer; after soaking bandages in warm water we would then have to wrap her up like a mummy, finally putting on top of those wet bandages (called wet dressings) a set of dry clothes. She would have to stay in this state for close to an hour.
We chose to do this process 4 times a day instead of her having to to be treated in hospital. There were days I fought back tears as I carefully applied ointments to the infected areas all over her little body.
It was in those years that I learnt to hold onto God’s promises. I learnt that you can’t look at external circumstances or suffering, but only at the promises in Gods word. I had to decide to hold onto what God said about our daughter and stand on that.
We also taught her God’s promises; we prayed, spoke what God said, and refused to give up. I would tell her, “find a spot without eczema no matter how small; that beautiful clear smooth skin is what you are going to have all over you. I would speak over her, “people are going to look at you and say “look what beautiful skin you have”. I was speaking those things that are not, as though they are.
“Abraham acted in faith when he stood in the presence of God, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence things that don’t yet exist.” (Romans 4:17)
In the natural it seemed ridiculous but I was looking through the eyes of God’s promises, though eyes of faith.
Our daughter is 21 this year, and you would never know except for two small scars on her arm what she went through as a child. It’s close to ten years since she was discharged from the hospital as an outpatient. Her specialist through all those years stood back looking at her with tears in her eyes and said “just look at you”, “look how beautiful you are and how clear and smooth your skin is”.
Yes I agreed quietly to myself, God is so faithful and we can hold onto His promises!
We may face temporary setbacks, or even “faith hits”, but that’s not the end. Reach out to Jesus, lay hold of His promises, dust yourself off if need be, but don’t concede defeat. It may look impossible; but look again through the eyes of His promises and see and speak your breakthrough!
Prayer: Lord I hold onto your promises. I thank you that you are faithful to your word, and even if I have temporary setbacks I will not be defeated. I believe what you say about my circumstances – I win. In Jesus name amen.