I said this to a young man and his facial response showed that he would have slapped me if not because I was older than him. However that was not the first time I was getting such reaction from my audience. Another young man responded to this by saying “winning is everything. I am born not just to win but as a winner”. My response to him was that I never told him not to win. I only told him not to be in a hurry to win. Isn’t it amazing that what we celebrate as a win on one level is completely overshadowed by our supposed winning experience on another level? This presupposes that winning is gradual – more of a process to enjoy than a destination to be celebrated.
Arguably, the place where we determine our victory or otherwise is in our mind. Joyce Meyer said in her book – Battlefield of the mind- that the mind is the battlefield where we get our victory. If we agree with this statement then we ought to know that winning in our minds cannot be done hurriedly. Whatever habit, situation, lifestyle or circumstance we desire to change in our lives, we have to realize that we did not get them overnight. It is what it is in our lives because it has taken quite some time. I wonder how and why we think that we can demolish a stronghold built over 10 years in 10 minutes. The good news is that it might not take you as much time to get out as it took to get in. But it will definitely take some time. For instance, a young man struggling to break an addiction like pornography, masturbation or alcohol should not expect that he can win at the snap of his fingers. It will require some time with consistent discipline and effort. In fact, such disciplines and effort might require a lifetime. Many people are stuck in the quagmire of addictions because they have not successfully confronted the reality that it won’t go away in a day.
One day or even one week of intense spiritual exercises will not remove the mental stronghold built over the years. When we confront this reality, we put pressure off ourselves. This self-imposed pressure is what results in guilt and condemnation which gets us more stuck. If you have ever been stuck in muddy waters, you will notice that the more you struggle to get out, the deeper you sink. A man drowns in the water he struggles with. Relax! If we could be patient with ourselves, then we would get the victory. God told the Israelites that he won’t give the entire land to them at once. He said He would give them little by little. Otherwise, the beasts would devour them. This is why I believe God gives us victories in packets because pride will fill our heart and do more damage if we get it all at once. Whatever area of life you decide to win, be patient with yourself in taking the victory. Be comfortable with the pace God is taking you. Jesus touched a blind man and asked him if he could see. The man said “I see men walking as trees” meaning I am better but not well. This is the attitude God wants us to have to issues like addictions in our lives. I have made significant progress (at least I am better than how you met me) but I still need another touch. Everything that will last takes a gradual process. Such processes teach us absolute dependence on God.
If in your quest for victory over any issue, you find yourself failing repeatedly, then go to God for a second touch. Remember that no child was born walking. However to walk, every child must rise when he falls while attempting to walk. Don’t forget to joyfully celebrate the accomplished milestones on your way to total victory.