Chapter 9 – He has Promised Us the Victory
Everything we have looked at thus far in this book is a necessary part of overcoming addiction. There is nothing we have addressed that can be skipped over. Let us review what we have observed to this point.
· All men are born under the dominion of sin, and by ourselves we will never be free. · Sin has caused a separation between God and man, and this separation results in darkness and death entering our being. · Sin cannot simply be forgiven, it must be atoned for, and this atonement is only accomplished by the shedding of blood. · The Son of God came to offer Himself as Yahweh’s Passover Lamb. By His death, and through His shed blood, our sins are forgiven and the breach between God and man is repaired. · Salvation is two parts. It includes the forgiveness of sin, as well as the impartation of divine life into our being through the Holy Spirit. As we receive the life of Christ into our being, we are empowered to live a life of victory over all sin. · We are Christians if we have been born again of the Spirit of Christ. This Spirit then begins to lead us in all things. We must follow the Spirit wherever He leads, as well as wait upon Him when He tarries, or we will find ourselves separated from the presence of God once more. · To grow as spiritual creatures into the image of Christ, we must feed upon that which God sends us. The Scriptures, and the indwelling Spirit, serve to reveal Christ to us. As we behold Him we are transformed into His image.
As we have seen, the history of Israel coming out of bondage to slavery in Egypt, their wilderness journeys, and their conquest of the land of Canaan are all given as “types of us.” These things were written for our instruction, and we can find the way to overcoming every addictive desire, and achieve victory over every sin as we combine understanding with faith and obedience.
The account of this portion of Israel’s history reveals both the causes for Christians failing today, as well as the way to attain victory. Israel’s call to take possession of the land of Canaan serves as a parable of the Christian taking possession of the land of their flesh. Consider the following parallels between Israel’s accomplishments and the Christian’s calling.
Many more parallels could be demonstrated, but the point we are making is that we can discern how to overcome addiction, and everything that stands in opposition to the Kingdom of God, as we observe the history of Israel and understand the parables the Father has given to us. We can also discern the reasons why some men and women never attain victory over the flesh, for in Israel we see an entire generation, save two men, who fell short of Yahweh’s desire for them.
The pattern that God gives to us in the Scriptures is first we see a natural example, then we arrive at the spiritual fulfillment. The Old Testament is filled with the natural history of men and women, peoples and nations. They serve as types and shadows of that which we find fulfilled in the New Testament. Even as Joshua led the children of Israel into the land of promise to establish a kingdom upon the earth, so too is Yahshua at work to establish the Kingdom of God. Yet the Kingdom Yahshua is focused upon is not a kingdom that is external to man, but one that is internal. It is a spiritual dominion where God will rule over every part of our being.
Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there! ‘For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
Christ plainly declared that He was not seeking to establish an earthly kingdom. He sought no nation, no piece of earthly real estate. His kingdom is in the hearts of men, women and children.
Yahshua answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Yahshua answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
Every kingdom has a king. The king can only be said to truly be ruling over his kingdom if everything in the kingdom has been brought under subjection to his rule. Since the kingdom of Christ is within mankind, all who would be a part of this kingdom must bring everything within them under the rule of the Son of God. Yahshua made this very plain in the following words.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.”
Christ’s words are quite clear. We cannot enter into the Kingdom of God by a mere profession of faith. Words alone are insufficient. We must do the will of God in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. He only rules those who are submitting themselves to Him for obedience. Anyone who claims allegiance to God, but fails to do His will, has no part in His kingdom.
“And why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”
Christ’s question here reveals how easily men and women are deceived. Many do not do the will of Christ, but they call Him ‘Lord.’ Are they not deceived when they do so? Yet Christ is not deceived. He knows those who are His.
Even as much of the Old Testament is focused upon the natural nation of Israel as a type of the Kingdom of God, so is the New Testament focused upon the establishment of a kingdom. One day every knee will bow before Christ, and every tongue confess Him as Lord, but there will be no reward for those who resist His kingdom in this present age. It is only now that we can come and freely offer ourselves to Him for obedience and attain a reward.
Many battles must be fought, and hardships endured, in order to establish the Kingdom of God in these pieces of earth which we occupy. Our Lord is not unjust that He would not reward those who fight valiantly for His kingdom. The magnificent part of this whole matter is that Yahshua has so taken up the side of those who would follow Him into battle, that all who obey Him will come forth as victors. There is no possibility that we will be unable to conquer any foe. There is no chance that those who obey Christ will not be able to completely subdue every enemy in the land of their flesh. He has promised us the victory!
We see this promise of victory over every sinful passion and desire that resides in our flesh foreshadowed in Yahweh’s words to Joshua as he prepared to embark on the conquest of the land of Canaan.
Yahweh spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant, saying, “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory. No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life.”
In the same way, Yahshua, the Son of God, has promised us the victory over every sin. Yahweh is with us, even as He was with Joshua and those who entered the land of Canaan with him.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
We are not only promised to conquer, but to overwhelmingly conquer. How does one overwhelmingly conquer an enemy? They do so by being so superior in power and wisdom that the enemy has no chance of defeating them. This is the situation of the Christian.
I John 4:4
Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
Consider the message of the following verses of Scripture which the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth.
If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Yahshua from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Yahshua from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
When we come to Christ our bodies are very much like the land of Canaan. God waited to dispossess the Canaanites until their sin had reached its fulness. When all the inhabitants of the land were completely given over to sin, then He said it was time for Israel to go in and conquer the land.
In the same way, the land of our flesh has fallen completely under the influence of sin. The result of sin is death, therefore God declares that “the body is dead because of sin.” Yet the promise is given to those who have been joined with Christ through baptism, that even as He arose from the dead, so too will they. Our mortal bodies will be raised to life through the power of Christ.
How much of a resurrection is promised? Will we only be able to bring a portion of our being into subjection to the rule of God the Father? Will we be freed of some sins, while remaining captive to others? No! God has promised us a complete victory. This is not some promise that will only be attained when we leave this sinful flesh and ascend into heaven. This is a promise given to all of God’s children now.
Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
How much of Christ was raised from the dead? Did any part of His body remain behind in the tomb? Of course not. So we too are promised that we might walk in a similar newness of life. The Scriptures declare that even as we were once ruled over by sin, even more so will divine life now reign in our members through Yahshua the Christ.
For if by the transgression of the one (speaking of Adam’s sin), death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Yahshua Christ.
It is vitally important that we believe the testimony of Scripture in this matter. We must believe that because God is for us, no enemy in the land of our flesh can stand against us. If we do not believe this to be true, we will not be able to conquer every addiction. Unbelief will prevent us from bringing all things inside our beings into captivity to the rule of Christ. We see this fact proven clearly through the failure of the Israelites.
Do you think there is any enemy in the land of your flesh that God cannot conquer? Do you think there is any sin He will not give you victory over if you follow Him? Our confession reveals what is in our hearts. I have heard many men and women confess that some addictive desire, or some stronghold of the flesh, such as anger or lust or fear, was too great. They had no hope of being able to overcome these things, for they had experienced many defeats against these foes in the past.
If a person is not a partaker of the Spirit of Christ, then they are right to doubt that they will achieve victory. But a Christian should never anticipate defeat. Yahshua has already defeated every enemy. He was tempted in all ways as we are, yet without sin. He now wants to lead us forth into battle with these same enemies as He demonstrates to us His power in laying all our foes beneath our feet. After Christ has brought us to victory over every enemy within, He will then lead us to victory over every enemy without. He will even place Satan under our feet.
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.
Satan’s dominion over the children of God has been broken. Christ has set us free. We observe this freedom now as we go forth to conquer every enemy in the land of our flesh. Yet Satan can still afflict the saint through outward persecution. Many have been martyred, beginning with Stephen in the book of Acts. Many more have been persecuted in various ways. Yet a day is soon coming when Satan will lose even this power. He will be crushed, all his power destroyed, as he is placed under the feet of this saints of God.
There are certain Scriptures that I learned when I was younger that have been precious to me over the years as they testify to the truth of our victory being assured. God has promised that we will never be overmatched by any sin or temptation.
I Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
What an awesome promise is revealed in these words! God is faithful! He will never allow us to be subjected to a temptation that is greater than our ability to resist. He will ALWAYS provide a victorious way through the trial. This is again affirmed by the apostle Peter.
II Peter 2:7-9
If He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men… then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation.
One of the writers of the New Testament was Jude, whose name in Hebrew is Judah. Judah means praise. His small epistle is filled with the high praises of God. It ends with these magnificent words.
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
He is able to keep us from falling. He has provided everything necessary for us to conquer the land of our flesh. He has destroyed sin’s dominion. He has purchased for us the victory. If you doubt, then you are looking too much at yourself and your own weakness. Faith arises as we look to the victorious Christ who has sent His Spirit to indwell us. Read the following words spoken to the Israelites and consider what they are signifying for the Christian.
“When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for Yahweh your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you. Now it shall come about that when you are approaching the battle, the priest shall come near and speak to the people. And he shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, you are approaching the battle against your enemies today. Do not be fainthearted. Do not be afraid, or panic, or tremble before them, for Yahweh your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’”
There was a time when I was struggling against the tyranny of sexual lust and an addiction to pornography, and I had lost hope that I would ever defeat this enemy that continually brought me shame. Its strength was greater than my own, and the Lord allowed me to realize this was so. The Lord did not bring me to this realization that I might be cast down and resigned to defeat. He wanted me to begin to reckon according to His mighty power that was at work in me. I had formerly only reckoned on my puny strength, and I recognized my inability to cast down this enemy on my own. But where I am weak, He is strong. In Christ all enemies are overmatched, and none can stand against us.
It is necessary that we begin to place a greater weight upon the testimony of God than we place upon our past experiences. It is by faith that every enemy is cast down. As we consider that Yahweh is on our side, and He will fight for us, then we need not be afraid of any enemy. This same testimony is found in the New Testament.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
II Peter 1:3-4
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
(from New International Version)
As we combine these words of the apostles Paul and Peter, we can arrive at the following true and magnificent statement:
“God will freely give us all things necessary for life and godliness in order that we might participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
What an awesome thought! This should be the foundation for all of our reckoning when we enter into battle with some stronghold of the flesh. We should never fear that our addiction is greater than our ability in Christ to overcome. He has promised us the victory, and as we believe and obey we will place every enemy under our feet.