“I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.”
“Jesus told them, ‘This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.’”
“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
In these three verses, we can see a common theme: believe in Jesus. This is God’s Will for every one of us. Many of us are struggling to know what it is God wants us to do with our lives and what our purpose is. This is God’s desire for your life: believe in Jesus.
Sometimes we can get caught up in what we should do and how we should live, and when we don’t live to the standard we set, then we can literally move into depression. God wants us to live up to the standard He has set for us; not the standard we have set.
We don’t know exactly what God has planned for us on an individual level, but God knows. Before anything happens, God wants us to first believe in His Son and His message. This is because our heart condition is far more important than what we do in our lives at work or at home. Our best deeds and work won’t get us into Heaven. We must first believe in Jesus.
Thankfully, God has equipped us with all we need to follow Jesus.
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Jesus is already victorious
“But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
It is very important for us to understand exactly who we are serving. Jesus, God the Son, came to earth to take the power back from Satan. This power was first entrusted to us in the Garden of Eden. When we allowed the serpent to tempt us and lead us into sin, we then gave our entrusted power and authority over the earth to the enemy, Satan.
So, Jesus came to take this same power back again. He accomplished this when He was crucified for our sins on a cross, and three days later, He was raised back to life, thereby overcoming sin and death. In this act of love for us, Jesus came and gave His life for our sins. This is how He bought us back from the enemy.
As we live here on earth, Satan still works on us. He’s counting on us not knowing these facts. If we don’t know, we won’t protest against his actions. We are still effectively giving Satan power and dominion in our lives through ignorance, and regardless of how Satan can get us to follow him, he will take anything he can get.
When we finally come to an understanding that Jesus is the one who holds the power, authority, and dominion over everything, then we can surrender to Him and share in His victory. This is God’s first purpose for us to believe in Jesus and put Jesus first in our lives. In turn, for us to tell others so they to can believe in Jesus too.
We don’t need to live defeated anymore
When we lead people to Jesus, where they can find a new life, victory over the enemy, and peace and rest for their souls, we must also teach them about this victory that Jesus already has. I spent many years not understanding this and Satan used this against me.
Sure, I believed that Jesus saved me and forgave me for all my sins, but I didn’t truly know anything about spiritual warfare. Coming to Jesus for Salvation is a great move in our lives. This is the way to secure our future with Jesus in Heaven. But while we are here on earth, Jesus also wants us to walk in freedom from the enemy.
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
“Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.”
One verse here confirms that there is an enemy, Satan and that he is out to destroy us. He destroys us by filling us with fear and disbelief, and ultimately, by separating us from God. Satan will divide anyone who gives him the power to do so.
But then another verse tells us that we have been given the power to defeat the enemy. Jesus tells us that we can walk among snakes and scorpions, which represent the enemy’s workers, and that none of these will injure us.
This is good news because we live in a dark world where evil seems to prevail. It is difficult to live for Jesus when Satan’s workers are all around us. But we can. We must understand that in Jesus, we have power over the enemy. When the devil is tempting us or putting thoughts of fear and worry into our minds, we can draw on the power of the name of Jesus Christ, and we can send Satan and his workers away from us.
Why do we struggle to walk in victory?
To this day, I still struggle with this. I understand that I am saved by grace through faith in Christ, I believe that Jesus has forgiven me of all my sins, and I believe that I have power and authority over the enemy; so, why do I struggle with this?
Because of focus.
Anytime we take our focus off Jesus and start thinking about our problems and shortcomings in life, we start to struggle.
“Then Peter called to him, ‘Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.’
‘Yes, come,’ Jesus said.
So, Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. ‘Save me, Lord!’ he shouted.
Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. ‘You have so little faith,’ Jesus said. ‘Why did you doubt me?’”
We effectively begin to sink when we take our focus off Jesus and look at all the struggles and troubles around us. When we are having issues in life (finances, relationships, parenting, health), it is at this time where we need to take our focus off our problems and put it on Jesus.
When we focus on our problems, we give power to those problems and they seem to grow bigger and worse. When we give our focus back to Jesus, we then give power back to Jesus in our lives to overcome the problems.
Okay, so what do I have to do to walk in the power and victory of Jesus?
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
If you are trying to follow Jesus but are struggling because life is too hard and there is too much turmoil for you to bear, turn completely to Jesus. We are told in Psalms 55:22 to “Cast our cares on the Lord.” This means to come to God prayerfully with your problems, burdens, pains, struggles, fears, and anything else that is weighing you down, and tell Him about it. You must give it to Him and leave it there.
There are many ways we can create a visual for this, and I encourage you to get creative to come up with your own way. But to illustrate what I’m saying here; imagine this:
Think about every burden or fearful thought you have. Now take every one of those thoughts and burdens and place them in a big sack. Still imagining, you completely empty your mind and memory of every bad or harmful thing, every hurt and pain, and every fear there is. Upon emptying your mind completely of this, tie this sack up, and drag it before the cross of the Lord.
Now allow the Lord to fill your mind and say: “Lord Jesus, this is everything wrong in my life; this is all my hurt and pain; this is all my fears of the unknown; I surrender all to you now; I ask you to take this and to deliver me from this burden; I trust you to sort it out and to give me complete peace; I believe that you gained victory over the enemy when you died on the cross, and I believe that I have power through you now to also be victorious over the enemy in my everyday life here on earth. Thank you, Jesus!”
The only thing left to do is to accept this as fact and move forward
Accepting all this as true is the difficult part; especially, when we still must live in our same circumstances. We grow into maturity; we aren’t born into maturity. Becoming mature takes time and accepting the truth’s and promises of Jesus while in this dark world can take time, too.
But when we spend time each day focusing on Jesus and His promises and when we cast our cares on Him as soon as they come along, we will start to mature in this way. We will get better at it. When we truly learn to cast our cares and burdens on the Lord and leave them with Him, this is when we will experience this peace that surpasses all understanding.
Jesus doesn’t want any of us to live defeated each day. He didn’t come and die for us so that we would continue to give Satan this power in our lives. He came and died for us so that we could be set free. As we go about our days in this dark world, we will have hardships, struggles, and trials. We are told to take heart because Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33).
Part of being a Christian is to learn about Jesus. Sharing the Good News of Christ is very important; learning as much as possible about the Good News of Christ is equally important. This is helpful in two ways; first, learning the Scripture imparts wisdom and knowledge on us, and second, we can then help provide new believers with a stronger knowledge and foundation.
In this short time on earth, we won’t learn everything and we won’t accomplish everything. We will have hard times and we will mess up occasionally. But through all this, Jesus won’t abandon us, and we don’t have to spend a single moment walking apart from the power and victory of Jesus.
If you are burdened and something is troubling you right now, give it to God; bring it to the foot of the cross, lay it down, and leave it there. If you go back looking for it, you will find it. But if you keep your focus on Jesus and not the burden, the power of the problem will diminish in your life and you will find rest, even in harsh circumstances.
If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can follow this link (Prayer for Salvation) to find out how. Also, if you need prayer for your life or your family, click here to send in your prayer request. My wife and I would love to pray for you.