The English Premier League is characterized with professionalism, competitiveness and ultra athleticism. The whole team need warriors to fight for the team: defending, passing the ball and scoring vital goals to earn vital accumulative points. Complacency and little loss of focus could mean loss of vital points that could cost the team the EPL title, a place in the UCL or maybe even a drop into the relegation red zone. By the fact that a team won the last game or are the reigning champions does not guarantee an easy victory in the next match.
This could be likened to our lives as Christians. We are warriors, created to conquer and dominate on earth, as we fulfill our respective purposes. In our christian walk, we fight key battles and enjoy victories in numerous breakthroughs. As God enables us to overcome odds and be victories, handling the victories unfortunately becomes our greatest undoing. As we celebrate, we tend to relax, forgetting the long battles, fasting, praying, persistence and fellowship, the enemy strengthens again and strikes hard and brings us down to zero.
When someone lands a lucrative job of contract after a long period of waiting and trusting God, they suddenly relax and forget the bigger picture. They stop to even tithe, offer sacrifices. Instead of making God the center of their lives, they worship the jobs and positions, making them the center of their lives. Sooner or later, they lose the job. The same case applies to marriages. After getting married, couples forget as they busy themselves looking after each other and excuses that come with family responsibilities. The passion for serving God wanes, and Satan takes root in the marriage, resulting to separation, divorces and unending conflicts which rob off the members peace and joy.
How do you handle your victories? In the context of Jeremiah 37, there are certain principles one needs to adhere to on how to handle victory. Jerusalem was under siege of the Babylonians and Zedekiah was king. Jeremiah was the prophet then. It was a challenging moment for the people of Israel, at the hands of the enemy.
1.Keep your prophetic voice
Like any successful team or athlete, so are Christians. A great team or athlete always has a great coach who gives instructions and guidance on things to do and technical aspects to win a game or competition. It is important to keep on listening and heeding the voice of God. King Zedekiah did not heed to the voice of Prophet Jeremiah, and it had negative consequences to Israel. A man of God should always speak into your life. In 2 Chronicles 20:20, the bible says we need to belief in God to be established and trust in His prophets to be successful. It is a key principle in handling our victory, since these are men called by God, who speaks to them to get to us.
2. Keep you prayer live alive
King Hezekiah missed it and brought misfortune to the people he led, even as Israel was under siege. Prayer is an important ingredient in a healthy christian life. We should always pray without ceasing. Posting prayer, ignoring prayer and not having prayer are danger signs of an upcoming disaster. Prayer should be done anytime anywhere.A Christian should live an active lifestyle of praying and meditation. In the house, you should have an altar where you reach out personally to God. In the car while on safari or driving to work, put some worship music and lose yourself in prayer. Prayer brings us close to God, whom we talk to and develop a deeper relationship with (John 15:15; 1 Cor 3:9). We fight spiritual battles and prayers brings light to darkness, and prayer brings God’s light and power to darkness that overwhelm us (Eph 6:12). Prayer is a powerful weapon that changes our hearts, and our attitudes towards God, making us to be more like Him. We become more humble and tolerant of others, as God works within us. We need to pray for protection, to ourselves and loved ones. Prayer brings breakthroughs in life.
3. Do not depend on support from outside
When the Chaldeans heard of the on coming Egyptian army, they withdraw from the Jerusalem to face them and in the process broke the siege. This was a temporary relief to Hezekiah, but it did not last long as the Babylonians returned strong and re-seized the city again. Whom do you depend on from the outside for your battle? You need to develop a strong foundation to defend yourself during attacks and protect your gains from your battles. This requires you to built your spiritual muscle and disciple, even as others support your in a short while. Being over- dependent on others would ruin your life, because one day those whom you look up to may not appear at time of your need. Let those who supported you in your start-up moments find you stronger and better, having built your own fortress, and a force to be reckoned with when battles begin. Build your capacity to defend your own territory.
4. Know your destination
Knowing who you are and what you stand for and where you are headed is important for any victorious christian. Focus on your destination enables you to properly arm yourself and determine what you need for the journey ahead. A long journey on the road requires good preparation, and planning ahead of time. If your destination is East, you cannot head West with hope you will get to the East. Fight to get to your destination without compromise.
5. Be aware of who you are in battle, as the enemy will always come back
In Jeremiah 37:8-10, it recorded that the enemy will still rise, come back again to fight and regain the city. This is the typical case of the battles Christians fight. We enjoy out victories and forget that those whom we defeated are always argonizing, licking their wounds and planning to attack again and claim their portion. Our oppressors are never happy when we jump and sing in jubilation, wanting instead to put their feet on our necks, and watch us slave to their will. Keep yourself in the victorious seat need constant vigilance, lest you get toppled over
6. Do not deceive yourself
We often forget of the battles we fight, and put our confidence in material things. We tend to think our victories over our enemies are done and dusted, not knowing they are building an army to attack again, stronger than before. Put your confidence in God, and not material things or man. The enemy will always attack you. The bigger the victory, the higher the stakes and fight against you.
7. Maintain your prophetic portion
Jeremiah was arrested and jailed as he went out to seek his portion amongst his people. Any Man of God has a portion which he rightfully claims. As a christian, do you part and be a blessing to the man of God in your life. Be a blessing their lives, families. Always be kind to them and ensure their well being. This is not too much to ask. One of the key principles Christians need to practice in connecting with God is ensuring the prophets and appointed men of God in their lives receive their portions.
8. Do no harm to your prophet
When Prophet Jeremiah was ridiculed, arrested and locked away, it spelt doom for Israel. He was the voice of God, but his handling by King Hezekiah was a mockery of the respect such servants of God should be bestowed. Although he said the truth, they heeded no warning. Attacking men of God with slander, malice or even beating them up annoys God, who called them for his work. in Psalms 105:15, the bible says: touch not my anointed ad do them no harm. God will protect his anointed ones. Even David was afraid to kill Saul, although he had that golden chance. Respect the men of God, and do them no harm. Do not be partisan to any mockery, slander or attacks against them. It may ruin your life and destiny.
Adapted from sermon preaching by G.O Titus Chimayi, RFCC-Zimmerman. Views, illustrations are Compiled and posted by Lewis Wafula