This has been on my mind for a while.
Where our Owners’ Manual speaks of the battle (in Ephesians 6), it’s very specific: the victor is defined as the one still standing when the dust settles.
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore.”
So if you’re battered and bloody and discouraged and weary when the fighting stops, that’s normal. If you’re still standing, you’re the victor.
We tend to think “victory” means that we’re still humming a happy tune, the birds are still singing and our armor is still shiny.
Bah! Shiny armor means you haven’t been in a real battle yet. And the birds will sing again when it’s time. And you can always choose what kind of tune you want to hum.
Someone will bring up Romans 8: “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” True that. We are more than conquerors. Isn’t that talking about the happy Hollywood ending where the hero (you) rides off into the sunset with his heart’s desire next to him?
Not so much. What it means is that you’re still standing.
How do you conquer except that you do battle? Real battle. War. Blood. Guts. Demons flapping. Curses flying. Tongues wagging. Naysayers naying. Enemies screaming.
Look at our own example of “more than a conqueror.” He wore the crown of thorns and not a scrap of cloth as he dangled bloody, groaning “It is finished.” That’s our example. That’s our Forerunner. That’s our King.
Have you fallen and you’re not getting up? That’s not winning. I don’t care who’s fault it is. Lying there, staying there, with your face in the mud and blood is not victory.
Having face-planted, and then struggled to your feet as the angels mopped up the battle, even if you need three others to help you to your feet, that’s victory. That’s more than a conqueror.
Do not let the devil tell you you’ve lost if you’re still on your feet, if you’re still fighting, if you’re weary to the bone. If you’re upright, you’re the victor.