Victory Strategy: Obedience – Part 1
By Margaret D. Mitchell
1 John 5:4-5 NLT reveal to us that "…every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God."
In these two verses, God has given believers in Christ a certain truth and a sure strategy for victory over evil, which is to win battles by a choice of obedience to His faith inside of us.
The Greek Word for "victory" in 1 John 5:4 is niké and means "conquest." This is "a particular expression of victory, resulting from receiving (obeying) the faith Christ imparts (i.e., His in-worked persuasion)" (HELPS Word-studies).
Obeying this faith means to believe it as truth and set ourselves to act accordingly.
This is an overcoming faith that the TPT version of verse 4 describes as "the victorious power that triumphs over the world." Therefore, we believers of Jesus Messiah defeat false powers and conquer the world by believing in Jesus as the Son of God.
This kind of faith-believing obedience means to have confidence in and put trust in Jesus as Lord. It means we are persuaded to do God’s will by the faith He deposits in us by His Spirit.
Faith-believing obedience is a pre-requisite to receiving the nature and character of God in our souls, loving others and receiving harvest blessings. It is necessary to overcome issues personally or corporately.
1 John 5:1 AMPC tells us, "EVERYONE WHO believes (adheres to, trusts, and relies on the fact) that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah) is a born-again child of God; and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of Him (His offspring)."
1 John 5:2 TPT goes on to say, "This is how we can be sure that we love the children of God: by having a passionate love for God and by obedience to his commands."
This said, it’s possible to have faith without believing in it, because we don’t recognize or understand faith. God deposits faith in His children. So, it’s there. But if we don’t know this or know how to apply it in our everyday lives, we won’t be victorious in our lifetime on earth.
The Israelites are an example of this. We know most of the Israelites got stuck in the desert due to their unbelief, which is disobedience.
I believe their root issue was a lack of the knowledge of God’s grace and love for them due to their hard personal experiences in Egypt (worldliness).
The Israelites’ lives were indeed burdensome due to their enslavement to the world (Egypt), which was a consequence of their sin they had brought upon themselves. I believe, in their hardship, they grew weary and confused obedience to God with burden.
1 John 5:3 NLT says, " Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.”
The AMPC version of 1 John 5:3 says God’s commandments are not “irksome (burdensome, oppressive, or grievous).”
The study note for 1 John 5:3 in the TPT version says, "God's grace empowers us to love, which makes His commands a delight instead of a duty. The spontaneity of love is never crushed by the commands of a loving God."
So, like the Israelites, if obedience to God feels burdensome to us, then we need deliverance from lies and unbelief into God’s truth of lovingkindness and grace.
It can be done.
Joshua and Caleb received it.
Recovery can be as simple as repentance and receiving God’s forgiveness: forgiving those who caused us to feel hopeless; forgiving ourselves for behaving in hopelessness; asking God to enable us to see ourselves and others as He does—through eyes of truth, grace and equality; and helping us to awaken to His abounding love.
In the New Testament (Mark 9:24 NIV), the father of a long-time possessed boy experienced a reality shift for Jesus to do the impossible when he turned his mind toward truth and grace, saying to Jesus, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Like this father and son, God desires to answer our urgent battle cries for impossible needs. He desires to bring us from a horrible place to a happy place—spirit, soul and body—by His Spirit and for His glory.
It can only happen in a place of faith-believing in The Lord and His goodness, because we won’t submit to anything (or anyone) we don’t believe in favorably, unless we are enslaved to deception.
God has a new reality of breakthrough and increase for those who shift their hope and faith entirely on Him alone and obey His will.
We only receive that for which we believe. So, know Christ. Know your worth in Christ, Know His Word and expect His finest provision as you align with Him in every circumstance.
Since we prosper as our souls prosper, we live out what we believe.
When we get it right, by the grace of God, we’ll see greater and greater harvests.
To Him be the glory.
Join me next week for Part 2 of Victory Strategy: Obedience.
Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God's greatest power source - the love of Christ.