TRIUMPH WITHOUT VICTORY?
MAY 24, 2015
The Glory Road Blog, A Kingdom Highway
“For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” (I John 5:4, NIV)
The difference between triumph and victory may seem like splitting hairs, but the Spirit has been showing me something shimmering off in the distance like a mirage that draws me deeper into what He has in mind. The dictionary definition of the two words is as follows:
Triumph: 1) To be victorious or successful; win. 2) To rejoice over a success or victory; exult 3) To receive honors upon return from a victory. Used especially of generals in ancient Rome.
Victory: 1) A defeat of any enemy or opponent. 2) A success in a struggle against difficulties or an obstacle: a victory over his greatest fear. 3) a. The state or fact of having defeated an opponent or of having achieved success. b. Exultation or celebration or accomplishing something.
The battle between good and evil has been raging since Adam ate the poisoned fruit of the forbidden tree. The Old Testament is a dynamic record of how human beings sometimes won, but mostly lost such battles.
There’s a genre of movies out there about
Then there’s the TV Crime Drama Detective, whose super powers consist of science and ingenuity rather than some amalgamation of nuclear infusion into the DNA of the hero. These hero crime fighters pursue the wrongdoers from a myriad of motivations, but their success depends upon strengths they pull up out of themselves: intuition honed to a cutting edge, superior intelligence, and the willingness to never give up until they put the cuffs on their man.
Where am I going with this? Only that super human effort even when fueled by some science fiction type strength, cunning, or genius may triumph and win the battle, but clearly, they do not gain the victory because bad people just keep showing up with even more evil plots and savage hearts. Yes, I know that
I receive a Daily Reflection from the Seminary Students and graduates of Notre Dame University. In one this week, the writer was pondering how Jesus could be so enthusiastic about the glory to be revealed in Him as He was preparing the Disciples for His miserable death on the cross and departure from this world. As He sat at table with them celebrating Passover, he prayed,
The writer of this reflection
Jesus knew that the world may speak of peace, may fight wars in a futile attempt to attain peace, but there is no peace to be found there. One of the most incongruous things in the world is the prevailing opinion that you have to wage war to achieve peace, and yet though you may triumph in long remembered battles, yet you have not won the victory. We probably remember that WWI was to be,
Peace means something different to me now than it did when I was young. Then, I perceived peace as the absence of war or battles or hostilities between people or countries. Now, I realize that even though these battles still play out, sadly even in families, nevertheless
Jesus was and is the only One who can still the storm, calm the troubled heart, and bring love where hate and hostility rule the hearts of men and women. The Middle East is a seething mass of such violent emotional conflict that we despair of ever finding an end to it. I don’t believe we are capable of ending the conflict there, brother against brother, religious sect against religious sect. Only Christ can do that, and it is my fervent prayer that it may happen soon.
Preparing His beloved disciples for his impending death and departure, He prayed for them, and for us as well:
How amazing it is that we carry within us the same quality and intensity of love that the Father has for Christ, and in fact, we carry the Spirit of Christ Himself within us. When the Spirit brings that to my mind, He stills the strife and storms of anxiety and other neurotic stuff which sometimes rob me of my sleep at 3:00 a.m. Each time a little battle is won, I hope the war is over within me, but so far, that hasn’t proved to be true. Yet, each time, He digs a little deeper, He gives me more insight into myself and what He is bringing to pass in me. I have finally come to the place where I can say about most things that trouble me,
Father, you have given us the ultimate Victory over all things great and small in Christ Jesus our Lord, and for that we are eternally grateful. Empower us to make known Your unconditional love and unending grace to those who do not know You, and when we have finished the race you set before us to run, it will be our honor