It’s the final day of the first month of this year. You made it. And maybe you not only made it through this month, but you actually made progress. Oh girl, good for you!
I had a zoom call last night with some women who shared their breakthroughs in the month of January. Big battles fought and victories won. Major obstacles overcome. Hard work creating success and new found confidence. Oh there is simply nothing more beautiful on a woman than the sense of knowing she just did what she said she was going to do. I saw it on their faces in that zoom. A new spark. A revived purpose. A powerful force.
And maybe that’s you. You showed up this month and you did what you said you were going to do. Now maybe it wasn’t perfect, but you’ve made progress. You’re ending January better than you began. Sis, that’s a victory.
Now, first, I want you to recognize anytime you end a month better than you began, you’ve been beating the enemy. His plan is to always hold you back and make you sink a little deeper into that rut. His plan is always to make you feel a little worse, and a little more stuck in little ways of living. He’s done that to you before, right? You know that feeling. So honey, if you’re not more stuck than you began, you’ve been winning. If you’ve even made a little progress, you held him back.
But, you need to know, there’s so much more in you. God has put more in you than just the strength to hold the enemy back. He put the strength in you to defeat him. Remember Romans 8:37 says “overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”
OVERWHELMING VICTORY is God’s plan for you. This is what he has equipped you for. This is what he set you up for. And until you’re walking in overwhelming victory where the enemy’s attacks are completely demolished, you’re still on your victory journey. On this journey, don’t stop and settle for just holding your ground. Don’t assume small wins are all you have in you. No, you have been set apart for overwhelming victory.
You know what overwhelming victory looks like in your life? It looks like you not only overcoming this attack from the enemy, but it looks like you then turning that attack on him and using your victory to help others in the same battle. It looks like you overcoming so you can show others it’s possible. It looks like you being a totally different person living a radically different life because you overwhelming beat this!
Overwhelming victory is God’s plan for you in this. However, that victory requires something of you. It requires you to keep showing up. It requires you to not back down when the next attack comes. It requires you to keep fighting for the purpose for which you were created, and settle for absolutely nothing less along the way.
For many, we started this new year of life with a resolve to change some things. And I’m seeing proof of a whole lot of people still showing up for those commitments. I’m seeing evidence of victories won and progress made. But, now what?
What do you do after you’ve made progress? What do you do after month 1 where you managed to overcome some bad habits, but you know the threat of their return is always on your heels? What do you do when this month is over and a whole new one begins? A new month with circumstances you have not yet navigated. Problems you’re not prepared for. Temptations stirred up in the pits of hell to derail you.
Yeah, you need to know it’s coming! Just because you won a little in January doesn’t mean the devil is waving the white flag and forfeiting the fight for 2023. It means he’s scheming the next attack because he knows your continued growth, your continued change, your continued forward momentum will be an even bigger threat, so he’s gotta shut that down! Get that girl back in bondage. Get her back in the darkness of depression. Get her back in the overwhelm of her excuses. Get her back in that regret and shame.
Yes, Sis, Satan wants you back! He wants you back where you were stuck. Back where you didn’t know the power you have within you to fight his temptations. Back where you were playing little in your own life. Back where you never felt enough or worthy.
After this month, are you going to let him take you back?
This morning I began studying the battle stories of Elijah. 1 Kings 18, God had rained down his power for Elijah through fire and given him a great and impossible victory. After this victory, verse 42, “Elijah bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees.” He knelt in prayer.
If you’ve had any amount of victory here this month, kneel in prayer. Give honor and praise to the one who is worthy. The one who has strengthened you. The one who has given you every single opportunity you’ve ever had. The one who made a way when there was no way. You are here with your little spark again, with your confidence growing, with your progress, now remember you didn’t do this alone! God enabled you to overcome. He empowered you to make those changes. He guided you in your choices. Bend down to the ground, put your face between your knees, and thank him!
Seriously, that needs to happen TODAY!
This is what we do at the end of a month when we’re realizing even the tiniest victories in our battles. Thank you God, I know I couldn’t have done this without you.
My mentor told me there’s a lesson in everything. A lesson in what to do, and a lesson in what not to do. Both are valuable.
Elijah showed us what to do after a victory. But what comes next is a lesson in what not to do. Let’s learn the lesson so we don’t dare repeat the mistake. I believe you will quickly see this is a mistake we’ve made in the past that has stopped our progress.
After God’s power had literally rained down in fire giving Elijah victory over Baal and in his prophets in 1 Kings chapter 18, we read a very different story in the very next chapter. Chapter 19 tells us of an evil woman named Jezebel who threatened Elijah. And this time, instead of calling on God for victory, verse 3 says, “Elijah was afraid and ran for his life.”
He ran. Forgetting the power that came through fire he had just seen giving him an overwhelming victory, he ran with the next threat.
Why do we do that?
Why would we forget all God has brought us through in the past? Look back. See what he has gotten you through before and know he will get you through anything that is next. If God strengthened us in January, he can strengthen us in February! If we overcame negative circumstances this month, why would we worry about what might derail us next month? Why would we run? Why would we assume we can’t overcome this threat too?
Elijah ran and hid in a cave. But God didn’t want him hiding from his problems, just like he doesn’t want you hiding from yours.
Verse 9, God says, ““What are you doing here, Elijah?”
Essentially he’s saying, boy, haven’t I given you victory before? What are you doing here hiding from this threat? Don’t you know who I am? Don’t you know what I can do for you and through you?
Verse 15, God says ““Go back the way you came.” God called Elijah out of that cave and told him to go back. Go back to the problem you ran from. Go back and face this. Facing it is the only way you will receive your victory. And remember, God doesn’t have just any victory planned for you, he has overwhelming victory aligned for you!
Will February be easy? Probably not. Will you always feel like doing the next right thing? Nope. Will the enemy come at you and make you want to run and hide? Yes. But God is continually calling you out. Out of the pit where you got stuck last time. Out of the cave where you want to hide from it all. Out of the darkness where you just sit it out and let life pass. Out of the excuses that have been sucking the joy right out of you. Can’t you see what the enemy has been doing here? GET OUT OF THIS! You can beat this!
God has an overwhelming victory planned for you here and you will need to show up for it! Claim what is yours by using what has been given to you!
You can keep moving forward in victory. You can overcome every obstacle in your way. You can continue to get better, change, grow and improve in February. Make the commitment now that no matter what threats the enemy may bring, you won’t run and hide. You will remember what God did for you this month making these little victories possible, you will thank him for it, and you will proceed with confidence!
You can beat this! God is already showing you how.
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