For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. 1 John 5:4
Did you know that this word "victory" is used only six times in the New Testament? The Greek word for victory is "nike" and it means "a conquest" or "means of success." For many of us, the word Nike refers to the mega-sporting enterprise that sells shoes and clothing. Victory has been skewed by society standards to now mean something of extraordinary achievements. But Jesus would come and tell us to just have faith, for through faith we will be victorious.
How many of us as Christians today have victory in our lives? How awesome to experience the thrill of victory! But far too often we face the agony of defeat. Jesus did not come to earth, give His life, and leave us His Holy Spirit, just so we could enter heaven. Yes, He came to give us eternal life if we believe in Him, but He wants us to experience heaven on earth—today. Heaven on earth in this day and age? Is such a thought really possible?
Today's verse tells us that "whatever is born of God overcomes the world." If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, then you have been born of God and are His child. To even accept Jesus indicates a position of faith on your part, for "by grace you are saved through faith" (Ephesians 2:8). But real victory does not stop here, it begins here. Faith must be grown, matured and developed by the tests and trials of life. One reason prayer is so important is that our faith is increased every time we see God answer our prayers. And we must plant His word on our hearts and in our minds, for "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). Christians who have weak prayer lives and no time in God's Word will face the agony of defeat more than the thrill of victory. But Christians who pray, who read the Bible, and who seek the Lord with all their heart will have victory simply because of their faith. Just remember, however, that victory in Jesus is not always defined the same as victory in the world.
Does your life reflect more victories or more defeats? Where do you spend your time and what are you seeking after? Start today by asking the Lord to increase your faith. Start praying for God's help. Confess and repent from any worldly desires that steal your time and attention away from the Lord. Begin reading His Word and praying for more understanding of how to apply it in your life. At some point, we must decide which way we want to live; and then start acting on the faith given to us through Jesus. Then, and only then, will we have victory.