Every year, the two top football teams from the country face off in the Super Bowl—a final battle for total and complete victory. The much-anticipated final moment of the game crowns the new winner and champion for that year, sparking passionate conversation around the nation. As the cameras pan from the cheering crowd to the celebrating members of the winning team, one thing is often unnoticed by the millions of viewers—the playbook in the hands of the winning coach.
It may seem that victories are won or lost due solely to a star player’s special skills or a lack of talent on the other team. But, the truth is, a triumph of this magnitude is the result of long hours of training and practice, and a set of special strategies outlined in the team playbook.
Maybe you enjoy watching these teams put their strategies to work for a win, but when you turn off the television, there is an even greater battle for victory happening in your own life. It’s fun to watch a team win, but what about your own need for victory in your health, finances and family? The good news is, you don’t have to wait all year long for one great and final triumph—you can take victory NOW. Today. And it is all by the grace of God.
You know that special playbook with the secret strategies of the winning team? You have it. God gave it to you for that very reason. The Word of God is your victory playbook. Now, it’s time to put its strategies to work in your life and take the win you’ve been promised. The following four steps will put you in position to receive your victory.
Refuse to Give Up
“For 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.” –1 John 5: 4-5
In football, or any sporting event, those who take the prize are those who refuse to give up. There have been Olympians who competed with broken bones, football players who played with painful injuries, and high school athletes who pushed past criticism and ridicule. The bottom line is, you can’t take the prize if you aren’t even in the race.
That’s why Paul said in First Corinthians 9:24-25, “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So, run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.”
Notice that Paul says, “everyone runs,” so just being in the race is not enough. Everyone runs a race—whether they want to or not, so we must be running our race to win.
At the 2017 Southwest Believers’ Convention, Jerry Savelle talked about a boxer who was the first to ever give up and quit fighting in the ring. From that day on, no matter what he did, he was always remembered as the one boxer who gave up. He forfeited his chance for victory because he refused to stay in the ring!
God intends for you to be victorious in life! When you understand your covenant rights as a child of God, it doesn’t matter what you are going through; the victory is available in Christ Jesus. “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
Overwhelming victory. That’s worth staying in the game for, isn’t it? Say, “I will not be defeated in life, and I will not quit!”
Stand Your Ground
“Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.” –Romans 5:2
If you’ve ever watched a football game, one thing you’ll never see is a lineman running away from another player. No. His entire job is to face the giants rushing toward him from the opposing team. He is there for one thing—to stand his ground. When he does, the fans jump and cheer in the stands. Why? Because, innately, they know that’s what we were created to do in life. God has given us the strategies to stand against the devil in His playbook—the Bible—but we have to follow the plays as they appear in the book. We can’t alter them in any way. They are the tried-and-true path to victory.
The devil wants you to turn tail and run the other way every time adversity shows itself in your life. He knows if he can get you into fear, he has you. Walking into fear and outside of faith is like trying to take on a bully when your much bigger brother is right there to protect you. It doesn’t make sense! Jesus is our big Brother—He is much bigger, and He is calling you to stand behind Him and let Him take care of you. But, you must keep out of fear!
How do you stand your ground? Through the grace and goodness of God. Look at Romans 5:2 again: “Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.”
God’s grace has provided everything we need through Christ Jesus, and the authority He has granted us as His children—that is the confidence we can have in standing our ground.
Armed with the grace and goodness of God, take your stand, and don’t fall back into the devil’s trap of believing you are in bondage to guilt, shame or adversity (Galatians 5:1). You’ve been set free! Now, fully expect the glory of God to manifest in your situation.
Focus on the Word of God
“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” –Joshua 1:8
Ask any successful athlete the key to success, and one answer will certainly be “focus.” To focus is to concentrate and fix your eyes intently upon something without looking to the left or to the right (Proverbs 4:27).
Have you ever noticed that if you walk on a very narrow surface without focusing on a single point, you start to fall over? Sometimes, we face challenging situations in our health, finances or family relationships. It can feel like we’re walking on uneven and narrow ground. We might even feel like our footing isn’t as solid as we’d like it to be, and we start to lose our balance. That’s when we need to focus and concentrate our attention in one direction.
The only focal point that will bring us back into balance is the Word of God. If we focus our ears and eyes on what the world has to say, we won’t find anything solid to stand on, and we’ll remain unsteady. But, when we put our complete focus on the TRUTH of the Word of God, it is solid ground that cannot be moved.
That’s what Joshua 1: 8 is saying. God’s Word of grace is able to give and supply everything you need, and meditation on His Word will tell you how to receive it. Every problem you face, every struggle, every hardship—there is an answer. But you must spend time getting to know His Word if you want to have the answers readily available.
So, give your attention to God’s Word each and every day, allow His Words to penetrate your heart, and never lose sight of them (Proverbs 4:20). Then, you’ll never lose your balance, no matter what trials you face.
Speak Victory Only
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” –Ephesians 4:29, NKJV
Your words determine your destiny. Sound intense? It is! And it’s true. But, too often, we are careless with our words, thinking they really don’t make a difference.
Maybe you already know how important your words are in your life, but you struggle to keep from speaking negatively about frustrating circumstances. Today is the day to start choosing your words as if your life depends on it—because it does! What you say today is what you’ll have tomorrow.
If you are in a tough situation with your finances, and you’ve been speaking God’s Word over the problem, when an unexpected bill arrives or another seeming setback crops up, resist the temptation to speak anything contrary. Refuse to give place to the devil or entertain his thoughts. When you resist him, he will flee from you (James 4:7).
Answer every doubt immediately with the Word of God. That’s how you “[cast] down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5, NKJV).
If you take these four strategies from your victory playbook and make them your new game plan, you’ll be on the road to victory in every area of your life! Don’t quit, stand your ground, focus on the Word and speak victory only, and you will see your life turn in a new direction—toward the winning goal!
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