But what a perilous life it is! Satan hates it; for it is an …advertisement
of the sufficiency of his Conqueror, JESUS CHRIST. There is no life
in the world so perilous as the Victorious Life. And there is no life so safe.
Some of the perils are so subtle, so unexpected…We need a supernaturally
sensitized consciousness of these perils if we would be safeguarded.
The secret of complete victory is faith: simply believing that JESUS
has done and is doing it all. Victory is maintained by the attitude of faith.
[If] there should be failure through unbelief…our Lord wants us to believe
Him for instantaneous cleansing and restoration. The way back is…
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins,
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” [1John 1:9]
The confession can be unspoken, in the instant turning of the heart to
GOD and claiming of cleansing.
The assurance of our continuance in victory is not our good record in
victory, but the grace of our Lord. We have all His infinite grace at work
for us and in us any moment and every moment….He alone is our assurance
of victory. Of ourselves we are just as weak and helpless, just as sinful…
as we were the first moment after being born again into the family of God.
We always have our sinful nature, which can sin and will sin any moment
that we fail to trust Christ for His victory in us. But as we trust Him, His
victory in us is absolute.
The very joy of the yielded life, when GOD’s will is wholly accepted, brings
with it another peril. Satan finds he cannot prevent one from doing the whole
will of GOD, he then tries to drive that one beyond the will of GOD. And it
is a perilous thing to go beyond the will of GOD, even in matters that of
themselves are right.
Satan comes as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), suggesting that the
believer do this or that thing, good in itself but not the will of GOD for that
one. The believer has found great blessing in listening to the voice of the
HOLY SPIRIT, and in instant obedience to His leadings; and when Satan
speaks, giving leadings in direction that of themselves are entirely right,
the unsuspecting believer follows those leadings, no blessing results, and
then follows anxiety, confusion, perhaps doubt and fog.
We may get the mistaken idea that when we have a choice between
something that is hard and something that is easy, the hard thing is
always GOD’s will. His will may be just the opposite. There is not
necessarily any virtue in difficulty, and there is not necessarily any
sin in ease. The only question is, What is GOD’s will for us in each
matter that comes before us?
The Victorious Life is a supernatural life: it is a living miracle, a
thrilling adventure, for it is GOD’s work and GOD’s working. Our
early experiences in the life of victory are likely to be so different
from anything we have known before, so out of the ordinary in
supernatural demonstration of GOD’s grace and power, that at
once we are plunged into a peril…a peril that we mistakenly
suppose we must continually be having thrilling, unexpected,
supernatural evidence of GOD’s power. If these supernatural
phenomena do not occur, we are tempted to thing that something
GOD wants us to trust, not in supernatural experiences, but in Himself.
It is for Him to decide when the unusual shall come into our life,
and when our life shall be commonplace and humdrum so far as
things of sight and sense are concerned. Of course we remember
that victory over sin is itself supernatural, and that GOD expects us
to live in continual victory over sin….always the “life that is CHRIST.”
The blessings that CHRIST gives us in the Victorious Life –in the
ninefold “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22,23), for example –
are so wonderful that we are in danger of thinking more about the
blessings than the Blesser.
Joy becomes such a wonderful experience –the supernatural joy
which nothing can defeat, which is independent of all circumstances…
that we may without realizing it, come to think more of this “joy of the
Lord” than we do of our Lord Himself.
The Christian who is wholly trusting the Lord for victory soon realizes
that many Christians about him have not seen the truth of victory, and
are not thus trusting CHRIST. And then comes the peril of pride.
Almost without realizing it the Christian who knows CHRIST as
victory can let slip some word criticizing a fellow Christian who is
not in the secret…”Holier than thou” is one of the perils of the
Victorious life. We must recognize this peril if we would be kept from it.
The Christian who is living in victory is in himself no whit better
than the carnal Christian who is plainly sinning. The self-nature
of the two is identical: hopelessly sinful. The only good thing about
the victorious Christian is CHRIST; and we deserve no credit for CHRIST;
the glory and honor and victory are all His. True victory, therefore, must
keep us humble; and it will.
The truly victorious Christian speaks of others always in humility, in
keen consciousness of his own natural sinfulness and helplessness,
and in that perfect love that is kind, vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
doth not behave itself unseemly, taketh not account of evil, never faileth.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
Then there is the peril of being unteachable. The heart is closed to…
criticism, and the man has fallen into the peril of being unteachable.
And all the time the criticism that has come to him from perhaps an
unenlightened Christian is sound and true, and GOD sent it to him for
his own guidance and blessing.
May GOD deliver us, in victory, from this subtle danger of unwillingness
to learn from those who may indeed not be as far along in the Christian
life as we are. Why, a completely victorious Christian can learn from
the criticisms of unsaved, unregenerate people. The Victorious Life is
no guarantee of omniscience, of infallibility in knowledge. Humility of
mind, eagerness to know any and every criticism that anyone may have
concerning us, and then grateful acceptance of whatever truth there may
be in that criticism is our safeguarding against this peril of unconscious
unwillingness to learn.
Victory is by faith; but faith must be fed; and faith cannot be fed apart
from daily nourishment from the Word of God, and daily time alone
with GOD in prayer. The new experience of freedom from the power
of sin through the sufficiency of CHRIST should result in more time in
His Word, more time with Him in prayer, not less. We cannot know
continuance in victory if we presume on GOD’s grace and neglect
our opportunities of fellowship with Him.
If we should slip in any slightest way, if we should find that sin
has entered through unbelief in our Lord’s sufficiency, let us
instantly stop anything we are doing and take the time necessary
to confess to Him, claim His forgiveness and entire cleansing, and
trust Him at once for His complete restoration and victory.
The sufficiency of our Lord’s grace, while it was true in the past
and will be true in the future, is described by the HOLY SPIRIT in
the infallible Word of GOD as being in the present, “My grace is
sufficient for thee” (2 Cor.12:9).
Amid all these things we “are more than conquerors through Him
that loved us,” and “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth
us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his
knowledge by us in every place” (Romans 8:37; 2 Cor. 2:14).