Victory and a New Year

I’ve been engaged in my annual time of reflecting, flipping though journal entries and scrolling through photos on my camera roll, contemplating a word God gave me in 2019.

Victory.

It’s a word that intimidated me when He first brought it to mind, but I didn’t choose the word. The word chose me.

I was certain that victory would mean overcoming my struggles and wrestling my life into some kind of perfect order. Gone are the visions I first imagined of a slimmer me and a more disciplined life. So is the idea that somehow my house would be both Joanna Gaines and Marie Kondo approved.

The word victory can be defined as the act of defeating an enemy, and here is what I know.

I have an opponent working against me and he’s acutely aware of my every weakness. My bruised knees and bloody hands are proof that the battle is real, and if I simply counted my losses in 2019, the devil would be the one declaring victory.

But God.

“A woman’s heart plans her way, but the Lord directs her steps.”

(Proverbs 16:9, paraphrased)

As I endeavored to understand what God meant to teach me this year, I came across a verse that sums up my fight.

“For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.”

Romans 7:15

My soul knows the struggle Paul speaks of. It’s one that’s been groaning over all the earth since Adam and Eve.

Even those who love God and live in perfect peace with him will fall.

But Jesus came to earth and set everything right.

The tug of war between good and evil is a universal experience. We all feel it, believers both weak and strong, young and old.

But there’s good news.

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

James 4:7

Nothing sends the enemy running faster than a heart that’s submitted to God, day-by-day, minute-by-minute.

It’s an act of the will.

It’s an every day choice.

It’s a victory waiting to happen.

God showed himself mighty in 2019. Yes there were troubles, but I’m not alone. Every battle belongs to Him.

“For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”

Deuteronomy 20:4

A new word has emerged in the last few months, and perhaps that was the victory God intended for me to lay hold of. It’s a word that is guiding me into 2020.

Faithful.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

Philippians 1:6

As I head into January, I’m acknowledging the losses and counting the gains. Yes, there were tears and there were failures. But on the bigger scale, the one that really matters, there were prayers answered, battles won, and a new sense of peace.

God is good.

He is victorious.

He is faithful.

What is your word for 2020, friend? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!