Losing a round or two doesn’t mean you’re a loser
Fight the good fight of the faith…1 Timothy 6:12
Just because God is in your corner does not mean you will never get knocked on your backside. It happens. It is no secret that when it comes to fighting against sin and the devil, none of us has a perfect record.
Even Godly people lose battles with the enemy from time to time.
For Christians, the question isn’t whether we will ever lose, but what we will do after a loss. Better yet, what will we do after consecutive losses, as in two or three in a row? Will we go to our corner and seek God’s help for what’s next, or will we just keep rehearsing how badly we just got it handed to us?
There is a great example of how to handle consecutive losses in Judges 20. Although the circumstances were both bizarre and tragic, the story illustrates well the fact that failure isn’t necessarily final. It was a physical clash that typifies how our spiritual struggles sometimes play out.
What happened was that an alliance from the tribes of Israel had joined together to avenge a brutal crime resulting in the death of a young woman. Before the avengers started, they prayed and asked God for guidance.
But when the fighting began, round one went to the adversary. The avengers lost miserably. And when round two of the fighting came, it was the same outcome. They sustained massive losses.
What? The story wasn’t supposed to go this way. Even after they had prayed first, they still lost? They had asked God for direction and still the other side nearly destroyed them? It didn’t make sense.
But what happened next was critically important. The warriors went to God and simply asked, “Should we fight…or should we stop?” (v.28)
I don’t know about you, but I find myself asking this question in my head all the time. Should I give up, or keep going? Are my efforts making any difference? Or should I just throw in the towel and go home?
Notice how the LORD responded. He said, “Go! Tomorrow I will hand them over to you.” (v. 28) And sure enough, on day three, things turned around and they were successful in the battle. They thumped the enemy. They had lost rounds one and two, but they won round three decisively and that battle was in the books.
For Christians, the question isn’t whether we will ever lose, but what we will do after a loss. Better yet, what will do after consecutive losses, as in two or three in a row?
Sometimes this is how it goes in the good fight of faith. There are many days when we feel like losers, humbled and embarrassed. But throwing in the towel is never an option. Not a good one anyway.
It may be that you are trying to confront something in your life that you know isn’t right. Maybe the enemy has set up a stronghold and it feels permanent. There’s a nagging problem that keeps coming up in a relationship, or some personal sin that seems to own you. You have tried and tried to change it, but you can’t seem to get on top. It gets the best of you every time.
If this sounds familiar, remember these two things:
- Losing is never a total loss if you learned something from it. Play it back. Study the film, so to speak. Not to punish yourself, but to understand what adjustments you need to make so that it can go differently next time. Because there will be a next time.
- In Christ, even when you lose battles, you’re still victorious. At the micro level, you may have been beaten, but at the macro level, all is still well. Your identity as “more than a conqueror” is anchored in your relationship with Jesus, not on your performance. Even when you don’t live up to your calling as a Christian, He remains faithfully in your corner. Your eternal destiny is safe in Him. It does not ride on your ratio of wins and losses, but on His victory secured by the Cross and declared by the Resurrection.
Let this encourage you today as you go toe-to-toe in the good fight of faith.
By the way, I love how you get back up after getting knocked down. You are an inspiration!
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.