The other night I was reading in The Spirit-Filled Life by Charles F. Stanley, when I came to a section that literally has changed my life.
“We don’t need to wait until we are in the thick of the battle to claim the promises of God. By that time it’s too late. Certainly, there is time to express faith in the Holy Spirit when you see things building. But even better, go ahead and exercise your faith before the struggle begins. And when it does, you will think, I’ve already dealt with this. […] If you begin every day with a declaration of victory over the specific giants in your life, you will experience victory. Begin tomorrow morning on your knees. Think through the temptations you will face, the pressures you will feel, and the rejections you are likely to encounter. Item by item, thank God for the victory.”
Right after I finished reading, I got in bed and read my devotional for the night which lead me to Psalm 119:147: “I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word.”
The next morning, I awoke bright (well, dark) and early at 5 a.m. and as I was going to get out of bed I remembered what I had read the night before. I said, “God, before my feet hit the floor, I’m giving my struggles to You, I’m crying out to You first thing in the morning like the psalmist.”
And that’s what I did. I told God the struggles that I knew I would face that day, the ones I face every day, and I claimed victory over them. I spoke boldly in faith knowing that when Jesus died on the cross, He broke sin’s hold on me, I am no longer a slave to my sin; in Christ, I have victory.
When I came to the situations, the giants, that I knew I would face, I did exactly as Charles said, I thought, I’ve already dealt with this. Then I thanked God for His grace and His strength.
Sure, I wasn’t perfect, I never am, never will be, and never will claim to be, but I faced my giants like David did, armed only with what I could do, and I let God do the rest. And let me tell you, I stood victorious then and today over way more battles than I ever did trying on my own. It’s not because of what I can do, or how I try to be better, it’s because I’ve surrendered to God and His Spirit that dwells in me.
I challenge you, before your feet hit the floor, give your battles to God, claim victory in Christ.
Photo Credit: Mark Solarski