05/13/16 Victory Followed by Defeat

READING: 2 Chronicles 13-17

The formula for living in spiritual victory is not that complicated. Many writers have written books to address the topic. Others of us have written blogs. Some are doing podcasts. Pastors put our teachings online, wanting brothers and sisters in Christ to experience victory. 

Sometimes, we just overdo it, though. A quick perusal of today’s readings is a reminder of foundational truths for victory:

“The people of Judah were victorious because they relied on the Lord, the God of their ancestors.” (2 Chron 13:18b)

“Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army.” (2 Chron 14:11)

“They sought God eagerly, and he was found by them.” (2 Chron 15:15)

“His [Jehoshaphat’s] heart was devoted to the ways of the Lord.” (2 Chron 17:6)

It really is simple: we need to rely on the Lord, seeking Him and trusting Him, devoting our heart fully to Him.  

Too often, though, we’re more like King Asa, who trusted God for much of his life but tended to turn to others for help in his latter years. He who previously sought the Lord first for help later turned instead to the Arameans, and he who favorably heard the prophet Azariah later turned on the seer Hanani. The text even says that when Asa suffered a severe foot disease, “even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians” (2 Chron 16:12). 

Now that I think about it after reading about Asa’s life, perhaps the formula for living in defeat is equally simple: trust in self and lean on someone other than God. Apparently, it’s even easy to live in victory one day and then live in defeat the next. Reliance on God must be continually ongoing, ever growing deeper while being ever aware of our tendency to turn that reliance to self — or we will lose the battle and wonder what happened. 


  • Pause to evaluate your spiritual journey. Have there been times when you were more dependent on God? Are you really relying on Him today?  
  • Seek God eagerly through prayer today. Use each spare moment to have a conversation with Him.  

PRAYER: God, I’m reminded again today that You are our warrior, but I too often rely on myself and others. Help me to seek you eagerly today.” 

TOMORROW¹S READING:  2 Chronicles 18-20