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Victorious Living

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My good friend Cally experienced a miracle recently! But before we get to that, let me share with you how I watched in amazement as she walked through a trial, covered by God’s grace and peace, that had plagued her now for the third time. She had a surgery last summer to remove two cancerous tumors, but recently Cally got a call from her doctor’s office to discuss her blood test results.

Her tumor markers were greatly elevated on her six month post-surgery blood test so the doctor wanted her to come in immediately for further testing, at which time they discovered a mass in the same area where the first two had been removed just six months earlier. Then they did a second test to confirm again that there was indeed a mass.

She had already been warned after the previous surgery that the type of cancer they found had a high recurrence rate. In fact, this was actually the 3rd time Cally was dealing with it recurring because nearly six years ago she suffered great pain from a cancerous tumor that had ruptured inside her right ovary. The tumor had actually grown so large inside her ovary that it ruptured the organ itself. This caused cancer cells to touch healthy cells to an unknown extent.

So here she was again for the third disappointing time and her doctor was recommending she have another surgery within a few weeks. But I noticed that each time she texted me or we talked on the phone, she was completely resting in Jesus’ finished work concerning this whole matter. From the very beginning we would talk about how we were both excited to see the way that God was going to be glorified in this situation. Let me share with you some of Cally’s text messages to get my point across.

  • March 11th – After Cally texted me regarding the discussion she had with her doctor’s office, she then said this. Please pray for me to receive grace and not waiver at all. I am headed into the prayer room myself.

Sounds like I have a smart friend.

  • March 20th – Cally also kept a sense of humor throughout. Here is what she texted me while preparing for a CT test. The drink they just gave me is called mocha dream. Ummm this is not a mocha, but I appreciate their optimism LOL.”

She cracks me up. Love her attitude!

  • April 11th – Cally texted: Hi Pal! Update – having a few more tests over the next several days to confirm but as of today my doctor feels strongly that the mass they found in my left ovary is a tumor and is recommending surgery. I am 75% through the obstacle course with my eye on Jesus and victory secured! Feeling total peace about the whole thing and appreciate your prayers this week as it all unfolds.

To which I replied…..Wow, your soul is definitely flooded with the grace of God girl. You remind me of what the Apostle Paul said after suffering great persecution. He said these things are only light momentary afflictions. (see 2 Corinthians 4:17)

I highly recommend you read all of chapter 4 in 2 Corinthians. It WILL encourage you!

Over the previous month since Cally had initially received the bad news, I can honestly say that anytime we talked over the phone, texted or emailed, she was at rest. She even said she was amazed at how peaceful she felt inside. Cally was consistently keeping her eyes on Jesus instead of the storm of her circumstances. She had received exactly what she prayed for in the beginning which was grace and the ability not to waiver. God hears us when we pray.

  • The very next day on April 12th I got this text from Cally: Sandra-CHECK THIS OUT! They are saying they can’t find anything in my left ovary today – took 20 extra views because they can’t believe it!! Awaiting blood work results and official report but are you thinking what I’m thinking??!! PTL!

To which I replied: How do you spell bawling. I am thinking what you’re thinking. Jesus already paid for that and you were healed the day you accepted His finished work.

  • April 23rd from Cally: Sandra – I just got my tumor marker blood test results – tumor markers are down to normal! (actually so low they are undetectable) My doctor is amazed. PRAISE THE LORD!

To which I replied: IT’S PARTY TIME GIRL! JESUS IS THE GUEST OF HONOR!

You see, Cally and I  have been on what I call a journey of grace. On this journey we are learning that we do not have the pressure on us to produce a favorable result in our lives in any area. We are learning that our part is to believe and then out of that believing we can rest and follow whatever instructions the Lord gives us, while at the same time remembering that the results are in God’s hands.

I know you would agree with me in saying that this has been great news for all of us because now we know when we face a problem, we can spend all of our time and energy just believing, looking to Jesus, worshipping God, speaking His Word and trusting in His grace to bring us through. This revelation is setting us in a place of great stability in our lives just like we have witnessed here with Cally’s story.

She knows the healing didn’t come because she did anything great or because she followed a certain amount of methods perfectly. Yes, she followed the Holy Spirit as He led her because she would tell me, I feel like He is leading me to do this or that, and Spirit-led living is so important, but Cally’s eyes were not on doing certain methods. They were not even on measuring how great her faith was. They were on Jesus and the revelation knowledge that Jesus already secured her victory a long time ago!

If Cally would have had to go through with another surgery, I guarantee you she would not have been one bit different than she was when she found out God had given her a miracle. I know this because I have watched her respond each time she has had to deal with this particular health issue.

I believe her stability, which resulted from right believing, is pleasing to God because when we believe, we are saying, I place all my trust in you in this area God! That is the faith that Abraham had. The Bible says, Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. (see Galatians 3:6) Our part is to believe and keep believing and never stop believing and talk like we believe and smile like we believe no matter what we see, feel, or hear.

This does not mean we can’t show disappointment or that we won’t ever get tired because life is just flat out hard sometimes. I am definitely for being genuine and not fake. But by God’s grace we can find our way through the mazes of life and come out on the other side, still believing….still hoping.

Why? Because of what Luke 1:37 says.

For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment. (NLT)

However, we are not necessarily suppose to tell everyone we see what we are believing for. God may have us share some things with a few people we are close to, but sometimes telling everyone can be a mistake because they may pour water on your fire with their unbelief. There are many things that I tell in order to help others, but there are also many things I don’t tell.

There is something specific that I am believing for another person right now but there wouldn’t be any reason for me to talk about it to a whole bunch of people. In fact, it may come across as me bragging if I did because there would be no purpose in it unless I was just trying to draw attention to myself.

My Mom told me something recently that really helped me. I asked her how we can know if what we are doing is with a pure motive or with an impure motive and she responded, Just ask yourself a question – Why am I doing this? 

I want to point out something else regarding Cally’s testimony. Since I know her very well, I also know that she makes it a priority to stay filled with the Word of God which, of course, is the good news and she also listens to ministers who are preaching the good news. Look what the Bible says will happen to us if we do this.

Romans 10:17 (NLT)

So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.

When you hide the Word of God in your heart it will come back up to help you whenever you need it. In fact, you will find it rolling right off your tongue just like Cally did in her time of need. Since the Word is powerful and effective, when it comes out of your mouth it carries power with it to alter your circumstances. (see Hebrews 4:12; Isaiah 55:11)

There is a rest we can experience when relying on the grace of God, but I lacked this rest during trying times for many years. I was up when my circumstances were up and down when they were down. Why? Because I always felt pressured to have enough faith or do just the right things in just the right order to secure my victory. I walked in fear that I would miss something I was suppose to do to in order to ‘get the victory’ instead of living as though I already had the victory through Christ Jesus. If I am really honest about it, my motive back then for ‘getting victory’ was all wrong anyway. I just wanted to brag to everyone about how much victory I was walking in instead of pointing people to Jesus and His amazing grace.

I’m thankful that Cally let me use her miraculous story because testimonies are so important for our edification. They build our faith by reminding us that if God did it for that person, He can also do it for us. I pray you are inspired by this.

What Cally experienced can be experienced by everyone of us in any area of our lives as we keep our eyes on Jesus instead of the wind and the waves in life! (see Matthew 14:28-30)

Let’s look at what the Bible has to say about living in victory.

Romans 8:31-39 (MSG)

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing Himself to the worst by sending His own Son, is there anything else He wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us – Who was raised to life for us! – is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood because they hate You.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing – nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable – absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

The Bible is not just words on a page. It is full of power. Once we stop looking at the Bible as a book of rules and start looking at it for what it really is, which is a book full of promises, we realize that getting a heart revelation on even just one verse has the power to transform us.

So let me ask you some questions. Do you truly believe God is on your side as it says above? Do you believe God loves you unconditionally, which means He loves you apart from what you do? Do you believe He loves you simply because you are His son or daughter? Do you believe there is a certain limit of things you can do wrong and still be loved by God, but if you cross that line, then He has a hard time loving you?

The passage above says, with God on our side like this, how can we lose? Do you think you can get off of God’s side and then back on God’s side or are you assured that God is not leaving your side no matter what?

I encourage you to really take the time to think about what your answers are because your answers to these questions are shaping your destiny.

My friend, God is not mad at you. God is not up in heaven just waiting to see if you are going to make a false move. If you have received Jesus as your Savior, your sins are forgiven – completely forgiven – past, present and future. (see Acts 10:43;  Ephesians 1:7;   John 1:29;  Hebrews 9:26;  Hebrews 10:101218)

Furthermore, you are not under condemnation when you sin because Romans 8:1 says there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. That is you. You are in Christ Jesus! I would get down on my knees and beg you to believe this if I was standing in front of you if I thought it would convince you, because believing these Biblical truths is the only way you will get to where you want to be, which I know is to a place of spiritual fruitfulness.

The road to being victorious over sin is in us having right believing. Let me explain.

Along with all humanity we are born into sin and as a result, we are sinners because of Adam. We are a sinner (noun) at the very core of our being which causes us to sin (verb). BUT, once we receive Jesus as our Savior, we are taken out of Adam and placed into Christ.

When Paul explains this in Romans, he is talking about how us being taken out of Adam and being placed in Christ affects us in our life right here on earth. He is not just speaking about this regarding heaven and that because of this, someday we will get to go to heaven but until then we have to just muddle through this life somehow. No, when we receive Jesus, this changes us at the very core of who we are. Now, we are no longer a sinner, but we are the righteousness of God in Christ, or as we taught our twin girls to say, we are good girls in Jesus!

This doesn’t mean we never sin, but being a sinner is no longer what is true of us at our core. Instead, being the righteousness of God in Christ is now true of us at our core. Now we are privileged to be able to live our lives through Christ! We didn’t do anything to earn this privilege. It was given to us 100% free!

I am not talking about being righteous as a verb because of the good works we do or because of our righteous deeds (because, as we all know, they are not always righteous). I am talking about being righteous as a noun, what is actually true of you and me, the person, all because of Jesus. Just as sin has been an outgrowth of what WAS true of us at the core, now, since we have received Jesus, righteousness is an outgrowth of what IS true of us at the core.

Understanding and believing this is a big, big deal because right believing leads to right living; therefore, if we believe we are still a sinner (noun), then we will keep sinning and if we believe we have been made righteous (noun), then good fruit will be produced in our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit.

So, when we are being tempted to sin, the very best thing we can believe and say right in the middle of that temptation is, I am the righteousness of God in Christ. It reminds us of who we really are and that sin is no longer our master and does not have dominion over us.

For you to experience the power of your new life in Christ you can’t just believe this once and then if you sin, say, “oh well, that didn’t work.” NO, if you consistently believe it and speak it when you are being tempted to sin, right in the middle of sinning and even after you have sinned, you WILL experience a change and see an explosion of spiritual fruit in your life.

It is not guilt and condemnation that will change you or me, it is receiving what Jesus died to give us that will transform us! Believe it, believe it, believe it is true and it will send you down a peaceful path of righteous deeds that you could never, not in a million years, find on your own.

Also, regarding repentance, because I know some of you are asking the question right now, what about repentance?

First, I want to make sure you understand that because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross, God made a New Covenant with us (His children) cut in the blood of Jesus. A New Covenant with better promises than they had in the Old Covenant. (see Hebrews 8:8-13)

The New Covenant is based completely on the removal of our sins by the blood of Jesus. In the Old Covenant their sins were covered by animal sacrifices for a period of time and when that time ran out they had to offer up another animal sacrifice, but in the New Covenant this is what has happened to us:

The blood of Jesus has removed the sins – past, present and future – of believers, completely and perfectly, once and for all (see Hebrews 10:8-12)

So, we repent now, not to merit God’s forgiveness or goodness towards us, but as a result of experiencing God’s forgiveness and goodness. His goodness actually leads us to repentance. (see Romans 2:4) We can repent now out of relationship instead of fear.

We are suppose to be living this thing out totally different than those who lived under the Old Covenant did but we have to know what we have in the New Covenant to do this.

We have to ask ourselves at some point, since Jesus paid for my sins and they are forgiven once and for all, then why am I worried sick that I might not have repented of everything? Are we forgiven or not? I included 7 Bible verses about complete forgiveness a few paragraphs up so you would have scriptural references for what I am talking about and I encourage you to look them up and get set free if you are the kind of person that is always worried that you haven’t repented enough.

Saints, either Jesus did it all or we’re up a creek. We cannot have our trust in our ability to repent of everything perfectly in order to secure our forgiveness. Our forgiveness was secured when Jesus hung on that cross, took our sin upon Himself and said, “It is finished.” Besides, when we repent there is no way possible that we could be perfectly repenting of everything because anything that comes short of the absolute perfection of Christ would be sin in our lives. So if we are depending on our ability to confess everything or repent of everything we have ever done wrong, we are definitely up a creek without paddle.

You would not believe the level of relief this gave Steve and I when we started really believing that we were completely forgiven. Whoa, we could breathe deeply. We could relax in God’s love for us. We suddenly started walking more upright with our spiritual shoulders back.

And the result of this kind of believing is………

I promise you that when you believe these truths you will fall so deeply in love with Jesus that you will be quicker to repent than you have ever been before, but without fear now. You will become so aware of God’s forgiveness, goodness and love for you that it will birth in you a deep desire to do exactly what He says. You will find yourself saying, oh yes Lord, I’m just gonna turn right around and go in the other direction here. Thank You for showing me that. Thank You for helping me walk in Your ways.

Aha – grace just changed your attitude of I have to or else into an attitude of I want to. That is the miracle of grace!

Now back to the passage in Romans 8. It says, If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing Himself to the worst by sending His own Son, is there anything else He wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? (from verses 31-32)

The answer is a resounding NO. There is nothing that God wouldn’t do for us except give us something that is going to throw us off the course of His destiny for us. So we should freely ask and we should aggressively believe and then we should wholeheartedly trust in God’s answers.

We have one daughter that tends to have a harder time trusting in our decisions for her. This is not because we are not trustworthy parents, but because she is afraid of life being out of her control. I have been working with her on this and I simply say one word – trust. She gets it when I say that. She remembers that she can trust us and relaxes when I remind her by using that one word – trust.

We may hear God saying that same word to us at times if we are getting unnerved.

The One who died for us  – Who was raised to life for us! – is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. (from verse 34)

Ok – seriously! Jesus died for you, was raised to life for you and is next to God right now sticking up for you! That sounds like a recipe for your victory to me. Once again we are going right back to our believing. Are we really taking the time to meditate on and believe that Jesus died for us, was raised to life for us and is next to God sticking up for us?

Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! (from verse 35)

If you really think about this logically, since Jesus is up in heaven sticking up for you, that settles the victory issue. The only thing it does not settle is whether you are willing to believe it or not. That is a choice that only you can make.

Once you believe victory is yours and realize you are fighting from a place of victory instead of for victory, you will start walking through life more stable and solid than ever before.

As far as I’m concerned, having the ability to live in supernatural rest in this crazy world we live in is the ultimate victory and you, my friend, already have it through the finished work of the cross! Believe it, receive it and take hold of it by the hand of faith!

2 Corinthians 2:14 (AMP)

But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ’s victory] and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere.

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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