t a pastors and elders retreat in the spring of 2013, we were asked to divide into small groups to discuss our needs and the needs of our congregations, so we could collectively pray for them. Half the people in my group asked us to pray for their own personal victory. I did not know these men, but pastors and elders are typically seasoned Christians. From their request, I could tell these men were struggling. They either did not know how to achieve victory, or did not recognize it. However, it struck me as odd because as we will discover, Jesus expects us to be victorious, and pastors and elders should be teaching others to be victorious.
This experience was the catalyst for writing this book. If Jesus expects us to be victorious—and He does—then maybe we either don’t know how to achieve victory, or we don’t recognize victory when it occurs. One possibility for why we don’t recognize victory is that the way we usually define victory makes it unattainable. Another possibility is that the methods taught to gain or achieve victory naturally lead to defeat.
However, when we understand God’s natural laws and apply them correctly, victory is achievable. Not only is it achievable, but it occurs
naturally when we cooperate with the laws of nature instead of trying to achieve victory in unnatural ways. Imagine that we have a business that specializes in digging ponds near rivers; however, our design basis includes digging the ponds on a high point near the river and pushing water uphill to fill them. We might succeed in filling a few ponds, but only with great difficulty and much hard work. We could even decide filling ponds is impossible. Those understanding that water runs downhill would either try to help us by explaining how water interacts with the law of gravity, or they would laugh at our ignorance. If we learned to dig ponds with channels where water ran downhill from the river into our ponds, filling them would become easy, and our success rate would be high. Where we once believed filling ponds was impossible, we would now believe filling ponds is easy and routine.
I believe most of Christendom’s search for victory is contrary to the laws of nature. I believe Satan tricks us into believing the best way to fill the pond is to push water uphill. While we stay convinced of this lie, successes will be minimal and victory will be unachievable. Additionally, I believe the demons laugh at us as we try to fill our spiritual pond by pushing water up the channel, for they tricked us into believing that digging ponds on high-points and pushing water into them was the best plan.
The goal of this book is to show that victory is achievable and occurs naturally when we cooperate with the natural laws governing the universe. Ultimately the book provides guidance and instruction for using natural laws to obtain victory by cooperating with the Holy Spirit. A little about me and my perspective: I am a chemical engineer. I am involved in producing ingredients for personal care products. These products include all manner of lotions, creams, and gels. Specific examples include dishwasher detergent, shampoo, and baby lotion. You have these products in your home and are up close and personal with them regularly. My work includes designing and installing equipment
to make these products. I am also involved in process improvements and troubleshooting. In the chemical industry, you have three choices: (1) You make product, (2) You make junk, or (3) You make junk and destroy equipment. The results are not subjective.
Engineering is about results. We design and build many things you enjoy; however, the public and our employers expect success, and failures aren’t acceptable. You expect the bridges we design and build to provide long and useful service. You expect the aircraft we design and build to fly and be reliable. You expect the fuel we produce for your automobile to perform properly. Our world demands success, and it’s not subjective. Bridges stand strong or they collapse. Airplanes either fly or they don’t. Fuel either powers engines properly or it doesn’t. Sometimes bad fuel even damages engines. Our failures, if spectacular, end careers. The results are not subjective, and spinning them doesn’t work.
When we fail to get the needed result, either the result is unachievable, or we need a new approach. Take manned flight, for example. When the Wright brothers and their peers discovered that airfoils (wings) provide lift while moving through the air, manned flight became a reality. People had been trying to fly for centuries. When the approach changed, flight became possible and is now common. Today, people fly using wings configured in many ways—from wing suits to jet aircraft. How we approach something controls whether we succeed or fail.
Jesus told us about the road to eternal life. “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matt. 7:14 NIV). This text does not say the road is difficult. Nor does it say the road is hidden. What it is saying is that few will recognize the road leading to eternal life. I believe Satan puts misleading road signs around it, pointing us in other directions that keep us enslaved in our sins and leave us defeated.
The good news is that Jesus directed us to be victorious. He told us it is easy to be victorious. Jesus told us the approach to victory is usually
overlooked—not hidden or difficult—and Jesus prayed for us to be victorious. He also told us that God the Father, God the Son—that is, Jesus Himself, and the Holy Spirit will help us be victorious whenever we allow them. There is nothing they want more than for each of us to be victorious.
Before we begin, I want to make two things clear. First, I want to be clear that without Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, victory is impossible. Second, this book’s purpose is to help maximize our cooperation with the Holy Spirit in achieving victory or gaining salvation. Our escape from Satan’s slavery absolutely requires the help of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is always ready, willing, and able; however, without our cooperation His help is of little value. It’s like having the key to the door of our cell lying in the middle of the floor. If we refuse to use the key and escape, it is useless to us. Similarly, without our cooperation the Holy Spirit is of little value to us, and we remain defeated. The intent of this book is to maximize our cooperation with the Holy Spirit, maximizing the results of His efforts. Cooperating fully with the Holy Spirit guarantees our escape from Satan’s slavery, and this is victory. In chapter 9 we will discuss the Holy Spirit’s role in our escape.