Here it comes again. You remember as soon as your eyes open. You can feel the weight on your shoulders as you put your feet on the carpet. Each day is supposed to be a fresh start, His mercies new. Why doesn’t it feel like that? These days are adding up, adding one onto the other. When will it stop?!
Any of you feel like that this morning upon waking? Are you sick of hearing “You have just come through a trial, you are in a trial, or you are getting ready to go through a trial”? I started digging and this is what I found. I thought I would share:
“Hold fast to what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God” Revelation 3:11
How does one “hold fast”? In this world that I live in, how do I make wise choices for myself, my loved ones, those around me when the temptation and pull can be so great?
I live in a world where the enemy runs rampant and on the loose. He deceives me into thinking I am not worthy. Not loved. Not enough. Not having what it takes. Not seen. Not cared for. Nothing.
To be a pillar in the temple of God?! There are millions of people on this earth. Why would he choose ME to be a pillar?! How in the world could I even be chosen to be a pillar?!
He who overcomes.
“But how do I overcome?!”
“There are 2 types of crowns mentioned in the Bible: the stephanos and the diadem. The discussions of these two Greek words indicate that the stephanos is a victor’s crown, whereas the diadema is a royal crown.”
“The stephanos was the usual crown of exaltation for victors of games, achievements in war, and places of honor at feasts. Probably the widest New Testament use of the word stephanos is in conjunction with the Greek games as parallels to the Christian life. In each biblical use the diadem is a badge of royalty.”Source
“In instances where the royalty of Jesus is plainly in view, the crown used here is not diadema, but stephanos.”
What did that just say?! It said He wore The Victor’s Crown. A victor is someone who overcomes. A victor doesn’t just overcome, but they WIN. They win the whole thing.
“When they had twisted the crown of thorns (the stephanos crown), they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying “Hail King of the Jews” (Matt 27:29). Source
Here the roman soldiers clearly are mocking Jesus as royalty, yet what is He wearing? He is wearing the stephanos crown! The Victor’s Crown.
The Roman soldiers were mocking him up a storm in front of ALL who came to watch His humiliation and pain up on this Cross, yet here is Jesus, in their faces wearing the very symbol of victory: the stephanos crown!
He overcame. He won. For me. For you. For us. He has given us the victory to overcome our trials because of the work He did on the cross. He took our trials, our failures, our weaknesses, and our bad habits, upon Himself so we wouldn’t have to bear them.
TWO STEPS TO HOLD FAST AND OVERCOME:
Read this verse slowly
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath (crown or prize), but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”
I Corinthians 9:24-27
This is saying that a runner will run their race for a perishable prize, but we are running a great race for a prize, a crown, that will NEVER perish! Do not run without hope, but discipline your body and keep it under control so as others see your character and testimony, you won’t fall, bringing all others down with you.
- Discipline your body.
Satan is prowling and searching the Earth for those hearts he can infiltrate and quietly influence (Job 2:7). He especially loves those who have influence within their life circles. I can just hear Satan now: “These with influence may take a bit longer, maybe a little extra effort on my part, but those extra years will be worth it if it makes the fall even greater.” The ploy can be to get you to a place of discouragement, unthankfulness, unhappiness. This will easily spill over into your family, your friends, your very core. Once you allow yourself to get to this point, it’s easy to let down your guard. When that happens, justification sets in to allow the eyes to wander, to click that mouse, to push play on the video, to shout, to become worthless, ever sinking deeper and deeper to a pit that will never replenish, restore, or rejuvenate. Discipline your body because if you don’t, you will fall. Ever heard of Josh Duggar? He is a human who is like every other single person in this world. He obviously didn’t discipline his body or keep it under control and when found out, he not only disqualified himself from what he “preached”, but hurt all of those around him deeply. Be aware that it’s a ploy to take you down. Satan’s ploy is to only get back at God. He wants nothing more than to just use you as a pawn in his game. It takes an individual to recognize and stand firm at holding fast to what they have and standing firm to overcome. That, in itself, is tremendous victory.
- Reach for your victor’s crown.
Jesus wore the stephanos crown, took our shame and guilt upon Himself, and declared victory for each one of us. Reach for your victor’s crown. Oh no, not the pretty, frilly, sparkly, diamond filled crown that’s lying on a plush pillow (or in the toy box!). When those feet hit the ground as you wake up, walk over to your bathroom counter and grab that crown, the crown that has been sculpted out of thorns and blood and sharp edges. We weren’t promised it would be easy, look pretty, or come organized. Look square into that mirror and place your own stephanos crown directly in its proper place. Because you, my friend, are a victor. You win. It doesn’t matter what is thrown your way because He gave us the victory.
It may be challenging, it may be difficult, and it may even hurt like you’ve never thought possible. You may lose some of the “stuff” and friendships may disappear out the door, but He has promised us that we are not alone and two things are very clear. Discipline your Body and Overcome, for then will you be a pillar in the temple of the Most High God.
So get out there and “Accept the Challenge with Reckless Abandon”!
Watch these 2 videos for a tremendous blessing.