Your Victory Effects More than Just You | Ashley Varner
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Your Victory Effects More than Just You

All this month, we’re talking about growing in Christ. But we don’t just grow in our relationships with Him for our own benefit. When you walk in victory, you’ll impact others around you.

Info from the Show

  • Find out the way God can be glorified through your struggle
  • How to make sure your pain isn’t for nothing

Links and Resources

 

Transcript

Welcome back to the Graceful Life Podcast, I am your host, Ashley Varner, and you are listening to episode seven, and I am excited to talk to you about this topic, about your victory affects more than just you. Because this is something that is so dear to my heart, an experience that I had that really just changed the focus of my spiritual walk. So I’m excited to just jump right in.

But before we do that, I want to recap a little bit about what we’ve been talking about in March, which is we’ve been discussing, all of March, how to grow in Christ. A couple of weeks ago, we talked about how to stay filled. It is possible to live to overflowing and give to other people from the overflow. So if you haven’t checked out that episode, make sure to check it out.

And then last week, we talked about how you must have only one priority, and how it’s possible to do that. In fact, it creates a more peaceful life for you, and a more balanced life for you. So make sure that you check that out. And at the end of that episode, I actually give out a free gift. So make sure that you check it out.

So we can’t be filled with the Lord, we can’t stay filled and grow in him, if we’re already full of ourselves. And so one of the best ways to stop feeling that way, and really start thinking just about ourselves all the time, is to realize that our victory affects more than just us. When we live in defeat, and we’re not reaching towards Christ, we’re not growing in him, and we’re not moving forward, we’re not just hurting ourselves, we’re hurting the people around us.

I know that this is a really kind of downer way to start this episode, but I want to tell you that you don’t have to live life that way. Victory is for you, and it’s also for the people who are gonna come after you. So I wanted to share a little bit of my experience in this, and when the Lord really spoke to my heart. I have known the Lord basically my entire life. I was saved at the age of three, and have been serving the Lord ever since. That doesn’t mean that I’m completely perfect or that I’ve never sinned, by any means, but I have been faithful to him and serving him my entire life.

I know for a lot of you, whenever you grow up in kind of that background, it can feel like you kind of hit a brick wall sometimes, you feel kind of stagnant, you feel like it’s just kind of the runaround, and each day with the Lord is like the next. And I was kind of in that place a few years ago. I was serving him, I loved him, I was worshiping him, and really raising my family in the ways of the Lord, but there was something in my heart that just felt like I was just stagnant, like I was just hitting a brick wall.

So I went to a service, and the entire time, the Lord was just speaking to my heart that he had a word for me. And I went up to the front, assuming that the guy who was preaching, who is actually a very dynamic speaker, I thought you know what, he’s gonna pray for me, and he’s gonna speak something over my life, and it’s just gonna completely change the way that I see the Lord, and I really had some high hopes.

So I felt in my heart that I was gonna hear from the Lord that night, that I was gonna hear from him. I mean I talk to the Lord every day, and I’m reading in his word, but there was something about, I knew, I just knew that there was something that God wanted to share with me and put in my heart that day. And so I went up to the front and speaker never came over and prayed for me. And the band that was playing during the worship time had already gone, people were out in the foyer talking, and there I was at this altar, thinking, “Okay God, you’re supposed to be talking to me, and I’m not hearing anything.”

And in a small voice, I just heard him say, “Your victory affects more than just you.” He told me to walk in victory.

So there were a couple areas in my life that I wasn’t walking in victory, I wasn’t seeking him 100%. And it wasn’t that I was just living in sin, or had this huge hidden addiction or anything, it wasn’t like that. But it was some small things in my life, things like not dealing with feelings of inadequacy, or struggles with food, whatever it was.

And the Lord said to me, “You’ve been walking in defeat for 20 years.” And then he said, “I want you to walk in victory, and see what I can do in two years.” And he said, “I want you to walk in victory, because your victory affects more than just you.” I can remember it like it was yesterday, I know right where I was, right where I was kneeling whenever he told me those words.

And I realized that my victory in those areas was more than just for me, it was more than just for my family. I knew that one day I would be sharing my struggles and my victories with more people. And now that I look back and I see like where my blog has gone, I see now that we’re starting this podcast, and seeing the community that the Lord has built, that I’m able to minister to. I see that that victory, those two years were influential in my life.

And that night actually became a turning point in my relationship with the Lord, where I started realizing, you know instead of just living for me, and even just spending time with the Lord for me, like oh what can I hear from the Lord, it was, “Lord, show me, teach me, change me, so that I can reach other people.”

So it was a huge difference in my spiritual walk for sure. It was definitely a turning point. It’s a time that 10 years, 20 years from now, when I look back and say that’s where it started, that’s where he met with me. And a little while later, after this experience that I had, I was on Pinterest and I saw a quote that has stuck with me ever since then. And the quote said, “You have been assigned this mountain to show others it can be moved.”

There are things in my life, there are things in your life that you have … the Lord has trusted you with these struggles, because he knows that you can reach other people whenever you’re on the other side, and even before you get to the other side.

I’m definitely not where I want to be health-wise, I have an autoimmune disease, and I struggle with my health sometimes, and I’m definitely not on the other side. But I can help women to get there as I’m going on this journey with them. And there are things in your life, and I think sometimes we get into these places where we struggle, and we think that we’re just messing up, or that there’s no way that God can use us, but in reality, God is saying, “I trust you enough with this struggle, so that you can help somebody else that’s coming after you.”

What a huge weight that’s lifted off our shoulders, because now we’re thinking, “God’s not mad at me, God’s not doing this to punish me, but he’s doing this because he trusts me to learn from it and to move forward.”

A while back, I was reading through this prayer book called Draw the Circle, and one of the things that Mark Batterson, who’s the author of the book, says, he says, “So many times, we are praying through our circumstances, and we’re trying to ask God to change the things around us, that we don’t give him the chance to change us.”

So I started praying, “God, sure, I don’t like these … maybe I don’t like this circumstance of me being sick a lot, but I am going to trust that if you don’t change the circumstance, you’re gonna change me through this circumstance.”

And the same is true for you. So I am here to encourage you today, that if you are struggling with something, don’t automatically assume that God’s mad at you. Don’t automatically assume that he is trying to teach you a lesson. Now sometimes we go through struggles just because of our poor choices, but many times, we’re in a struggle or something happens, and we realize, you know what, I can use this to help somebody else that’s gonna need help later.

That’s one reason why … that kind of community is one reason why I feel so strongly in the importance of going to church, and of church attendance. And I know that you might say, “Well, I can worship God on my own. I can listen to worship music at my house. I can listen to a guy on television, or I can hear God when I’m out on the lake.”

Sure you can, definitely. I don’t disagree with that. But you are stealing you from your church family if you are not putting value on church attendance. And I really feel strongly about this, because I’ve seen people who kind of isolate themselves from their church families, and it’s a struggle. Why would you want to make it harder?

There are people … and I am blessed to be part of a church that is a family to me. If I have to be gone, even for legitimate reasons, maybe having to go minister somewhere else, or speak somewhere else, or go to a meeting, or whatever it is, whenever I miss that time … and I’m the worship leader at my church, and I’ll get up there and just say, “Oh, I missed you guys so much,” because they’re a family to me.

The church that you are at might not feel like that, but you can make the steps forward to make it feel like that. And what I mean by that is you can get involved right where you are, you can choose to say, “You know what, I am going to be proactive to my relationships and friendships that are going to lift me up,” because that’s really what the body of Christ is all about.

Paul talks a little bit about this, and he says the hand can’t say to the body, I don’t need you. If we cut off our hand thinking, you know what, the hand is more capable by itself than connected to the body, that’d be crazy. But sometimes we live our lives that way, and we don’t put a value on church attendance and on putting the value on God’s family.

So it’s so super important to do that, because what you’re going through, chances are … and I would say 100% … chances are that someone has struggled through the same thing. And whatever you’re going through, chances are 100% that someone after you is gonna be struggling through something that you’re gonna be able to minister to, and you’re gonna be help. So make sure that you’re putting the value on that.

The things is, whenever we make changes, and whenever we say no to the flesh, and whenever we choose to walk in victory instead of walking in defeat, it will benefit those who come after us. So even if you don’t feel like doing it for yourself, do it for those who will come after you.

I have a friend who smoked for many years, and she got pregnant. And the moment she found out she was pregnant, she quit smoking, because she knew even if she couldn’t do it for herself, she knew that she had to do it for those that would come after her, for her child.

And so I want you to be encouraged that whatever it is, maybe it is smoking, maybe it’s food like it was with me, maybe it’s something else that you just feel consistently that you’re living in defeat over, and you can’t break free of it, know that you can walk in victory whenever you are leaning on Christ, whenever you are using his strengths.

As Christians, we have access to the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. It says that in the word of God. We have access to that life-giving power. I believe it says that in Romans Eight. And we have the power, through the Holy Spirit, to say no to the flesh, to start living in victory, and we can know beyond the shadow of a doubt, that whenever we do that, then we are going to see a ripple effect happen in the people in our lives, because our victory is gonna help more than just us.

And this podcast, even this episode, is an example of that. If you are hearing this podcast, and it’s speaking to your heart, know that it’s not me, it was him, it was God walking me through victory, knowing that it would be not just for me, it wouldn’t be just for my benefit, but it would be for yours too.

So I want you to realize and accept the fact that you have an impact on the kingdom of God. There’s something so great about choosing ownership, and saying I’m responsible for the people in my life, I’m responsible to reach them and to love them and to the impact them for the kingdom. And you can be confident in that. It has nothing to do with your abilities or your experience, it has everything to do with the one who called you. So we can be confident in that. We can stay humble in that.

Knowing that it’s not because of us, but it’s because of him, keeps us so humble, and it helps us to know that God is moving in the hard times and in the good times, that he is really seeking to change us and grow us, because that’s what we’ve been talking about all of March. And there are so many ways that we can grow in struggle, that we would never grow otherwise.

So if you have never struggles with money, and you’ve always had way more than enough, there’s no reason really to know how to budget. But if you know what it’s like to struggle with money, then you start learning how to budget, you learn those lessons a lot better. So the same is true in our relationship with the Lord. Sometimes there’s lessons that we can only learn through the struggle, and there’s lessons that we could only learn through going through hard times.

Being a Christian doesn’t just mean that you will never have a hard time. It means that God is more worried about … not worried, but he is more focused on you growing in him, and you becoming holy, than you becoming happy and comfortable in this life.

So I hope that encouraged you instead of discouraged you. He wants you to grow, he wants you to reach new heights in him, and that is what I strive to do in my blog and through this podcast, is to really help women reach new heights in their relationships with the Lord and in their ministries, so that they can grow and really see the Lord in ways, and see him move in ways that they never would otherwise. And that happens by saying, “You know what, this is more than just about me, this is more than just my victory that’s at stake here, I have to walk in victory for everyone else how’s gonna come after me.”

 

Thanks for joining me!

Thanks so much for joining me! I’m so excited to get to know you through your comments and I hope you’ll join the conversation in the Girl of Grace Group!

If you’ve loved this episode, help me reach more women by heading over to iTunes and leaving a rating and review. And, be sure to subscribe while you’re there!

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send an email to ashley(at)ashleyvarner(dot)com or connect with me over on Facebook   or Instagram!

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