Victory is not a virtue to be desired, it is a virtue to be acquired. Words of the Anonymous.
And here I sit, at my favorite place, surprised I am putting these words upon a page. Truly, I did not imagine writing a post this morning.
However, the journey to total victory is taken one step at a time and often demands the most irrational choices. Truly, valuable impact is not made in life by holding unto those things that get us excited or happy.
To divert from the generic, complete triumph over sin is a finished work that isn’t finished in a day. There’s a mistake often associated with rookie believers, and at times the purportedly mature, and that is believing a period of sinless state means exemption from sin.
It is very easy, as easy as respiration, to be convinced that we live above struggles, failures, sins, and all that holds us back as a result of willpower, determination, strength of character, blah, blah, blah.
We do not.
Victory has been achieved. We did not get it done. SomeOne else did, and we are to dive into His big top – and stay – until He says, “Go, you can sin no more.”
Her name was a woman, because she had no name. Being a person of her status, background, upbringing, and association meant she could live each day without a name. She wasn’t an evil person, as was often thought with her, she was just tired of the fight. Why engage in a lost battle?
So there she was, on a day that dark clouds scudded the sky, going about her business – for which she was known – giving her client what he desired, not being a thorn. She had never engaged in the discussions of the town’s women, held every evening just before the village circle. She often heard their rambling lips, as they dissected every single household in the community, giving labels that fit them even more.
She had never been a part of their council, the aged ones who balanced the good/bad beam and determined those deserving of a life in the community.
She had never claimed to be pure, holy, or pious. She didn’t own a vellum, perhaps because she was female. She didn’t have the ceremonious rosary hanging down her doorway. There was no saving for her on judgment day.
And judgment did come, not by the blast of a trumpet, but with the scowls of the council. They picked her like she weighed as light as a chick, carried her shoulder high, and led her to the Man.
She stooped before Him; He paid her no attention. Perhaps He was no better off. Perhaps He would acclaim the husband who had been with her innocent, and condemn her to the throwing.
When He beheld her, his face was stern and soft, laughing and decisive, gilded and pained, a combination of pure and disturbed all combusting into a piercing smile.
No one but her noticed it.
No one but her saw his fingers move upon dirt.
No one but her understood his words – not the words revealed by the lifting of his velum, not the words spoken upon scrolls. He had written to her.
A love note.
He told her she was loved. He loved her. Eternal love. Not the type that demanded she give her body.
His was a finished work. Pure. Chaste. It had no requirement other than acceptance, no condition save trust, no explanation save love.
The men pressed in on Him, and once more, He paid no attention.
When urged, His words declared their guilt. Their shame. Their sorrow. They were stupid.
She longed to part her lips and beckon unto them. She wanted them to know His love – sealed with His writing on dirt – was theirs if they would claim it.
They chose not to see. Their vision was clouded with judgment, with guilt, with self-righteousness. They could see, yet they walked about in darkness.
And then He said, “Go, for you cannot sin again. You are mine. I have married you forever. You are my bride, and I love you.”
He gave her a name. Bride. And forever, she bothered not about sinning again. Her victory wasn’t depended on her. A finished work it was.
This morning, Jesus’ word unto you: Go and sin no more.
It’s not what you do. Your walk to freedom isn’t subject to your habits, your values, your desires. It is about knowing that the walk to victory is laid with bottles of sin and self-righteousness, condemnation and excitement, shame and approval.
Know this. We run a race. But the crown has been won for us. Gaining the victory is easy, so long it is done one by one, two by two, me in Christ, living by Him.
Afterword: My soul wept as I wrote this, because for so long, I have lived as the council. Now, I realize, it is a daily walk. Not a walk for victory. A walk in victory. One by one. Two by two. A finished work in Christ. Read up John 8: 2-12 with open eyes.