“You were not created to be dominated, you were created to dominate over the circumstances in your life” –Daniel Park
“Winning!” –Charlie Sheen
One catalyst for this book was the hundreds of Christians I’ve met through the years—including myself for most of my life—who, when honest, express frustration that their lives do not seem to match the promises of the Bible. Experiential reality stood in stark contrast to the life of “victory to victory” that is ours, according to God’s Word. We lived with a sincere love for God and desire to be more like Him but still tasted defeat every day to sin and the tests and trials of life. That has begun to change.
There’s no “secret” to #iamholy. Yet one trait has started to stand out as common among everyone who does embrace a life of victory over circumstances: identity. The
most important thing God speaks to us regards who He really is. The finished work of Jesus is the foundation for everything written in this book.
The second most important thing? Who you really are.
Perspective is everything.
I learned a lot about the importance of identity during that seminal moment in a young man’s life: high school football. The three years before I got there were all losing seasons. They had talented players and coaches but couldn’t break the expectation of another 3–7 or 4–6 season. That’s just who they were.
But something happened that May that changed everything. The three guys that had been chosen as captains decided to adopt a new identity. When asked to rally the players at the end of spring practice, they explained the concept of FIDO. Forget It, Drive On. In essence, delete the past from our memories, and look forward with this understanding: We are undefeated.
Preseason practices carried a buzz that the veterans agreed had never before been present. Other students on-site to use the track or weight room would say stuff like, “Hey, you guys gonna do better than last year? That was pretty bad.” The response: stare through them and simply reply, “We’re undefeated.”
Traditionally, the week before classes (and the football season) officially started, players snuck to “the hill” off to the side of the school grounds at night and spray-painted their super-cool nicknames next to their jersey numbers. This year, it simply read “10–0.” (Prophesy much?)
We (that’s right, I’m saying “we” even though I was a freshman that got no varsity action that year. It was definitely my tireless sideline support that produced the team’s tipping point) refused to define ourselves by past performance and instead spoke, thought, and acted according to what we truly believed was our destiny. Every summer practice the captains reminded us we were to conduct ourselves on and off the field like the champions we had now morphed into. When the locker rooms opened up in September, you better believe “10–0” got plastered all over everything.
And guess what? As God is my witness, we went 10–0 that year. Each week looked different: some close games, some blowouts, even one where we had a crazy Hollywood-style comeback…but they all ended in a victory. It was inevitable! We already viewed ourselves as undefeated, so that’s what manifested through us on the field.
Not only that, it completely changed the culture of the program. Over the course of my four years (the last two of which I actually contributed on the field at the varsity level), we actually obtained the best four-year record in the history of that high school. Thirty-five wins to only five losses, if memory holds.
Now, if a group of three brazen young men can start running their mouths and convincing a group of generally unmotivated teenagers that they are undefeated before they have seen any physical evidence to confirm it, how much more when the very Word of God Himself says, “No weapon forged against me will prevail”?
It's time to stop defining ourselves by our past performance, starting asking Him to reveal how He sees us, and living from that place: as good sons and daughters. As "the head and not the tail." (Deut 28:13). As winners.