Gregory Dickow - Living the Victorious Life
Let no one take your crown, and what he's talking about is he's talking about a crown that we already have received. God is crowned us with glory. God has crowned us with authority. God has crowned us as kings and priests in Christ. He's crowned us as his beloved children. He's crowned us as the head and not the tail above, only a knot beneath. He's crowned us blessed coming in and blessed going out. We've been crowned with royalty. We're sons and daughters of the king of kings. So we've been crowned we've been given this crown of victory. And that's what I want to talk to you about, the victor's crown, because he says, let no one take it from you.
In other words, let no one talk you out of who you are. Let no one talk you out of your royal position in Christ. Let no one talk you out of what belongs to you as a believer, what belongs to you as a son or daughter of God. Let no one take your crown. Religion tries to take our crown by beating us up with shame, beating us up with guilt and condemnation. And people try to take our crown because they're jealous or they're they're upset that you're getting something that they don't have. And nobody has to be jealous because, look, there's enough for everybody to go around. There's enough blessing and there's enough love and there's enough of God's goodness for everybody. And no one has to feel inferior.
Let no one take your crown and make you feel inferior because you're a woman or make you feel inferior because of your race or make you feel inferior because of what you're struggling with or make you feel inferior because of what you're up against, because we're all equal in Christ. The moment you're born again, we're joint heirs with Jesus Christ. We're not just trying to find equality for women. We're all trying to find equality with Christ. And the beautiful thing about it is he is seated us. He's raised us up with him and seated us with him in heavenly places so we don't have to grasp for equality with anybody. Don't get me wrong, there is injustice in this world and there is inequality in the way that people treat people. But there is no inequality in how God treats you. There is no inequality in how God sees you.
There is no injustice in how God treats you. And we can get a hold of that and stop putting our focus and attention on what people do to us and start putting our focus on what God has done for us, then we will truly be free. But he said, I'm coming quickly. Hold fast to what you have. Don't let anybody take this authority that God's given you. Don't let anybody talk you out of it. Don't let anybody undermine who you are in Christ. The Devil wants us focused on what people do to us so that we become imprisoned to our pain, imprisoned to mistreatment, imprisoned to injustices. He wants us to become defined and confined by how we've been treated. The enemy wants us to be confined and defined by what people have done to us.
And that's the problem with with the world today. The problem with the world today is everybody so many people and and it knows no age. It knows no race. It knows no color. It knows no nationality. Victim. The victim mentality is defeating more people than just about anything else that the devil doesn't even need to operate in our lives because us remaining victims of what has hurt us is what's defeating us. Satan doesn't even need to get involved because you have bought one of his lies that is taking your crown and trying to rob you of the victory that God gave you.
Now, go over with me for a moment to Romans, chapter eight, verse thirty five. Notice, he says, but who shall separate us from the love of Christ shall tribulation? Paul went through that shall distress show persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword, he said. Shall any of those things separate us from the love of Christ? He goes on to say, in verse thirty six. He says, as it is written, For your sake, we're killed all day long. We are counted as sheep for the slaughter. In other words, we're taken advantage of. But there can be oppression from any walk of life and we can either become victims of that or we can break through what people have done to us by realizing that none of those things can separate us from the love of Christ. But he said the peril or the sword, this is threats against his life.
This is injustice. This is a guy trying to preach the gospel and look at his condition. And then he says, verse thirty six and sleep sheep to be slaughtered. But verse thirty seven tells you everything you need to know about how he chose to live yet in all these things. Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. So he's not acting like these things didn't happen. He's saying, look, I admit it. I acknowledge the oppression, I acknowledge the injustice. I acknowledge the things that are done against me. Yet in all these things, we are more than conquerors. Can you say that today? You see some. Times we identify with what we're going through rather than identifying with who we are in the midst of it, you're going through some tough stuff. You're going through some tough times.
But like the like one of the preachers said years ago, tough times never last. But tough people do. Life happens. Stuff happens. But you have to decide. Yet in all these things, Paul says, I can add up everything that's ever been done against me and everything that's against me now yet. And all these things I'm more than a conqueror through Christ who love me. See, he has a mindset. He's got issues, he's got problems. He's got things coming against him. He's got his own life going. What he's going through in his own personal life, what's going on against him, his relationships, people trying to stop him from his calling. But he said, even though all these things are true. We're more than conquerors, we're more than conquerors, say I'm more than a conqueror. Listen, there is real oppression in the world, social, cultural, emotional forces that can't be denied. But we can't let them rob us of our power.
We can't let them rob us of our crown. We can't let them rob us of our God given rights. I'm not talking about human rights, although that's true. There are truly human rights in this world, but there are divine rights as children of God that are vastly more important than your human rights because your human rights are going to get violated, your human rights are going to get stepped on at times. Your human rights are going to be offended. At times, your human emotions are going to be offended. Your human emotions are going to be taken advantage of. People are going to mistreat you at times. Things are going to happen. The world is not a perfect place. We live in a fallen world. We live in a broken world with broken people. And stuff is going to happen. But we have to wake up to the fact that no matter what happens against us, we are more than conquerors.
Our identity, our identity and who we are in Christ is what keeps us going in the victorious direction that God intended for us and God created us for. But there are legitimate things that happen. There are legitimate things that try to rob us of our power and rob us of the knowledge of our power. But we must take responsibility for choosing. Not to be a victim, but to identify with being more than conquerors. Paul could have said I'm oppressed in every direction, I'm troubled on every side. Look at Second Corinthians, chapter four, verse eight. He said, we're hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed. We're perplexed, but not in despair.
Keep going. Verse nine, he goes on to say, we're persecuted, but we're not forsaken. Struck down, but not destroyed. He says in verse 10, always caring about in our body the dying of the Lord Jesus so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our body, what is he saying? He's saying no matter what is done to us, I'm always carrying with me what Jesus did for me. I'm always carrying with me what Jesus did on the cross so that whatever is done to me is not the final sentence. We're hard pressed on every side, but not crushed. We're persecuted, but not forsaken. He's saying because of what Jesus did on the cross, no matter what's done against me, will not have the final say. So the life of Jesus is going to be manifest in my life because I'm not going to give in to what's been done. To me, the devil's goal is to remove from you the power to control your own life and control your own future. Let no one take your crown. The crown represents power. It represents your authority.
And what is Satan after? He's after your power to control your own future and to control your own life. And how does he do that? He gets you to give up your power by believing that what somebody did to you has power over your life, that how you grew up has power over your life. Now, how you grew up is powerful, and what people did to you is powerful. But what's more powerful is the choice you get to make about it. What's more powerful is the decision you get to make about it. What's more powerful is the mindset that you get to adopt. Instead of adopting what's been done to you, you choose a mindset of victory, Paul said. All these things have been done to me, but we are more than conquerors. This is what he chose. He chose the mindset. He chose the mind of Christ. I am. I have the mind of Christ, he said. And I'm more than a conqueror because of his love. And he chose to believe that.
And listen, let me tell you this. This is this is an attitude of victory. It's the attitude of being a victor. And what does that mean? It means an attitude is simply defined, is a mindset that takes precedence over all other facts, a mindset that takes precedence over all other facts. You heard me share this illustration before. Many times. I'll say it again real quick. But a thermostat is like an attitude. It's you set the thermostat at a certain temperature and it takes precedence over the current temperature. That was a good place to say amen if it made any sense at all. So it may be sixty five degrees in your house, but you want it to be 68. So what do you do? You don't fast and pray. You set the thermostat at 68 and what and that's that's that's an attitude, you set the thermostat at 68 and guess what happens? It takes precedence over all other facts, every other fact in your house, every other fact in your apartment, every other fact in your car tells you it's sixty five.
But when you set the thermostat, it takes precedence over all other facts and everything rises to the temperature you set it at. This is what a mindset is. This is what it means to be more than a conqueror. This is what it means to have an attitude of Jesus Christ being your savior and Lord and and being Lord of all. And it's a mindset of having the mind of Christ. And a more than conquer champion mindset is what you have. You just have to activate it. You have to set your thoughts on what God says about you rather than what the situation says, rather than what we're rather than what the temperature reads. Set the thermostat and you will see things rise and it will take precedence over all other facts.
So, listen, if you think about it, that there's oppressive governments, there's oppressive people, there's oppressive employers, those even oppressive churches. But we have to see that Satan's only power is to oppress it. The only power that he has to oppress us is to have faulty thinking. The only power that he really has is for us to actually give those oppressive people or institutions power over our thoughts. That's the only power Satan can use. So we have to deal with the mistaken beliefs that cause the suffering in our lives.
Now, listen to me. If you go back to John, chapter five, verse one, it says, here's Jesus going through going through Jerusalem. And verse two, he he comes up to a sheep gate pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda with five porches and verse three says, and in there lay a great multitude of people sick, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting, hoping. This is how so many Christians, the South, so many people live before Jesus shows up. We're waiting. We're sick. We're blind. We're lame. We're paralyzed, we're stuck. We're waiting for something to happen. We're waiting for somebody to do something for us. And in verse five, and there was a man there that was lame for thirty eight years. And when Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he was already in that condition for a long time, he said to him, Do you want to be made?
Well, now, folks, this is a yes or no question. Do you want to be made. Well what's your answer today? It's a yes or no question. This is the problem with so many people is they they want to tell a story to a yes or no question. It's a yes or no question. Do you want to be made? Well, and what does he do? He defaults to his Adamic. Behavior. Because of his Adamic mindset and Adamic, is that a new cuss word, Pastor? Did you just make one up? Adamic is Adams way of thinking. Adam, Adam and Eve, you know. He he defaults to this Adamic way of thinking and by saying in verse seven, well, sir, I have no man to put me in the pool when the water is stirred while I'm coming, another steps in and down before me and on and on.
And he's telling his story, telling his story, blaming excuse, making alibis. This is why I'm in the condition. It's always somebody else's fault. That's the victim mentality. It's always somebody else's fault. Where did he get it from? He got it from. Adam. Look, look at where he got it from Genesis 311, so after Adam and Eve sinned, Genesis three, 11 watches after Adam and Eve sinned, verse 11, God says, who told you? Who told you you were naked? But the more important question is, have you eaten from the tree, which I told you not to eat from? What kind of question is that? It's a yes or no question. And how does Adam answer it? Verse 12, the woman. Wait, it's a yes or no question. And how does the answer the woman.
You see how he blames, blames, blames, blames, so he blames blames the woman, but he does not done there. He's not done blaming because because sin has created in him a blame making, excuse making mindset. Sin created that. And it says the woman. And before you can get the next words out of his mouth, he's blaming somebody else. The woman whom you gave me, that's where this guy got it from. Me and John five. This is not. A indictment against women or men or people because of their race, and this is all of humanity. This is a human problem, not a color or race or an age or a gender problem. Are you hearing this? Let's go back to John. Jump over to John five again. Watch this. So Jesus heals them by his mercy and his great. Hey, I've got no man to put me in the water.
Verse seven and then John John five, verse eight says Jesus says, OK, you know what? I'm going to hear you anyway. Rise and take up your bed and walk. That shows God's mercy. That shows God's grace. Even when we behave like idiots, even when we blame, even when we make excuses, God is still good. Jesus is still the healer. Jesus is still the deliverer. So he's not asking it to be perfect. He just wants you to be aware, like he's still healed him. It's a powerful and verse nine, it says. And he got up and he was made well and he took up his bed and walked. Now jump over a few verses over to John. Five verse fourteen. Let me show you something. And in verse fourteen afterward, Jesus found him in the temple.
Now, this is the best thing that this guy could have done. He gets healed. And what's the first thing he does is he goes to church. God's been good to you. The first thing you ought to do is get to the house of God. God's been good to you. He'll just get up and go to church. Don't get up and go. Don't go up and go to the mall. Don't get up and go shopping. Don't get up and go to the park. Don't get up and go to the grocery store. Don't get up. Get up and go to church. The first thing this guy did was he went he went to the house of God. He knew, man, I need to be where God is. I need to be in the temple. I think we need to get a hold of something here. God's been so good to us even when we didn't deserve it.
And so what should that lead us to? It should lead us to the church. It should bring us to God's house. It should bring us into God's temple. It should be where we come now and say thank you, Lord. We should be like the one of the ten lepers that were cleansed. One turned back and gave thanks. One went back to his father's house. One went and fell at the feet of Jesus, once said, thank you. Jesus looks at him and says, See, I want you to see something here, son. He says you've been made well, free gift healing's a gift. You've been made well, it's a gift. But now sin no more. Less something worse happens to you. Now, I used to read this first and go, wow, that's really hard, like Weixin. Sin no more. OK, this guy screwed, he says, sin no more so than nothing worse. Nothing, nothing worse happens.
You know, he's going to sin again. Everybody does. You've sinned at least once since you got saved. You've seen at least once since you've been born again, you seen at least once since you were healed. You've seen at least once since God blessed you. So which sin is he talking about? Well, what was his real sin? Because Jesus said, now you've got to sin no more or less. Nothing worse happens to you. What could be worse than being lame for thirty eight years? Let me tell you what is sin was what could be worse than me and lame for thirty eight years being able to walk but still making excuses, being able to walk, but still blaming others, being able to walk but still finding excuses to stay the way you are being able to walk but not going to walk. Being able to walk but not using your legs. Being able to walk but not moving forward. Being able to walk but still being stuck.
Don't let anything worse happen to you by keeping the same mindset, by continuing to think the way you used to think. That's the sin you continue to blame. You continue to make excuses. You continue to limit God by your blaming and excuses and self-pity. He's saying sin no more in your blaming people sin, no more in your excuse making sin, no more in your self-pity. He's not talking about never making a mistake. He's saying don't do what kept you there for thirty eight years.
What was it? I have nobody. Nobody cares. Nobody loves. Nobody cares about me. I'm stuck in this situation. I'll always be in the situation. I was born this way. I was made this way. I'm screwed this way. I can't understand why I am this way. I'll never get better. Things will never turn brighter. Things will never get better in my life. Stop it. That's the sin that he's saying is going to make things worse in your life if you keep thinking the same way. Now, what's worse is you have legs and you still have a victim mentality. You can walk and you still have a victim mentality. That's worse. That's the sin. That's what he's telling them to stop. To stop believing you're not more than a concrete stop believing you're a victim. Start seeing yourself as a victor.