I recently came across a saying that sounded quite pious but actually was entirely wrong.
“Sometimes God will put you in a battle empty handed so that when you do get the victory you will know it wasn’t you, but Him.”
So much of our modern, Christian theology is founded on wrong conclusions about the nature of God, the nature of man, and man’s purpose in the earth. Practically everything in the above quote is wrong on every count.
1. God doesn’t put us in battles. Battles (I assume this is referring to trials, tribulations, temptations, and perhaps even sickness or economic distress), are a part of the fallen world in which we live. God doesn’t send hard times our way to teach us anything. He sent the Word to teach and perfect us (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Trials and temptations are not from God (James 1:13-17).
2. We are never ‘empty handed!’ We have been given the Name of Jesus, the better covenant, better promises, the blood of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the armor of God, the Word of God, the faith of God, the keys of the Kingdom, authority to tread upon all the work of the enemy, the gifts of the Spirit, and we are one spirit with Him! We are seated with Him in heavenly places! We are more than conquerors! How could we ever see ourselves as empty handed? This thinking comes from the ‘sovereign God’ mentality that believes that God controls all things and we are mere puppets in His play.
3. We aren’t looking to ‘get the victory!’ We are called to enforce the victory that was won on the cross. As long as we think we are trying to win a victory, we will never enter in to the victory that was already won. We start from a place of victory! Jesus already sat down at the right hand of God and has given to His church the victory over the enemy. It is now up to us to enforce what has been given.
4. The last point is more subtle but equally important. Though the victory over darkness was certainly because of Him, our role as enforcers is entirely up to us! When we establish God’s will in our lives and the lives of others, it IS because of us! “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” (Eph. 3:20) God’s will for our continual victory remains in our hands. We can live by faith, or live by fate. The above quote has more to do with fate than faith.
So many well many Christians are being stripped of their capacity to reign in life because of the fatalism of the theology expressed in the quote. Don’t be gullible. You are equipped to enforce Christ’s victory. You are never empty handed.