I’ve spent a couple of columns trying to encourage my brethren in Christ to realize that God has given us the victory. We are not destined, as a worldwide body, to lose. We win. And, that means more than simply “hanging on” until Christ rescues us. It means winning the world in an observable fashion.
Today, I want to take a different angle. I want to suggest that a young woman named Heather is, in microcosm, how we win. The victory is ours because what just happened to her keeps on happening, to the tune of countless millions.
Heather doesn’t live in New Mexico. She’s in Idaho, and her first venture into a Bible-believing church was Sunday.
She comes from an abusive home. She doesn’t get beaten up, but she’d probably prefer that to what she does get. I don’t have to be graphic. You’ve heard these stories. Her family is involved in a quasi-Christian cult, and that is all she’s ever known.
However, a Christian co-worker invited her, and she decided to go, after first attending her family’s religious services.
Long story short, the Spirit of Jesus showed up in power and, from the moment she walked through the door, she knew something was up. People sang songs directly to God, not caring what they or their neighbors sounded like. Once the sermon began, Heather was shocked to hear the preacher, as if going down a list, addressing all her own inward thoughts and struggles, and inviting her to get to know a God who would be a good father to her. She heard Bible promises that entered her soul like cool water in a desert.
This is a young woman who was, by her own admission, circling the drain. However, when she heard the simple Gospel of a savior who gave himself for her, well, nobody had to tell her that the word, “Gospel”, means “good news.” She got that, all on her own.
She won’t be going back to the error she knew before. The devil’s going to really regret losing Heather. See, the only thing she ever had going for her was a stubborn toughness, a refusal to admit defeat. Now, she’s on the other team and, I predict, she’ll bring that same tenacity with her into the ranks of the faithful. She knows what harm she suffered from a lifetime of being lied to, and she’s going to have to be reckoned with moving forward.
She can now repeat Paul’s words from Galatians 2:20 as her own: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me, and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Check-mate, bad guys. We win, because multitudes of folks like her keep on coming in: More than the sand on the seashore. The church that Jesus has been building will not be stopped. We’re just getting started. Y’all go right ahead and fight over the scraps of the past, and whose interpretation of history will be believed. We’ve got the future.
Gordan Runyan is the pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Tucumcari. Contact him at: