I refuse to lose when I know I can win.
"But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ's victory] and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere."
- 2 Corinthians 2:14 AMP
Here are seven steps to winning on the inside:
1. Stay in the right environment.
To win within, you must be in the right environment. The environment I am speaking about is an environment of prayer.
If you study the life of Jesus, you'll find that He spent a lot of His time in prayer, and He didn't have three of four prayer partners. In fact, you'll find that Jesus prayed alone much of the time. The Bible says that Jesus got up early in the morning to pray. Then He prayed throughout the day. Sometimes He spent the entire night in prayer. At times He went to the mountains or to the wilderness to pray where He could be alone to commune with His Father.
If the Son of God had to pray, surely you and I need to pray. If your prayer life goes down, it won't be long until discouragement will try to land on your life. When we stay prayed up, the devil cannot affect us.
The Bible says, "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). You can pray while your driving, and you can even pray in the Spirit while you are on your job. But nothing will ever replace time alone or time away with the Father.
Jesus said, "But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly" (Matthew 6:6). The reason we don't have what we need is because we haven't spent enough time in the right environment-in our prayer closet.
2. Stay Edified.
1 Corinthians 14:4 says, "He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophecies edifies the Church." When you pray in the Holy Ghost, you edify yourself.
Jude 20,21 says:
"But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God..."
There is a connection between praying in the Spirit and walking in love, so keep yourself edified.
3. Eliminate Distractions.
To win within one must eliminate all distractions. In earlier days, blinders were used to prevent mules from being distracted by other mule teams to their right or to their left. The blinders kept them looking straight ahead, doing their own job.
We need some spiritual blinders so we won't be distracted. Mark 4:19 tells us of three things that are designed to distract us: "The cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things..." These distractions, according to Mark, enter in to "choke the word, and it [the Word] becomes unfruitful."
This verse in the Amplified translation says:
"The cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes unfruitful."
Eliminate whatever is distracting you. Put your blinders on and keep your focus on Jesus!
4. Enhance yourself in the Lord.
To enhance means to become greater, mightier, to see yourself as a person of value, to become God-inside minded, knowing that the God who created the world lives on the inside of you.
1 John 4:4 syas, "He who is in you [Jesus] is greater than he [the devil] who is in the world." This is one of the Scriptures that I was taught as a little boy in my small, full Gospel church. The one in you is greater than what you are facing in the world.
John 16:33 says, "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." All the outward tribulation in the world cannot stop you from winning on the inside! You are already a winner in Christ!
5. Become established in "who you are in Christ".
In the first few versus of Ephesians, Chapter 1, Paul says:
God has blessed you with every spiritual blessing
- God has chosen you
- God has adopted you
- God has made you accepted in the Beloved
- God has redeemed you through Jesus Christ, His Son
- God has forgiven you
- God causes His Grace to abound toward you
- God has made known to you the mystery of His Will
- In Jesus Christ you have obtained an inheritance
There is no way you can go under and be defeated if all you know is, "I am blessed and I am chosen of God." The devil looks so small compared to the Bible when you realize you are blessed, chosen, and adopted. To be adopted has special meaning. When you are born into a family, you are automatically accepted, but when you are adopted, that means someone made a decision to accept you, not by force, but by choice, out of love.
6. Evaluate your relationships.
In relationships there are two words which come to mind that we need to discuss: "no" and "boundaries."
To be a winner on the inside you have to know when to say "no." No is not a bad word, it could mean, "not now," "enough," "I don't have time" or it could mean "no." Winners know when to say "no," and they know when to say "yes." Yes is not always the answer. Sometimes yes means "more responsibility," "more time," and "more sacrifice."
True relationships are always a two-way road, not a one-way, my way lane. Unhealthy relationships are one way. This is where the word "boundaries" comes in. Healthy boundaries are necessary until trust is built within your life.
Boundaries are healthy for everyone. Here are some boundaries that you need to be aware of: "everyone needs time alone," "everyone needs time off," and "everyone needs time away from the action." I'm not talking about a year off; I'm talking about a few days or weeks away to pray and rest. You might as well face it, rest is of God! We live in a go-go world, and sometimes the best answer is to simply say "no."
7. Live in expectation.
To remain encouraged, you must live in expectation.
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope [or an expectation].
The New International Version says:
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."
When your expectation is in God, it won't be cut off. It will come to pass. I have learned to live in expectation. Oral Roberts said, "Expect a miracle!" You can't get a miracle if your not expecting one.
Proverbs 23:18 AMP says:
"For surely there is a latter end [a future and a reward], and your hope and expectation shall not be cutt off."
I've got news for you. Discouragement can't keep you down. You're going over. You're not going to fail. You are going to recover all and win!