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God Always Leads Us In Triumph (2 Corinthians 2:14)

Sermon on 23 January 2022 by Reverend Kevin


2 Corinthians 2:14 - “But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume.”


This is Paul’s writing to thank God. This is a very powerful truth. Just in this verse alone, we see a few pointers. Firstly, Paul says now. It’s in the present tense. It is always happening now. Paul goes on to say thanks be to God. He has a heart of thanksgiving. It is a sign of humility for thanking God for the blessings He has given. The blessings God gives to us are entitlements. We don’t deserve it but He has freely given it to us. Thanksgiving should be part of a Christian life. It is also an act of faith because we are thanking God for the answers we are receiving even if we shouldn’t be receiving it now. Thanksgiving is the highest form of prayer because we are thanking God in advance even before we receive any answers. Paul goes on to say that He leads us in triumph. God always leads us in triumph in Christ. Always means all the time. It is 100% all the time, on all occasions. It is not in defeat or in failure. He leads us, the believers, in victory. It’s so powerful. Believers are destined by God to live in victory and triumph.


There are two main points. Firstly, believers can be led by God. There are many verses that tell us God will lead us.


Psalms 16:11 - “You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.”


Psalms 32:8 - “The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”


This is one of God’s promises to us - to instruct us in the way we go.


Isaiah 30:21 - “Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.”


Isaiah 48:17 - “This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.”


God leads us to profit not only in the financial aspect, but every aspect. He gives us clear directions.


Isaiah 58:11 - “The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.”


John 16:13 - “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.”


Sometimes the Holy Spirit will call you to pray for an aspect in your life before it even happens. However, the Holy Spirit reveals it to you step by step. When the situation happens, you won’t be fearful and anxious because you know what to do. The Holy Spirit gives you ‘insider information’.


Romans 8:14 - “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”


As new covenant believers, God speaks to us by the Holy Spirit. Every child of God can be led by the Holy Spirit. If you think that you can’t hear it, you are operating in pride. Whatever comes out of your mouth is what you believe in your heart (Matthew 12:34). Some don’t live in victory because they don’t believe what the Word says. If you live in such a mindset, you will probably fail. God’s promises are for us and He wants to bless us. Don’t resist God. We need to have the heart of humility. When you have that, you are on track to victory.


When bad things happen, we tend to blame God. Then the second punching bag is the devil. The third is blaming it on society. However, we don’t examine ourselves. The problem might lie with us. We have to check ourselves first. Are we hindering God’s blessings flowing into our lives? The scriptures in 1 Peter tells us to resist Satan, but some of us are actually resisting God. It is good to first examine yourself. Do you believe what God says? Are you walking in obedience to the truth?


1 Corinthians 2:9-10 - “That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets.”


1 Corinthians 2:11-12 - “No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.”


God has already planned what He wants you to do. We always want to listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and not think that we know everything. We want to have the heart of humility to know that our lives are in His hands. God is a good Father and He gives us good things.


God always leads us in triumph in Christ, never in defeat or failure. God is not backstabbing us. He will never lead us into a trap. God will never do these because that’s not His nature. Many times, we fall into traps because we disobey. We may start following God but end up doing other things. That’s why you don’t triumph.


Romans 5:17 - “For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.”


This is God’s will for every believer. But not every believer walks in this revelation. Some might not know or they just refuse to walk in obedience. You must cooperate with God then it will manifest in your lives. It is not automatic. God requires you to follow what He tells you for His blessings to naturally manifest in your life. Many believers think that it only exists in the Bible and not in their lives. We are supposed to reign in life. We are destined by God to do so. When we are Spirit-led and always victorious, the reality of abundant life (John 10:10) will manifest consistently in our lives. We begin to diffuse the fragrance of His knowledge in every place (2 Corinthians 2:14b). You overcome every trial in your life because the Holy Spirit tells you how to overcome it. Your friends will be naturally curious why you are like that. When they ask you what’s your secret, their hearts are open and you start sharing Christ. They see the way you live. You become the salt and the light. Living triumphantly is not only for ourselves but to impact others. The blessings of God come not only for us to enjoy but He also wants to bless others through you. We have to remember that this is God’s will for us.


If it’s God’s will for us to reign, why are many believers not living in triumph or victory? In reality, many believers are struggling. In their minds, many believe that God’s truth doesn’t apply to them. All authority, power and blessings have been freely given to us by God. That is called grace because we can’t work for it. It is already given to us. We cannot conform to the world’s principles.


John 1:16 - “From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.”


You received this the day you were born again. God’s favour is given to you. When you know God, your prayer starts to change. You thank God for His blessings instead of praying for what you need.


Ephesians 1:3 - “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.”


All the blessings are given to us, but we have to find what blessings they are. We can go back to the scriptures to find it.


2 Peter 1:3 - “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.”


Luke 10:19 - “Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.”


1 Corinthians 2:12 - “And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.”


There are things that God has freely given to us because he loved us. It is grace. Do we know what they are?


Romans 8:32 - “Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?”


1 Timothy 6:17 - “Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.”


God is a good Father. He gave us all these things for us to enjoy because he loves us. It is okay to enjoy the things he has given to us, but don’t let them have a hold over you. Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell everything and follow Him. The ruler said he can’t do that because his possessions possess him. God is not against you enjoying them, he is against that hard attitude. You shouldn’t be covetous. You have to remind yourself that God blessed you with these things. If the Holy Spirit leads you to bless someone else with this thing, don’t struggle. Instead, give joyously. If you give joyously, you know that God will provide you abundantly. You give out of love for the person and for God. We want to prosper but with the right heart.


From God’s side - All His promises to us will always be operational and effective as He is the guarantor and He always exists. The problem lies on the man’s side. All of us have the same blessings, He is not biased. The degree of God’s promises manifesting in our lives depends on 2 factors.


1. Knowledge (or lack thereof) of the truth


Hosea 4:6a - “My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me. Since you priests refuse to know me, I refuse to recognize you as my priests. Since you have forgotten the laws of your God, I will forget to bless your children.”


Isaiah 5:13 - “So my people will go into exile far away because they do not know me. Those who are great and honored will starve, and the common people will die of thirst.”


Ephesians 5:17 - “Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”


You can be a believer and be unwise at the same time. Satan will come and attack you. You wouldn’t know it’s the enemy attack and think it’s from God.


We don’t have a power/authority/blessings problem, we have a knowledge problem. The solution is to teach the word.


John 8:32 - “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.””


The choices we make regarding the truth affect us too. Having known the truth, we can decide if we obey or not obey. If we obey, we operate in faith, submit to Lordship of Jesus and blessings will manifest consistently. If we disobey, we operate in fear, doubt and unbelief, not submitting to Jesus’ Lordship and blessings will not manifest. God is not that mysterious. The problem lies in us sometimes obeying and disobeying too. The blessings are inside you already. It cannot flow out. We want to yield to God. When God tells us to do something, we follow. Have a heart of obedience and humility.


God leading us in triumph doesn’t mean that our lives will be a bed of roses with no troubles or sufferings. We need to understand that there are 2 kinds of suffering.


First is God-ordained, godly suffering. It is necessary. We suffer for Jesus.


Second is ungodly self inflicted suffering. It is not God’s will because we suffer due to disobedience.


Jesus also suffered in His life and ministry. He only suffered God’s sufferings. He suffered as our substitute and as our example. He suffered for us on the cross so that we would be set free from the consequences of sin.


Galatians 3:13 - “But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.””


We have been delivered from sin and it’s penalties. We don’t suffer spiritual death anymore because we are born again. Jesus has redeemed us. Yet, many believers are still suffering in these areas because they don’t know the truth.


He also suffered as our example. He suffered temptation, rejection (John 1:11), ridicule (Mark 3:22, Mark 15:29), persecution and betrayal (Matthew 26:14, Matthew 26:34) .


Jesus was just doing the will of God. These sufferings in our life are sometimes beyond our control. Take courage. God will help us. Listen to what the Holy Spirit says. He will give us the solutions to overcome them.


Romans 8:17-18 - “And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.”


2 Corinthians 1:4-7 - “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.”


2 Corinthians 6:4-9 - “In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed.”


2 Timothy 3:12 - “Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”


James 1:2 - “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.”


Sometimes you are just doing God’s will and people attack you. Don’t fear because God will help you overcome it. These are spiritual attacks.


2 Peter 2:18-20 - “They brag about themselves with empty, foolish boasting. With an appeal to twisted sexual desires, they lure back into sin those who have barely escaped from a lifestyle of deception. They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you. And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before.”


1 Peter 2:21-23 - “For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.”


Your conscience is clean and God will help.


1 Peter 3:14-17 - “But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!”


When you are facing godly sufferings, follow Jesus’ example. We don’t retaliate. We seek God for advice. Don’t fear or worry. God will rescue you.


Check that you have a clean/clear conscience. Hold fast, don’t give up, exercise faith and authority, pray with boldness knowing that God is on your side and He is helping you. Listen and obey instructions from the holy spirit (John 2:5). Faith and patience - inherit the promises of God (Hebrews 6:12)


John 2:5 - “But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.””


Hebrews 6:12 - “Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.”


Ungodly suffering is suffering for what Jesus has already paid for you or as a result of our disobedience. Man is created with a free will - our wrong decisions can remove us from God’s protection and blessings. If you choose wrongly, your decisions can have wrong consequences.


Galatians 6:7-8 - “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.”


You reap what you sow. If you sow to the flesh, you reap corruption. If you sow to the spirit, you reap life.


1 Timothy 6:10 - “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.”


1 Peter 4:15 - “If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs.”


What do you do when you are undergoing ungodly suffering? Firstly, how do you know you are going through that? Listen to your conscience. If you are undergoing that suffering and your conscience pricks you, you know it is an ungodly suffering. Quickly repent. Seem God for solutions. Adjust and align. The truth of grace has mercy. As you pray, listen to what the holy spirit tells you. Our actions have consequences. The best thing is not to come to this point because it is not God’s will to do so. When God rescued you, don’t find another pit to fall into. Learn from your experience. Be wise.


This is not the time to declare and confess, pray with boldness or in tongues. This is not the time to praise and thank God. This is not the time to exercise faith or authority, rub anointing oil, partake in Holy Communion etc. The first thing to do is to repent.


Ephesians 5:15-17 - “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”


John 16:33 - “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.””


In this life we have enough tribulations. To live triumphantly we should recognise and minimise ungodly sufferings. Don’t spite ourselves. When you are living right, you will be walking in triumph. There may be people who don’t like it but God will deliver you.


Amen.

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