From Victim to Victor

We've all felt like victims at one time or another.

Some of us may never have felt like a victor, with success or winning always just beyond our reach, while others may regularly celebrate their many victories in sports, music, film, business, or other pursuits.

But what do these words really mean?

According to dictionary.com, a victim is

  • a person or thing that suffers harm, death, etc., from another or from some adverse act, circumstance, etc., such as victims of tyranny, (or of a crime, rape, abuse, harassment, or discrimination);
  • a person who is tricked or swindled;
  • a person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action or agency, such as a victim of an automobile accident; (or terrorist attack);
  • a person who is deceived or cheated, as by his or her own emotions or ignorance, by the dishonesty of others, or by some impersonal agency;
  • a person or animal sacrificed or regarded as sacrificed, as war victims, or sacrificed in a religious rite.

According to that same online dictionary, a victor is

  • a conqueror;
  • a person who has overcome or defeated an adversary;
  • a person, nation, etc., that has defeated an adversary in war, etc., as the victor army;
  • the winner of any contest, conflict, or struggle;
  • a code word used in communications to represent the letter "v."

The word victim comes from the Latin victima, meaning "a sacrificial animal."

The word victor comes from the Latin vincere, meaning "to conquer."

And herein rests the secret to our transformation from "victim" to "victor." But first, let's consider this:

Q. What does "Light" have to do with this transformation? (As in "Victory Through Light")

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Victoria Dorshorn
Writer & Speaker

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Victory through Light

A growing darkness threatens to destroy our culture and make victims of all of us. We don’t have to look far to see the threats to our personal security and liberty, to the survival and unity of our families, and to the continued existence of civilized society.

Many of the trends of the past fifty years have darkened the culture and confused the church, leaving a wide path of destruction. Victory through Light: How to Overcome the Growing Cultural Darkness is the first in a planned set of three books, the purpose of which is to expose the growing cultural darkness and call readers to Jesus Christ, who is “the true light” that “shines in the darkness.” He empowers us to “walk in light” and equips us with “the armor of light” that we may overcome the darkness besetting our nation and invading our lives.

Using relevant scriptures, personal testimony, and modern parables, this book enables Christians to see their way out of the confusing darkness and into the light of victory. It encourages believers to lead others to that light which overcomes the growing cultural darkness.

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RECENT POSTS

Yet I Will Rejoice
3/18/2020 11:22:00 PM BY Vicki Dorshorn

When the stock market began to tank in the early days of this COVID-19 outbreak, I found myself becoming financially fearful. Depending on IRA investments to supplement Social Security, my husband and I need mutual funds to at least remain stable, if not grow. In the past three years, they have grown, allowing us to draw a minimal amount from them without too much worry of depletion.

But then the bottom dropped out. My first thoughts were that the whole coronavirus scare was inspired by those who hate our duly elected president and would like nothing more than to see him fail, even at the cost of hurting themselves. They were simply trying to tank the stock market and destroy the economy so he would look bad and not win re-election.

While that may be the case, the more serious struggle for me is to put aside the fear and to trust God—no matter what. Period.

The Scripture that kept coming to my mind was this: “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation” (Habakkuk 3:17-18).

Six conditions. For me it had become like this: “Although the IRA accounts shall not grow, nor earnings be compounded; the gains of the stocks and mutual funds drop off, and the bonds decrease in value; the stocks and mutual funds lose their worth, and the accounts be brought to nothing—Yet will I rejoice in the LORD; I will joy in the God of my salvation.”

The conditions changed. But the conclusion stays the same. Even in the direst of circumstances, I must continue to rejoice in the LORD and joy in the God of my salvation. I must. Or I become a victim of the economy, of the “spirit of the age,” of the enemy of God.

The only way to be a victor—to be triumphant, is to continue to trust God. To know that regardless of what happens around me, my Lord Jesus is with me, taking care of me, and providing for me.

As the days have passed and the media (and politicians) have hyped this virus into a monstrous beast, a new set of conditions has affected everyone from the very young in K-12 to the elderly grandparents and great-grandparents, who must be isolated from the grandkids. It has become this: “Although March madness and spring proms have been cancelled, and schools put online or on vacation; and businesses close, putting workers out of pay; and church gatherings are cancelled, in lieu of on-line worship; and toilet paper, flour, yeast, and hand sanitizer are missing from grocery store shelves; and life is generally put on hold with social distancing—Yet will I rejoice in the LORD and joy in the God of my salvation.”

It’s true, really, that all these things become minor distractions when compared to eternity. When we think of what is awaiting us in heaven, can we not endure these trials for a moment? Indeed, when looking at what others in the world have endured for Christ, these things seem insignificant. We have yet to be chased from our homes and cities, hunted down and hacked apart with machetes, or burned alive or decapitated.

I’ve read how victorious the Christians in Nigeria are. How they pray for those who persecute them. How they rejoice in the LORD, even in the face of great personal loss. Because of the promises of God, they count themselves as victors, not victims.

Indeed, we do not have to be victims at this time. We, too, are victors—“more than conquerors”—over this virus and its effects upon our society.

To the biblical Christians who are doing life the Jesus’ way, all is NOT doom and gloom. Our Father has this under control. Our Savior is right here with us. Therefore we can say, “The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places” (Habakkuk 3:19).

In terms for today: “He will provide all my need and cause me to triumph over all my troubles.”     

Slow Suicide—Part 2
3/5/2020 6:00:00 AM BY Vicki Dorshorn

Last blog we saw that our loved ones can commit slow suicide by substance abuse or other damaging life choices. We ended with the truth that, before we can really help them, our loved ones must repent of their destructive behavior.

An example that demonstrates this is the parable of the prodigal son, as found in Luke 15:11-24. Basically, the son requested his inheritance before the death of the father. When he received it, he took off and lived in rebellion, wasting “his substance with riotous living” (v. 13). He lived the party lifestyle, given to drunkenness and other vices.

When a famine arose, he was in trouble, having neither money nor a job. So he hired on with a pig farmer who sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The son was so hungry he would have eaten the husks he fed the pigs. And that’s when he woke up.

We read, “And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants” (vv. 17-19).

Notice that all this time, the father of this prodigal son waited until the son “came to himself” and returned home. The father didn’t go to the party club where the son wasted his inheritance; he didn’t go to the swine field and beg the son to come home or enter that swine field to pull his son out.

It was only when he saw his son coming down the road toward home, and saw repentance—not defiance—in his facial expression, that he ran to meet him, bestowed him with gifts, and declared, “This my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found” (v. 24).

Note that the son was willing to become a servant because he knew he had forfeited his sonship. And yet, the father embraced him as a son. Real change had taken place. This is a real change that we cannot force on our loved ones. They must come to it themselves.

What do we do if they don’t? Keep praying. Let them face their consequences. Follow the leading of the Lord (not feelings of self-imposed or devil-imposed guilt). And keep praying. (Yes, I know I put it there twice. That’s how important prayer is.) Moreover, have faith in Christ.

Prayer and faith can move mountains (Matt. 17:20). The prayer of faith can bring physical healing and forgiveness of sins (James 5:15). But our prayer cannot save or deliver another person against that person’s choice.

Jesus tells us that some people will choose darkness (John 3:18-20). John writes that our new birth comes from God when we receive Christ. It doesn’t come from our parents’ faith, from the works of our flesh, or from the choice of others for us (John 1:12-13).

Sometimes we just have to let the person go, as in the story of the prodigal son. If they choose slow suicide, there’s little we can do but wait for them to come to themselves and seek deliverance. If they don’t, we will face grief—like those beset by sudden suicide.

However, even in the midst of grief there is hope if the loved one had at one time accepted Christ as personal Savior. We know that now even death can separate the believer from God’s love. Nothing can pluck us from Jesus’ hand nor from the Father’s hand (John 10:28-29).

Paul wrote, speaking of our victorious life, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to com, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39).

Suicide—either slow or sudden—does not remove a believer’s name from the book of life. We may not know whether our loved one accepted Christ, but we can know that God desires for all “to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). Jesus won’t make robots of people, but he will “draw all men unto” himself (John 12:32).

And as he draws, we each have a choice, even as Jesus said, “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40). Believing in Jesus Christ is the only requirement, even as stated in the very familiar John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Suicide—slow or sudden—does not negate belief, does not cancel salvation, does not overrule God’s power and ability and faithfulness. God’s promise is sure. We can trust him in, with, and for this life and eternal life.

Slow Suicide—Part 1
3/2/2020 6:00:00 AM BY Vicki Dorshorn

I was thinking of suicide the other day and of friends whose loved ones have taken that way out. I have never lost a loved one that way, have never experienced the heart-wrenching pain it must cause. I have no concept of how to speak comfort to those whose loved one has committed suicide. I can’t truly say, “I know how you feel.”

Or can I?

Like the proverbial “bucket of cold water hitting the face,” a thought struck me: What about a family member committing slow suicide from a life of alcoholism, substance abuse, and poor life choices?

That is a “suicide road” that can come with continual stress, unbelievable self-guilt, and occasions to doubt God’s power to intervene in lives. What do you do when you place an adult child in God’s hands, trusting God to miraculously change his or her course, and the loved one makes worse decisions and sinks deeper into addiction?

What do you do when even an arrest doesn’t wake them up? When they end up homeless or living in their car when temperatures dip below freezing? Or when you know they are going without food, but you also know that if you buy them food, they’ll just use their money for alcohol or drugs?

And how many “if only” and “I should have” statements can the accuser, Satan, hit you with before you buy into the lie that the loved one’s addiction is your fault, the result of your poor parenting or your neglect of a sibling, or your failure to adequately teach that loved one about God’s full salvation?

This is where we need the Word of God made real to us by the Holy Spirit. We need that Word to comfort us, to encourage our hearts, and to enable us to see that God’s sovereignty allows humans a choice. From Moses’s exhortation to “choose life” (Deut. 30:19) to Joshua’s declaration, “Choose you this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15), we see that we must, as individuals, make that choice. There is also a national choosing, too, but today’s blog focuses on individual, personal choices.

The apostle Paul had a choice whether to die and be with the Lord or live and continue his ministry (Phil. 1:22-24). He also wrote of those who “opposed themselves,” that they might “recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (2 Tim. 2:25-26). Believers should pray for these and instruct them in meekness. This implies that the person ensnared (addicted) can make a choice to get out. It’s a matter of repentance and then letting God deliver.

The individual who has given him or herself over to substance abuse, for example, must “come to their senses” and then escape that trap of the devil. As long as they deny that they are in a trap, they will not come to their senses. Imagine a situation where soldiers go into a POW camp to free prisoners but those prisoners refuse to be rescued, claiming that they are not prisoners.

Sounds preposterous, doesn’t it. But that’s how futile and wasted our efforts can be to rescue a loved one from their choices, when they don’t desire to be rescued. There must be repentance on their part: a realization of their wrong and a sorrow for it, and a desire for change.

Until that occurs, they will continue in their course of slow suicide.

My next blog will continue this topic, showing an example from the Bible that reinforces this point. It will also bring hope.

V-I-C-T-O-R-Y
2/6/2020 6:14:00 PM BY Vicki Dorshorn

The parade to celebrate Kansas City Chiefs’ 2020 Super Bowl victory was Wednesday, Feb. 5, in Kansas City, MO. The televised parade showed streets full of fans celebrating the victory of their hometown team.

According to early reports, there was only one breach of barricade and only five arrests, which included two from that breach. Others were for minor things like falling out of a tree or riding a horse. There was no looting, fires, riots, or property damage. Indeed, they celebrated the big win with decorum, dignity, and controlled delight.

But what if the Chiefs had lost? Then the victory celebration would have been in San Francisco.

In a game, sporting event, political contest, war, or personal battle, where there is a victor, there is also a loser.

However, in our spiritual life, we can all be victors—because we are not one another’s opponent. Our opponent is “spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12).

We aren’t battling individuals—not even individuals whom the devil uses to defeat us. (See 2 Corinthians 10:3.) We battle the mental and emotional force of evil, the influence of the devil on society, the impact of the devil on individuals opposed to our walk with the Lord Jesus.

The good news is that Jesus Christ has already won the battle for us. Our victory comes in understanding that and acting on his victory for us. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Jesus overcame the world, the prince of the world (the wicked one, the devil), and the evil spirits that the devil uses against us. Because Jesus did overcome, when we find our identity in him, as a new creation, we also have overcome the world, the devil, and the evil spirits (attitudes and influences of evil in the world).

In 1 John 5:4-5, we read of our triumph by faith over the world. In 1 John 2:13, 14, we see our victory over the wicked one by our new life in Christ. And in 1 John 4:3-4, we read that we have overcome the spirits of antichrist, because the spirit of Christ is in us (and he is greater than the spirits of the evil, wicked one, Satan).

Therefore, the loser in our spiritual battle is Satan and all that he uses to defeat us: lies, deception, error, hate, darkness, evil, moral depravity, perversion, false accusations, and even false lights. For example, the devil puts the new “tolerance” for righteousness and a twisted political correctness for morality.

However, the new tolerance is not “tolerance” but required celebration of and forced participation in that which is contrary to God’s righteousness. Today’s political correctness is not simply “grace and kindness for all” but preference of the immoral over the moral, substitution of collectivist thinking for common sense, and choosing a reprobate mind instead of logical critical thinking.

Who would have thought, even ten years ago, that the confusion of tolerance and political correctness would have reached the point it has? Children are taught that “scientific fact” (or even theory, i.e., evolution) overrules faith. But when it comes to their own bodies, they are told that the body parts they are born with do not determine their sex/gender. They are encouraged to toss science out the window and believe their “feelings.” And feelings are much less reliable than faith.

But in Christ, there is victory over even this confusion, which is part of the world, spawned by the wicked one and carried by the spirits of antichrist. Our victory is clear: “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Rom. 8:37). And he that loved us is Jesus Christ. He is the victor. And he is our victory.

And that spiritual victory far transcends the happy victory of the Kansas City Chiefs.

(Photo by Kansas City Star)