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

An End to Racism
6/2/2020 9:02:00 PM BY Vicki Dorshorn

There is one thing that can end racism permanently. It isn’t burning, destroying property, and looting. It isn’t throwing water bottles and bricks at cops. It isn’t name calling, race baiting, or passing legislation (though the latter can help correct outward human behavior).

A common faith in Jesus Christ will remove racism from those who follow him.

Paul says in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, [or black or white or yellow or brown], there is neither slave nor free, [or successful professional or minimum wage worker], and there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (MEV with my additions in brackets).

All one in Christ. That’s the unity that is needed today.

Of course, we can’t mandate that everyone become a Christian. Nor does it work that way. But the message of the gospel going forth can change hearts and minds and bring us into that unity of faith by being born again. Being a new creation in Christ (see 2 Cor. 5:17) will cause us to see one another through the lens of love.

Romans 10:12 also makes this point: “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek [between the black and the white, the yellow and the brown, or any other color]: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him” (KJV with my additions in brackets).

Jesus loves all. He does not see racial divisions. He does not classify people by skin color. He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 KJV). He desires for “all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4 KJV).

But he gives people a free choice. So how do we eradicate racism apart from Jesus Christ, the Savior? How do we guarantee equal treatment under the law for all races, apart from God who is love and who commands us to love one another?

I don’t think we can get there apart from Jesus. We can provide some justice. Pass laws to end the actions that result in division and injustice. But we cannot change hearts. We cannot force people to value the lives of others.

For that very reason, any political party that wants to do away with God will not be able to do away with racism. If they could have, they should have by now.

It’s past time for political parties to act. We need a mighty move of the Spirit of God upon our land. We need national repentance of and sorrow for sins of injustice and hatred. We need a born-again, united-in-Christ experience of peace, love, and unity. And we need it now.

Each of us can start with prayer. With treating one another with kindness and respect. With open, civil dialogue. With sharing the love of God.     

 

With One Voice
5/24/2020 3:38:00 PM BY Vicki Dorshorn

As some states begin to “re-open,” the conflict seems to have escalated between the people who insist we need to stay at home longer and the people who need to get back to work in order to support their families. The tension seems to be rising between those who realize that our basic liberties have been compromised and those who believe that the compromise was necessary for health reasons.

I get that believers and non-believers will not see eye-to-eye on the value of churches as an “essential” service. Kind of like pro-life and pro-death people not agreeing on whether or not abortion mills are “essential.”

However, I find it disconcerting that fellow Christians are bickering over churches “opening.” You don’t have to spend long on Facebook to know what I mean. Some people stoically cite Romans 13:1 and criticize those who continue meeting in churches. Others proudly cite Hebrews 10:25 and criticize those who stay at home.

Many who stay at home are in the vulnerable populations—over 65, compromised immune systems, lung issues like COPD or asthma, or are caregivers for those in that category. Many who continue meeting, sometimes being arrested, are in the younger, healthier groups. And some find ways around the restrictions, like drive-in churches and online services.

The point is, can’t we just respect one another’s choices while continuing in the choice we make? We don’t have to accuse one another of being ruled by fear or by the government. We don’t have to call one another weak or “rebels.” We don’t have to call others “lawless” or “unlawful,” or worse yet, “selfish, unloving, and uncaring about others.”

Those who need to “shelter-in-place” will need Scriptural encouragement. Let’s do what we can to offer that, as we work to bear their burdens. And those at home can pray for the protection and safety of those who gather to worship and who are out there meeting the needs of others--through prayer bear their burdens. In that way, we all obey Romans 15:1-3.

Paul says, “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15:4 NKJV). The Word brings hope. And hope is one thing we need right now.

And the patience and comfort that brings hope also brings peace. Paul exhorts the believers,

Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (vv. 5-6 NKJV) 

The Modern English Version uses the phrase “one voice” instead of “one mouth,” which expresses the verbal unity that would demonstrate peace to the world.

When we’re bickering, we’re not like-minded. When we criticize one another, we are not glorifying God or pleasing our Father. Our voices are not united.

But if we have patience, comfort, and hope, can we expect peace? Yes. Verse 13 says, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (NKJV).

So, our God is the God of patience and comfort and the God of hope. And because he brings us peace, he is also the God of peace, as Paul makes clear at the end of this chapter: “Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen” (v. 33 NKJV).

Patience. Comfort. Hope. Peace. And what is the timeframe? Is it “when everything returns to normal”? No. In all three verses (5, 13, and 33), the time is “Now.”

We can have this joy, peace, hope, comfort, and patience right now. Our mutual faith can unite us to glorify God—NOW. In that way, we will show the power of our God over Covid-19. We will shine as light in a dark world. We will unify our voices to speak truth to our culture.

 

(The first book in the “Victory” set is Victory through Light. The second book is, for now, Victory through Voice. It will address the problem of privatization of faith and other current issues silencing the church. Thus, my emphasis on our shining the light and speaking the truth in a world and culture that is plagued with darkness, fear, confusion, and multiple voices of doom. Let me know if the title Victory through Voice resonates with you, or if I need to go back to the proverbial “drawing board.”)

Trust in God
5/17/2020 3:21:00 PM BY Vicki Dorshorn

The apostle Paul makes a very bold statement in Philippians 1:21, 23. He says, “For to me, to continue living is Christ, and to die is gain . . . I am in a difficult position between the two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better” (MEV). Can we have this attitude, too? Do we?

Was Paul being suicidal? No way. He admits that it was more needful for the believers for him to stay on earth and continue his ministry (vv. 24-26). He is simply making the point that as we yield to God and trust him for our lives, living is to continue in Christ’s will on earth and dying is to enter the presence of our Lord. We are winners either way!

In Philippians 2:2, Paul encourages us to be likeminded—not only with one another but with him, in this very assurance.

How does this tie to Covid-19? When it first hit these shores, a high death toll was predicted. By God’s grace, it hasn’t been that serious. But it is serious enough to those families who have lost loved ones to that diagnosis.

What if each of us reading this were to be at death’s door with Covid-19? Could we declare that departing and being with Christ would be better than getting well and continuing to live in this life?

And even beyond that thought, what actions do we take in light of this truth? Do we run out and try to get sick so we can move on into eternity? That’s not what Paul’s words suggest.

As for us, we should care for those whom God puts in our life to care for (children, spouse, parents—whomever), confident in Christ and without fear. We follow common sense guidelines regarding our safety and that of those whom God has placed in our care.

We place our trust in God, not in government. We trust in God, not in our handwashing and sterilization of doorknobs and groceries, and our various masks, etc., (though we may do those things as a precaution). Our confidence is in God, not an untested vaccination.

We look to God, not to a world organization that is empowered by the enemy of God. That enemy is the prince of the power of the air, “the god of this world,” who has “blinded the minds” of unbelievers (Eph. 2:2; 2 Cor. 4:4).

Isaiah addresses this: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength” (Isa. 26:3, 4 KJV).

We can have peace, not worrying about whether we live or die, shelter in place or return to work, stay healthy or get sick, live or die. Because our strength is in the Lord, forever.

Jeremiah says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD” (Jer. 17:7 MEV). We need to make the Lord our trust and hope, make him the assurance of our life. Only then will we be able to say with Paul, “For me, to continue living is Christ, and to die is gain.” Only then will we be able to face the future with peace, in spite of Covid-19, in spite of the restrictions, in spite of the predictions of doom that may bombard us.

Life is worth living if we have Christ, and death holds no power if we have Christ. And having Christ means to acknowledge our sin and need of a savior, accept that Jesus died and rose again to forgive us and impart new life to us, to be “born again” (John 3:3). It is to come to the light, which Jesus is (John 3:18-21).

Romans 14:8 says, “For if we live, we live for the Lord. And if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s” (MEV).

Ravi Zacharias, well-known apologist and writer, posted on his Facebook story on May 16, 2020 this message: “The story of the gospel is the story of eternal life. My life is unique and will endure eternally in God’s presence. I will never be ‘no more.’ I will never be lost, because I will be with the One who saves me.”

And isn’t that what the apostle Paul was saying? Ravi is battling end-stage cancer. He is one whom I ask the Lord to spare—to heal and leave here to continue his ministry. But it’s the Lord’s decision to make. And either way, Ravi will be “in Christ.”

This is an assurance that all believers have. It’s based, not on our merit, but on Christ’s work and faithfulness.

 

(Feel free to comment or email if you have questions about accepting Christ, or have concerns about the future because of Covid-19 or other illnesses.)  

A Firm Foundation
5/9/2020 6:35:00 PM BY Vicki Dorshorn

When building, even a deck on a house, one must dig down deep, pour concrete footings, and establish a firm foundation. This is necessary in order for the structure to last the test of time and weather the storms that inevitably will come.

Jesus spoke a parable about building on a firm foundation, as recorded in Matthew 7:24-27. He said that those who hear what he says, believe it, and obey his words are like people who build on a rock, a firm foundation. Rain, floods, and winds come, but the house stands because it is “founded upon a rock.”

People who ignore what he says and who refuse to believe and obey are like people who build on the sand, without a sure foundation. Rain, floods, and winds come, and the house falls. In fact, he says, “it will collapse with a mighty crash” (v. 27 NLT).

In 1834, a preacher named Edward Mote wrote a song which magnifies Christ as the solid Rock. Its chorus is based on the Matthew 7 Scripture, and its stanzas refer to other Scriptures. The first stanza shows the assurance that our salvation is based on Christ’s completed work alone:

“My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
   On Christ the solid Rock I stand;
   All other ground is sinking sand.”

The song’s next two stanzas deal with troubles of life and assert that Christ is our anchor who holds us safe in every storm and that he never forsakes us. “When every earthly prop gives way, / He then is all my Hope and Stay,” writes Mote. The last stanza celebrates our reward in heaven with Jesus, because of His work, because He is our solid Rock.

The important lesson to draw from this is that no matter what happens to us—even during this time of Covid-19—our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has got us. He is the solid Rock on which we stand. He is our anchor. He is our hope. His righteousness provides our security—now and for eternity.

All we have to do is listen to him, believe him, and obey his Word. In short, build on the solid Rock, not on the shifting sands of our darkening culture. He is called our rock two times in second Samuel and four times in the Psalms. Psalm 18:2 celebrates that “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower” (KJV).

These metaphors fit this time. We face Covid-19, media hype and propaganda, state and local government tyranny in places, proposed dubious vaccinations, planned population thinning, battles over what medicine is best to use, loss of business and even bankruptcy by small businesses, closed churches, enforced mask wearing, social distancing, and massive quarantines.

Though some of those actions may help some of the population, we are being overwhelmed with messages of “fear,” enticing us to hide away as though Covid-19 had the power of God—the power of life and death. To base our hope on a vaccine, a ventilator, a mask, or massive amounts of hand sanitizer is to build on “sinking sand.”

As individuals, we can only trust in Jesus’ name. In his grace and goodness. As a nation, we can only trust in his willingness to forgive as we repent of our national sins. Those national sins are comprised of millions—no, billions—of individual sins, many of which have yet to be repented of. Will the self-righteous and truth-haters of our nation repent?

The future of our nation—of our liberty—stands in the balance. Upon what, as a nation, will we build our hope? Upon what name will we call? Upon what surface will we stand and build again a nation of unity and morality. The solid Rock? Or sinking sand?

Upon what will we build our individual lives? Hopefully on Christ, who came to give eternal life and abundant life (John 10:10). If we build on him and his Word, our life will be secure in his will, safe in his care, and we will stand through all storms.

Be safe, y’all.

 

Feel free to comment or share your stories with me.