Looking unto Jesus and not at our defeats or our victories. If we look at our defeats, we shall be cast down; if we look at our victories, we shall be puffed up. And neither will help us to fight the good fight of faith (I Tim. 6:12). Like all our blessings, the victory, with the faith which wins it, is the gift of God through our Lord Jesus Christ (I Cor. 15:57), and all the glory belongs to Him.
Pay attention to the reason God gave Gideon for discharging 31,700 Israelite warriors and leaving him with only 300 to go up against the Midianites. "… lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, 'My own hand has saved me.” (Judges 7:2)
A preoccupation with our defeats usually rises out of a wounded pride for what we thought we were or hoped we might be. A morose dissatisfaction with our performance signals an idol of expectation that needs to throne down at the feet of the Lord Jesus. This same pride that pouts in defeat also gloats in victory. Every triumph in our life comes by God’s grace alone. The trophies of His grace belong on His mantel. But self pride always triggers the larceny in us to sneak away the trophies of God’s grace and show-case them on the mantel of our own accomplishments.
The answer to both extremes of pride found in our defeats and victories is found in the heart that cries out for God alone to be glorified.
…let God be true but every man a liar… Romans 3:4
Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth. Psalms 115:1-8
Can We Pray? Oh yes! Let God be true and every man a liar. Dear God deliver me from the spirit of self justification and self pity that grabs hold of me in my defeats. I empty into your hand every claim I could make for myself and confess again that apart from you I can do nothing. Set with in me a disdain for the thievery that lies deep with in me; that I would steal your glory and claim it as mine. I wish even at this time to look away from the lips confessing and to see only Your eyes of mercy and grace upon me. So I pray in Jesus Name… Amen