Category eight in God’s divine power system is spiritual maturity, the winner’s category, as evidenced by sharing the happiness of God a maximum amount of the time. Having learned this important problem solving device, a believer who has reached this category in God’s power system is enjoying his life on earth while anticipating eternity.
Jesus Christ has secured forever the strategic victory (the skillful planning and management in getting the better of the adversary) over Satan. At salvation this victory places the believer in a place of maximum strength with the potential to win the tactical victory (the procedure for gaining advantage or success over the adversary) over Satan, the world (cosmic) system and the sin nature. Our union with Christ (Positional Sanctification) guarantees the opportunity to overcome the obstacles that are placed before us (or that we place before ourselves) in order to execute the Christian Way of Life and glorify God while we are on earth.
Many privileges are given to the believer at the moment of salvation and many are given after salvation. However, opportunities must be seized by personal volition. As a believer, you are the most privileged person on the face of the earth, but at the same time you may be missing the opportunities for fantastic blessing by not executing God’s plan, purpose and will for your life. Tactical victory comes over a period of time as a believer makes thousands of right decisions regarding God, himself, others and circumstances. Winning the tactical victory is done by a believer who is being empowered by God the Holy Spirit as he organizes his life around right priorities: Jesus Christ must be the most important person in your life, learning and applying accurate Bible doctrine must be placed above personal pleasure or your career, and virtue must drive every decision you make in life. (Ephesians 4:14-15)
Privilege in life is always accompanied by responsibility. This is also true with the Royal Family of God. Our first responsibility, of course, is to God as Royal Priests, and our second responsibility is to others as Royal Ambassadors. Christ’s strategic victory secured only potential for the tactical victory. As believers, we all have equal privilege and equal opportunity to execute the Christian Way of Life. Some believers will choose to do so and some will not. Those who fail in their responsibility to God will experience a life of misery and unhappiness. Those who choose to embrace and fulfill their responsibility to God will experience a life of peace and happiness.
There are two types of believers: winners and losers. Winners are the believers who win the strategic and the tactical victory. Losers are the believers who win only the strategic victory. Winning the strategic victory is done by a single decision to believe in Christ as Savior. Winning the strategic and tactical victories is done by a single act of faith in Christ and many additional decisions thereafter to obey God’s Word and execute the Christian Way of Life. (John 3:36; Ephesians 5:15-18)
The winner-believer, after trusting Christ as Savior, makes many right decisions that glorify Christ. Therefore, he glorifies God both in time and in eternity. The winner-believer has won the strategic victory and possesses the righteousness of God and is advancing to spiritual maturity where he will win the tactical victory. The winner-believer does suffer, but it is for divine blessing. He lives in God’s divine power system and constantly makes right decisions from a position of strength. The winner-believer makes God number one priority in his life.
The loser-believer makes a single decision to trust Christ as Savior and this brings God glory. Even though the loser-believer has won the strategic victory and possesses the righteousness of God, he will suffer divine discipline and self-induced misery because of his failure to win the tactical victory. He lives in Satan’s cosmic system and constantly makes wrong decisions from a position of weakness. The loser-believer makes himself number one priority in life.
Being a winner or loser believer is determined by personal volition. You make the choice to be a winner or a loser. God does not force anyone to trust Christ as Savior or to obey His mandates after salvation. God is not a “puppet-master” manipulating the believer’s every thought and action and He is not a “magician” with a magic wand to wave in order to fix your problems. However, God has designed the Christian Way of Life in a way in which all believers can become winners. By following God’s predesigned plan for you as outlined in His Word, any believer can be a success. It begins with making the right decision, as a believer, to learn, believe and apply Bible doctrine. If you’re waiting for God to make you do something or to make you think a certain way, you’re waiting in vain.
God has commanded all believers to grow spiritually and to advance beyond “spiritual babyhood.” Logistical grace is for all believers. However, merely being kept alive, being furnished with the necessities of life and being protected is not enough for those believers with positive volition towards God and His Word. God wants us to move beyond salvation to spiritual adulthood. The issue of salvation has been settled, now we must make a positive decision to advance. Advancement in the Christian life can be accomplished only by residing in God’s divine power system. (Ephesians 4:11-15; Hebrews 5:11-14; II Peter 3:18)
The winner-believer shares the happiness of God in category eight of the divine power system. The Word of God gives us a clear picture of how Jesus exhibited the happiness of God during His life on earth. You will recall that Jesus utilized the same power source that we have, the Holy Spirit, to sustain and empower Him. Therefore, the happiness of Christ was based on truth. He fully understood God the Father’s plan for Him and executed it with joy (happiness). True happiness is a mental attitude. (Hebrews 12:2)
As the ruler of this world, Satan and his cosmic system can provide all the conditional and temporary happiness a person can handle. This includes money, power and fame. These things do not bring true happiness and often bring only misery. But these things are not Satan’s only deceptions - his most effective one is religion. (II Corinthians 11:13-15)
The true spiritual life is not a religion. It is a permanent relationship with Jesus Christ - a relationship that begins at faith in Christ as Savior and has the potential of continuing after salvation as a way of life. Happiness is not dependent on overt activity or avoidance of certain taboos. Genuine happiness depends on the truth that you store in your soul.
A state of genuine, true and complete happiness depends on absolute truth found only in God’s Word. There are, however, degrees of happiness. The more time you spend in the study and application of Bible doctrine, the higher your degree of happiness. As a believer continues to seek truth over a period of time, his capacity to receive blessing increases. One of the many blessings that God gives, as a fruit of the Spirit, is happiness. But as with everything in the Christian Way of Life, happiness is only a potential. The believer must make the decision to spend time in study and application of God’s Word. The more you know about God, His policies and His mandates, the more application you are able to make. The more application of God’s Word that you make, the happier you will be. (Matthew 6:33; Romans 14:16-19; Galatians 5:22-23; II John 12)
God is perfect happiness, His happiness is eternal, His happiness is unchanging (it never decreases or increases) because it is a part of His character. There has never been a time when God was unhappy. The times in the Bible when unhappiness is ascribed to the Lord, it is an anthropomorphism (ascribing to God human characteristics) for our finite understanding. God in His grace designed man to share His divine happiness. When a believer is thinking divine viewpoint, he is sharing the thinking of God and can also share the happiness of God.
One of the by-products of sharing God’s thinking is personal independence. This means that the believer is becoming self-sustaining; he is able to make good decisions from a position of strength. He is able to utilize Bible doctrine effectively in all areas of his life. Divine guidance, for example, becomes a matter of “spiritual common sense.” A believer is able to take the responsibility for his own decisions, good or bad, and stabilize his life as a result. No one is allowed to disturb, upset, or depress you since your confidence is in the Lord. All this combines to bring you happiness. This means that truth, exhibited in the life as integrity (a strict adherence to the truth), must precede happiness! (Proverbs 3:13, 8:32-34; John 17:13)
When your spiritual life becomes more important to you than the details of life, you will be able to enjoy God’s happiness in all situations. No person or set of circumstances can defeat you. Your happiness does not depend on people or circumstances. Your happiness depends on the doctrine that you have stored in your soul. Because your priorities are in order, you have learned that sharing the happiness of God replaces any false, temporary happiness that this world system offers. Sharing God’s happiness builds spiritual self-esteem, increases capacity for life, eliminates fear, increases your ability to endure suffering and continues to advance you. When an advancing believer reaches the point of increased capacity in his spiritual life, God begins to pour out fantastic blessings (not always material) to this believer, which brings glory to Him both now and for all eternity. This means that you are no longer reaping what you sow; you are now reaping what God has sown. (James 1:2-3; Ephesians 2:7; Galatians 6:7-9; Hebrews 3:10-12)
It is impossible to have the capacity to share God’s happiness if you’re not consistently utilizing all of the Problem-Solving Devices in your daily experience. It’s a complete system. As with everything in the Christian life, sharing the happiness of God is only a potential, acquired only through spiritual growth. If the details of life are keeping you from acquiring, storing and using the inventory of Bible doctrine in your soul, you will never experience the necessary growth required to share God’s happiness. So here’s the litmus test for you and me. Am I progressing or retrogressing? We certainly never stand still in the Christian Way of Life. If you’re not growing, you’re shrinking! If you’re not advancing, you’re retreating! (Proverbs 8:32-34)