Standing In 
Winner's Circle
Winner's Wreath

      "And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men"  (I Samuel 22:2).  These men became David's band, a motley crew of those in distress, in debt, and discontented.  Who would want train such an army?  However, these were the men that God drew to David to train.

    Now let us do a fast forward in time and look at three of these men later. "These be the names of the mighty men whom David had: The Tachmonite that sat in the seat, chief among the captains; the same was Adino the Eznite: he lift up his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time.    And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David, when they defied the Philistines that were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were gone away:    He arose, and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword: and the LORD wrought a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to spoil.    And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentiles: and the people fled from the Philistines.    But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the LORD wrought a great victory"  (II Samuel 23:8-12).  Lets take a closer look.

 1. Adino = "His spear"  Adino killed 800 men at one time with his spear.  Could you imagine pulling the spear out of 800 men.

 2. Eleazar = "God's Helper"  Eleazer uses his sword until he couldn't release it. He was by himself.  He had a great victory!  The people followed him to pick up the spoil.

 3. Shammah = "Astonishing"  This is what God desires for us to be, astonishing. Shammah stood in the middle of a bean patch.

Note: "But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the LORD wrought a great victory" (II Samuel 23:12).
(1) He stood in the middle of a bean patch.
(2) He defended it against a whole troop of Philistines.
(3) The LORD wrought a great victory.
How did the men in distress, in debt, and discontented become the mighty men of David???

    We need to go back to see the life of David. Look at I Samuel 17:1-58.  David was just a young lad when his older brothers went into battle against the Philistines.  The Philistines were the modern army of the day, equipped with weapons of iron while the Israelites were still in the stone age.  There was a giant about nine feet tall who was a great Philistine warrior.  This giant, named Goliath, came out an taunted the army of the Israel.  The Israelites were deathly afraid of the Goliath.

    David's father told David to take some food down to the battle ground to his brothers and see how things were going.  When David arrived, Goliath, again stepped out with his challenge to fight any Israelite, defying the army of Israel.  Then some of the Israelites begin to tease David by asking if he had heard the challenge of Goliath.  They told David that the king would surely give his daughter to the man who would fight this giant.  David said, "Let me hear that again?"  "What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?" (I Samuel 17:26).  Note the words of David, "uncircumcised Philistine."  David knew that being circumcised meant that one had a covenant relationship with God.  God fought for those with whom He had a covenant relationship.  Goliath was not circumcised; therefore, he did not have a covenant relationship with God.  This is the reason David declared to the giant, "Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied" (I Samuel 17:45b).

    David taught those who where destitute, in debt, and discontented about this covenant relationship that they had with God.  This is the reason why David's men became mighty!  This is the reason Shammah could stand in the middle of a bean patch which God had given to Israel and fight off a whole troop of Philistines.  By the way, the Philistines were the most modern and best naturally equipped army of that day.


Isaiah 53:12  "Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."
Note: This is a prophecy concerning the coming of Christ. The Father will give Jesus a spoil, and Jesus will give it to Believers.

Psalms 68:18-19 "Thou hast ascended on high, thou has led captivity captive: thou has received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.  Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.  Selah."

Note: When Jesus arose from the dead, he had victory over the powers of darkness and gave gifts to those who would become Believers.

John 16:33  "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."

Note: Jesus has overcome the world.

I John 3:8  "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil."

Note: The very purpose that Jesus came into the world was to undo the works of the devil.  It is like someone would undo or untie you shoe lace.

Colossians 2:15 "Having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it."

Note: This is a picture of a conqueror returning home on a white stallion dragging behind him the prisoners which he has taken in battle.

I Corinthians 15:25-28 "For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.  For he hath put all things under his feet.  But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.  And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all."
"And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.   Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:    That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;    And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father"  (Philippians 2:8-11).

FURTHERMORE please note: "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God" (Hebrews 10:12).  Again, "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high"  (Hebrews 1:3).  Again, "Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens"  (Hebrews 8:1).

 JESUS IS NOW SEATED!  It is no longer a picture of the battle, but a picture of rest and rule AFTER the battle is over!  The victory is won, the enemy is defeated, and now it is time for Jesus to rest and rule.


TRANSITION.......... we are to step in the winner's circle with Christ.

 Ephesians 1:16-2:7.....................we are to KNOW =
      1. What is the hope of His calling.
      2. The riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.
      3. The exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward.

"Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,    Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:    And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,    Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all"  (Ephesians 1:20-23).

Note: Jesus is NOW seated in the WINNER'S CIRCLE in heaven for above all the powers of darkness.

"And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:6).

Note: This means that by faith and in the spirit we are also seated with Christ, the Winner, in heaven far above all the powers of darkness implying that we have authority in Christ over them.  It is a position of REST!  Jesus' work is finished!  It is accomplished.  We are to REST in the finished work of Jesus.

Revelation 3:11  "To him that overcometh will I grant to set with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne."

HERE WE CAN SEE THE PRINCIPLE:  Christ overcame all the works of the devil through the cross and resurrection events and he now invites us to join him in the winner's circle.

It is important that we SEE where we are SEATED with Jesus in Heaven in the winner's circle..

Joshua 6:2  God told Joshua, "See, I have given into thine hand Jericho."

Proverbs 29:18 "Where there is no vision the people perish."  If we do not see that we are standing in the winner's circle we will also lose the battles in our daily lives.  We need this vision!

Proverbs 23:7  "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he."  If we see ourselves as being ugly and repulsive ... then we respond in that fashion.  If we see ourselves as being failures, then that is what we will be ... a failure.

* The person who hates his father, becomes just like him.  Hate is strong emotion tie that cause the son to focus his attention upon his father.

* Try driving down the road and focus your attention on the car wreck on the side of the road.  You will veer in that direction.

Genesis 30:37-43  Here is a classic example.  Jacob had served Laban seven years for Rachel to be his wife, but Laban gave him Leah on his wedding night instead.  Then Laban required Jacob to serve him seven more years for Rachel.  Jacob was to keep all the spotted animals and give the solid colored one to Laban.  Therefore, Jacob (the deceiver) put spotted and striped stakes of wood before the eyes of the animals when them came to water and when they mated.  "And he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink. And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle ringstraked, speckled, and spotted" (Genesis 30:38-39).

Illustration: Have you ever notice an old married couple?  They talk, look, act alike.  Why?  Because they have focused on each other for years.


     Romans 6:5  "... we have been grafted together...."

     John 14:20 "At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you."

     Ephesians 1:4  "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love."

IF WE ARE GRAFTED UNTO CHRIST AND ARE IN HIM and He is seated in the winner's circle....... then we are also SEATED in the winner's circle!

 [ How do you see yourself? ]

1. We are not helpless.......

WE ARE HELPED ... "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews. 4:16).
2. We are not left out.....
WE ARE CHOSEN ... "Yea are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, as peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light" (I Peter 2:9).
3. We are not abandoned.
WE ARE ADOPTED ... NEVER LEFT ALONE ... "... that we might receive the adoption of sons.  And because ye are son, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father" (Galatians 4:5-6).   "I will not leave your comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you" (John 14:18.
4. We are not sinners.
WE ARE SAINTS ... (To the carnal Christians at Corinth) "... to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord ...." (I Corinthians 1:2).
5. We are not rejected.
WE ARE ACCEPTED ... "To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved" (Ephesians 1:6).
6. We are not guilty.
WE ARE JUSTIFIED ... (just as though we never sinned).  (We were fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, drunkards, thieves, covetous, homosexuals, etc.)  "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:11).
7. We are not fearful.
WE HAVE A SOUND MIND ... "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power of love, and of a sound mind" (II Timothy 1:7).
8. We are not the victim.
WE ARE THE VICTORS ... "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God" (I John 5:4-5).
9. We are not defeated.
WE ARE CONQUERORS AND MORE ... "Nay, in all these thing we are more than conquerors through him that loved us" (Romans 8:37).
10. We are not poor.
WE ARE RICH ..."For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich"  (II Corinthians 8:9).
11. We are not weak.
WE ARE STRONG ... Jesus said, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness."  Paul declared, "For when I am weak, then am I strong" (II Corinthians 12:9-10)  "Let the weak say, I am strong" (Joel 3:10b).
12. We are not sinful.
WE ARE RIGHTEOUS ...  "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (II Corinthians 5:21).
13. We are not without hope.
WE ARE HOPEFUL ... "Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace.  Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work" (II Thessalonians 2:16-17).
14. We are not sick.
WE ARE HEALED ...  (Jesus) "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed" (I Peter 2:24).
15. We are not bound by Satan or past experiences.
WE ARE FREE ... "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed"  (John 8:36).  Jesus said, "... he hath sent me to preach deliverance to the captives ... to set at liberty them that are bruised" (Luke 4:18).
16. We are not ashamed.
WE ARE FREE FROM SHAME ... Paul said, "According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death."  (Philippians 1:20)
17. We are not insecure.
WE ARE SECURE ...  "If God be for us, who can be against us" (Romans 8:31).
18. We are not cursed.
WE ARE BLESSED ...  "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3).
19. We are not handicapped.
WE CAN DO ALL THAT GOD ASKS ... "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13).

"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death" (Revelation 12:11).  What is the word of your testimony?  What do you confess when the enemy comes to attack?  Do you confess what the Word says, or do you confess what you feel?  Do you confess what you see with you physical eyes or the finished work of Jesus.

ILLUSTRATION: As a boy growing up, I did what we called "Indian Wrestling" with other boys.  We would draw a circle on the ground. Two of us would get into the circle and one would try to throw the other off balance and out of the ring.  As long as you stayed in the circle, you were a winner.  That is a good illustration of what happens in the spiritual.  In Christ in Heaven we are SEATED with Christ.  It is a spiritual place of trust and rest, but also of reigning by the finished work of Jesus.  However, we also still live here on this earth.  Therefore, we are to STAND by faith in the finished work of Jesus against Satan and his powers who would try to get us to step out of the circle here on earth.  We are seated in Heaven, but stand against the enemy on earth.  However, the only way that we can stand on earth against the enemy is by being seated with Christ in Heaven.

Note: Ephesians 6:10-18.............  (we wrestle = hand to hand & face to face.)

Just like Shammah, David's champion, we are to stand on the ground that God has given us through Christ.

 * We are to withstand.  The enemy with come against us.  We can count on that.  We are not to be passive but aggressive in our holding our ground.  Like Shammah we are to defend the ground.

* We are to "having done all, to stand."  Like Shammah we are to continue to stand that God can bring the victory.

NOTE:  The enemy will use:
1. Surprise (we don't expect it).
2. Our natural weakness (when we are tired).
3. Deception (that is not really in the Word).
4. Peer pressure (other people don't believe that).
5. Natural desires (sex, hunger, need for approval).
6. Doubt and fear.
1. We are to stand by the strength of God.
 "Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might" The idea is to be "enpowered" by Jesus.  We are to rest in His strength.
 2. We are to put on all the armor of God.  This is HIS armor.  We receive it by GRACE.  We don't work or perform for it!  For example: We are to stand in the RIGHTEOUSNESS that He has given to us.  It is NOT that we are standing in our own righteousness!  All we can do by faith is to "put on" His righteousness and stand in that.
a. Loins girt about with truth.
b. Breastplate of righteousness.
c. Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.
d. We are to take the shield of faith.
e. We are to have on the helmet of salvation.
f. We are to use the sword of the Spirit = the Word of God.
g. We are to pray "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit."


 * We must not allow Satan to allure us out of the circle.  The moment that we step out of the circle, we lose the battle.  Often zealous Christians step out the circle to go fight the enemy on their own.  It doesn't work, because they end up fighting him with their own strength. David always inquired of the LORD before going into battle.  We must stand on God's Word, even when it seems contrary to circumstances.  As long as we are standing in the middle of the circle .... WE HAVE THE VICTORY!

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