Supplying the Playbook for Victory Through Every Battle
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FROM TEST TO TESTIMONY
Jonathan readily admits that the journey of life is not easy. We are faced with a lot of hardships that can feel impossible to overcome. However, he explains that we need to “rely on His power rather than ours.” Evans studied battles to strategize and create a playbook for winning them. He shares real-world analogies, encouraging Bible stories, and “battlefield lessons” to apply to our daily lives.
In the story of David and Goliath, for example, Jonathan points out how everyone else was intimidated by Goliath, but David wasn’t. He faced the giant and said, “let me at him.” David wasn’t afraid because he knew God’s power was in him. He wasn’t out to prove what he could do, he was out to prove what God could do in this battle. Jonathan reminds us of the One who owns our battles, wins our victories, and fights for us in difficult times. “We are stewards of the battle, not owners of the battle,” he says, exhorting us to put on God’s armor and fight.
PERSPECTIVE ON BATTLE
“My calling is bigger than my giant,” Evans says, conceding that spiritual warfare occurs everywhere in the world, everyday. By surrendering our battles to God, he believes we will see how He uses these hardships and experiences to build a future that will fulfill us and move His kingdom forward. Although we fear the battle that may come with a calling, we need to “depend on God, because all of your battles belong to Him. Battles are necessary in order to gain ground.” He says they make us stronger, more equipped, and ready for what is to come.
Jonathan offers the example of his son, when he joined a tackle football team and was intimidated by the boys on the other team, who were much bigger than he was. Evans told him he was too busy analyzing the “giants,” and forgot who he was. He reminded his son that he was a natural athlete, strong, tall, fast, and able to win this battle. He needed to face his giant in order to step into his calling of being a good, strong football player. Evans reminds us, too, that we need to look at our battles as a calling, rather than a mistake, an opportunity versus an opposition, and a purpose rather than a problem.
JONATHAN’S OWN BATTLES
Jonathan shares some of his personal battles, in which he’s experienced grief, anger, hopelessness, and fear. One of the most poignant revolves around his late mother’s cancer journey, and the unyielding faith he and his family had until the end. Another is how a torn Achilles tendon ended his NFL career, bringing great uncertainty into the next chapter of his life. A third battle came multiple times, as Jonathan and his wife, Kanika, walked through four miscarriages before having their first child.
Next, he discusses how he and his extended family endured the loss of eight members in just two years. “Battles like these have really challenged me to think about what it means to fight God’s way, relying on His power rather than my own. There are lessons that become clear only through trials and troubles. Those lessons gear us up to handle the hard times better, fight the good fight, and persevere toward the purpose God calls us to.”
When his family learned of his mother’s cancer diagnosis, the doctors told them that there was nothing else they could do, and that she had only six months to live. When Lois Evans saw their reactions to the news, she said, “Whoa, this is spiritual warfare. We’ve got to remember what we’re up against.” From that point on, the family knew this battle wasn’t merely physical, but a call to a fight of faith. Their whole perspective changed.
When Jonathan and his wife were struggling through four miscarriages, he says they first took an “earthly approach,” trying to figure things out themselves, rather than relying on God. This led to becoming angry with Him, and resulted in much grief and heartache. Eventually, they decided they wanted to do things God’s way, trusting Him, despite the hardship and trials. He encourages us likewise. “Let’s do battle God’s way, as His people. That means fighting with heaven’s strategies, not our own.”
UNUSUAL BOOK FEATURE
Jonathan’s book contains an unusual element. After every three chapters, there is a QR code on the back of the page. By scanning it, the code will direct you to a website, jonathanblakeevans.com, where you are able to view his sermon series, “Losing is Winning.” Along with the QR codes, there also is a Workbook/Study Guide and DVD set that can be used for groups.
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