On May 5th, many celebrate Cinco de Mayo, which is Spanish for the “fifth of May.” Most Americans treat this holiday as they often do many others – any excuse to go out and party without even realizing what the holiday commemorates.
Cynco de Mayo has an interesting history that can bring some encouraging spiritual parallels to our journey. The holiday does not commemorate the independence of Mexico, as many would think (which is Sept 16) and most of the culture in Mexico gives limited observance to this day. It is mostly celebrated in the United States as a way to celebrate Mexican culture and heritage.
The significance of Cynco de Mayo is that it marks a remembrance of the unlikely victory of the Mexican army over the French military at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. This particular battle delayed the French occupations of Mexico. Although a year later, the French would still occupy, the French withdrew a few years later.
The significance of this battle can actually apply to your spiritual battles in life. First of all, the Mexicans were fighting in what seemed to be a losing battle. The French army was better equipped, more numbered, and had not been defeated for many years. How many battles are you working through in your process to victory and walk out that you just don’t think will turn around. Facing those fears, moving out of debt, restoring hurts from the past, walking out of infirmity or insanity, getting free from self-hate or bitterness . . . they seem to keep discouraging you from truly overcoming. I watch countless Christians become discouraged and disheartened – and in that place of conflict, they choose to go back to ‘comfort’ or they simply back off because it just seems to hard.
Yet we fail to see the process – the journey that it takes to overcome obstacles and areas of bondage. God is not simply seeking to remove all our strongholds, but to teach us how to overcome them, so He can establish His nature within in us, so that we become rooted and grounded in spiritual identity and power. Revelation speaks the heart of God in that He is looking to train up overcomers – those who will never quit in their journey of transformation and seek to bring that to their region. We can often feel like we are not well equipped, yet that is part of the journey – growing in our spiritual tool belt so that we can truly overcome the works of the devil as Jesus taught. We often need an adversarial attack to wake us up to our equipping and growth to overcome.
In addition, the battle was significant because, since the Battle of Puebla, no country in the Americas has been invaded by an army from another continent! Some battles are not just for the present war – but to pave the way for future generations to be effected. What you are building now in your continual pursuit of overcoming, paves the way for others around you and for those who will follow you. Your battles aren’t just about you – they are about what you can do to effect your family, the region and the nations.
Your victory from the enemies standpoint and man’s standpoint could seem bleak – but your victory can be right around the corner! Don’t be discouraged. In the Kingdom of God, sometimes the journey of daily plowing the process of battle and growth doesn’t show immediate fruit, yet the breakthroughs of those who are faithful one day come suddenly.
You can never go wrong to keep facing your fears and never quitting. You are a soldier in training to fight from victory for your victory!