Against all Odds

Judges 7:1-8

The story of Gideon offers scriptural guidance for times when the odds are overwhelming and defeat seems imminent. No matter what your challenges are, the Lord is able to demonstrate His awesome power and deliver you.

God uses difficulty to build faith. Gideon was willing to believe God and go up against an army four times larger than his own. Trusting the Lord is a process that must be learned through experience. At times God takes the people He plans to use and places them in impossible situations—in that way, they discover He is faithful. We may prefer to acquire faith by reading a book, but the Lord knows the best classroom is a place of utter helplessness.

God may require us to do what seems unreasonable. The Israelites were already outnumbered, but the Lord instructed Gideon to reduce the army to a mere 300 men. That made the odds 450 to one! Although God’s ways may seem illogical to us, His wisdom and power are far greater than ours, and His plan can be trusted.

God leads us to do that which brings Him glory. Gideon’s army was so small that its men could in no way take credit for the victory. The Lord delights in demonstrating His awesome power and glory through our weakness and inadequacy.

Think of life’s challenges as opportunities for the Lord to build your faith and prepare you for ministry. He uses those who are willing to obey Him even when the task seems illogical or impossible. And He takes pleasure in showing His faithfulness to those who trust in Him regardless of the situation.

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The Final Word

1 Corinthians 10:13 (WEB)
No temptation has taken you except what is common to man.
God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able,
but will with the temptation also make the way of escape,
that you may be able to endure it.

Promise: I will not let you be tested beyond what you can endure.

Jesus told us in John 16:33 that in the world we will have trouble. Sadly, bad things do happen to good people. We all experience heartache, loss and pain as a result of the fallen world we live in. But Jesus goes on to encourage us that we can be glad because He has overcome the world!

In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Paul tells us that we will not be tested with any temptation or trial more than we are able to endure. There may be circumstances in our life that rage against this promise, but hold onto the promise that God’s grace is sufficient in every trial. He will give you the grace to endure and He promises to provide you with a way of escape when the load gets beyond what you can deal with.

If you are in the midst of great trials and challenges in your life today, my prayer is that our God and Father would comfort you and strengthen you with the promise that you will not be tested beyond what you can endure. And I also pray that He will provide you with a way of escape for every trial that you face knowing that God has the last word and nothing happens that is out of HIS divine will. He has the final word.

Ain’t Got No Teeth

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Carl Armerding wrote a funny story in Moody Monthly, about his experience at the zoo. “As I stood there,” he said, “an attendant entered the cage through a door on the opposite side. He had nothing in his hands but a broom. Carefully closing the door, he proceeded to sweep the floor of the cage.” He observed that the worker had no weapon to ward off an attack by the beast. In fact, when he got to the corner of the cage where the wildcat was lying, he poked the animal with the broom. The wildcat hissed at him and then lay down in another corner of the enclosure. Armerding remarked to the attendant, “You certainly are a brave man.” “No, I ain’t brave,” he replied as he continued to sweep. “Well, then, that cat must be tame.” “No,” came the reply, “he ain’t tame.” “If you aren’t brave and the wildcat isn’t tame, then I can’t understand why he doesn’t attack you.” Armerding said the man chuckled, then replied with an air of confidence, “Mister, he’s old — and he ain’t got no teeth.”

Such is the devil in our lives when we realize that God is for us! We should be like the attendant. He knew that cat couldn’t hurt a fly. Satan will make a big ruckus, fussing and growling all he wants but we need to keep our eyes focused on our Lord.

My friend, are you being growled at today? The enemy would love nothing more than to make us feel powerless against him — but “he ain’t got no teeth” next to our Lord! Let’s turn to God and put our trust in Him. If God is for us, who can be against us?!

DJS

The Power Of Leading Others

One of the most powerful things you can do is go first.
Meaning do what you are hoping somebody else will.
Humans are, on a deep level, pack animals. We move in crowds. We easily turn off our brains when we’re around others that we trust. After all, thinking is hard work. I don’t mean this metaphorically. Physically, our brains use up WAY more calories, per ounce, than any other body part. It’s a VERY expensive organ from a purely biological, economical standpoint.
Through our evolution, we’ve come up with plenty of ways to be much more efficient in our thinking. One of those is to simply trust others to make decisions for us.
If you’ve ever been in an important meeting, you may have noticed that pretty much everybody is wary of being the one to choose what to do, since they’ll get blamed when things go wrong. This is why those that can make quick and informed decisions with confidence generally get paid a LOT more money than everybody else.
But if that person’s not around, it can take a long while to come to an agreement. This is one of the reasons large companies tend to change VERY slowly. Often times too late.
This can also be a problem on a personal level. If you’re in a social setting for example, everybody is standing around waiting for somebody else to make the first move.
If you’ve recently had a fight with a good friend or partner, each of you is likely waiting for the other to make the first move toward reconciliation. The longer you wait, the harder it gets.
That’s why going first is a VERY useful ability.
Even if they’re wrong, or they “should” go first, or any other reason you tell yourself, being able to go first will give you an incredible amount of power and flexibility.
Now, making the first move can be pretty intimidating.
But there’s a way to make it much easier.
When you radiate an “aura” of friendliness, approachability, kindness, attraction, and magnetism, you’ll see that people will be pleased as punch when you go first.
You’ll be able to see it in their eyes, their faces, and their body language.
You’ll see it, they’ll feel it, and everybody else will know it.  (DJS)

 

Taking A New Path….In Faith!

Taking a new Path!

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, and He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  (Psalm 23:1-3 NIV)

 If you are not actively seeking and creating opportunities, which always contain an element of risk, you are actually exposing yourself to more serious risk in the long term. This is a statement by Tony Buzan.

 It is time for you to exercise the power of two words let go. Many times, we take the same tired paths or ways of doing things, even though they no longer serve us anymore, or are unproductive. We do this because we feel that venturing off to new paths may require more work, uncertainty, and even risk. We tend to become so attached to our old ways, which is why we always end up with the same results.

If that is the case. there will be little room for growth and new possibilities. We must let go of our old ways of thinking – these are dirty dishes, and focus on new possibilities that are all around us. Many people tend to feel a pull to do things repeatedly, even if it gets them nowhere. People often find themselves reverting to old and automatic patterns in order to feel “play it safe”.

You will come to understand that you allow learning to occur by doing these things. When we learn, we become better and more able to take on the world. New things, because of the uncertainty that comes along with it, should not frighten people. We should not perceive uncertainty as a threat, but rather, as an opportunity and possibility for success and development. 

The more we hold on to our old and outdated ways, the less we get out of life. Thinking this way limits a person to the constraints of their own comfort zone. It wastes all the new and wonderful things life has to offer, and the potential for an individual to become great.

Remember, if you do not want to be stuck where you are forever, you have to be willing to let go of your dirty dishes, and move on to better and newer things.

Even if you may think you are content with the life you are living today, considered that it can be made better and more fulfilling if you only took a step out of the box and embrace new opportunities.

Let today be the DAY…. your Day to take a New Path…In Faith!

DJS

 

Time To Step Up!

 Time To Step Up!

Esther 4:14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

Tonight begins the feast of Purim, which celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people from one of many of Satan’s attempts to purge them from the world. Mordechai gave Esther a great challenge then, “and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

This is a challenge for all of us! As each generation is raised up, God appoints men and women to rise up to the challenge of that age. We are alive in this day and in this hour (an amazing day and hour, at that) and God is saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” He is awaiting those who will come forward and say “Hineni” here am I, in Hebrew! And if we fall short of this challenge, “deliverance may arise from another place!”

Let’s not let that happen — God wants to use us! Let’s rise to the occasion! God has great things ahead!

(DJS)

Don’t Be Chicken!

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
While walking through the forest one day, a farmer found a young eagle who had apparently fallen out of his nest. He took it home and put it in his barnyard with his chickens and there it stayed for years. It wasn’t long before the little eagle learned to eat and behave like the chickens.One day a naturalist passed by the farm and saw the eagle confined in the barnyard with the chickens. When he inquired about this strange sight, the farmer told the man his story. “Unfortunately,” said the farmer, “the poor little guy just never learned to fly.” “Still,” the naturalist sighed, “he has the heart of an eagle and can surely be taught. Will you allow me to work with him?” The farmer agreed, but with much disbelief.

The naturalist picked up the eagle and lifted him toward the sky and said, “You belong to the sky and not to the earth. Stretch forth your wings and fly.” The eagle, however, was confused. He did not know who he was, and seeing the chickens eating their food, he jumped down to be with them again. The naturalist took the bird to the roof of the house and urged him again, saying, “You are an eagle. Stretch forth your wings and fly.” But the eagle was afraid and jumped down once again to be with his chicken friends. Finally the naturalist took the eagle out of the barnyard to a high mountain. There he held the king of the birds high above him and encouraged him again, saying, “You are an eagle. You belong to the sky. Stretch forth your wings and fly!” The eagle looked around, back towards the barnyard and then up to the sky. Slowly, he stretched his wings, and with a triumphant cry, he soared away into the heavens.

Somewhere along the line, we like this poor young eagle, were put in a lowly barn with the chickens of the world around us. We learned to live and eat from the ground and grew up believing that there was not much more to do than sit and cluck all day.

But the reality is that we are eagles! We were created to fly and even soar! God has great purpose for our lives! If we would only realize who we are in Him!

Let’s remember who we are today and stop acting like chickens! We are the head and not the tail! We are Kings and Priests! We have great things to do for the Kingdom!   (DJS)