Be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. – Joshua 1:7
Living a life of faith takes courage. Most people don’t realize it, but it does! It takes courage to stand up in the face of sickness and declare you’re healed by the stripes of Jesus. It takes courage to believe for prosperity and put your last dime in the offering plate when poverty is staring you in the face. There are going to be some days when you’d rather pull the covers over your head and hide than take another faith stand against the devil. But you can’t. Because the battle of faith isn’t fought once and then forgotten. If you want to keep living in victory, you have to fight it again and again.
There’s no way around it. Of course, some of God’s people still try to find one. The Israelites, for example. They thought their battles should be over when they crossed the Red Sea. So when they heard reports of giants living in the Promised Land, they decided they couldn’t face the fight. Their courage failed them. So they took a 40-year detour through the wilderness.
But you know what? They still couldn’t avoid that fight. When the time came for the next generation to enter the Promised Land, the giants were still there!
This time, however, they found the courage to face them. Where did they find it? In the Word of God.
Their leader, Joshua, had obeyed the instruction of the Lord and kept that Word on his mind and in his heart day and night. He’d meditated on it and let it constantly remind him that God was on their side.
If you’re going to fight the good fight of faith to the finish, you’ll have to do just like Joshua did. You’ll have to continually draw courage from the Word of God. So make up your mind to do it. Get into that Word and let it change you from a coward to an overcomer. Then march into battle and slay the giants in your land.
GIVING IT TO GOD
[He] went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. —Mark 10:22
A hero to a generation of people who grew up after World War II, Corrie ten Boom left a legacy of godliness and wisdom. A victim of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, she survived to tell her story of faith and dependence on God during horrendous suffering.
“I have held many things in my hands,” Corrie once said, “and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that, I still possess.”
Corrie was well acquainted with loss. She lost family, possessions, and years of her life to hateful people. Yet she learned to concentrate on what could be gained spiritually and emotionally by putting everything in the hands of her heavenly Father.
What does that mean to us? What should we place in God’s hands for safekeeping? According to the story of the rich young man in Mark 10, everything. He held abundance in his hands, but when Jesus asked him to give it up, he refused. He kept his possessions and he failed to follow Jesus—and as a result he “went away sorrowful” (v.22).
Like Corrie ten Boom, we can find hope by putting everything in God’s hands and then trusting Him for the outcome.
All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.
No life is more secure than a life surrendered to God.
IT’S TIME TO TAKE ACTION (3) :
‘They go from strength to strength.’ Psalm 84:7 NKJV
The three essential steps to success are:
(1) Do something;
(2) Do something today;
(3) Do something every day.
One personal growth expert says, ‘We read about people who sail around the world in a thirty-foot sailboat or overcome handicaps to win a gold medal at the Olympics, and we later find their stories are all about persistence.’ If you want to know your future, look at your daily routine. You don’t determine your future, you determine your habits and your habits determine your future. The secret to success lies in doing the right things day after day. If you do that, you will eventually succeed. But a word of caution: important priorities have a way of slipping out of place while you’re focused on less important things.
Some sacrifices are simply not worth it:
(1) In your attempt to build a reputation, don’t lose your character. Reputation is what people think you are; character is what God and those closest to you know you are.
(2) Don’t sacrifice your family for your career. If you do you’ll end up winning the admiration of those who don’t matter, while losing the love of those who do.
(3) Don’t sacrifice your relationship with God for material things. God told His people, ‘You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth… If you ever forget the Lord… you will surely be destroyed.’ (Deuteronomy 8:17-18 NIV)
Your trials and challenges are temporary, but God’s promises for you are eternal and unshakable.
True prosperity is having enough of God’s supply to accomplish God’s instructions (2 Corinthians 9:8)
GIVE JESUS SOMETHING TO MULTIPLY
So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, “Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.” His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant…” – Matthew 25:20–21
In the parable of the talents, the master commended the first two servants because they multiplied the money entrusted to them. They didn’t laze around drinking tea, complaining about how hard it is to get a job in this economy. On the contrary, they were diligent, wise and prudent, and found ways to double the money that had been entrusted to them. The Lord then congratulated them and called them good and faithful servants.
My friend, I want to encourage you to be a diligent, wise, good and faithful steward of the money that God has placed in your hands. As you trust the Lord for His provision, spend money to send out your résumés, to go for interviews or even to upgrade yourself for a better job. Don’t bury your money in the ground by sitting at home and watching television. Give Jesus something that He can multiply and you’ll see Him put His favor upon it!
JESUS CAN IDENTIFY WITH YOUR PAIN
Leviticus 2:4 – And if you bring as an offering a grain offering baked in the oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil.
Private pains, deep hurts, shameful addictions. You may think that nobody understands what you are going through, but God does. He can identify with all your pains and is able to help you. (Hebrews 2:18, 4:15)
In the Old Testament, the grain offering brought to God speaks of Jesus life on earth. The fine flour, which the grain offering is made with, is flour that has been pounded, ground, beaten and sifted through to get it consistently even and fine. Therefore, it typifies the humanity and sufferings of Jesus.
One of the ways the Jewish women prepared the grain offering was to bake it. The baking done in the depths of the oven speaks of the hidden sufferings that Jesus went through. I believe that Jesus faced sufferings that we cannot fully understand. Even as a young boy, He must have gone through sufferings that prepared Him to die for all humanity at the cross. And during His ministry years, it must have grieved Him when time and time again, He found unbelief not just in the people around Him, but even in His disciples.
Jesus also suffered at the hands of men slanderers who misunderstood Him. Once, the Pharisees insinuated that He was born out of wedlock because His mother was with child before she married Joseph. (John 8:39, 41) That scandalous remark, probably not the first, must have hurt Him.
Consider also the temptations He faced. There were not only three. Gods Word says that He was tempted for 40 days! (Luke 4:2) Not all the temptations were recorded. Those 40 days must have tried Him sorely.
What do all these mean?
My friend, Jesus went through all those temptations and sufferings for you, yet He did not sin. (Hebrews 4:15) There is no temptation or suffering that you are going through that He cannot identify with. So come to His throne of grace today and receive His superabounding grace to face and overcome those trials in your life!
FAITH IS A MUSCLE …
But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. – Matthew 21:23-27
Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.” These men were seeking to snare Jesus in His words, but they couldn’t because He was safely trusting in the Lord. It was easy for Jesus to “turn the tables on them” and catch them because they feared man (Jn. 5:44).
Jesus had already shown that all of their works were done so that they could be seen of men (Mt. 6:5). They were not really seeking to please God, but were doing all their religious works for the praise of men. It is totally vain for a man who is bound by the fear of man to try to intimidate a man whose trust is totally in the Lord.
When David fought Goliath (1 Sam. 17), everyone mocked him because of his belief that he could win. Goliath was a giant and he was only a small boy. But David said something very important in his defense. In 1 Samuel 17:34-37, David revealed that this was not the first time he had depended on God for a victory against something bigger than himself. He had already killed a lion and a bear with his bare hands. He KNEW he could defeat Goliath with God’s help. Faith must be developed much like a muscle. Those who wait until the day of the contest to start training are going to lose. That’s not the way it works in the natural or the spiritual.
What is life all about? What is the purpose of one’s existence? What is to be gained in life? What do people live for? When we say “so and so” is my life, we mean that all of our attention, our focus, and our purpose for living, is directed towards and revolves around that person. In a similar way, we need to be totally consumed with Christ and His life. True life is only to be found in Christ. It is not to be found in prestige, fortune, fame, or things, but only in the one who is life – Jesus Christ.
DREAM BIGGER ….
Your imagination is a wonderful gift that God’s given you!
With it, you can envision opportunities and new beginnings long before they become a reality in your life. When you apply your faith this way, your imagination isn’t about “day dreams” — it’s a tool that helps you deepen your relationship with God.
And when you pursue God and worship Him through your imagination, you plant seeds of hope for the dreams you carry in your heart. Each time you throw aside doubts, or fears about getting your hopes up, you set into motion an awesome, supernatural process.
I know how difficult this can be. It’s risky to imagine God doing the incredible or the impossible. If we never dream, we don’t have to worry about being disappointed.
But consider this: as powerful as our imaginations can be, God is able to do so much more than you can ever imagine.
I want to encourage you today to take a step of faith and to imagine… imagine all the wonderful, supernatural and great things God could do in your life. How bold are you willing to be? How big are you willing to dream?
There’s no greater joy than encouraging people to put their trust in Jesus and to expect Him to do great things in their lives.
Remember, don’t be afraid to believe God for BIG things in your life and in the lives of your loved ones.
Ephesians 3:20 The Message (MSG)
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
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