GIANTS

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SEE YOUR GIANTS AS BREAD

…do not…fear the people [giants] of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them. – Numbers 14:9

The 12 men whom Moses sent out to spy on the promised land all saw the same thing. They all saw the same big houses, the same huge grapes and yes, the same giants standing in their way! But unlike the others, Joshua and Caleb saw the giants as bread. The rest saw the giants as insurmountable, impossible obstacles. As a result, Joshua and Caleb were the only ones of their generation to enter the promised land.

When you see a “giant” today in your business, health or ministry, I challenge you to see it as bread that will only make you stronger. Don’t run away in fear, but face your giant head-on—knowing that you are armed with the Lord’s unmerited favor and the powerful promises of your faithful God!

Beloved, meditate on today’s verse. Let God’s Word drive out all timidity and give you the same spirit of faith that Joshua and Caleb had. Let it change the way you see yourself—not as a tiny grasshopper, but a giant-killer—and step into your promised land!

STRENGTHEN MY HANDS :

Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands. —Nehemiah 6:9

Singapore’s first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, is the man credited with making Singapore what it is today. During his leadership, Singapore grew to be rich and prosperous and one of the most developed nations in Asia. Asked if he ever felt like giving up when he faced criticism and challenges during his many years of public service, he replied, “This is a life-long commitment.”

Nehemiah, who led in the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem, refused to give up. He faced insults and intimidation from the enemies all around him as well as injustices from his own people (Neh. 4–5). His enemies even insinuated that he had a personal agenda (6:6-7). He sought help from God while taking every defensive step he could.

Despite the challenges, the wall was completed in 52 days (6:15). But Nehemiah’s work was not complete. He encouraged the Israelites to study the Scriptures, to worship, and to keep God’s law. After completing 12 years as governor (5:14), he returned to make sure his reforms were continuing (13:6). Nehemiah had a life-long commitment to leading the people.

We all face challenges and difficulties in life. But as God helped Nehemiah, He will also strengthen our hands (6:9) for the rest of our lives in whatever tasks He gives to us.

Dear Lord, sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged when faced with criticism or challenges. Help me to persevere and grant me the strength to be faithful to what You have called me to do.

Life’s challenges are designed not to break us but to bend us toward God.

QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK YOURSELF (1) …

Though it cost you all you have, get understanding. – Proverbs 4:7 NIV

Like any good parent, God wants His children to succeed. But to succeed in life, you must periodically ask yourself two questions:

(1) Am I committed to personal growth? ‘Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.’ Keep reading, keep learning, keep asking questions. A Chinese proverb says, ‘He who asks is a fool for five minutes; he who doesn’t ask remains a fool forever.’ Some of us are like the little girl who thought she’d exhausted the subject of mathematics once she learned her twelve–times tables. When her grandfather asked with a twinkle, ‘What’s 13 times 13?’ she scoffed, ‘Don’t be silly, Grandpa, there’s no such thing!’ Your hunger for wisdom and knowledge determines your future. In order to keep giving out, you must keep taking in.

(2) Am I enjoying what I do? You’ll never fulfil your destiny doing something you despise. Passion lies at the core of true success and fulfilment; it’s the spark for your fuse. It energises you when those around you grow tired. It helps you come up with answers when others cease to have creative ideas and strengthens you when they drop out. It gives you courage to take risks while others crave security. When you lose your passion, two things happen: first, you fail to pursue excellence; second, you jeopardise your integrity, because you’re tempted to take shortcuts and compromise by settling for less than God intended. Clues to your destiny are found in those things that generates passion in you. When you find yourself working at what you love you’re being clued in to God’s purposes for you

QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK YOURSELF (2) :

Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.’ Mark 10:43 NIV
Two more questions you should constantly ask yourself are:

(1) Am I willing to serve others? You say you want to be a leader? Why? Until you answer that question with the right motives, God won’t promote you. Sometimes we just want to be in control. Other times we don’t want to pay the price for success. We just want the perks that come with it: a corner office, a higher salary, a respected title and the admiration of others. Jesus said, ‘Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.’ Leadership puts you in a position to take care of your own needs first—to set yourself up—before helping others. That’s always a temptation and it’s always wrong! You must genuinely care about people and help them to reach their potential. When you do that you’re honouring God and He will honour you.

(2) Am I doing what I’m called to do? ‘We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.’ (Romans 12:6 NIV) Samuel Johnson said, ‘Almost every man wastes part of his life in attempts to display qualities which he does not possess…and gain applause which he cannot keep.’ If you’re harbouring a mental image of the qualities talented people are supposed to have and you don’t possess, you’ll have a hard time finding your true strengths. Henry Ford remarked, ‘The question, “Who ought to be the boss?” is like asking, “Who ought to be the tenor in the quartet?” Obviously, the man who can sing tenor.’ To succeed in life, you must know what God gifted you to do.

THE WEAPON OF THE WORD …

Luke 4:4, “And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”

Jesus answered every temptation with, “It is written.” The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17). It is the only offensive spiritual weapon that we have.

Since Jesus was the Word of God (Jn. 1:1), anything he would have spoken would have been the Word. He could have said “scat” and the devil would have had to go, yet He quoted the written Word of God three times.

This gives us great assurance that the written Word of God is sufficient for us. Jesus, in the face of the greatest temptations that Satan had to offer, did not need to say anything that was not already recorded in scripture.

It is likely that when Jesus returns to this earth and destroys His enemies, He will just speak the Word that has already been given in scripture. No wonder Satan tries to keep us from studying and knowing God’s Word. Even our good works will hurt us if they keep us from really knowing the scriptures.

God has given us this mighty weapon of His Word! When we speak the Word in faith, hell shakes. Satan and his minions have already experienced what the Word can do. They know its power. We need to know it, too.

QUIET REST …

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. —Psalm 4:8

Some years ago my son Brian and I agreed to haul some equipment into an isolated Idaho back country ranch for a friend. There are no roads into the area, at least none that my truck could negotiate. So Ralph, the young ranch manager, arranged to meet us at road’s end with a small wagon hitched to a pair of mules.

On the way into the ranch, Ralph and I started chatting and I learned that he lived on the property year-round. “What do you do in the winter?” I asked, knowing that winters in the high country were long and bitter and that the ranch had no electricity or telephone service, only a satellite radio. “How do you endure it?”

“Actually,” he drawled, “I find it right peaceable.”

In the midst of our pressure-filled days, we sometimes crave peace and quiet. There is too much noise in the air; there are too many people around. We want to “come aside . . . and rest a while” (Mark 6:31). Can we find a place to do this?

Yes, there is such a place. When we take a few moments to reflect on God’s love and mercy and cast our burdens on Him, we will find in that quiet God-filled space the peace that the world has taken away.

There is a place of quiet rest,
Near to the heart of God,
A place where all is joy and peace,
Near to the heart of God. —McAfee

Spending quiet time with God will bring quiet rest

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