Tag Archives: victory

Finding Yourself or Finding God?

We live it a society that has many artificial foods. Each product is intended to be just like the genuine product. In fact, they even use a name that indicates that you cannot tell the difference between the two products. When many of these products are tested years later, the results of the test show that the product may in fact be harmful.

Christianity is no different that these foods. There are people who will try to convince you that you can become god. Many of you have heard the phrase “I can do all things.” People will tell you that it is in the Bible so it must be true.

Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) Paul says: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. When you read the entire text you will find that Paul is giving God the credit for all that God has allowed him to do. However, the message that people like to hear is: “I can do all things by my own strength.” This makes them feel important. They believe they can do anything they want to do.

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. 1 John 4:1-3(NIV)

Being focused on self and wanting to be god is not a new concept. It has been around since Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. Today people are still listening to Satan’s argument. However, if we want to know real thing, we will find that the opposite is true; we cannot do anything without God’s strength. The Bibles says if we want to know the real joy of following Jesus, we must deny ourselves, in other words, we must become nothing and let Christ become everything.

Luke says it this way in Luke 9:23-26:

Then he said to them all: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Luke 9:23-25(NIV)

What are the results of following your fleshly desires and doing whatever you please?

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21(NIV)

What happens when you sacrifice your fleshly desires, and follow God’s leading?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:25-26(NIV)

Throughout the Old Testament, God shows the results of His power and the results of man’s power. Repeatedly God overpowers fleshly man. For instance, in the story of David and Goliath, Goliath is thinking that he could do whatever he pleased. He thinks he is infallible. His daily routine was to come before Saul’s army and dare them to kill him. However, when David saw Goliath and heard what Goliath was saying, David was determined to slay the giant.

God had been with David when a lion attack his sheep and again when a bear attack his sheep. David had experience God’s power in his own life. He knew God would give him the strength to slay Goliath.

David got permission from the King to stand against Goliath. This is what David said to Goliath after Goliath ridiculed him for being only a little boy.

“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” 1 Samuel 17:45-47(NIV)

David did kill Goliath. He did not kill the giant because he was god and could do it in his own strength. He did it because of the strength of the God of Israel.

Throughout the Gospels, the writers tell of God’s power through the life of His son Jesus. After the death of Jesus, God showed his awesome power by raising Jesus from the dead, thus overcoming death. It is because God gave Jesus victory over death that we will be able to live forever in Heaven. There has never been another person who has been able to overcome dead.

God has shown His love to us by sending His only begotten Son into the world that we may have eternal life. If we cannot believe the power and love that God has already shown to us, we will never have the eternal satisfaction of being reconciled to God for eternity. Adam and Eve were satisfied for a very short time as they tasted the forbidden fruit, but guilt soon took over and they hid from God.

Trust God with all your actions. Rely on His strength and not your own strength. God gives you hope for tomorrow but following selfish desires only brings hopelessness.

 

NOTE: All scripture used in this blog have been downloaded from www.biblegateway.com

Whose Battle are You Fighting?

In 2 Chronicles 20:1-30, we have the details of a battle that was fought against the enemies of God’s children. This is how the chapter starts:

After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites  came to wage war against Jehoshaphat.

 Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar” (that is, En Gedi).  Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.    2 Chronicles 20:1-4(NIV)

ALARMED

Being alarmed does not mean that you are scared to death. Being alarmed means that God is waking you up for a purpose. Being alarmed is what a person is in the morning when their alarm clock goes off. It is waking you up to do the things you need to do that day.

The Holy Spirit still alarms people. He wakes them in the middle of the night with a burden for someone in need. Or He may alert us to dangers that we are facing. He causes people and ideas to ‘pop’ into our mind so we can minister to them.

When we are ‘alarmed’, the first thing we need to do is pray. We need to ask God what his plan is for that situation that he has called to our attention. This is what Jehoshaphat did, He prayed.

Here is what Jehoshaphat prayed:

“Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’

10 “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. 11 See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. 12 Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”  2 Chronicles 20:6-12 (NIV)

Sixteen times, Jehoshaphat referenced God saying ‘you’ or ‘your’.  When we are alarmed, we need to remember who God is. Jehoshaphat we remembering all the things that God had done for his people in the past. He was remembering God for who he is and what he has done.

When we pray, do with think about what God has done or do we just keep worrying and complaining about our situation? Are we afraid of what will happen or do we really believe God will take care of us?

After Jehoshaphat, remembered who God was, he began to ask God about his situation.  He reminded God that God he had told his people not to destroy the very people who have now come to try to destroy them.

The situation is such that they cannot survive without God’s intervention. They are in a hopeless situation according to man’s thinking. From his hopeless situation he says “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (v. 20)

Jehoshaphat is giving his hopeless situation to God. He is looking for God to protect his children as he had done in the past. Jehoshaphat did not have the power to win this war, but God did. He was trusting God for deliverance.

After Jehoshaphat finished praying, God spoke to him and encouraged him.

He (The Spirit of the Lord) said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.  Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel.  You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’” 2 Chronicles 20:15-17(NIV)

God reminded Jehoshaphat that the battle they were facing was not their battle. It was God’s battle. He didn’t ask them to come up with a program or plan on how they would do it. But what God told them was:  Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.

We need to recognize that we do not have the power to fight our situation, but God does! When we surrender our lives to God, our battles become His battles, not ours! What God wants us to do is to trust Him completely in our situation. He wants us to set back and watch what He is going to do.

Jehoshaphat had the assurance that God was going to fight the battle for them, He told the people to have faith in God and God would see them through.  Then he appointed men to ‘sing to the Lord’.

The songs they were to sing were meant to praise God ‘for the splendor of his holiness.’ They had a praise service! They, in faith,  believed God and gave him thanks for a battle that He was going to be won.

The results was that the people watched God win the battle!

After the battle was won, they returned home joyfully because God had given them victory. And because they gave God the credit, they had peace. The people around them developed a fear for the Lord because of the battle He won.

Today

We have a society today that is without hope. We are facing addictions, poverty, loneliness, persecution, failure, etc. We do not know what to do. We ask God for help but continue trying to win the battles by ourselves.

Do we really believe that God can win the battle for us? Or, Are we so important that God needs us worrying about the future?

When we surrender our hopelessness to God, He will provide hope and peace. When we fully believe that our hopelessness is God’s we can begin to sing praise and trust God for the victory.

As humans, we want to take the credit for God’s success.  We think it is because of our ‘program’, God was successful but he couldn’t do it without us. We brag about all the programs our church has.  We call all of the attention to ourselves or our church. We fail to recognize who God is.

Today, Christians are worried about what is going to happen to God’s children in Israel. The truth of the matter is that the battle is God’s and He is going to win.

Today, God has promised Christians that the battles we face are not ours! God wants us to have faith in Him and to trust those battles to Him. God wants us to praise him and watch him win the battle.

Our salvation is not based on what we do or don’t do, it is based on the fact that God has already won the battle. Jesus Christ became victorious over death! We don’t have to fight that battle again. It has been won! Let us praise God for the victory!

 

Note: All scriptures used in this article have been downloaded from http://www.biblegateway.com/?version=NIVunless otherwise noted.