Transformational Truths, Uncategorized

USE THESE STRATEGIES AND WATCH YOUR ENEMIES FALL IN DEFEAT

Do you have any enemies? There are three broad categories of enemies for the Christian: The World (I John 2:15-17), the Flesh (Romans 7:14-25), and the Devil (1 Peter 5:8). All the temptations, sins, and struggles of our life can be put in one of these three broad categories.

The Bible provides great guidance to win in the battle against our enemies. 2 Chronicles 20 gives the strategy that proved effective. The participants in the battle triumphed victorious over their enemies. We are going to learn from this great example. Also, Psalm 25 supplements this proven strategy with encouragement of victory over the enemy.

We can be victorious over our enemies when we use this battle plan. We can enter the battle with assurance of victory in the end when we use these strategies to fight against the enemy.

STRATEGY ONE – KNOW THE ENEMY

Be alert and on guard against the enemy. Listen for sounds of the enemy or the announcement the enemy is nearing. 2 Chronicles 20 records King Jehoshaphat heard the enemy was coming. He heard a “great multitude” was on their way to fight them. He knew the enemy was not his friend. He knew the enemy was out to destroy him and his territory. He was afraid of his enemy.

Enemies are not your friends. Enemies are out to hurt you. Jehoshaphat didn’t try to make an alliance with the enemies. He didn’t try to talk to them to make them act different in his life. He knew they were bad and troublesome. He knew they would hurt him and his people.

STRATEGY TWO – SEEK THE LORD

Jehoshaphat was scared of the enemy. He was scared of what the enemy could do to him. He knew the enemy had power to destroy, harm, and trouble him and his people. Therefore, he “turned his attention to seek the Lord“. (2 Chronicles 20:3) He understood he could not win against his enemies. He had no power to stand against the enemies. He knew the best of his people were weak before the enemies coming against them.

He sought the Lord by prayer and fasting. His prayer (2 Chronicles 20:6-12) included the following:

  • God was their Lord and father.
  • God was in charge of everything.
  • God had all power and might.
  • God had given them victory previously.
  • They would praise God and continue to look to God for help from their enemies as long as was needed.
  • Acknowledgment of their enemies and their current situation.
  • Request for God to destroy the enemy.
  • Confession of their own powerlessness to win against the enemy.
  • 100% surrender to God to tell them what to do because they had “no clue” and they were looking with their whole being to God.

STRATEGY THREE – WAIT

After they recognized their enemies and sought the Lord, they waited. In their waiting, they were “standing”. They were at attention to hear the answer of the Lord. They were watching for His response. They prayed in confidence, knowing that He would hear them, and He would answer them.

Psalm 25:5 encourages to “wait all the day”. Jehoshaphat encouraged the people to lift up their lives to the Lord. They knew there was no help for them but in God. They had no where else to turn. They knew they would not be ashamed of God’s response to their plea for help. They waited. They looked. They watched. They stood at attention with their eyes “continually toward the Lord” because they knew He was the only one who could get them free them from their enemies. (Psalm 25:15)

STRATEGY THREE – HEAR GOD’S DIRECTION

God spoke with an intention for the people to listen. He told them to not be afraid. He didn’t want them to be scared of the danger. They were in a dangerous position, but they didn’t have to be scared. Secondly, God told them not to be dismayed. He didn’t want them to be discouraged because of the greatness and power of the enemy coming against them. Third, God told them the battle was not theirs, but His. The enemy in their life right now was really against God and just took it out on them. They were caught in the middle.

God gave them instruction to go toward their enemy. He didn’t want them to run away. Facing the enemy is what He instructed. He told them to take the position in the battle and stand. Then, they would see God deliver. The encouragement to go out against the enemy with no fear or reserve was given. The basis of their confidence was “the Lord is with you”. (2 Chronicles 20:17)

STRATEGY FOUR – BOW IN WORSHIP & STAND IN PRAISE

Hearing God’s response, some of the people bowed in worship and others stood in praise. They rehearsed the worth of the Lord. They raised up the power and might of the Lord.

Psalm 25 provides some specific characteristics of God they may have used in their worship and praise of God.

  • You are full of compassion.
  • You are forever faithful.
  • Your goodness’ sake will help us.
  • You are good.
  • You are upright.
  • You instruct sinners.
  • You lead the humble.
  • Your paths are truth.
  • You share your secrets.
  • You deliver from distress.

STRATEGY FIVE – TRUST GOD FOR SUCCESS

Jehoshaphat gathered everyone together early and reminded them to trust God knowing they would win in the end if they kept trusting God. He also encouraged them to trust the words of God’s prophets. Jehoshaphat encouraged success would come if they would continue to trust God and hear the words of God.

We find further explanation of the successful path in Joshua 1:7 “Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the Law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may achieve success wherever you go.”

It is God’s word, the words of the Prophets, the words recorded in the Bible which make us successful against the enemy. Psalm 25 has portions that plead with God for His ways, His paths, His truth, His instruction, and His agreement.

Faith to trust God for good success only comes as we know, understand, and believe His word. (Romans 10:17)

STRATEGY SIX – RAISE A HALLELUJAH

Go forth to the fight against the enemy with a song of praise. Jehoshaphat taught his troops to say “Give thanks to the Lord, for His faithfulness is everlasting”. (2 Chronicles 20: 21) In saying this, they were thanking God for the victory before they saw it. They were praising what they knew about God. They were remembering the past victories He had won for them. They were acknowledging He would perform what He said He would do, so they thanked Him for what He was going to do.

They were thanking Him also for His faithfulness. They had seen, known, understood God was a faithful God. He could be trusted. He was a dependable God. For all these reasons, they went to the battle with victory on their minds. They took every step with appreciation and acknowledgment of the greatness of their God.

Psalm 25 appreciates and acknowledges the faithfulness of God with these phrases:

  • None who wait for You will be ashamed.
  • You are the God of my salvation.
  • Remember, Lord, your compassion and faithfulness.
  • All the paths of the Lord are faithfulness and truth.

STRATEGY SEVEN – SEE THE ENEMY DEFEATED

The battle was over before it began. God ambushed the enemy causing them to strike one another. The enemies defeated each other. There were no survivors. God completely wiped them out, making them turn on one another, and all the enemies were destroyed.

Jehoshaphat and his troops followed the command of God to go to their enemies. God had told them they would see the enemies defeated before their eyes. Well, it turns out the enemy was defeated before they even got there. God was right. They found the enemy dead on the battlefield. Jehoshaphat saw the enemy defeated.

STRATEGY EIGHT – TAKE THE BLESSINGS

God allowed the army of Jehoshaphat to get many goods, garments, and valuable things from the enemy. (2 Chronicles 20:25) It took them three days to collect all of it because there was so much. The blessings of abundance will follow the victory of God in our lives. We will not have any enemy to kill, steal, or destroy the favor of God to add valuable things in our life. Relish in the blessings God provides once the enemy in your life is defeated.

STRATEGY NINE – CELEBRATE THE VICTORY

Give God credit for the victory over the enemy. Show others the blessings of the Lord. Display the value of the win. Be full of joy and rejoicing at the triumph over the enemy. Receive the peace and rest God provides. Exalt the wholeness and stability He has won for you.

Psalm 25:21 says “Let integrity and uprightness protect me”. This means let the wholeness and stability God provides in the “win” to protect me from enemies coming against me. Let all the enemies be discouraged from wanting to fight me and come against me because they can see how God provides victory for His people.

FURTHER ENCOURAGEMENT FOR YOU

“No temptation has overtaken you except something common to mankind; and God is faithful, so He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

God is the same today as He was in the day of Jehoshaphat. These strategies of winning against the enemy work today as they did in the day of Jehoshaphat. Be encouraged. Use these strategies to fight the enemies in your life. Your struggles, your tests, your problems, and your difficulties will be defeated. These nine strategies are God’s escape route and endurance plan for you.

Take some time to read 2 Chronicles 20 and Psalm 25. Talk to God about the enemies in your life. Implement these nine strategies to win over the enemies in your life.

Transformational Truths

A WORD ABOUT VICTORY

Victory is defined as success in a contest.  The Children of Israel fought the Battle of Ai twice.  They were in two contests.  The first contest was lost because of sin and trespass.  The second battle was won because of God’s presence which triumphed over the enemy. 

The victorious fight was real for Joshua and the 30,000 men with him.  They had to carry the swords.  They had to get in place, stay out of the enemy’s view, and be ready to “do their thing” when they were signaled. 

Just because God has determined the win is inevitable does not mean there is not a battle.  It does not mean the battle is not real.  It does not mean there will not be pain, difficulty, and loss.  Instead, it is the assurance the victory is ours which enables us to keep fighting.

Romans 8, the great chapter for the New Testament believer, tells us the victory is won.  It tells us we are more than conquers through Jesus Christ who loved us and gave himself for us.  This statement does not make the battles go away.  It does not make the struggle disappear.  It does not make the contest non-existent.  Instead, this chapter tells us we will suffer hardship.  We will have difficulty.  The trouble and distress we experience is real.  We will feel like our life is hanging by a thread at times.  Our current feeling is not the end of the story, however.  The end of the story is we will be victorious

The reasoning of Romans Chapter 8 is encouraging to those who are struggling with the pressures of life, torments of Satan, and their own natural tendencies.  The chapter tells us we are victorious through Christ Jesus who loved us and gave himself for us.  We are assured of our victory.  Romans 8:31 says “If God is for us, who can be against us?” 

It does not matter who or what we are fighting against.  No matter how troubled, distressed, or perilous the times we encounter are, we know that Christ has won the victory for us.  Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.  With this assurance of victory, we stay connected to Jesus, OUR VICTORY.

Transformational Truths

Win The Ultimate Prize In 2021

What’s in it for me? That is what we want to know before we compete in any competition. When we go to the mall and see the white boxes and sheets of paper placed next to a rugged ATV or shiny car, we want to know what we’ll get for completing the paper and dropping it in the box. If we really like the ATV or car, we may be willing to endure the time-share marketing calls for a chance to win the prize.

In the mall, winning the prize depends on chance, not on how we compete. We can complete the paper with 100% accurate penmanship with all i’s dotted and t’s crossed, not win the prize, and get unwanted contacts from telemarketers.

GOD IS NOT A COMPETITION. GOD IS NOT A CHANCE. GOD IS THE REAL DEAL. GOD WANTS EVERYONE TO WIN THE ULTIMATE PRIZE.

The Ultimate Prize is an imperishable relationship with His Son, Jesus, and an eternal life of abundance. That sounds like a pretty impressive prize doesn’t it? That sounds like it would be “worth” winning.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

God wants to provide us the ultimate prize of peace, goodness, future, and hope. He is not hiding or keeping things back from us. It is His desire that we win and take hold of this Ultimate Prize.

In the Old Testament, God chose Israel to get a new piece of land. He wanted to give them a territory that flowed with milk and honey. The prize was theirs. The land would be given to them. However, the original recipients failed to obtain the prize. There were things that kept them from “winning their prize”.

1 Corinthians 10 tells us these “NOT TO DO” things. These were the things the chosen people of God did that kept them from entering the land of promise. Their land of peace, goodness, and future prosperity was never given to them because they did not “compete to get it”. They strayed from the path of winning.

The specific details of their experience is shared with us in 1 Corinthians 10 for our example. LET US LEARN FROM THEIR FAILURE TO WIN THE PRIZE!

The writer of I Corinthians, Paul, tells us we should live our life always to WIN THE PRIZE. We should compete to win. The prize we are running for is the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. We are running toward the One who has won it all for us. He has obtained the prize and it is kept in Heaven for us. We just have to keep in the “GO” steps to win the prize.

God has provided each of us peace, goodness, hope, and a future. It is up to us to run to win it, to compete to get it. Romans 8:31 says “If God be for us, who can be against us?” God who freely gave His only begotten son for us, will help us moment by moment to win the Ultimate Prize.

You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. God has shown everyone the way of salvation, but it is our responsibility to take in all He has provided through His Son so that we can win the Ultimate Prize. Whoever goes after God to win the prize, gets it. (Romans 10:13)

Keep running, competing, craving good, serving God, acting morally, knowing God is faithful, speaking happily, knowing you can be tempted, relying on God’s faithfulness, keep looking for God’s deliverance, enduring always, and clinging to God.

The hope and expectation for a better year in 2021 will be NOTHING compared to the Ultimate Prize we are competing to win. The Ultimate Prize is an imperishable relationship with Jesus and an eternal life of abundance. That’s a prize worth competing to win!