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Judges 7:2 And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’

“Our full cupboard is often our greatest hindrance.” –Smith Wigglesworth.

Gideon and his army are about to go into battle. Gideon starts off with 32,000 men. God dwindled his army down to 10,000, then eventually to 300 men. As we can see from the scripture above, God’s objective was for Israel to totally rely on Him for the victory and not the amount of people they had.

God often puts us in situations where we have to totally rely on Him and it’s usually in our finances. Most of us are confident in giving to the Kingdom of God, attacking a project, or simply living life when we have additional finances and resources. But, what about when we have a need bigger than our bank account or a financial deadline and our finances are limited? Will we still give to the Kingdom of God or approach that project with confidence? It gets a little more difficult.

God puts us in these situations so that He gets the glory as we trust in Him instead of glorifying our resources. How much trust or reliance on God does it take when financial resources are available?

No matter how much money we have or don’t have, it’s our goal to totally rely on God. We trust in God over money. Trust God, our Source, and not in our resources.

Exodus 20:3 You shall have no other gods before Me.

A lot of people will go above and beyond the minimum to be what they deem to be successful. For singers, they’ll wait in line for days in order for judges to hear them in an audition. For athletes, they’ll wake up early, discipline themselves, and push their bodies to the limits. People will work 70 or more hours a week building their business. Unfortunately, people will also prostitute themselves, expose themselves, or engage in criminal behavior to be “successful.”

People focus on being successful to the point where it becomes an idol or a god. An idol is anything that replaces or trumps God. The same tenacity people have to become successful, is the same tenacity we should have for the things of God. 

Success is not the goal. Honoring God is our goal. When we honor God, success is a byproduct of our honor. Let’s redirect our focus and honor God. 

Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.

“I will fear no evil: for You are with me.”

This very famous scripture in the Bible is often not applied in our lives. We know this because every day someone has a panic attack, worry is ruining people’s lives, and people are afraid for their lives in seemingly minor circumstances.

If we truly have a revelation of God ALWAYS being with us, we would never fear again. We wouldn’t fear about our finances possibly dwindling. We wouldn’t be afraid of some disease attacking our bodies. Even with a gun pointed to our heads, we wouldn’t fear because God is with us and He promised that nothing will hurt us (Luke 10:19).

Fear will attempt to invade our thoughts, but if we understand God is with us, we have no reason to fear. If God is with us and for us, who or what can be against us? Begin confessing this one verse daily to remove every fear from our lives.

What if God told you to stay at a job that you detest so that you can minister the Gospel to your co-workers? Would you put God’s agenda above your own? What if God told you to stay in a rocky marriage in the hopes that your spouse sees the love of Christ coming through you? Would you stay or would you put your personal feelings above the plan of God?

There will be times where God keeps us in places that we really don’t prefer so that His will can be accomplished. During those times, we need to push past our emotions, ask God for strength to endure, and be glad that God’s will is being accomplished.

Jesus, our example, had to get past His emotions and accomplish God’s will by sacrificing Himself on the cross for us.

Living this Christian life is not always going to be fun where everything goes the way we want it to all the time. But, we can be sure that everything will work out for our good (Rom. 8:28).

Luke 22:42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

Acts 12:5 Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.

When Peter was thrown in prison, the church remained in constant prayer to God on his behalf. Prayer is good but, prayer alone is not enough. Prayer must be accompanied with belief (faith) and expectation. Mark 11:24 says, when we pray, we must believe that we have received whatever we asked for.

Although the church was in constant prayer for Peter, we can see they lacked faith. How do we know this? Because in verses 13-15, when Peter was knocking at their door, they didn’t believe Rhoda when she told them it was Peter. They didn’t believe their prayers could free Peter. They prayed but, thought he died. They didn’t believe. They were just going through the religious motions of prayer.

When we pray, it’s our assignment to believe what we’re praying for will come to pass. Whether it be a month later or ten years later, we need to believe and expect our desires to knock on the doors of our lives.

 

Have faith in God. Pray, Believe, and Expect.

-Inspired by Smith Wigglesworth

Matthew 26:53 Are you not aware that I can call on My Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?

Here’s a quick lesson from Jesus prior to Him going to the cross. Jesus could have called twelve legions (36,000) of angels to His defense against those who were arresting Him. In 2 Kings 19 we see one angel can kill 185,000 men, therefore, 36,000 angels can kill 6,660,000,000 men. Although Jesus could have destroyed everyone who was attempting to harm Him, He let them make it and allowed them to live.

There will be people who will test us in all areas in life. During those times, we don’t have to always win the battle or prove that we’re right. Sometimes, it’s in our best interest and the best interest for the Kingdom to hold our tongues and let them make it. If Jesus would have called His angels to destroy those soldiers, He would not be glorified and the Kingdom of God would be empty because we would still be lost in our sins.

Someone may want to argue and we have enough information to make them feel foolish, but is making them feel foolish honoring to the Father? Does it show the love of God or bring them closer to Christ? No. Someone may want to fight us and we know we can destroy them, but beating them up will not bring honor to God and we may have to deal with the consequences of going to jail.

Always being right and always winning is overrated. Follow the example of Jesus and let people make it.

Galatians 6:9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

We’re faithful and committed to the things of God. We get out of a comfortable bed to go to church. We sacrifice watching our favorite TV show to study the Word of God. We serve at our church and in our community. We make an effort to love everyone as we do ourselves. We’re nice to people who aren’t nice to us. We resist arguing with a fool. We help out a friend when it’s inconvenient for us.

These are all good things, but they can be draining especially, if we don’t see immediate results of our good efforts. God understands this. That’s why He encourages us to not get tired of doing good. He knows if we continue to do good, in spite of how we feel and in spite of how long it takes, we’ll reap a blessing.

The only thing stopping us from our blessings is fatigue. Don’t get tired of doing good. Suck it up, get that second wind, and keep doing good.

We just got married and we just got a promotion at our job. With that promotion, our finances doubled. With the increase in finances, we’re able to upgrade and get a nicer car. Also, with that increase we’re able to plan for a 7 day vacation. Seeing that all of these blessings have entered our lives within a year, most of us would proudly say, “God is good.”

TWO YEARS LATER…

The excitement in our marriage has dwindled and now it’s rocky. We just lost a child in a miscarriage. The promotion we got requires more responsibilities that hinders our free time. The car we got had problems which caused us to spend more money than we planned. Now, we can’t go on extravagant vacations like we used to.

The same God Who we declared was good two years ago is still good today. The enemy wants to magnify unfortunate circumstances to hinder our praise. It’s a trap. God was, is, and always will be good. If we can push past our feelings and continue to give God praise in spite of unfortunate events, we will magnify God Who promised to give us double for our trouble (Isaiah 61:7).

Don’t allow situations and circumstances to determine the amount of glory and praise we give our God.

Psalm 136:1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.

Hebrews 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a time;

If we can take our spiritual hats off for a moment and be honest, we can see that sin is pleasurable. Sin satisfies our flesh. It’s pleasurable to go out all night and get drunk at the club. It’s satisfying to our flesh to get high and let lust run wild. It’s exhilarating to eat, drink, have no limits or constraints, and do whatever we desire to do.

This pleasure is what keeps some of us from surrendering our all to God. We’d rather enjoy our lives to the fullest and we don’t want to be told how to live it.

Everything is permissible, but everything is not beneficial (1 Corinthians 10:23). Romans 8:13 says, if we live according to the flesh, we will die. That’s a guarantee. We will die. It may not be immediately, but sin shortens and reduces the quality of our lives.

Because God loves us, He puts limits in His Word and He desires for us to be led by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:13). It’s up to us to discipline our flesh and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Our motivation for this permanent change is to honor a God Who’s done so much in our lives. He’s done countless things in our lives and the least we can do is sacrifice the cravings of our flesh for Him.

Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Unfortunate things happen to us because we’re living in a fallen world. People get laid off, people get divorced, loved ones pass away, and diseases come. Exercising our faith to prevent these things from happening is an option, but we’re not exempt from problems. 

When problems come, we have an unseen Comforter living inside of us. The Holy Spirit. He is a Comforter for a reason. His words are inspired by God. He can tell us what to do during these trying times. He can be the assurance, letting us know everything will be alright. He can give us day by day steps to get past the pain. He can do all of this and more, but we have to let Him comfort us.

If we’re stuck in our feelings, wanting to feel depressed and wanting people to feel sorry for us, there’s nothing He can do. But, if we want to get past the pain and confusion and move on with our lives, He’s there ready to comfort us.

Have faith in this great Comforter. He can change our mourning into gladness. 

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