Doing valiantly through God

boxing-100733_640Psalm 108:13: Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.

The might of the enemy can seem overwhelming; your own preparedness may seem not enough, you may feel you are not up to it. But Paul has an insight to share. He said: we are not sufficient in ourselves to think of anything as being if ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God, and he makes us able (2Corinthians 3:4-6). When we move with his ability, the size and might of the enemy is no longer important. When you understand that God is for you, then it doesn’t matter who is against you (Romans 8:31-32).

Small David picked up a few stones and approached big Goliath at the end of it all Goliath was dead, with his big sword in David’s small hand (1Samuel 17).

For the children of Israel to take down Jericho they were told to walk round the city. What does seven days of walk have to do with conquering a city (Joshua 6)? But it was their token of faith, just as David picking up stones and moving towards Goliath was his expression of faith in God, not his ability. Obedience is the first indication of faith. You believe it is God who said it and you act based on it, since faith without works is dead (James 2:26).

What did Peter need to do to walk on water (Matthew 14:29)? He only needed to take the first step and then another, acting of Jesus’ word. When that happened, the ability of Jesus was operational in his life and He walked on water. He did not need a year in the “walking on water school,” he needed faith.

God said open your mouth and I will fill it (Psalm 81:10). Do your part and he will do his and that will make all the difference. The disciples were told to cast their net to the right for a great catch (John 21:3-6). That singe act of obedience to the word of God delivered the biggest catch for him and his team. He did not need a refresher course in fishing. He needed to only act on the word of God and he did valiantly; the greatness of God was manifested.

When God sent the children of Israel to invade the Canaan, they were a ragtag bunch of wannabe conquerors. But they were empowered by God. They were genuinely impressed with the fact that they only had to go forward and the land will be delivered to their hands. God had told Joshua: wherever the sole of your feet touches, I have given to you (Joshua 1:3).

But similar words came to a generation before them which they did not act on, and so lost out on being the generation that entered the Promised Land, that did valiantly with God.

Soon after departing from Egypt they were supposed to go into the Promised Land but they considered themselves as being weak and magnified the power of the enemy (Numbers 13).

God felt disappointed that even after he had parted the red sea and the millions of them walked through the sea on dry land, they still chose to want to go back to Egypt, back into the realm of the familiar. They were not willing to go on with God in the adventure of faith to the uncertain, uncharted, unexplored territories of the new place.

God told Jesus: ask of me and I will give you the ends of the earth for your inheritance and the nations for your possessions (Psalm 2). So, when God calls you to branch out, to move on, to put yourself in uncertain positions, only depending on his arm to make it through, that is the opportunity to really do great things, to gain inheritances for Christ.

You don’t know what you can do to the fullest, until you do it with the Lord. Your real abilities are not yet on display except the divinity in you comes out fully. That was the import of a prayer Paul prayed for Philemon. He said: that the communication of your faith might become effective by acknowledging everything in you in Christ Jesus (Philemon 1:6).

When we become part of the body of Christ, we become invested with certain gifts that were appointed to us before time began. Paul wrote that we are God’s workmanship fashioned in Christ Jesus to walk in good works which he predetermined beforehand for us (Ephesians 2:10).

So there is no reason for copying anyone or for jealousy. You are called to be the best you. Paul said that those who compare themselves with themselves are not wise. We need to know that we are unique, that we have unique opportunities to reach others, with unique content of grace and ability to bless them.

Paul said that his role in the life of the Corinthian Church is for him to sow while Apollos water and God gives the increase (1Corinthians 3:1-4:1). God has equipped Paul with the sowing grace while he has also given Apollos the watering grace, and both are supposed to be good stewards of that grace, in the peculiar assignments they have and the peculiar equipment they have from God. The wrong question will be: “who is a better minister?” in the sense of comparing the two and that is why there was division in the Corinthian church.

Paul said: do not judge another man’s servant (Romans 14:4), since the only question is whether he pleases his master or not. The right question is: are Paul and Apollo doing what God wants them to do? Both will be rewarded for doing their part, not for struggling for recognition, or trying to outperform one another. They will be rewarded for the impact they make in the lives of people, from the timeframe of eternity and not the limited appraisal of men, or news report.

The concern of God is for his people. Three times he told him: feed my sheep/lamb (John 21:15-17). God said that he was going to give his people shepherds who will feed them with knowledge and understanding, to enhance their life (Jeremiah 3:15). The shepherds are to feed the sheep, make them strong and they will do mighty things.

Every believer has a git and the purpose of the fivefold minister is to enhance the believers, train them in the operation of those gifts (Ephesians 4:11-12). Paul said Christ gave some gifts (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Teacher, Pastor) to the church for the equipping of the saints to do valiantly in the work of the ministry (spiritual service).

 

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