If there’s a Will…

Luke 19:4   (KJV)   And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.

Zacchaeus’ smallness didn’t deter him from seeing Jesus. He found a way. He used his Luke 19.4 - If there's a Will...mind; He used his legs; he used his strength; he used time; he used the tree; he used knowledge available.

There’s no greater desire and sight than Jesus—wanting Him, “seeing” Him, “finding” Him, knowing Him. And I love the fact that there’s nothing that can stop us from having a personal, loving, saving experience and relationship with Him. There are challenges; there are hurdles; there are deterrents, but God has given us everything we need for life and godliness—especially everything needed for our salvation.

Dear God, thank You for doing everything You can do to save us—even “passing” this earth-way through the person of Your precious Son—our Lord Jesus Who so lovingly and willingly gave His life for us to redeem us from our old, past, lost lives. Help us not to find excuses but to find ways so we will continue drawing nearer to You and experiencing all the glorious changes and blessings of being more intimate with You and being more like You.

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More than Conquerors

 

John 16.33 - More than Conquerors - 1John 16:33   (KJV)   33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

There are trials and temptations; there are troubles and hardships; there are problems and challenges. As believers, we’re tremendously blessed. This is despite all the extreme difficulties we face. True, we’re not exempt from suffering. God’s Word clearly declares that those of us who live godly lives will suffer. We’re sent out as sheep among wolves. This isn’t a pretty picture—in the natural.

There are kinds of suffering shared by all. There are kinds of sufferings unique to unbelievers, and there are sufferings unique to believers. Believers suffer just for being believers. But life in the Lord is the most awesome life there is. We have peace, we have joy. And whatever battle, hardship, or challenge we face, we win—not because we’re strong and wise; it’s because God is. He has overcome the world and there’s nothing the world can do to us that we can’t beat.

God is Truth. He doesn’t want us to live in a false utopia. Yes, paradise is real; it will come. Evil, sin, and every bad experience will completely disappear. Until that time, God shows us the reality of our sin-plagued world. But the beauty about it is: while we wait for the literal visible Kingdom of God to come, His Kingdom already resides in us as His children. We have access to the Kingdom resources and authority. We are overcomers. Truth is: we’re more than conquerors. That’s why we have peace like a river, joy like a fountain and love like an ocean. That’s why in the middle of overwhelming tribulation, we live a wonderful life of loving God and loving everyone, even those who treat us as their enemies.

Victories and Conquests

Psalm 44:3  (KJV)   For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them.

The conquests enjoyed by the Israelites were courtesy of God’s power, favor and love. It’s not that they didn’t raise their swords and fight; it wasn’t that they were not skilled and strong, they probably were. But they most probably fought armies that were much stronger, more trained, more equipped, and more numerous than they were. How did they manage? They didn’t. Someone way stronger and bigger than all the armies in the world took control.

We will face challenges and oppositions that we may feel are beyond us. It may not even be just a feeling; they may really be beyond our abilities to conquer, solve, or beat. But we as believers operate beyond our own natural limitations. We live in the realm of the supernatural. This is made possible through our amazingly gracious Benefactor.  God is our Father and King. He is in control of our lives. He is also supremely powerful; nothing is impossible with Him. There is no enemy too great and there is no challenge to huge for Him. In fact, it will be interesting to know how God reacts to those things we deem as monstrous and colossal. I can almost imagine Him with a very endearing smile.

Dear God – our victorious God, we place our total dependence and utmost confidence in You for our victory. Challenges, enemies, distractions – small or great, from within or from without – we know that we can live in complete victory over any of them. Please help us never to cower and never to accept living in defeat. May we never buy into the lie that there are enemies within us and enemies outside of us that we can’t conquer. You can, and we believe You will. We may have been trying for so long; we may even feel like we want to give up and stop trying, and to just live as one of the conquered – slaves to our flesh, slaves to Satan, and slaves to our other enemies. But please help us to not stop swinging until we receive our victory, – in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Surviving Leadership Threats

Exodus 17:4  (KJV)    And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.

Moses was a clear-cut God-picked leader. God backed him up with super-sized miracles – a lot of them. He received a divine leadership validation extraordinaire. Despite all that, because of a new problem, the Israelites wanted to kill Him. I mean, forget all the nation-liberating, empire-humbling miracles; forget about the Nile turning to blood, hails, death of the firstborn of the “enemies,” parting of the Sea of Reeds and the complete annihilation of the charging Egyptian armies – all through the power of God. They didn’t have water to drink. Understandable. Without it, they’ll all eventually die. It was a real problem. But the greater real problem was that they forgot that God had been solving their way bigger than “we don’t have water to drink” problems. But that comes within the territory of God-called leaders or ministers. Moses had forgetful, ungrateful, hateful EGR (extra-grace required) few or many in the flock. The God-called, God-backed, God-empowered, God-validated leader had many of them – approximately 2 million men, plus women and children.

We need to accept it; we have to expect it; we will have people the Lord has placed under our care who will be pains in the neck, and head, and stomach – thorns in our flesh – if you may. The presence of complains, and criticisms, and even death-threats neither nullifies nor disproves God’s call in our lives as His laborers or leaders. We ought to be prepared for them. If there’s none like them, praise God; if there are, praise God. Instead of acting like them – forgetting God and all His wonderful works in and through our journey with Him, instead of retaliating to them – criticizing them and threatening to kill them as well, we ought to keep our eyes on God. He has always came through for us before; He will always come through for us.

Our Miracle-Working, Problem-Solving God, may we always find it a joy to serve you, never wavering that no matter what challenges we face – from situations and from people, You will enable us; You will equip us, because You have called us, in Jesus’ Name, amen.