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Hello ladies and gents!!!
First, allow me to apologize for taking soooo long to get you my latest post. Things have been really hectic these past few weeks and I’m trying to get back into the swing of things.
My momma always tells me to remember to keep on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). And, sometimes I tell her it is hard to do that when it seems like every time I get up from being knocked down, I get knocked down again. It’s tiring, even when I am reminded that “many are the afflictions, but the Lord delivers them out of them all (Psalm 34:19). Sometimes I feel like I live in a state of constant affliction, and I get weak, and feel like I don’t have the strength to keep fighting battle after battle. Even when I know I’m coming out of the situation at some point. Oh, the patience required to get there. I tell my momma “I’m just ready to make some progress and move to a new level.”
While working on this post, I listened to a sermon by T.D. Jakes that reminded me the battle wasn’t mine to fight in the first place (Well Bishop, I guess I need to hush my mouth and sit down).
Chapter 18 of Joel Osteen “It’s Your Time” (Click the title to get your copy NOW) is a reminder to stay strong in the midst of life’s challenges and obstacles. If there was ever a time for strength in times of adversity, it is now.
“Whenever God is about to take you to a higher level, you will face stronger opposition.” Joel Osteen
“Boy oh Boy!” Is that what’s happening Joel? Am I getting ready for a higher level? Because it seems so hard to catch a break these days (Don’t give me the side eye, you know you feel like this too sometimes).
Joel uses the story of David and Goliath to illustrate his point.
David was a shepherd boy and the youngest of his brothers(1 and 2 Samuel). If it weren’t for Goliath, we would still know David as just a shepherd boy. He was used to making sure the sheep were taken care of and no predators ran off with any of them (I guess that could be considered small opposition). He eventually became a king (that’s a doosey of a story too) and was known as ” a man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14). The level of promotion he experienced in his lifetime is rooted in his battle with Goliath. Goliath was a giant feared by everybody but David. And all David had was a slingshot and some stones. He looked foolish to his brothers and the other soldiers.
I mean, think about it. The grown men soldiers didn’t have the confidence or the tools to beat Goliath, but this kid steps out on the battlefield like he’s going to do some damage …
…In the name of God.
David knew something that the other soldiers didn’t. He knew someone greater than Goliath. Even though Goliath was the biggest opposition he ever faced in his life, he walked with a boldness and confidence in who he was and who he belonged to.
Who do you belong to?
David had God. And he knew that as long as he had God he would emerge from this battle a winner. See, God is bigger than any Goliath and David recognized that and acted on his knowledge. So, he didn’t just have a slingshot and some stones.
We are not in our battles alone. Say this “I belong to God and God belongs to me.”
Who or what is your Goliath?
It was David’s time to be known as more than a shepherd boy. To get to his next level he had to face opposition. And, his opposition could have killed him. KILLED HIM!!! He knew this. But, he also knew that having God made him stronger than some giant.
I guess I need to stop complaining about my situation, huh? My opposition is not going to kill me. Note to self: Anytime I feel weak, just remember that as God stood on the battlefield with David, He is standing with me. As long as He has my back, I’m good.
Do you believe your Goliath can be used for your good?
Do you think David’s encounter with Goliath was by chance? I don’t think so. If God knows the beginning from the end (Isaiah 46:10-11), then He was not surprised by this encounter. He knew that Goliath’s defeat would take David from being a simple shepherd boy and set him on the path to becoming king. Is it possible that He orchestrated the whole thing, so that others would see David as so much more than a kid who takes care of sheep…And realize the power of God?
…..Gives you something to think about, huh?
So, to help us get that confidence and strength that David had the day his life changed, Joel gives us some action steps.
1. Stop going by your feelings.
Sorry, but I am so guilty of this. I get in my feelings easily and it sometimes ruins my whole day. Let me be the first to say it “Feelings can deceive you.” I feel weak fighting battle after battle, but Ephesians 6:10 says “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” See, when we try to deal with adversity in our strength, we do get weak. We get tired. But, what we have to do is be strong in God. Be strong in our spirit. How do we do that? By focusing on what He says instead of how we feel. Our feelings can take us down a path we really don’t want. Or acting on our feelings can prevent God from intervening in our situation. I told you T.D. Jakes reminded me the other day that the battle wasn’t mine to begin with, so why am I allowing myself to grow weak and tired trying to handle my Father’s business instead of letting Him do it. We have to take Him at His WORD and LET HIM DO IT.
It sort of reminds me of many of my students. They act on what they feel and it causes all kinds of trouble for many of them. They struggle to stand strong in the face of adversity. When they hear someone has been talking behind their backs. Or they read something on social media. Or even when they are having a bad day, everyone pays for how they feel at the time and in any given situation.
We can’ allow that to happen to us.
2. Stop looking at what you don’t have.
It is so easy to get caught up in what we are lacking. Even the thing we are believing God for that seems to be taking forever to get. First, be grateful for what you do have and where you currently are on your journey. You may not be where you want to be, but as long as you are still breathing, you have a reason to be thankful.
Another note to self: I don’t have a house yet, but the apartment is large enough to fit the 5 of us and our dog comfortably, so stop being sad about the house thing. It will come in time.
Also, I heard someone (can’t remember if it was at church or somewhere else.) say that God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies those that he calls. In other words stop sitting around waiting to be someone or something else before stepping out. That’s once again focusing on what you think you don’t have. David stood up to Goliath as a shepherd boy. He didn’t wait to become a warrior first. He actually became a warrior by facing Goliath as a boy.
The time is NOW!!! What are you (What am I) waiting for? HE already said “If God be for you, who can be against you (Romans 8:31).” Meaning, the person on your job trying to make trouble for you can’t defeat you, including your boss. Student loan debt can’t defeat you (Yay!!!). Your illness can’t defeat you. The job that you hate can’t defeat you.
What ever you think you don’t have doesn’t matter. If you need it for what he wants you to do, you will have it. Case closed.
So, really we can say we just have to shift our focus. Instead of focusing on the negativity, the uncomfortable feelings of our situation, and our lack in certain areas of our lives, we just have to focus on faith. I really believe that as we keep moving in Faith, our strength will increase. Faith says that it will come together in time. There’s strength in knowing that it will come together. Fear says it’s taking too long and maybe it won’t happen. Fear is draining and zaps our time and energy. And as we stay in fear, we grow weaker. True faith will ride until we reach our destination. Note to Self: Have faith. Fear is not worth it.
Roadblocks, detours, and challenges are inevitable. Many times they are for the purpose of taking us to the next phase of our lives. Instead of giving-in to our emotions and focusing on areas where we are in lack, we must be like David and face our Goliaths, remembering to ” be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.”