Victory!

I like winning. I wish I could say I always win, but I don’t. Sometimes I get second place. Okay fine… sometimes I lose. Have you ever met someone who always seems to win no matter what they are doing? Those people are so annoying inspiring. Whether it’s a card game or a basketball game, they seem to get the victory. Every. Single. Time. Which is great if you are on their team and not so great when you are on the other team.

There was a guy in the Bible like that. He just couldn’t lose. In fact, whenever he engaged in battle, the song “All I do is win” mysteriously played in the background. His name was David. Check this out:

1 Chronicles 18:6b The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.

1 Chronicles 18:13b The Lord gave David victory wherever he went

This guy was a first class winner. So much so, that this statement is repeated twice in the chapter. David had victory. Wherever he swung his sword, victory. Anywhere he set his feet, victory. On any battlefield, victory. Now before David gets a big head about all this winning, let’s look at the three key words in these verses. “The Lord gave”  The Lord gave David victory. Because victory belongs to the Lord. 

So many people are living their lives in defeat. They live their lives in a constant state of struggle, anxiety, depression, and gloom. Hope is not here and peace is not present. Yet they struggle to find some semblance of victory. Even just a little one would suffice. Their efforts are strained until they can strain no more. There is nothing left in the tank. They couldn’t achieve it. There must be no victory left for them.

Yet the truth is this, THE LORD GIVES victory. He has called us to be a victorious people. He has brought us out of the darkness and into the light. He gave his very life, defeating death, not only for his victory, but also for ours. We don’t have to live in defeat any longer. We, too, can live in the victory that the Lord gives.

Proclaim this over your life today: The Lord will give _________ (insert name) victory where he/she goes. 

If you will walk in the power of His Spirit and in His truth, I believe that statement will be as true for you as it was for David.

The Sea Within

It’s an epic scene in history: the parting of the Red Sea. You may know the story… The Israelites have just been freed from slavery in Egypt, but the Pharaoh is sending his army to come after them. The circumstances look grave, but God does a miracle. They stand at the Red Sea before them and Moses touches the water with this staff. At that moment, the sea forms a wall to their left and to their right and they walk through it on dry ground. Awesome! Even more awesome is that the Egyptian army pursued them. During the pursuit, God caused the water to flow again and every single one of the bad guys drowned in the sea. God=1, Egyptian Army=0.

redsea

That’s how God works! He is a God of miracles. He does great big things that shape our lives. I think about Jesus and the thousands of people he fed, healed, and set free by the miraculous power of God. Jesus is awesome! This miracle in Exodus 14 was awesome, too! I want you to notice something about this story, because there’s actually a miracle before the miracle; a parting of the sea before the parting of the sea.

Exodus 14:13-14 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

If you read the whole chapter, you’ll find the Israelites freaking out. They say to Moses, “What, there weren’t enough graves for us in Egypt? God obviously brought us out here to be killed!” We see the fear and doubt overtake them. It paralyzes their faith to the point where they aren’t sure God can pull this one out. Even after the 12 plagues. They freeze.

At that moment, Moses speaks a word of faith over them from the Lord. “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” Stop, people. Stop freaking out. Stop doubting. Stop losing your mind to fear. The Lord is about to do a giant miracle! He is going to take this sea and form a wall of water to your left and a wall of water to your right. You will walk through it safely! It’s going to be okay!

The miracle was on it’s way for Israel. The walls of water would be in their near future. But there was another miracle that needed to take place: the miracle inside of them. You see, there was a sea of doubt and fear swirling around inside their hearts. They were in a panic, couldn’t see clearly, and had lost all perspective. But if they would just be still for a moment…

If they would just be still, God would blow into their hearts and deal with the sea within. He would push doubt into a wall to their left and push fear into a wall to their rights. And in their hearts, they would stand on solid ground knowing that a bigger miracle was coming. The miracle inside their hearts would give them the resolve to stand for the miracle outside of their control. Egypt was coming after them. But in this place of peace in their hearts, the worry ceased. And as that worry ceased, so too, did the waters of the Red Sea. They would soon see with their eyes, the walls of water to their left and right and walk safely through.

The miracle inside was just as great as the miracle outside. Both miracles saved them. One from Egypt and the other from themselves. What “inside” miracle do you need in your life? Take it to the God of miracles and watch what He will do!

When your world falls apart

Micah 7:7 But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.

What do you do when your world falls apart?  You just lost your job.  Your husband left you.  The bank is calling looking for your mortgage payment.  Your kids are out ruining their lives and you feel powerless to stop them.  People look at you and judge you with their eyes.  You feel alone and afraid.  As much as this sounds like a country song, it’s unfortunately the story of someone you know.  It might even be your story.  So what do you do when your world falls apart?

In Micah 7, Israel’s world was falling apart.  Micah was a man called to be a voice for the Lord.  He stood alone. He stood for the Lord.  The best people were wicked at best; the worst, absolutely repulsive.  These people make America look good.  Really, they were gross.  He says that Godly people have vanished from the land.  He states that both of their hands are good at accomplishing evil.  Yes, Israel was falling apart at the seams.  People were turning on each other, households were dividing, and friends betrayed friends.  It was the way of life.

Not for Micah.  He said, “But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD…”  He was determined to be different.  He would swim upstream.  When everyone was running one way, he would determine to run the other.  When they were all walking away from the Lord looking for hope and peace in all the wrong places, He would look to the Lord.  The Lord would be his hope.  God would be his Savior.  God would hear him and answer his prayer.  The world can run its way all it wants.  It can rebel against God and find depression, anxiety, hopelessness, and death.  It can look to wrong places and come up empty.  But not Micah… and not me.  I will watch in hope for the Lord, I will wait for God my Savior; and He will hear me.