Tag Archives: Moses

How to Fight to Win with Minimal Fuss

Are you in a battle that you just can’t seem to win? Does it feel as if the enemy is just overwhelming you? In life, we do not have to go looking for a fight before a fight comes knocking at your doorstep. Yet, no matter how the fight comes to be, the important thing is to know the keys to victory.

Having spent a good part of the past month reading about the wilderness journey of the children of Israel, a strategy for victory has crystallized in my mind and heart.

When the children of Israel employed this strategy, they were able to destroy a Midianite more than double their size without a single casualty.

With this strategy, they were able to go against the giants in Canaan and utterly destroy them. To get an idea of how big these giants were, the bed of King Og measured roughly 13.5 ft long and 6 ft wide.

Most astonishingly, it was this same strategy that Gideon was employed such that he was able to defeat a Midianite army of well over 100,000 with just 300 men.

304px-light_bulb_icon_tips-svgLight-bulb moment: Though the tactics for victory may change, the strategy for victory remains unchanged.

The 2-fold strategy they employed is as follows:

Only Fight the Battles God Tells You to Fight

How could one chase a thousand, And two put ten thousand to flight, Unless their Rock had sold them, And the Lord had surrendered them? – Deuteronomy 32:30

Another way of putting this bible passage is this: The only way for a man to chase down a thousand is with God’s help. Think of it this way. You and I cannot take down a thousand men unless the men had somehow been completely immobilized so that they were as stiff as statues. In such a scenario case, the battle is not fair for the thousand men!

That’s the way it is when God is fighting on our behalf…the battle is not fair!

Truly, the probability of victory is not determined by the size of the enemy we are going against or the size of our own army. The probability of victory is determined solely by who is with us. If the ‘Who’ is God, then the probability of victory is 100%, inasmuch as we follow the blueprint for victory.

304px-light_bulb_icon_tips-svgLight-bulb moment: God fights only in the battles He sanctions. Engaging in a battle that has not been approved by God leads to heavy casualty with no promise of victory.

When the Lord told the children of Israel to wander about in the wilderness for 40 years because of their refusal to enter Canaan, the people were so disappointed that they decided to try to enter Canaan in their own effort and without the blessing of God. The result is that they were crushed in battle (see below).

And Moses said, “Now why do you transgress the command of the Lord? For this will not succeed. Do not go up, lest you be defeated by your enemies, for the Lord is not among you. For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and you shall fall by the sword; because you have turned away from the Lord, the Lord will not be with you.” But they presumed to go up to the mountaintop. Nevertheless, neither the ark of the covenant of the Lord nor Moses departed from the camp. Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who dwelt in that mountain came down and attacked them, and drove them back as far as Hormah – Numbers 14:41-45

Fight the Battle the Way God Tells You to Fight it

God is the master strategist and tactician. His tactics are always right and always work no matter how crazy they sound. If He tells you to walk around the wall seven times, just do it. If he tells you to scream on top your lungs, just do it. If He tells you to tell a bunch of people to drink water and go up against a great army with 300 men, just do it.

Any deviation from the plan of God results in the withdrawal of God’s power. I don’t know about you, but I do not want the power of God to be suddenly removed while I am in battle – especially when I am outnumbered. If we want to be victorious in battle with minimal fuss, we must make up our mind that we are going to do what God commands, no matter what it takes to execute the strategy.

When the children of Israel first fought the Amalekites, they gained the upper hand as long as Moses’ hands stayed raised. No sooner did Moses’ hands drop, the Amalekites gained the upper hand. To ensure God’s strategy for victory remained in play, Aaron and Hur propped up his hands.

Why does God use such unusual strategy and tactics? I believe it  is because He wants to leave no doubt that victory is only possible with Him. Why does He want us to have no doubt that He is the author of victory? He does this because He wants to show us that we can trust in Him (have faith in Him) and surrender to Him, the one true and good God.

304px-light_bulb_icon_tips-svgLight-bulb moment: Faith is the key to victory. The proof of faith is obedience.

Application For Today

Though the enemy (Satan) is still on the battlefield (the earth), God has disarmed and surrendered him to us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Because of the victory Jesus has won on the cross, the enemy is like a barking dog with no teeth and no claws. The only thing that stops us from fighting such a dog is the belief that the dog still has some teeth and claws. Since God tells us clearly that Jesus has disarmed all powers and principalities (see Colossians 2:15), it goes that the only thing that stops us from victory is our unbelief (inasmuch as God’s will is for us to fight the particular battle).

When it comes to the enemy, God tells us to fight. He tells us to fight because He has already surrendered the enemy. Thus the only thing we have to fight for now is faith, so that we align ourselves with the plans of God in complete obedience. This is why we are told to fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12). We have to trust and belief (have faith) in what God has told us about the enemy and boldly go onto the battlefield to claim our victory (whatever that looks like). No more fear, no more surrender, no more retreat!

304px-light_bulb_icon_tips-svgLight-bulb moment: The circumstances and situations in life have no power over us BUT that which we give to them. It does not really matter what happens, we can have inner victory over them.

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Comfirmation is good, but never become a junkie

Today, many people seeks signs to confirm what God has told them. It is not uncommon to hear ‘I need a confirmation from the Lord’ or “I will go for prophesy to confirm what the Lord has told me’. I find this quite interesting and ponder-worthy. Have you ever asked yourself why we would need to confirm what the Lord has spoken to us? The two reasons I can think of are these: (1) We do not really know if the Lord has spoken to us (2) We doubt what the Lord has spoken to us.

Babies R Us

That we do not know if the Lord has spoken to us  reveals that we are still babes in Christ. All of us have to go through this stage in our walk with the Lord. As babes, we lack in-depth knowledge and understanding of the word, therefore our level of discernment is low. Note: The correlation between knowledge of the word of God and discernment can be found in Hebrews 4:12.

As babes, it is easy for the devil to take passages of scripture out of context and try to pass it off as truth. Remember how Satan tried to fool Jesus in the wilderness by quoting scripture out of the context? This is why we need confirmation at this stage!

There is nothing wrong with admitting that you are babe in Christ. Even the great Prophet Samuel started off as a babe in Christ. He did not know that God was calling out to him at night, so He kept on going to Eli. After the third time, Eli realized that it was God calling out to Samuel and so told Samuel to answer (1 Samuel 3:1-10). In essence, Eli confirmed to Samuel that it was the Lord.

It is okay to be a confirmation junkie in the baby stage of our walk with God

But what if Samuel did not grow to know the Lord and know His voice? What if He always needed someone else to confirm the word of God? He wouldn’t have been chosen to be the next great Prophet, for he would have led the people astray. In other words, He would have missed out on fulfilling his calling.

Think about this: What if Moses waited for confirmation and so never moved to mark the door posts for protection before the Angel of death descended down into Egypt? That would have been the end of the story of Israel!

Jesus says that my sheep know my voice. Do you know the voice of Jesus or do you think you know it?  In truth, we cannot follow Jesus closely if we do not know His voice. This is why babes in Christ tend to stray. To remain a confirmation junkie is to remain a babe in Christ!

The reason only a few are chosen out of a great multitude that are called is because too many of us choose to remain babes!

‘Sign’ Me Up

There is no doubt in my mind that doubt has caused too many of us to spend hours in prayer in search of confirmation instead of actually doing what God has called us to do. As we do this, the blessing that the Lord wished to bestow upon us walks right by as we keep our heads buried in our pillows. Then we turn around and wonder why it is that we miss out on God’s blessings. For example, we say to God, ‘that guy that you told me was my husband, how come he married someone else?’. The answer may very well be that you never said a word to him as God commanded you!

Please do not misunderstand what I am saying here. It is always a great idea to pray when in doubt. But the whole point of praying when in doubt is to receive the guidance of the Lord. Once we have received the guidance of the Lord, the next step is to obey the Lord. In the context of which I am speaking, doubt causes us to pray for confirmation instead of simply believing God and moving on with what He wants us to do. Like Gideon, we look for a sign before we make a move.

Gideon was a babe and so needed confirmation –  and so it was granted. Once we move from being babes, any sign seeking reveals unbelief! 

The Pharisees were no babes in having knowledge of the word of God, yet they sought a sign time and again. Here is what Jesus thought of their sign seeking ways:

 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah – Matthew 12:38-39

Ouch! Jesus called then evil and adulterous! He called them this because their asking for confirmation showed that they were filled with doubt and unbelief. Doubt and unbelief is the opposite of trust and faith. Doubt and unbelief is the result of hardening our heart to the truth; it is the result of tolerating fear; fear toleration is from the evil one. Moreover, Satan is also very good at signs and wonders! Hence, it is easy to be led astray if we are looking for signs.

Many of us seek confirmation through prophetic words because we secretly doubt our ability to hear from God or doubt what the Lord has spoken to us. So we would rather base our life on what someone has prophesied – at times still not realizing we have to take action. Instead of hearing from God, we want to hear from God through a 3rd party, and we want that word to be a word of exaltation! Hmm, I suppose we would not like Prophet Jeremiah too much if he was here today!

The best type of prophesy is confirmation of what God has spoken to you; not instruction of what God wants you to do!

Food for Thought: If all prophesy is instruction to me, then it is a ‘sign’ that my walk with the Lord is weak! If I do not hear from God, it is confirmation that I am a babe in Christ.

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How Can I Get Doors of Opportunity to Open for Me?

Called and Chosen to Execute – Bezalel

For a minute imagine that you are an architect. What a great honor it would be if the pope asked you to build the next great cathedral or the Queen of England asked you to build her a castle! It would not only be a great honor but it would the opportunity of a lifetime. Your name would be immediately stamped in history and people would read about you and get to know your works long after you were gone. Moreover, you would not have to worry about finding work anymore, and financial worries would be a thing of the past.

This is exactly what happened to Bezalel. Once day, Moses called out to him and told him that God had selected him to build His (God’s) house.

I bet the other skilled architects must have wondered within themselves, why Bezalel and not us; we are just as highly skilled as he is! Not finding a suitable answer to this question, it would not surprise me if many of them simply put it down to luck. But luck had nothing to do with it.

Luck hardly ever has anything to do with being chosen. What may look like luck is usually the hand of God in action.

I reckon many of them were called to be great architects. I would wager that many were filled with the spirit of wisdom, ability, knowledge, understanding, and intelligence in all works of craftsmanship. Yet, only one was called by name (chosen).

If you have been filled with the Spirit of God, then you have been filled with the spirit of wisdom, ability, knowledge, understanding, and intelligence to prosper you in everything you do. It means you have the ability to be called by name just as Bezalel was called by name. Even so, to be chosen you must not just have the ability of Bezalel but you must have the character of Bezalel.

To have ability is to have potential; to be chosen to fulfill potential requires character

Bezalel’s Character

Honesty and Integrity: Large sums of gold, silver, bronze, and clothing were required to build God’s house. Bezalel knew how much of each material was needed to build the house to specifications based on his skill. When the people started to bring more material than was required, he promptly told Moses to tell the people to stop the collection (Exodus 36:5-7).

Bezalel could have stashed away some of the superfluous material for himself. He could have colluded with the other artisans to make a profit. But he did not do this. He did not allow his eyes to become greedy nor did he covet the gold and silver. His thinking did not become selfish. He did not say: what am I getting paid to do this work? He did not convince himself that it was his right to take of some of the collected material. He did not want to defraud the people of their belongings by continuing to collect unneeded supplies.

Would you have done the same if you were Bezalel?

Patience  and Obedience: Moses looked at the work Bezalel did and saw that he had done it just as God commanded, therefore Moses blessed him (Exodus 39:43). Since we know that the children came to the wilderness of Sinai in the 3rd month after the start of the journey out of Egypt (Exodus 19:1) but the tabernacle was not raised until the 2nd year of the exodus (Exodus 40:17), we see that it took a while for Bezalel to be paid for his work. He did not know he was to be paid and was only paid after the work was completed. Thus the honor of doing the work in obedience to the will of God was enough for him.

Can you say the same? Are you focused on what you have been called to do or are you focused on the blessing?

Moreover, he did not doubt the instruction that Moses gave him. He could have said to himself, I know a better way to do this work, let me change this and change that. No! He let God be God, forgot about his own opinion, and did exactly what God commanded through Moses. He would have missed out on his blessing if he had not obeyed without adding or subtracting a thing.

Is this you or do you mix your own way with God’s way?

Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it – Deuteronomy 12:32

Good Steward: Moses only saw what Bezalel made when he brought it to him (Exodus 39:43). Thus the only way Moses knew how much gold and silver was used (Exodus 38:25) is because Bezalel was a good steward of all materials used. Bezalel was an overseer of the work that was being done and ensured that nothing was wasted.

Are you a good steward of everything God as given you? Are you a good steward over your time and resource? Are you disciplined enough in your stewardship?

The way we answer these questions will ultimately determine whether we reach our full potential or if our lives will be summed up by could have, should have, and would have!

Food for Thought: Dedicate yourself to honesty, integrity, patience, unwavering obedience to God, and good stewardship and you will see great doors of opportunity swing wide open for you.

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5 Steps Towards Greatness (Part II) – Equipped

The pyramid of Khephren (Khafre)

Having called Jesus to partake of flesh and blood in order to reconcile mankind to Him, God did not simply leave Jesus to his own devices. He did not say “Alright Jesus, I called you and you have answered My call. Now, go do what I have asked you to do in your own strength”. No! God ensured He granted Jesus with the ability to carry out the purpose for which He was born; He empowered Jesus and equipped Him with the secret weapon of the Holy Spirit.

Just as there is no point in your boss telling you to cut a tree down without furnishing you with an axe or saw, there is no point knowing the purpose for which you were created without being furnished with the ability to complete your task. The same God who has called you will without fail equip you with the ability to carry out the task He has given you.

Therefore, we do not have to worry about how we can ever accomplish what at times may seem like the mountainous task before us. God knows we cannot do it on our own power; that is why He deposited the Holy Spirit inside of us to strengthen and empower us.

Even so, many of us ignore the very key to victory (the Holy Spirit) on our journey but instead ramble about the place trying to accomplish the purpose to which we have been called in our own power. Alas, this is akin to trying to trying to fight an enemy without putting on our armor; it is foolishness at best. Our failure to utilize the Holy Spirit or yield to the Holy Spirit’s direction is the primary reason we stumble and fall. Should we stumble and fall, unfortunately, too many of us start to question the call of God on our lives and we simply give up. In essence, we give up on God and spend our time chasing all those things that keeps us busy and may even bring us great material wealth but at the end of the day still leaves us empty!

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: To be great, we must utilize the tool of the Holy Spirit.

See,  since God wants us to accomplish His purpose His way, and the only way we can do this is by listening to the voice of the Lord spoken through the Holy Spirit within us (see John 16:13), we must always leave room for the Holy Spirit to operate in our lives. We must learn to obey that voice that tells us to act in a way that will NOT violate the principles, statutes, and character of God.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: The equipping is God’s responsibility, but the use of the equipment is our responsibility.

Anything other than abiding in the Holy Spirit is folly! When Moses decided he knew better than God when he struck the rock instead of speaking to the rock, it ended up costing him the joy of entering into the promise land. When Solomon decided he was no longer going to heed the voice of the Lord not to engage in wedlock with non-believers, it ended up costing him the kingdom and his peace of mind. When the Man of God decided to take a detour from the path God had laid out in front of him, it cost him his life (see 1 Kings 13:11-30)!

Thus it is clear. We must refuse the urge to answer the call of God on our life in our own strength for doing this is dangerous business! Rather, we must allow for the equipping (empowerment) of the Spirit and then walk in step with Him as He leads!

“But the Lord said to me: ‘Do not say I am a youth’, for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. – Jeremiah 1:7

Power Thought: My God who calls me will also give me the ability to fulfill my calling and lead me aright; He is with me and will not allow me to falter.

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