It’s not just about Sports
Based on the title, you might think this blog was going to be some analogy regarding sports. Honestly, I don’t really watch many sports anymore but I did play plenty of them growing up and if you were a team or player that could score points, you would win ball games!!! A great quarterback, point guard, or hitter would make all the difference. But why did they make the difference? They were on the offensive team, aggressively going after (in this case points) the goal. They would not have succeeded if they just sat back and waited for things to happen to them. The attitude of the offensive team was something different and shouldn’t we as Christian’s also be different? Shouldn’t we be like the great quarterbacks and point guards, going after the things of God? Shouldn’t we be uncommon?
All of this has become so obvious to me as I have been reading through the book of 1 Samuel. For those who don’t know, this is the story where Samuel appoints Saul King after Israel demands it. David then is anointed by the Prophet Samuel because Saul fell out of favor with God for his disobedience. David is then brought into the King’s court to serve Saul. Ultimately, we come to the point where Saul and his army all are intimidated and go in to a defensive mode as they see the Goliath and the Philistine Army. David on the other goes on the offense, not being intimidated, not getting defensive but stepping up and going after Goliath. What comes blatantly obvious at this point, is the difference in attitude of David and Saul.
3 Things you can do to develop a good Offense
3 things stuck out to me as to why David was able to defeat Goliath.
David remembered the power of God in his life and appropriated it to every situation in his life. David remembered what God had delivered him from and the times God saved him.
1 Samuel 17:37 Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bears. He will deliver me from the hand this Philistine”.
Psalm 77:11 But then I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember you r wonderful deeds of long ago. They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your might works.
David knew the name of God was the most powerful weapon he could use, more powerful than any man made weapon.
1 Samuel 17:45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
David knew the battle was the Lord’s. The fight was the Lord’s and not ours to control. David knew if he was going to succeed, God would have to be in control and he would have to let go.
1 Samuel 17:47 Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does no save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.
We can all relate this story in some way. Maybe you are David already. Maybe, like most, you are thinking I am like Saul sitting back on the defense waiting for that big giant Goliath to attack. Yes, sometimes good defenses win games but mostly it is those with a good offense that win the game. Today, my challenge to you as well as myself, is to be uncommon, step out and go after those things and areas of your life you are not winning in. Apply these things above and watch the Goliath’s in your life fall.
The other day I was listening to a leadership podcast interviewing Pastor Steven Furick on his new book Unqualified. Listening to him talk, reminded me of so many times over the years where I have felt unqualified. Unqualified to be a nurse, to be a mom, a wife, a Christian. These feelings held me back from doing what God was calling me to do. I felt like I needed to have it all together, key word felt, before I started. It’s like before you have children you say to your spouse I want to wait until it’s just right, we need to have everything in order. Well, guess what, that rarely happens! And guess what, God is in the business of taking our imperfections, those things we feel unqualified to do, and giving us the strength and ability to do them in His name. Even though God has removed much of these thoughts and feelings, I still to this day think to myself, who am I to be leading a group, who am I to share the gospel, who am I to lead a ministry, who am I to become a deacon, who am I to write this blog?
What does qualified mean, anyway? It means to be officially recognized as being trained to perform a particular job; certified, competent or knowledgeable to do something; capable, entitled to a particular benefit or privilege by fulfilling a necessary condition, officially recognize or establish (someone) as a practitioner of a particular profession or activity. In other words qualified means you are EMPOWERED, AUTHORIZED, COMPETENT, PROFICIENT, SKILLED AND TESTED!!!!
We are not qualified on our own, but God himself qualifies us! Which means he empowers us, authorizes us, makes us competent and proficient, provides the skill needed and tests us in order to qualify us for His kingdom work.
2 Corinthians 3New Living Translation (NLT)
3 Are we beginning to praise ourselves again? Are we like others, who need to bring you letters of recommendation, or who ask you to write such letters on their behalf? Surely not! 2 The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our[a] hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. 3 Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.
4 We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. 5 It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. 6 He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.
I pray this blog post encourages you and inspires you to step out in faith with God in those areas of your life which you feel unqualified in. Like I noted above, it is easy, with all the pressures of culture, to fall into thinking you are not enough! And guess what, none of us are enough otherwise God would not have needed to send His son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for you and me. Separate from the love of God and being in relationship with Him, we are not enough, we are not qualified. Praise God, through the power of Jesus Christ, we are all invited to go from being unqualified to QUALIFIED!!
HAVE YOU SEEN THE MOVIE “THE PERFECT STORM”? In the final scenes, a small fishing vessel is caught out in the ocean in the midst of colliding storms. They weather the storm and the massive waves for a while and then for a moment they see blue skies and hope, but suddenly dark clouds roll in and all hope is lost. I thought, “Wow! That is life.” You are caught in the powerful waves of life and just as you roll with one and come up for air, another comes to knock you down and still another. Then comes blue skies and hope is on the horizon, but it’s only a teaser. Darkness creeps in and you feel like you are NEVER getting out of this storm. Ever felt like this? I have. HOWEVER, there is HOPE! IF you are anchored on the ROCK OF SALVATION. During the “perfect storm” you NEED to TRUST that God will navigate you through the rough and unstable waters. “My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah” Psalms 62:5-8 If I could give you one piece of advice during this season it’s this: TRUST GOD. Trust His plan. Don’t trust what you see, TRUST HIM. Things are coming to shake your faith TRUST GOD. TRUST HIS WORD. RELY ON HIM ONLY. The black skies are going to deceive you if you do not TRUST GOD! The just shall live by FAITH, not sight.
ARE YOU IN A TIME OF SPIRITUAL ” BARRENNESS “? Have you prayed and prayed but still haven’t birthed your miracle? Hannah’s barrenness is ascribed DIRECTLY to the activity of God. “But to Hannah her husband would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the LORD had closed her womb.” I Samuel 1:5 God had withheld children from her in order to prepare her for the birth of her son Samuel, who would become a great prophet and the final judge of Israel. Hannah’s experience of BARRENNESS, FRUSTRATION, SHAME and WAITING was a TRIAL of her FAITH. But the desperate intercession it produced PREPARED the way for her MIRACLE to come forth and for God’s prophetic plan to be birthed. IN THIS SAME WAY, at times God may cause YOU to experience disappointment, SPIRITUAL BARRENNESS and brokenness so that you would cry out in desperation to Him for His holy intervention. Are you experiencing barrenness?? God has a GREATER PLAN! Your pain will be used for His glory when you take your unbearable situation and pain DIRECTLY to Him and WAIT upon Him, not taking matters into your own hands. Hannah went up to the temple “year after year”, it doesn’t record how long she continued to pour out her heart and pain to the Lord. DO NOT LOSE HEART dear friend! GOD HAS A PLAN FOR YOUR PAIN TO PRODUCE GLORY!
“MY GOOD OPINION ONCE LOST IS LOST FOREVER” this is of course Mr. Darcy for all you Pride and Prejudice fans. I’m a little like this, mainly because I have trust issues. So when someone hurts me or does wrong, I recoil and hide myself, not trusting, separating myself. This is a big struggle for me and God is still working in me in this area. Now, my husband on the other hand, believes in people all the time even if he doesn’t completely trust them or have a high opinion of them. He is the biggest encourager I know, always believing that no matter what anyone has done or how they’ve acted; they can change. In fact, he almost NEVER lets someone quit or give in or go back. He SPURS them to change. He is a good example to me of what Biblical love is: “Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].” 1 Corinthians 13:7 AMP We are supposed to always believe the best of people, no matter what’s our opinion. Always believe that they can change their ways. Always hope for a good future and never give up on them. SPUR THEM ON TO GOOD THINGS. I know this is hard. I’m not telling you that when someone shows you their true colors that you need to go repainting them; but you can continue to hope and pray and believe that they will change! Do not limit God’s ability to change the leopard’s spots. I am a living testimony of the power of God to change a life. Pray and BELIEVE for that person today that GOD’S BEST is yet to come and HE will change them!
THE OPTIC NERVE TRANSMITS ALL THE INFORMATION FROM THE RETINA to the brain. Therefore if the optic nerve is damaged, you will be blind. Where the optic nerve leaves the retina, we all have a “blind spot”, this area is where we literally cannot see; we are blind. Just as in the eye, we have blind spots in our lives. Some people have blind spots and constantly make bad decisions in life and others have blind spots in relationships. People have blind spots in who they really are and others have blind spots when it comes to sin. This idea that we are not allowed to say anything to anyone is such a lie from the enemy. I’m not sure how you feel, but if someone was coming up behind me to smash my head with a baseball bat, I surely hope you would speak up and not just stand there while I got pummeled. Paul tells us, “Do not only look upon your own interests, but every man must also look out for the interests of others.” I get it, people will tell you that you are “judging them” or that you need to “mind your own business”. These are just excuses. Your first allegiance is to obey God, not man; please God not man. James says, “My] brethren, if anyone among you strays from the Truth and falls into error and another [person] brings him back [to God], Let the [latter] one be sure that whoever turns a sinner from his evil course will save [that one’s] soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” James 5:19-20 This sounds a lot to me like we are to be up in people’s business. Guess what? YOU ARE YOUR BROTHER’S KEEPER and you have a responsibility to God to help your brothers and sisters with those blind spots and as far as it concerns you, to not let them get pummeled.
I HAVE SOME CRAZY DREAMS. Some are because I ate sugar before bed, but some are also from the LORD. Last night I had a dream from the LORD. I walked into my home and we had taken in someone to live with us who had a pet snake. I don’t do snakes. I hate snakes. I HATE snakes. In my dreams, they always refer to something evil and demonic. This snake came right at me and I broke its neck and threw it outside. It wasn’t dead, but it’s neck was bent and it kept looking at me through my glass sliding door and tried repeatedly to get back in. I began to pray about it this morning and this is what the Lord revealed: we let wrong thinking, evil thoughts, bitterness, jealousy, etc take up home in our mind. Some thoughts originate with us, some with the enemy and others we let someone else bring in. In my dream, it was someone I knew. We let that serpent take up residence in our “house”. I broke its neck, but it didn’t die just kept trying to get back in. You’re going to have to do some spiritual battle against those serpents. That wrong thinking wants to take control of your mind and it will keep coming back until you kill it for good. Paul tells us “Cast down imaginations and EVERY HIGH THING that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing EVERY THOUGHT to the obedience of Christ” 2 Cor 10:5 You’re going to have to do some warfare: steadfastly resist and reject evil and unwholesome thoughts in the name of the Lord Jesus! That ol snake is persistent. Remember that we overcome our adversary by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of our testimony and by persistently saying, “NO!” to the devil, temptation and sin. Stand on God’s Word. Resist the devil and he will flee. Don’t let that snake live in your house!
STRATEGIC TIMING IS OFTEN INVOLVED IN THE FULFILLMENT OF GOD’S PROMISES. God fulfills His Word and promises BOTH in relation to the fullness of His redemptive purpose and in response to His faithful people’s earnest prayers. “For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jer 29:10-13 Jeremiah prophesied that at the end of the 70 year captivity, a new fullness of time would occur; God would then move within a holy remnant so that they would seek Him with all their heart. Then would God listen, answer and fulfill His promises of restoration. What does it mean to you? When God desires to do GREAT THINGS for His people, He moves His people to GREAT PRAYING; but the TIMING of God’s answer to your prayers is often linked to a GREATER PURPOSE for you and His people as a whole. Are you in the WAITING? He knows. He cares. He will answer!
“FOR IF ANY MAN BE A HEARER OF THE WORD, AND NOT A DOER, he is like a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholds himself, and goes his way, and straightaway forgets what manner of man he was.” James 2:23-24 Here James shows what is the proper use of the word of God, who they are that do not use it as they ought, and who they are that do make a right use of it. The use we are to make of God’s word may be learnt from its being compared to a glass, in which a man may behold his natural face. As a looking-glass shows us the spots and defilements upon our faces, that they may be remedied and washed off, so the word of God shows us our sins, that we may repent of them and get them pardoned; it shows us what is amiss, that it may be amended. There are glasses that will flatter people; but that which is truly the word of God is no flattering glass. If you flatter yourselves, it is your own fault; the truth, as it is in Jesus, flatters no man. Let the word of truth be carefully attended to, and it will set before you the corruption of your nature, the disorders of your hearts and lives; it will tell you plainly what you are.~~Matthew Henry