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.
“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!
FAITH SAYS TO ME LAST NIGHT, “WHY IS IT THAT I ENCOURAGE OTHERS and congratulate them when they do well, but no one does the same for me?” Well my daughter, it’s because at the heart of people is selfishness and it doesn’t get any better as you get older. Think about it. One of the first words a child learns is “MINE”. Oh, we may think we out grow it, but we don’t. We are mostly concerned with our owns wants and needs and can’t see beyond that to encourage or praise someone else. We have blinders on, it’s in our nature; which is why the Word of God tells us we have to battle that stinky flesh on a daily basis and put it to death. Sadly, Selfishness is prevalent in the church and will tear it down. People view the church as an institution that is supposed to “serve me”. “The church needs to give to me, I want this, they need to do that, that pastor better speak to me, I’m here to be served and just receive. If you don’t I’m gone.” Sound familiar. This then translates over to our relationship with God. “God serve me. God answer my prayers and give me my hearts desire. You exist to serve me. If you don’t, I’m done.” This kind of thinking is damning. James says “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” James 3:16 Guess what? YOU are your brother’s keeper and the church is the Body of Christ, meant to be loved and cherished. We are to serve each other, in fact preferring others over even yourself. Don’t let selfishness rule in your body- pluck out that evil root today. Let righteousness dwell and you shall overcome!
DID YOU FAIL YESTERDAY? HOW ABOUT THE DAY BEFORE? I have been trying to stay away from desserts and in the past two weeks I’ve had two slurpees, lemon meringue pie, and a slice of tuxedo cake. I’d say I’m a big, fat failure. BUT today is a BRAND NEW DAY! Just because I’ve failed a few times, doesn’t mean I have to go back. Is there something you are struggling with? Just because you’ve dipped your foot in the slop, doesn’t mean you have to go and roll in it. I know people like this; “well I already messed up,I might as well jump in.” NO! Get up! Shake the slop off and press on, its a NEW DAY. “It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassionate fail not. THEY ARE NEW EVERY MORNING: great is thy faithfulness.” Lam 3:22-23 Forget about yesterday, last week, or even last year. His mercy is for TODAY. Yesterday is gone. Forgive yourself. Draw strength from the Master and keep going. Don’t go back to that thing He is trying to deliver you from. It’s not for you, it’s bad for you. Just because you gave in a few times, does not mean you have to live in the slop! There is mercy and strength for today and you can overcome!
GOT WISDOM? I pray a lot for the purity of the Body of Christ since He is returning for a pure and chaste Bride; clean from the ways of the world, faithful and pure to Him. There is a lack of wisdom in today’s church. There is a lack of instruction in God’s ways and a lack of understanding of who He is, what He does and why He does it. There’s a lack of knowledge of His Word and lack of discretion. There’s a lack of justice, judgment and equity in the Body. Why? Because there is a lack of fear of the LORD. We are told that “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” When there is a lack of fear of the LORD, “every man does what is right in his own eyes”. What is the fear of the LORD? It is reverent AWE of God’s power, majesty and holiness which produces a holy fear of transgressing His revealed will. It is the knowledge that He is right and TRUE and He means what He says, and says what He means. It is a revelation that He is GOD and you are not. The fear of the LORD spurs you to obey Him, trust Him, and love Him with your whole heart. ” O how GREAT is Your goodness which You have laid up for them that FEAR YOU! ” You cannot do this life alone, you were never created to. You were created to be in complete fellowship with your Maker. Surrender to Him today. Bow the knee to Jesus. Seek for His ways. Will you get WISDOM? Or be counted as a fool?
LIFE IS NOT FAIR. I learned this a long time ago. When we look at the lack and unfairness in our own lives, it will become magnified. In fact, whatever we focus on will become magnified. Just recently, I was focusing on the brokenness in my own family and I started to get down and depressed. Where was this person? Why didn’t they love me? Why did this happen to me? Why wasn’t I protected? And the list goes on. I trapped myself in this thinking for a few days until God’s Word broke through with a scripture I had memorized years ago, “When my father and mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.” And I began focusing that Word, over and over until it became REAL. King David said, ” Unless Your law had been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget Your precepts, for it is by them You have quickened me (granted me life).” Psalm 119:92-93 There is truly LIFE in His Word. There is HOPE in His Word. There is PEACE in His ways. There is FULLNESS of JOY in His presence. It is when you begin to focus on your circumstances that the ENEMY comes in and speaks lies, doubt, confusion; and your affliction will overwhelm you. This is why you MUST control your thought life! Whatsoever things are good, pure, right, true- think on these things! You have to constantly correct wrong thinking, cast it out and replace with His Word! Yes, it’s a battle; but it’s one that YOU CAN WIN BY GOD’S WORD. Let Him tell you who you are and what you can do AND THEN you will be victorious!