Get Your “Fight” On!

Lepers at the gate of Syria

2 Kings 7:3-8 NKJV Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “Why are we sitting here until we die? “If we say, ‘We will enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall only die.” And they rose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians; and when they had come to the outskirts of the Syrian camp, to their surprise no one was there. For the LORD had caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses—the noise of a great army; so they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us!” Therefore they arose and fled at twilight, and left the camp intact—their tents, their horses, and their donkeys—and they fled for their lives. And when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing, and went and hid them; then they came back and entered another tent, and carried some from there also, and went and hid it.

Get Your Fight on!

Get your “fight” on! Listen to these leprous men, what they said to each other and how they viewed their situation. They had leprosy; they couldn’t be around people; they were considered unclean, outcasts of society, left to fiend for themselves and ultimately to die in their disease. And yet, they looked at their situation and refused to give up, to give in or to quit! They assessed where they were and decided to make a change, even if it ended in the loss of their lives, they didn’t see that they would be any worse off than if they sat right there in their own misery and died.

 

How many times have you wondered what you should do in your situation? Have you felt that it was hopeless and no way out? As we see from this story of the lepers, God was at work in their situation. He didn’t consider them hopeless or their situation as being impossible. He was at work even while they were sitting there trying to make a decision as to what to do. But they didn’t see Him at work until they got up and made a move. There is an old saying that says, “It’s impossible to steer a parked car”; and it is, really. Have you ever tried to turn the steering wheel of a parked car? It is locked in place; not about to move in either direction. Sometimes we plant our feet where we are and declare that because we don’t see what God is doing in our lives, we’re not about to make a move. But faith looks out into the future with expectation, knowing that God is for us and has a good plan for our future. Faith moves!

 

Let’s look at another instance in the life of someone with a seemingly “impossible situation”.

 

2 Kings 4:1-7 NKJV A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.” So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.” Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few. “And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.” So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out. Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.”

 

In this story a widow woman faced an impossible situation. Her sons were getting ready to be taken by the creditors to work off the debt of her husband. The woman sought advice from the man of God. The first thing he said to her was not, “oh, my, what a tragedy”! It wasn’t “there’s nothing you can do ; you’ll just have to let your sons go”. No, God always has a solution to your problem. He always has an answer for you and He will always direct you to the Source that you need for your provision. In this case, the man of God, the one that she turned to that could give her insight from the Lord, asked her what she had in her own house that she could sell. Sometimes the solution to our problem is right under our own noses. It’s right in our own house. Sometimes it means we have to look within to find what God wants us to do to solve our problem. Her solution meant she would have to shut the door on unbelief and trust God to pour out the oil through her own hands. In this story “house” is the Hebrew word “bayit” and it means, house, household, family, clan, temple, building, home. This lady’s provision was to come out of her own home, or within her temple. For a believer in Christ Jesus, the temple of God is within us and it is where the Holy Spirit dwells. The anointing to succeed lies within us. Deuteronomy 8:18 says that God is the one who gives you “power” to get wealth that He may establish or confirm His covenant with us. That word for “power” means strength, substance or ability. God wants you to succeed! Faith dispels the fear and opens the door to the anointing of God in your life!

 

Now, let’s look at one last story of a woman caught in a seemingly impossible situation.

 

1 Kings 17:8-16 NKJV Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying. “Arise, go to Zerephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” So he arose and went to Zerephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.” And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” So she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. “For thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth.’” So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke by Elijah.

 

Another miraculous provision in a situation where it seemed that all hope was lost. This widow woman had exhausted all of her funds. She had nothing left to give or to make for her and her son to sustain their lives. She was at the end of herself! Why would God tell Elijah to go to this widow woman for his provision when she didn’t have any means to provide for her and her own son, much less anyone else? Aw, but God loves to take impossible situations and make them possible!

 

The Hebrew word for widow means desolate, barren, forsaken; someone everyone has given up on. And the word “provide” means to maintain, nourish, provide food, bear, hold up, protect, support, defend; to supply the means necessary for living.

 

Have you ever felt desolate, barren and forsaken and like everyone had given up on you? Well, mankind may see you of no use, but God sees you as worthy of redemption; worthy of giving His best for you. He sees you with potential; a person of value with a reason to live. This woman was ready to eat her last meal and die. And yet God saw His ability within her and sent His servant to her for provision. Zerephath means the place of refining, the place of purging and purifying. Sometimes in our desolate situations we feel like we are being pruned back to where there is nothing of ourselves left. But God works best when we get to that place of brokenness. That’s the place of the anointing. Oil in the Old Testament is a type and shadow of the Holy Spirit; the anointing of God upon a person’s life. Both of the last two stories have talked about the oil; the anointing of God’s Spirit in the lives of ordinary people. God’s got your back! He’s waiting to show Himself strong on your behalf. There is nothing to fear because God is always at work. He never sleeps nor slumbers, but is always ready to bring deliverance, healing, hope and forgiveness. This lady was asked to give the first of what she had left to the man of God. She was asked to give out of her poverty. When we give to Him we can be assured that He will take that little bit and bless it, break it, multiply it and give it back to us! You can never out give the Lord! Faith gives!

 

Time and time again we see recorded in God’s Word stories of the impossible being made possible through the power of God. 2 Chronicles 16:9 says that the “eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him….” Is your heart loyal to the Lord? Are you totally committed to Him? If so, you can be assured that God is watching out for you. He is working on your deliverance! He is moving to bring you out of bondage so He can bring you into your promised land.

 

My friend, don’t give up on God. Don’t quit seeking His will for your life and don’t be afraid to step out in faith to meet Him in the place of provision that He has for you. Get your “fight” on! Get angry at the enemy who has come to steal from you! Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” Life presents many challenges but God says that nothing can separate you from His presence and that He has made you more than a conqueror through His love.

 

Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

 

There is nothing that can come against you that God has not already faced and conquered! He is for you! You are on the winning team!

 

Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

 

He has made provision for your every need because He gave His very best for you. He is not withholding anything from you.

 

Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

boxing gloves

Friends, get your “fight” on! God has already made you more than a conqueror in all of life’s situations. Partnered with God you cannot fail! Now, get up and fight!

 

Father, I thank You for Your supernatural provision in the lives of myself, my family and my friends! You have never failed to bring provision when I needed it, right on time, and I thank You for being my Provider. Father, I pray that those who are struggling today with a life challenge, that You will show Yourself strong on their behalf and reveal to them the supernatural provision that You have prepared for them. Give them hope, Father, and faith to rise above the fear that tries to assail them. Father, grant them strength to fight the enemy and win. Give them insight and wisdom and understanding to know how to handle each situation that arises. Father, give them the victory! Thank You, Lord, for making them more than conquerors against all of life’s challenges through Your love. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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The Prize Awaits Us!

Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.

Vision – do you have a vision for your life? Do you have a dream or a goal that you are working towards. This verse describes it as a revelation or as in the Hebrew meaning of the word, a prophetic vision, dream, oracle or prophecy. Has God given you a specific direction for your life that culminates in a certain goal or dream? Everyone needs a vision for direction to live life to the fullest. Whether it is for a certain weight or size or healthy living goal, a dream for a godly marriage, a certain financial status or a position in your career. Without a vision people cast off restraint.

What does it meant to cast off restraint? Well, the best way I can explain it is that when a person casts off restraint they no longer work towards a certain goal, they simply do what feels good, or what seems to be the thought for the moment. They remove all boundaries and go with the flow of what feels like the thing to do. They are like a boat without a motor simply drifting through life driven by whatever current comes their way. All motivation to achieve results is gone and life becomes whatever it makes of itself. They are controlled by circumstances, situations, feelings and are driven and tossed about on the sea of life! Depression often becomes their best friend and the hopelessness that comes with it paints a life of defeat and failure. They are on a spiral downward towards destruction. And what brought all this upon them? The lack of vision….nothing to work towards; idleness and lack of motivation!

Have you ever been in this type of a situation? Sometimes life deals us a hand that’s difficult to play. We feel controlled by what has happened in our lives or by an inability to work through the challenges that we face. But God’s word goes on to say in that same verse, “But happy is he who keeps the law”. There is an answer for every situation that you may encounter in the word of God. He has a plan to bring you into wholeness and set you on course to achieve the goals and dreams that you may have once had. You might paraphrase that statement as “happy is he whose vision and focus is on hearing and doing what God has said.” It is as we find the promises in God’s word that applies to our situation and then apply them to our lives that vision is restored and we are happy once again. The key to hearing and doing God’s word that brings the results that we desire is making the choice. We all get to make the choice to either get on board with God’s plan for our lives or continue to float through life driven by whatever comes our way.

Joshua put it this way: Joshua 24:15 “And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Joshua said they needed to make a decision one way or the other, to either serve the Lord or some other god, but he had already made his choice and his family was going to serve…..the LORD! We all have choices to make. Will we choose good or bad, to live or die, stay in bondage or seek the Lord for deliverance. The choices that we make today will affect the quality of our tomorrows! A pond without an outlet becomes a stagnant pool. Indecision leads to stagnation and ineffective living!

What can you do if you’ve lost your drive; your vision or dream? First, decide to make a change. Pray and ask God to restore your vision; to give you the motivation that you need to get started again. Then seek His direction for a plan of action to help you achieve your goals. Where do you want to be next year at this time? Next, begin to make systematic changes that will move you toward the achievement that you have set your eyes upon. And lastly, continue to do the things that you have set before you as your plan of action.

Jesus knew that God’s plan for His life was to go to the cross to purchase the redemption of mankind. He had to overcome all His fleshly desires to avoid the pain and ultimate separation from His heavenly Father to secure our salvation. The word describes His determination to go all the way to Calvary in Luke 9:51, 52:

Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him.

Jesus steadfastly set His face; He was determined to finish His course, to purchase our salvation. He prepared for it by sending messengers before Him to prepare the way for Him. He had a plan and He was determined to complete what God had called Him to do. It was prophesied in Isaiah that this point in time would come and He would have to be determined to finish His course.

Isaiah 50:7 “For the Lord GOD will help Me; Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.

Jesus knew that the key to winning was depending on His heavenly Father to help Him and then being determined to carry out His life’s purpose. He set His face like a flint. Flint is describes in Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary as being very hard, strikes fire with steel, and is an ingredient in glass. It is said to be anything proverbially hard; not impressible. In other words, it is an attitude of determination that can’t be distracted by any outside influence. Jesus was determined to do what God had called Him to do. He drew His strength from His fellowship with the Father. He understood that His flesh was going to try to rebel because that’s the weakness that resides within each one of us as human beings. But He countered the weakness with prayer.

Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

We will experience those same temptations to give in, to quit, to not complete our mission. But if we will pray and stay in the Word,leaning on God’s Spirit, we will have the strength to overcome and win. Battles will come against us. If you are striving to achieve a certain weight or size you will be tempted to eat things that are not on your plan for healthy living. When you marry and live day by day with that one special someone, eventually there will be disagreements and the temptation comes to throw in the towel; to give up and go your separate ways. Where will you get your strength to continue towards your goal of that life-long commitment? If you are working towards financial freedom the temptation will come to deviate from your plan for success by purchasing something on credit that adds more debt instead of subtracting from the debt that you already have. Temptations come in all forms and sizes. But winning is achievable if you don’t give up or quit or cave in when that temptation comes. What will you do?

Hebrews 12:1, 2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Turn your focus back on Jesus who is the author and finisher of your faith. He will lead you into the victory. Lay aside the things that have held you back, even the sin that might have been the problem that has gotten you off course. Remember, Jesus had to fight the temptation to give up just like us. But He won by looking past the pain to the joy that would come as He made the way for all of mankind to live in relationship with Father God. He pushed through the disgrace and the pain to reach the prize! You and I can do that too, if we will keep the right perspective and continue to make the right choices. The desired results, the goal, the prize is waiting. The question is: Will we reach out and grab it?

 

Father, I thank You for giving us the strength to win! Father, You have said that when people lose the vision they cast off restraints. I pray, Father, for those who may have lost their dream to the circumstances of life. I pray that You will restore their vision, Father. Give them back the motivation that they once had to succeed and achieve their dreams. Show them how to achieve those goals that they once had. Father, You have equipped each one of us with the tools that we need to succeed. Help us to be determined to win. Strengthen us by Your Spirit within us and give us a glimpse of the good things ahead of us when we strive to achieve our goals. Thank You, Lord, for renewing our vision and determination. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

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