God of the Impossible
Natural man has a penchant for trying to explain away God. The theory of evolution was developed in an attempt to remove God from the arena of creation. Liberal theologians have attempted to demythologize the Bible in order to remove the miraculous works of God from it. Man does all he can to explain naturally the divinely originated phenomena in our world.
God has always been aware of man’s desire to usurp His position and authority. Frequently in scripture God placed men in deliberate situations so they would have to recognize that He was solely responsible for their deliverance. When God removes the possibility of any natural explanation, man is left with the inevitable conclusion that God is in the miracle business. Such was the case in Judges 7
Israel was assembled and ready for battle. Already the faith had been stayed two days by the dewy and dry fleece so that Gideon could receive a token of God’s presence with them. Now the fight was to be delayed again.
On the morning following the second test with the fleece, Gideon and all the people with him “rose up early and pitched beside the well of Harod” (Judge 7:1). Anxious for the battle, they had already moved into military position when God told Gideon he had too many people in his army. Jehovah wanted to be certain that Gideon, as well as Israel and the nations watching, would understand that Israel had won the battle by the hand of God. Therefore he instructed Gideon to command any of the 32,000 troops who were afraid to return home from the front. Much to the surprise of Gideon, 22,000 admitted their fear and retreated. Surely if a battle were won by 10,000 Israeli troops against 135,000 Midianite (8:10) this would indicate that the victory was the Lord’s. But again Jehovah surprised Gideon by indicating that these 10,000 troops were still far too many.
Gideon was to take the troops to the spring of Harod for a strange and severe test. The soldiers were divided into two groups, those who lapped water as a dog and those who dropped to their knees to drink. Whatever the purpose of the test, only 300 soldiers were selected for Gideon’s army.
Next God instructed Gideon to go with his servant Phurah down to the perimeter of the Midianite encampment and eavesdrop on the Midianites. They overheard one soldier telling another of his dream about a cake of barely bread that rolled into the Midian camp against the king’s tent and flattened it. His fellow soldier interpreted the dream that this was none other than the sword of Gideon and that God was about to deliver Midian into Gideon’s hands. So evident was it that this dream and the interpretation had both come from God that Gideon immediately returned to the host of Israel and said, “Arise for the Lord hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.” Three hundred men defeated the entire Midianite army, and the glory belonged entirely to God.
We must never shy away from impossible situations. When the odds seem least favorable for our success that is when God can gain the greatest glory from our success. Large armies are not as admirable as dedicated ones. The recruiting slogan of the United States Marines Corps is “We’re looking for a few good men.” God is looking for the same. Will you be one today?
On ev’ry hand the foe we find
Drawn up in dread array;
Let tents of ease be left behind,
And onward to the fray!
Salvation’s helmet on each head,
With truth all girt about;
The earth shall tremble ‘neath our tread
And echo with our shout. CL
Mark of a 'God- Possessed' Person
by Roy E. K
Those detestable and unpleasant tasks can be turned into joyful, enthusiastic opportunities.
|Pic. by PVA|
One of the best-kept secrets of all time, "hidden for ages and generations, but now ... disclosed to the saints" is this:
"Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col. 1:26, 27). That wonderful truth is the basis of our dynamic relationship to God. It is also the source of genuine and lasting . enthusiasm in the Christian life.
Did you know that our word "enthusiasm" comes from two Greek words (en theos) meaning "one who is God-possessed"? A God-possessed person then should be an enthusiastic individual but, comparatively speaking, few are. Why?
Perhaps we should define enthusiasm first. The dictionary calls it "zeal, fervor" or an "eager interest." Using that last definition, let's ask ourselves some searching questions: Is it possible to have an "eager interest" in everything? What about our work? Statistics reveal that less than 50 percent of all Americans are fully satisfied with their present employment. Can we be enthusiastic about our work even though it may be tedious and monotonous? Can we have an eager desire to do even a dirty job or work for a difficult boss-and do it for less than maximum wages? I believe we can!
What about housework, ladies? Is it possible to be enthusiastic about washing dishes, doing the laundry, polishing furniture and cleaning walls? Do you have an eager interest in those tasks? Why not?
What about church-related activities? Can a person really be enthusiastic about working in the church nursery, teaching Sunday school, and attending a prayer meeting? And what about Bible reading, witnessing and tithing?
The Bible reveals the secret for putting enthusiasm into everything: "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him" (3: 17).
This verse obliterates all distinctions between the so-called "secular" and "sacred." It puts a halo around everything. Anything that is legitimate and moral is included in this all-embracing command. It includes scouring dirty pans, studying for tests, cleaning the barn, washing the car and preaching sermons thing!
In Jesus' Name
The answer is twofold. First, we must do everything "in the name of the Lord Jesus." This does not mean that His name is some kind of holy charm or sanctifying influence. Rather, it means that we do everything under His authority and for His glory. Colossians 3:23 states: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." What an exhortation!
Whom are you really working for? Who is your ultimate employer? Are you working for your company or for the Lord? Are you doing this for money or for God? The next time you face a hard task, ask yourself, Am I going to gripe and complain about this work? Am I going to be miserable all the while I do this, or can I tackle this with enthusiasm and do it for the Lord? Believe me; you can if you think you can. It all begins with a· scriptural foundation. This biblical base is the springboard for a truly Christian positive mental attitude that can change the most boring task into something of actual enjoyment.
Since, as a believer, Christ lives in you, you are already a "God possessed" person. Therefore, God can rightly expect you to be enthusiastic about everything and commands you to do just that. When we fully realize what our blessings are in Christ and whom we are serving, our motivations will change radically. Paul reminds us, "Since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving" (3:24).
Genuinely believing this amazing truth will cause you to tackle any job with eager interest and finish it with the same high level of zeal. Motivation is the key. One thing is certain: If you don't do it as "unto the Lord," almost any work can become boring in time.
Frustration will set in, and procrastination can become a way of life. On top of that, you will be miserable and your discontentedness will spread to others. A person without scriptural motivation is a detriment to himself and to others. It is better to live the Bible way. Therefore, prepare yourself for everything and do it all "in the name of the Lord Jesus."
The second step to putting enthusiasm into everything is to "give thanks to God the Father through him"(3:17). This means thanking God first for the privilege of so acting that we may honor the name of the Lord. Isn't it a joy to do what the Lord commands? Have you ever really thanked Him for that privilege?
We need also to be reminded that it is God who gives us the strength and opportunity to serve Him-even for that seemingly monotonous
There is no 'secular' work for the true believer.
and unenjoyable job. It is helpful also to remember there are many, many people in this troubled world who would be thankful to be in your shoes. Doing your work no matter what it is.
Why aren't we as thankful as we should be? Is it because we are caught up in this world of greed, covetousness and complaining? Are we behaving just like others who are not "God-possessed"? Is it because we have forgotten that God is sovereign and that He is the One who has assigned us our appointed role in life? Have we fixed our eyes on ourselves and said, "Poor me," rather than praising God for the privilege of working for Him? Have we been ignorant of these Scripture passages and therefore disobedient to Him? Whatever the cause, it can be corrected in a moment. For when you capture this biblical concept, enthusiasm can become a way of life for you.
As a practical implementation of this astounding truth in Colosssians 3: 17, let me challenge you to tackle that detestable job-the most difficult one first-and say to yourself, I'm going to do it for Jesus' glory and in His name! Mentally picture yourself serving the risen Lord. You will be amazed at what happens. New purpose and strength will be instantly yours, and you will begin to experience a brand-new zest for living.
A professional person once confessed, ''I'm ashamed of myself. I hate housecleaning, and there is one room in my home that is a disaster area. I love my work, but I just can't get myself motivated to do anything at home anymore!" However, when she learned this basic principle of scripture and began to put it into practice, she began to sparkle and so did her house.
So, begin to daily thank God (aloud, if possible), for everything-your church, your employment, your home or whatever your task may be. It will revolutionize your day! Paul said, "Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart" (II Cor. 4: I).
What is your ministry? It is whatever you do as a Christian in the name of the Lord! There is no "secular" work for the true believer. It is all sacred, and it can all be stimulating-even thrilling-if you do it for the Lord and with a thankful heart. Remember: An enthusiastic person is a "God-possessed" person. The bottom line is, Does He have you? If He does, it will show in your words and deeds today. You can put enthusiasm into everything!
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