Tag Archives: victory

Not Without Opposition

“because a wide door  for effective ministry has opened for me  — yet many oppose me.” [1 Corinthians 16:9, HCSB]

No great opportunity to make a difference for Jesus comes without opposition.  And you wonder why them good church folks can give you a thousand reasons why something could not or should not be done. The reasons go from budget deficit to lack of human will to the nonsensical,  “We’ve never done it before.”  I have discovered that waiting for consensus or a majority vote is counterproductive.  A leader has to influence not just in words but by his or her actions.  “Just do it!”

The church doesn’t lack opportunity;  it lacks the will.  Such will can only be cultivated by prayer and meditation in the Word of God.  Then when great opposition arises, ecumenism is a valid force to maximize the opportunity.

When those in the church can’t or won’t get involved in kingdom matters, align yourself with other disciples, other religious traditions, other groups and take advantage of the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.  One thing is certain, the glory will belong to God.

My point is don’t let opposition negate your opportunity.  Do all you can while you can so that God’s name will be praised. Hallelujah!

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Things are never as bad as they seem!

Things are never as bad as they seem. Challenges always first appear overwhelming. Even if challenges come in as ferocious as a hurricane or tsunami, still challenges are not as bad as they seem. Now this is the testimony of the person who believes in God. Things are not as bad as they seem because we have a God who is accessible to us through prayer.

Jehoshaphat discovered this to be true when he was challenged with being overthrown by his enemies. Not just one enemy but a coalition of the sons of Lot came against him. Their armies outnumbered and were better equipped than those of Judah. But Jehoshaphat remembered the power of prayer.

Listen to this snippet of his discourse with God: “If disaster comes upon us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before you— for your name is in this house—and cry out to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.” And now behold, the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom you would not let Israel invade when they came from the land of Egypt, and whom they avoided and did not destroy— behold, they reward us by coming to drive us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit. O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (2 Chronicles 20:9-12 ESV)

Jehoshaphat said “we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” That’s the strength of the believer, our eyes are watching God in times of challenge and distress. Because our faith is in our God and not our selves we have unseen resources working on our behalf. God answers prayer and God intervenes in human affairs. That encourages me in discouraging situations. I hope and trust that you too will keep your eyes on God when challenges arise in your life. Remember, things are not as bad as they seem. You have a God waiting to help you when you call. Amen.

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You Can Handle It!

No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.”              (1 Corinthians 10:13)

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Life’s difficulties are proportionate to what we can handle.  Getting laid off from your job may seem overwhelming, but you can handle it.  Losing your baby at an early age or at birth may throw you into a fiery furnace of turmoil and pain, but you can handle it.  Being abused by your husband or disrespected by your wife resembles being tossed to and fro by angry waves and fierce winds which propel a hurricane, but you can handle it.  You may have insufficient funds to pay your bills and creditors are threatening or have already come and repossessed what they loaned you, but you can handle it.  That’s right, Life’s difficulties are proportionate to what we can handle.

In other words, whatever you’re going through, God has already worked out a plan for you to be able to handle it.  That’s why you need not turn to the left hand or to the right hand in search of resolution of your various trials and tribulations.  That’s why you need not toss in the middle of the night frustrated and wondering how you’re going to make it.  The answer to your dilemma is found within you, and all you need do is pray and fast and allow the Holy Spirit to show you the way that God has already made for you to be able to bear up under the weight of that burden until the door is opened for your exit.  Is that not why the old folks in the heat of the day exclaim, “I’m so glad that trouble don’t last always.”  Hallelujah!

Making Winning Decisions

“If you put off everything till you’re sure of it, you’ll never get anything done.” – Norman Vincent Peale

Powerful and timely decisions are most often made in the dark.  Faith in your ability to analyze incomplete though detailed information and make a conscious decision to act will often put you ahead of your competition.

It’s 4th down with 60 seconds remaining.  The score is 34 to 28; your team needs a touchdown to win. Your team is on the 20 yard line, poised to strike.  Will you pass or run? Your coach has sent in two plays and told  you to decide based on the look of the defense.  Your ability as the  quarterback to make a risky decision is now being tested. If you were the quarterback who would win the game?

Often people procrastinate because they need all the possibilities and contingencies analyzed before they decide to act.  Dr. Wayne Dyer purports a need for you to develop your skills at making risky decisions.  Risky decisions are faith decisions.   For example divorce,  business contracts, career changes, marriage,  investment strategies, and the like.  Time plays a crucial role in these type of decisions and often the information you use to decide will be incomplete. Dr. Dyer says, “Go for it now. The future is promised to no one.”

Unfortunately, there is only one way to develop your ability to make risky decisions.  You have to practice by acting promptly each time you find yourself in these situations.  By doing so you learn to trust your instincts.

So do it afraid; don’t procrastinate a minute longer.  Make the call; pass or run – you decide.

Prayer and Corresponding Action

She came home to be caregiver to her dying mother. Her four children came with her. She quit her job with as a para professional and relocated. For almost two years she was unemployed but the Lord provided. Then her mother died and when the insurance money ran out she only had God to sustain her and her children.

She had a B.S. in Business degree as well as an Associates but she could find no job. The school board in her area wasn’t hiring. Only temp agencies were used by employers. For two years she searched, went on interviews praying and fasting for her breakthrough. This last time the interviewer promised she was hired. But the devil would not let her blessing through.

But she knew what to do; she decided to trouble her trouble. She read this text and decided spiritual warfare was appropriate. Daniel 10:11-13: “The man said to me, “Daniel, you are highly respected. Pay attention to my words. Stand up, because I’ve been sent to you.” When he said this to me, I stood up, trembling. He told me, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. God has heard everything that you said ever since the first day you decided to humble yourself in front of your God so that you could learn to understand things. I have come in response to your prayer. The commander of the Persian kingdom opposed me for 21 days. But then Michael, one of the chief commanders, came to help me because I was left alone with the kings of Persia.”

Her plan was simple. Be persistent; this job would meet her family needs. The temp agency held up her job based on a background check they claimed had not been processed (this proved to be dishonest). She called each morning and afternoon. She did research to find the company performing the background check. She called her interviewer. She was persistent and God used an angel on the inside who first told her about the job to help. It took 30 days but her breakthrough came and she went to work. Persistence is the key to your breakthrough! Faith works when you work your faith. Hallelujah!

Overcoming Challenges to Your Destiny

How to Achieve Greatness Despite Obstacles in Your Life

“Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master and in high favor, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper. (2 Kings 5:1 ESV)”

The main character in this story is Naaman, Commander of the Syrian Army. His name, “Naaman,” means “Pleasantness.” Yet, his life up to this point had not been pleasant. Like many of you, he had some important and significant things going well for him, but the most important part of his life caused him great anguish and misery.

First, Naaman had accomplished something great and unique in his life. He had not allowed his handicap, his disease to keep him from becoming a mighty man of valor in his country. He had climbed the military ranks and achieved the status of Commanding General of all the Armies of the King of Syria.

Second, Naaman had gained the influence and favor of the people with whom he served. His soldiers loved him; his king loved him; his wife loved him. Naaman, though a commander in the Army had overcome many struggles to reach this point because of his unfortunate circumstances.

Naaman was a gentle soul; he was a pleasant man most of the time. However, one subject caused Naaman to transform from a pleasant man to a bitter man. Have you ever been in a situation where you could laugh, play, enjoy your friends, but when a certain subject came up, it caused you great bitterness?

Naaman would be having a pleasant day and doing well until his issue kept him from smiling. He would do well until his issue kept him from enjoying the company of friends and loved ones. Naaman, you see was a leper.

Leprosy was a skin disease that was often contagious, but always a cause for segregation and separation. A disease that kept its victims living in isolation and in places where those who were well could make fun of them and be cruel to them.

They were the victims of childhood pranks that caused utter frustration. It was akin to a child in this city with cerebral palsy, a child who is mentally retarded, or a child who has suffered a stroke that left them disfigured or paralyzed. Children and adults could be cruel to the lepers, just as children and adults can be cruel today.

Finally, Naaman decided that he would not allow his leprosy to keep him from self-accomplishment. Therefore, he learned and tested his battle skills, fine tuned his command presence, and perfected his ability to strategize and defeat the enemy. Naaman became a great soldier, despite his leprous condition. Hallelujah!

Therefore, whatever issues you are dealing with, you need to follow the example of Naaman and rise above it to achieve greatness in your lifetime. You should refuse to allow your issue to conquer you. One thing is certain, Naaman did not see himself as a leper; he saw himself as a General – Naaman knew that he was somebody. You can move forward with that same attitude if you will do what Naaman did.

A Leader’s Response to Adversity

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“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less traveled by,

and that has made all the difference.”

~ Robert Frost  

What is the difference between those who lead and those who don’t – the ability to make and sustain quality decisions in times of adversity.  Crossroads normally result from adversity.  And when standing at the crossroads of life, approaching a two-way intersection, choice becomes inevitable. When some people experience setbacks, depression and despondency seem to overwhelm them and in fact, presents itself as reasonable responses.  However defining circumstances also require a defining choice.  Depression and despondency causes some people to fade into obscurity.

But not leaders; leaders have a peculiar mindset!  Leaders know that the adversity contains valuable lessons, seeds of wisdom waiting to be discovered.  John Maxwell says that in life, “Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.”   Leaders choose to take “the road less traveled by” that of becoming cognizant of lessons learned and applying such lessons to the next effort.

Thus leaders, when faced with adversity find a way to recover, regroup, and recharge.

  • Recover.   Setbacks are delays, detours, but often not denial.  Incidents may occur which delay the fulfillment of our dreams without killing the dream.  Leaders can recover from setbacks by exercising faith, patience, and tenacity which leads them through such predicaments.
  •  Regroup.   Sometimes, setbacks can so impact our spirit until we need a time to regroup and compose ourselves.  In these moments, we need to get in touch with our purpose, our vision, our dream.  We need to ask ourselves is it worth it?  One wintry night in January 1956, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was unable to sleep.  It had been one month since the start of the Montgomery Bus Boycott; threats on his life and that of his family were constant.  Dr. King relates in The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Carson 1998) that he settled in to bed late after a strenuous day.  Coretta had already fallen asleep and just at as he was about to doze off the telephone rang.  An angry voice said, “…., we’ve taken all we want from you; and before next week you’ll be sorry you ever came to Montgomery.”  Dr. King said, “I hung up, but I couldn’t sleep.  It seemed that all of my fears had come down on me at once.  I had reached the saturation point.”  Dr. King had heard these things before, but for some reason that night it got to him.  He turned over and tried to go to sleep, but he couldn’t sleep.  He was frustrated, bewildered, so he got up and began to walk the floor.  Finally, he went to the kitchen and got a pot of coffee.  He was ready to give up.  With his cup of coffee sitting untouched before him, he tried to think of a way to move out of the picture without appearing a coward.  He sat there and thought about his beautiful little daughter who had just been born.  He would come in night after night and see that little gentle smile. He started thinking about a dedicated and loyal wife, who was over there asleep.  Coretta could be taken from him, or he could be taken from her.  Dr. King said he had reached the point where he couldn’t take it any longer.  He was weak. It was at that moment that he heard a voice which said, “You can’t call on Daddy now;  you can’t even call mama.  You’ve got to call on that something in that person that your daddy used to tell you about, that power that can make a way out of know way.”  With his head in his hands, he bowed over the kitchen table and prayed aloud:   “Lord, I’m down here trying to do what is right.  I think I’m right.  I am here taking a stand for what I believe is right.  But Lord, I must confess that I am weak now, I’m faltering.  I’m losing my courage.  Now, I am afraid.  And I can’t let the people see me like this because if they see me weak and losing my courage, they will begin to get weak.  The people are looking to me for leadership, and if I stand up for them without strength and courage, they too will falter.  I am at the end of my powers.  I have nothing left.  I’ve come to the point where I can’t face it alone.  Once the prayer was done,  Dr. King said he could hear the quiet assurance of an inner voice saying “Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness.  Stand up for justice.  Stand up for truth.  And lo, I will be with you even until the end of the world.” Dr. King said, “At that moment I experienced the presence of the divine as I had never experienced him before.  Almost at once my fears began to go.  My uncertainty disappeared.  I was ready to face anything. This was Dr. King’s defining moment.  This moment solidified Dr. King as the leader of the civil rights movement.   When you experience setbacks, take some time to meditate and critically revisit your dream.  The strength of knowing your dream is valid and based on truth is powerful enough for you to regroup and move forward.
  • Recharge. Think it through then push the body through.  Once you have accepted the outcome of the setback, you can confidently strategize to regain the advantage.  Leaders look realistically at where they are now and then visualize what actions they must take to regain their peak performance.  The distance between adversity and success can be forged as you maintain a healthy perspective of discontent.  Recover, regroup, and then recharge.  When you recharge you visualize yourself working through the necessary steps to regain your position and then to initiate those actions that will take you further along your envisioned goals.  Announce your plans to others in your field and on your team and ensure to set new deadlines for achieving these goals.  Motivate yourself and others using genuine optimism and faith that you will overcome this adversity.  Surround yourself with others who have either made this stride or are undergoing the same process and collaborate with them.  In other words, develop a winning team and reestablish yourself as a winner in your field.