Aaron Summers

Posts Tagged ‘victory’

5 Steps to Fighting Giants

In Gospel Living on July 20, 2017 at 7:04 am

david_v_goliath

His name was Anthony and we were in the fifth grade.  He had already hit his stride in the growth spurt and was already a little older than the rest of us.  Looking back, I know what was happening, but was completely unaware at the time.  All I knew was that he picked on everyone.  He would slap them.  He would hit them.  He would talk smack.  On one particular day, he focused his attention on the smallest boy in the class.  Incensed, I stepped in and let the victim roll out.  I caught him at an awkward moment and jumped on top.  Somehow we ended up under a table.  I raised my hand and hit the table.  This caused just enough pause that the teacher came in.  Needless to say, the office was the next stop. Anthony didn’t mess with us anymore that year.  The giant had been taken down.

David walked up on the army of Israel when Goliath stepped up and shouted.  This was not just a shout against the armies of Israel, but were shouts against the integrity, power, and majesty of God.  He was calling into question the nature of God and the covenant!  David couldn’t stand it and stepped in to do something.  As you might guess, this is the sling and 5 stones story.  David fought the giant and won.

What major issues are you facing right now?  They loom large, weigh heavy, and cause stress, anxiety, or despair.  Maybe it’s a boss who taunts you.  Maybe it’s a spouse, child, or family member that has disappointed or betrayed you.  Maybe you’re dealing with health issues with your parents, or a child is sick.  Financial limitations stress us out and break marriages.

How do we deal with these problems?  Like the Israelites, we feel hopeless to do anything.  We feel that God’s promises are only true for others.  David, though, believed in the covenant.  He trusted in God’s Word.  He made a choice to fight the giant.  Here are 5 steps to victory:

  1. Consider the situation. David got to a point, quickly, that something must be done.  Until you are truly fed up and ready to act you will lose.  You will be trembling in the trenches like David’s brothers.  But, when you get to the point that you are tired of hearing God’s promises taunted, then you will be ready for victory.  The first thing you must do is consider the situation worthy of the fight.  If it is not worth changing then you need to stop letting it control you.  If it is worth changing keep reading.
  2. Have the courage to step out. David wondered, “Why not me? Why not now?”  Are you there?  Once we decide the problem is worth the fight courage is the next step.  Stop waiting for someone, anyone, to handle YOUR problems.  God has allowed them into your space.  Will you trust?  Will you jump off the ledge of fear and grab onto the courage God’s Spirit has planted within you?  Why not you?  Why can’t you be the change you want to see happen?
  3. Count the cost. David felt that the mocking of God was so critically bad that he was willing to die if need be.  He evaluated the situation.  He stepped up to Saul and pronounced he would handle the problem – HIM.  He was the youngest.  He was the smallest.  BUT, he was willing to die for what he believed.  Are you ready to lose if you must?  What if you lose your job?  Do you trust God?  What if you lose your kids or your spouse?  Do you trust God?  What if you DO lose your life which is very possible in parts of our world today?  Do you trust God?  Count this cost.  If you are not willing to pay the price, stop reading now.  If you are ready, keep reading.
  4. Confidence to speak up in prayer. David engaged in this fight in the name of the Lord, for God’s glory.  Read that again.  He was doing this for God’s glory not his own.  He did receive quite a bit, but only because that was not his aim.  If you want the glory just stop.  You may win but it will be very hollow.  Possibly, you will only trade one issue for another.  Self-made confidence is far weaker than spirit-filled confidence.  David had experience and education, but his real strength was in the relationship he had with God.  Go in that confidence.
  5. Cast your stone for victory. David only used one of the five stones he picked up. I don’t know why he picked five, but he did.  What I notice is that it only took one.  God will use your gifts and talents matched with our courage and pure confidence in God to give you victory.  David achieved this victory immediately.  Those in Hebrews 11 did not all see what they fought for come to conquest, but it did.

God demands his glory.  We are put in situations where that can happen if we have the courage and confidence to fight for the conquest.  As was once shouted, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!”

GO.

FIGHT.

WIN.

 

Experience Victory Today!

In Gospel Living on July 18, 2017 at 8:50 am

The headlines are filled with the issue in the Senate concerning the failure of the majority leaders to pass just about anything they put up for a vote.  Today is no different with the defeat of replacing the current health system in America.  Now they will go back and try something else, such as just repeal it.  Then they will try to figure out how to care for a nation in need of health care and its reform.

Regardless of where you stand on this issue, we CAN identify with defeat.  We have faced it personally and from a distance.  Maybe you have failed a class, failed a marriage, failed at holding a job.  Maybe you have failed at living for Jesus due to habits that will not seem to go away.  Maybe you watched as others failed, or your sports team failed.

We need a victory!  How can we experience victory?

There is an interesting moment in the Old Testament.  The Ark of God had been returned to Israel after the Philistines decided it wasn’t worth serving God to keep it!  The ark has been in Kiriath-jearim for 20 years.  The people apparently did not realize this in the rest of the nation.  They felt God had abandoned them when it was the people who had walked away from God.  Samuel, the prophet/priest/judge for the people brought to them a prescription.

  • Get rid of idols
  • Dedicate yourselves to God

The people agreed to this and gathered at Mizpah to settle the issue.  Look at what they did while they were there:

  • Poured out water as a symbol of clearing their lives of the wrongs in a sacrificial way.
  • Fasted.
  • Confessed.
  • Burnt Offering.

When the Philistines came up to destroy them, God provided victory!

What is coming at you today, this week, or month?  What seems to be attacking you?

If you are experiencing defeat in an area today, consider reviewing this passage in practicing the principles we find there.

What idols do you have in your life?  Is it time to clear the stage of your heart?

As you dedicate yourself to God alone we will follow the pattern we find in scripture:

  • Give praise to God by showing dependence.
  • Fast.
  • Confess.
  • Sacrifice through worship.
  • Set up a memory to refer to how God moved in your life – celebrate it!

God allows us to go through difficult times, often because we made dumb choices!  But there is hope.  As we allow scripture to intersect our lives we can live out the freedom promised by the Gospel!

7 Types of Restoration

In Life and Culture on January 1, 2015 at 12:24 pm

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Like fresh fallen snow before a step is made so is today and the next 364.  2015 begins now and you have a brand new chance.  Last year may have been perfect for you and cannot get any better.  For the rest of us, every new year brings the opportunity to forget what lies behind and press on to what lies ahead.  The pain, regret, sorrow, grief, shame, dismissal, brokenness can all be put away.  I know for most of us there is something we would like some help to enhance.  God wants, and will by your faith choice, to restore 6, no 7, things in your life this year.

The other day I let you in on some sermon prep of mine as I shared how God can give a New You for the New Year. There is more.  Which one of these is your greatest need as we start the new year?

1.  Joy
2.  Productivity
3.  Hope
4.  Confidence
5.  Future
6.  Victory
7.  Eternity

Which one do you need the most?  Maybe you need several.  Here’s what you do.  Go to the Lowe’s, Home Depot, or your local hardware store and get a stake.  Get a sharpie marker and write the one(s) you need and “Isaiah 54”.  Every day take your stake and God’s Word and pray…

“God restore ______ to me.  I give you my head to learn more about You and Your Word.  I give you my heart to love deeper.  I give you my hands to serve greater.  Possess me.  God, restore me.”

Mirror Mirror

In Journey on February 28, 2013 at 9:59 am

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Mirror, Mirror, on the wall who’s the fairest of them all?

Who doesn’t remember that line?  The Queen always wanted the mirror to reveal her as the fairest of them all.  However, the reflection was not her own but of Snow White.  Self-image and self-esteem are often defined, unfortunately, by what we see in the mirror.  The best looking can see someone who is fat and ugly.  The ugliest can see beauty.  There are dangers in not seeing reality for what it is in any case.  It is important that we see the proper reflection…our true self.  God has created you in a particular way.  Obviously, the way we treat this gift from God can alter the perfection that God intended.  That is not the discussion today.  In this post, I would like for us to look at who God has recreated us to be.  At our birth we are innocent before God.  We have been “made in His own image” in that our Spirit is at peace with God.  When moral accountability begins so does spiritual accountability.  Sin twists, bends, and disfigures.  Because of this we are no longer suitable to be in God’s presence at death.

There is hope!  Knowing our condition, God sent Jesus.  He did what we could not so that we could be changed.  At the moment of faith, we are made right before God again.  In this right standing we must give honor to the one who did the work.  We did not do anything but Christ did everything.  God looked upon the perfection of His Son coupled with our belief and we are made right.  The apostle Paul would comment in a letter that it was no longer Paul that lived, but Christ that lived within. So when you look in the mirror, we should be reflecting Jesus.  Look beyond, the wrinkles and scars.  Look past the blemishes.  Let Jesus shine through for your benefit and for the benefit of others.

In Hebrews chapter 1 we see the idea that Jesus Christ is the perfect reflection of His father God.  The Son reflects God’s own glory and everything about Him represents God exactly.  If it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives within me, then I should be reflecting Jesus who is the perfect reflection of His Father.

Am I?  Am I really reflecting God?  If I were to ask those around would they be in agreement?  The Mirror wasn’t for the Queen.  What would the mirror of your friends and co-workers reveal?  If you don’t like the answer you believe you would get here are a few tips to help you along:

Choose.  Jesus had to choose what He would follow.  Jesus had to choose His responses.  These decisions are not always easy but are worthwhile.

Communicate.  Jesus stayed in communication with God.  He knew what was desired.  He knew the plan because of the communication that was maintained.  Reading scripture and talking with God are more than tic marks on your daily journey.  They are the lines of communication needed to receive up-to-the-minute notifications.

Capitalize.  Let one victory become the next one.  You cannot eat an elephant more than one bite at a time.  Set small goals that lead to medium goals that lead to larger goals.  You want to win the championship, but today’s game comes first.

Calibrate.  I was always told to make small corrections before making dramatic corrections.  If, at the end of the day, you notice something out of whack then make small corrections to get back in alignment.

Have a great day!!

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