I Remember When You were …

images-33We still chuckle about the times our family would go to reunions and be confronted by that one great aunt that would grab us by the cheek and say, “I remember when you…”. We would cringe in anticipation of what would come out of her mouth next. Usually it was memories that were not so flattering to us and more often they were ammunition for the cousins and siblings to use against us. I think everyone has that one relative in their life that keeps them humble of where they have came from to where they are now.

Throughout scripture we also have stories of different individuals that have started out one way and then ended up another. I am quickly drawn to 2 Sam 23:8-22, where we receive the list of David’s mighty warriors. These guys make   of the 007 secret agent look light a boy scout. It’s not a description of just one guy but a list of many of the top warriors that fought for David before and after he was King. There was Shammah, who stood his ground against the fierce enemy to save a small field filled with his harvest. Then there was Adino, who killed 800 of enemy warriors in one battle. Wow, he didn’t have a high power machine gun or even some grenades, this was hand-to-hand combat. Again, continue down the list and come to


Our modern day “Rambo” and “Rocky” have nothing on God’s “action heroes” (tweet)


Benaiah, who it says did many mighty acts, but one of the several that is mentioned is that he jumped in a pit with only a staff in his hand to fight with a renowned enemy warrior killing him with his own spear. These men are just a few of a list of nothing short of “action heroes” of their day. Our modern day “Rambo” and “Rocky” have nothing on them!

The question that comes up many times is “what elite “War Academy” did they graduate from?” It had to be an expensive and well-known training program, don’t you think? But more than likely these great men were apart of the school of Adullam. Which was nothing more than a hole in the ground where David had went to escape from Saul. Reading this account back in 1 Sam 22:1-2 it informs us that when his family and many others heard he was there they came to him. It defines these individuals as “everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him”. These were a bunch of mentally anguished, perplexed, spiritually bitter, in debt people! So in other words David was now the leader of four hundred very imperfect misfits. He should be really excited, right! But reading also in 1 Chr. 12:22 it says concerning this same group, “…it was a great army, like the army of God”. I often sarcastically wonder if they are speaking of the same people, because they look like anything but a great army.

God seems to specialize in taking people from their humble beginnings and transforming them into people that do incredible feats for the kingdom of God. Just like these mighty men that most likely started with humble beginnings, you and I can be brought from the valleys of despair into a victorious warrior that fulfill God’s plan. If God waited until any of us was ready to be a leader or only used people that were qualified, He would still be waiting. I encourage you to understand that God will transform each of us along the journey from being disabled people to mighty warriors for His use if continue we yield to Him along our journey of Life.

 

 

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It’s Natural for Things to Change

images-32Doesn’t it seem like your children grow up over night? One minute you’re changing their diapers and the next you’re cheering them on at their little league games. Before you even get the rhythm of the weekly games, they seem to be walking across the stage for their graduation.

It’s natural for things to change. The only thing that will not change is God Himself. In Mal 3:6 God says, “For I am the Lord, I do not change”. God is perfect and therefore is the same yesterday today and forever. (Heb. 13:8) But as far as His creation we are made to change as well as everything around us. Our looks change. Our jobs may change and definitely technology changes. Change is usually uncomfortable and can be down right hard at times. Especially, if we have been resisting it for a while.

It’s the same spiritually. Unless we are continuing to grow in the things of God we are not spiritually healthy. A believer that doesn’t put any effort into growing and wants to coast along will become a casualty sooner or later. To many believers don’t want change in their lives. They are content in taking the road of least resistance in their journey of life. But God demands change!

The story of Jacob in Gen. 25-32 reveals that he had some character flaws in his life as well as, some God given gifts that he had not surrendered to God’s will. Remember, He was a twin to Esau and from birth we see his tenacious spirit and strong will. Jacob’s name reveals his bent towards deception and conniving. He took advantage of his brother in weakness and gained the family birthright and later in an act of deliberate deception tricked his father in pronouncing the blessing on him instead of Esau.

We see no indication that there was ever any conviction or repentance in his younger years for his carnal actions yet God still pursued him. Throughout his life we see the reaping of the ungodly seeds he had planted over journey of many years. We see deception, mistrust and trickery in his marriage, his relationships and his business. (Gen 28-50)

But God had a plan for Jacob, just like He has a plan for our lives. But with that being said, we must allow God to change us. In 2 Tim 2:20, Paul tells Timothy that there are good things and corrupt things in our lives that need to be dealt with. He goes on to say if we take care of the carnal things we will be vessels of honor and useful for the Master. Jesus Himself tells His disciples that we must deny ourselves and follow Him. If we lose our lives for His sake we will gain our lives. (Mk 8:34-35)

With the pressure of the glooming circumstance, Jacob finally came to the place he was willing to deal with these tendencies in his life. We see in Gen 32 that once Jacob crossed over the shallow of the river Jabbok, he is finally willing to face “the music” of his life and be poured out before the audience of one. God wrestles with Jacob who has always wrestled with doing what was right his whole life. Jacob chooses to finally be tenacious for Gods will and therefore will not let go until God changes him. It is through God’s mercy we see Jacob is finally changed because the will of God prevails in his life.

Isn’t it time for you to face those areas in your life that you haven’t surrendered to God? He wants to bless you but you must first be willing to be changed.