May 1, 2017

May 1, 2017


Focus Verse: The sons of Reuben and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, consisting of valiant men, men who bore shield and sword and shot with bow and were skillful in battle, were 44,760, who went to war. They made war against the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish and Nodab. They were helped against them, and the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hand; for they cried out to God in the battle, and He answered their prayers because they trusted in Him.
1 Chronicles 5:18-20

These were the heads of their fathers’ households, even Epher, Ishi, Eliel, Azriel, Jeremiah, Hodaviah and Jahdiel, mighty men of valor, famous men, heads of their fathers’ households. But they acted treacherously against the God of their fathers and played the harlot after the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them. So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul, king of Assyria, even the spirit of Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away into exile, namely the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and brought them to Halah, Habor, Hara and to the river of Gozan, to this day.
1 Chronicles 5:24-26


Two sets of mighty men we see here in 1 Chronicles 5. The first set of mighty men are victorious, the second set are sent into exile. So what is the difference? What is the key to being a successful mighty man instead of an unsuccessful mighty man? HUMILITY.


This has come up again and again, it happens to be a recurring theme in the Bible, but we CANNOT live in God’s Kingdom man’s way. Man’s way says the mightiest survive. Even if you aren’t the strongest, if you can outsmart you opponent, out last him, out something him, you will come out on top. YOU GET YOUR OWN VICTORY!


But God’s Kingdom says that you can’t get your own victory. It says to serve those who throw stones at you. It says to humble yourself before God and HE will honor you. In God’s Kingdom, victory comes when, and only when, we surrender. Doesn’t sound like the most brilliant battle plan does it? “Just surrender the war and then you’ll be victorious.” The general who says that would be laughed off the battlefield!


But that’s exactly what God says. “Give Me the war. Not so that I can fight it for you (though He will), not so that you can win (and that’s a key distinguishing factor in God’s Kingdom), but give Me the war. Give me the fight, give me the outcome. Surrender it all to Me.”


And I’ll burst your bubble right now: God won’t always have you win the war. So if you are surrendering to Him so that you can see your enemies smitten by Him, you’re surrendering wrong! When we surrender, we give Him EVERYTHING! We trust God, EVEN WHEN THE BAD GUYS WIN!


Man’s way wins through brilliance, might, strength and power. Look at the great Kingdoms of the world: the Greeks, the Romans, the Huns.


God’s way wins through love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.


History will tell you who the real winner is. Of all of those kingdoms, which is the only one still remaining today?

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