“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed” - Psalm 20:4 (NIV).
Military battles are well known to have that moment when all momentum to push ahead is held back because of a certain stronghold. In 1986 as the National Resistance Army gathered pace and aimed for Kampala the troops where held back at the River Kantanga. A breakthrough was needed.
Once when the Israelites where fighting the Philistines a giant stood before and the battle could not proceed to a decisive victory. As it were, “Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us” (1 Samuel 17:8-9).
It became pretty evident that without a breakthrough that would overwhelm the giant before them the Israelites were as good as dead. “For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand” (vv 16).
Life can present such giants of obstacles too that threatens us with moving ahead. These could be by way of certain opposition impeding the progress of our careers. There might be financial obstacles denying us of any meaningful progress. We might be faced with certain incapacities that make us always lag behind. What do you do then?
Where we are faced with these obstacles there can be two courses of action. We might as well surrender to the giant before us as Goliath clearly challenged the Israelites. But we might also choose to look beyond the giant before us and turn to the Lord above for a breakthrough.
Indeed, the rescue came when finally a young David appeared on the scene and without being terrified by the imposing giant, “said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head” (vv 45-46). Because he relied on the Lord, “David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him” (vv 50).
This could be anyone’s situation. Other than being intimidated by whatever giant you are facing, turn to the Lord, to give you a breakthrough, which shames the enemy!
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise above the giant looming over me and denying me progress, by turning to you to give me a breakthrough, this I pray in Jesus’s name.
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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” – ( Joshua 1:9).
Moses has been described by some as the reluctant leader. When the angel of the Lord appeared to him and he was given the task to finally lead the Israelis out of bondage in Egypt, he protested. “But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” ( Exodus 3: 11). Knowing how the script played out we can be kind to him and say that his reluctance was based on a premonition how difficult the job that awaited him would turn out.
Once he set out, as a leader, it was constantly dragging a restless people, quick to find him at fault, and frustrate his job. When once he delayed up on the mountain, while seeking the face of God, the crowd was quick to throw him out. “When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, "Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don't know what has happened to him” ( Exodus 32:1).
Aware of the challenges he faced, when the time came for Moses to pass on the baton to his successor, Joshua, he knew that that most important gift he could pass on to him was encouragement. “Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” ( Exodus 31:7-8).
It has been said that it is lonely being at the top. When God gives us leaders, let us never hesitate to remember them in our prayers, especially where theirs is a special job of leading a restless people on to higher knowledge and experience of God.
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I remember all the leaders you have chosen to lead your people to a deeper knowledge of you, that you refresh them with your abundant Holy spirit to be encouraged and remain steadfast, this I pray in Jesus’ name!