“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”- Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV).
Naughtiness can end up with you in trouble, particularly for one in a strict boarding school. Looking back at my school life I often wonder how I managed to survive expulsion, given a persistent troublesome streak. I particularly recall one incident where after a public spurt that went viral and threatened the power at my school I was but done. Sensing danger, I hurried to talk to the Head Prefect and a number of influential friends to go ahead of me and plead my case, just before the disciplinarian Headmaster summoned me. Ushered into his presence, finnaly, instead of a suspension or expulsion, the Headmaster gave me some minor potter for my crimes. My escape was because someone had gone ahead of me and pleaded my case.
As Moses was about to hand over his commission to his anointed successor, Joshua, he took all back to how the Lord had gone ahead of them. “The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place” (Deuteronomy 1:30-31). Few there, who had seen the way the Israelites had overcome their enemies, could doubt that because of that they had lived to acknowledge the faithfulness of God.
Yet, there was also a caveat. Moses warned the Israelites, “If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 8:19-20).
There are certainly clear advantages where the Almighty God goes ahead of us, which is His expressed desire, in whatever battle we may face. Is it our applications about to be vetted- we need the Lord to go ahead of us! Perhaps there are those who are falsely accusing us in our absence- we need the Lord Almighty to go ahead of us and plead our case. Are we about to take on a long journey- who wouldn’t love the Lord to go ahead of him!
But much as this is a given, there is one simple condition. We must earn that right by being obedient to the Lord, lest his anger burns against us, leaving us to our helpless defenses. And who would choose that!
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, as you promised to go ahead of the Israelites, I too, pray that in obedience to your commands you always go ahead of me, whatever the occasion, and fight my battles, this I pray in Jesus’s name.
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“The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them” – (Deuteronomy 28:2).
Every now and then one chances upon someone despising the importance of being enterprising. To some being enterprising can be equated to the love of money and it’s pitfalls (1 Tim 6:10). Others see it as being overtly worldly. Yet, far from it, being enterprising is clearly an avenue God has given believers to raise resources for their well-being and promotion of the rich Gospel.
The Bible is full of enterprising characters who were used mightily of God. Abraham was apparently a good rancher that he “become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold” (Gen 13:2). Job was hated by Satan who sought to destroy him because “He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area” (Job 1:3).
The Lord Jesus Christ was born and raised in the house of Joseph, the carpenter (Mathew 13:55). Carpenters do not create works of beauty to donate for free. To prosper they must run sustainable enterprises which pay taxes and make profit. The Apostle Paul would often rely on enterprising people to support him in his ministry. One of his worthy converts “was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God (Acts 16:14).
Though Paul was a law don once he went to the mission field, other than cling to his titles by burdening his hosts he often dabbled in tent making to support himself. In Corinth he teamed up with an amazing couple, Priscilla and Aquila, and “because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them” (Acts 18:3). This couple run a successful tent making business that enabled them support mission work.
And then of course, there is the noble woman of character, as told in Proverbs 31, who “selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings.. She sees that her trading is profitable…She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes (vv 13-25).
When the body of believers is filled with such enterprising people it generates resources important to sustain God’s work. Further, the work of God is then supported without being dependent on sources that might compromise the mission, as sometimes we see! Be enterprising!
Prayer for today: Lord father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, you who has given us the gift of enterprise, today I pray to use this gift to take care of my needs and support the expansion of your kingdom on earth, this I pray in Jesus’ Name.