“He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s” ( 2 Chronicles 20:15)
Having enemies is not something to fancy in life. Yet life as it were such do come by, regardless-particularly for those at the center of God’s work! There are three cases worthy of reflection that could be of help to any caught up in such an unenviable situation.
When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, having fought off Pharaoh, in a way his troubles were just starting. As the journey to the promised land delayed a furious opposition rose from within, including once Moses’s own family members. “Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite woman. They said, “Is it true that the Lord has spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?” And the Lord heard it” ( Numbers 12:1-2). Then there was Korah too. “Korah son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and certain Reubenites—Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth—became insolent and rose up against Moses. With them were 250 Israelite men, well-known community leaders who had been appointed members of the council” (Numbers 16:1-2)
For David almost immediately once it became clear God’s favour was upon him, he became a target. As David became popular on the battle field, Saul’s jealousy took on gigantic proportions and he once attempted to execute him, “Saul had a spear in his hand and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice” (Numbers 18: 12-11). Later on his own son Absalom would mount a coup against his throne ( 2 Samuel 15).
The Apostle Paul was not spared of enemies. As he went about sharing the Gospel, “Some of the Jews, however, spurned God’s message and poisoned the minds of the Gentiles against Paul and Barnabas” ( Acts 14:2). Enemies penetrated his ranks. Writing to Timothy, he noted, “Hymenaeus and Alexander are two examples. I threw them out and handed them over to Satan so they might learn not to blaspheme God” ( I Timothy 1:20).
All these examples, and there are many more, show when it comes to carrying out God’s work enemies come with the territory. Yet God comes and gives victory, “For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory” ( Deuteronomy 20:4).
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, even as I encounter enemies in doing your work, my comfort is in you, for you have gone ahead of me, to bring me victory, this I pray in Jesus’s name!
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23/02/2024 - 24/02/2024 All day
“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.