Conquer Your Fear, Go for the Win

DAILY DEVOTIONAL: DAY 205

“And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint as well as his heart” (Deuteronomy 20:8, KJV).

Deuteronomy chapter 20 opens with instructions given to the Israelites about preparing for battle. On their way to occupy the Promised Land, the Israelites would encounter several nations and peoples. Some of these encounters would result in battles. The Lord wanted His people to be battle-ready and be able to overcome the nations which stood between them and the Land of Promise.

To win a battle, your attitude is as important as your weapons. You may have the right numbers and the right weapons, but if your mindset is flawed, you risk being defeated. Battles are won or lost starting with one’s state of mindTo win any battle, it is necessary that you first conquer your own fears. Therefore, when the Lord prepared Israel for battle, one of the first things He addressed was fear (cf. Deuteronomy 20:1-3).

Fear is contagious. It’s like an infection. If, for any reason, you’re afraid, be kind enough not to spread your fear. Fear undermines, not only your own faith, but the faith of the people around you. If you partner with people who panic easily, they can derail your faith and cause your plans to fall apart. Do not go on any important mission with people who are prone to fear. This word of wisdom is proposed in today’s Bible reading. Look at it again.

Before going into any battle, God commanded the officers of Israel to speak to the people about fear. The officers had to call on any fearful or fainthearted man to return to his house. Then, notice what the Bible says next: “Let him go and return to his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint as well as his heart.” It is better to go into battle with just two or three people who have faith than with a hundred people who are fainthearted. Recall the incident in Mark 5:35-42, where Jesus expelled a group of people for giving in to fear. If you are dealing with any battle (battle in your marriage, business, health, finances, academics, battle with an addiction, etc.) be careful who you call to fight with you. 

To sum up today’s message, let’s remember the following: Fear is to faith what a leech is to blood. Faith does not fear, and fear does not believe. Don’t infect others with your fear. Conquer your fear, and go for the win.

For further studyNumbers 13:17-4:9, or Mark 5:35-42

Lessons from Asa’s Battle Prayer

Daily Devotional: Day 203

“And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let no man prevail against thee” (2 Chronicles 14:11).

The closer you walk with God, the more clarity you receive about His character and His power. And the more clarity you have about Him, the better for your faith. How you pray, what you pray about and the confidence with which you pray is mostly determined by the level of clarity you have about the God to whom you pray.

As you surrender your heart to the Lord, He illuminates your understanding – so that you can see His hand in every situation. And, when you see the hand of God, you know that in every battle, the Lord fights for you. Asa, king of Judah, had this clarity about God. When he succeeded Abijah as king of Judah, Asa set his heart on seeking the Lord and to doing what was right before Him. 

One day, Asa’s faith in God was tested. Asa knew, like every king, that war was always a possibility. For ten years, however, Asa didn’t have to go to war. Everything was peaceful in Judah. But when war finally came, it was probably nothing Asa had imagined. Zerah of Ethiopia came against Judah with a force of one million soldiers and three hundred chariots (cf. 2 Chronicles 14:9). Judah was significantly outnumbered. It was at this point that Asa cried unto God as you can see from today’s Bible passage.

Asa’s prayer was straight to the point and filled with child-like simplicity – as prayer should be. Notice that at the beginning of his prayer, he described the character of God.

Lesson 1: Asa said to God, “it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power.” This is important. When God is helping you, what you have or don’t have, makes no difference.

Lesson 2: Asa rested on God and went against the multitude in the name of the Lord. If you approach a situation – no matter what it is – in the Lord’s name, it changes everything. God will honor His Name. “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe” (Proverbs 18:10).

Lesson 3: Asa said, “O LORD, thou art our God; let no man prevail against thee.” Asa recognized an important spiritual truth. If you attack God’s people, you are attacking the Lord. Asa could have said, “let no man prevail against us.” But notice that he said, “let no man prevail against thee.”

To sum up, Asa had his own battles. You will have yours. But know this: With God, the size of your problem makes no difference. Call on Him in all your battles, and know that He fights for you.

May the Lord be with you in all your battles and let no man prevail against His Name. Amen.

For further study: Psalm 118:1-29

Eight Reasons Victory Belongs to You

Daily Devotional: Day 183

“The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower” (Psalm 18:2, KJV).

When you think of the Lord, who is He to you? Seriously, who is He to you? The answer to this question is important. Your view of who the Lord is affects how you live your present live, the decisions you make and how you respond to events in your life. It marks the difference between victory and defeat. David composed Psalm 18, part of which is the basis for today’s message.

If you follow the life of David carefully, you’ll notice that he approached life with a victory mindset. He habitually lived in confident expectation of victory in all his endeavors. This conviction of victory was based on David’s intimate knowledge of the Lord. He had walked long enough with the Lord to realize that He never fails those who put their hope in Him. This explains why David declares that, for Him, the Lord is the following: rockfortressdelivererGodstrengthbucklerhorn of salvation, and high tower. Eight things.

What David declared about the Lord means a lot to you today. After all, the Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever (cf. Hebrews 13:8). There is no expiry date on the nature of God. Therefore, victory belongs to you also as you come to realize that the Lord is your:

  1. Rock: This means you are established in the Lord. Through all the changes in life, you will not be shaken.
  2. Fortress: This means the Lord is your impenetrable place of refuge. In Him, your enemies have no access to you.
  3. Deliverer: This means when you face danger, the Lord will rescue you.
  4. God: This means you depend on no one for victory but Jehovah, who alone deserves your worship and adoration.
  5. Strength: This means you will not grow weary or faint, neither will you despair, because the Lord is the supplier of your strength.
  6. Buckler: This means when you face any battle or if you come under attack, the Lord will be a shield, deflecting and neutralizing the weapons of the enemy.
  7. Horn of Salvation: This means your salvation is firmly rooted in the strength of the Lord. You shall, therefore, prevail over every adversity, because strong is the Lord’s salvation for those who trust in Him.
  8. High Tower: This means the Lord will set you on a secure height, a stronghold where your enemies cannot reach you. You shall look down on your enemies.

Be still, and know that the Lord is your victory.

The grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you today. Amen.

For further study: 1 Samuel 17:31-50

Not by Horse Power, But by God’s Power

Daily Devotional: Day 156

“The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but deliverance is of the Lord” (Proverbs 21:31).

From ancient times until probably the early part of the 20th century, war horses were part of nearly every military unit. Wild horses were often captured, subdued and brought under strict training to make them ready for war. Well trained war horses were a major asset because of the mobility, strength and flexibility they provided on the battlefield. Armies often relied on these horses for reconnaissance. The strength and conditioning of one’s war horses often played a decisive role in the outcome of a battle. Naturally, therefore, military commanders put a great deal of hope in their horses to deliver victory. Today, however, the armies of the world boast of their nuclear, missile and drone capabilities, among other strengths. This brief background will help us understand what God is telling us in today’s Scripture.

The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but deliverance is of the Lord.

God isn’t saying that the horse should not be prepared for battle. The horse’s job is to prepare for battle, but the horse does not guarantee victory. God does. This may sound simple, but understanding the difference is vital. Often people mix up ‘horse power’ and God’s power. You may not possess a physical horse, but the message in today’s passage isn’t just about horses. The message is about who or what you count on for success and victory in life. You may have your own ‘horse power’ in which you trust to give you victory and breakthrough in life. This may be your ‘money power,’ your ‘education power,’ your ‘healthy lifestyle power’ your ‘power in numbers,’ your ‘network power,’ your ‘family name power,’ your ‘job power,’ your ‘healthy body power,’ your ‘experience power,’ your ‘fasting and prayer power,’ etc.

Just as God isn’t against having an army (and horses), so is He not against having any of the ‘horse power’ listed above. However, He is against trusting in these things in your heart as your ticket to goodness, success and victory. God wants you to be hardworking. He wants you to plan your life. He wants you to prepare for battle, but more importantly, He wants you to remember that your deliverance comes from Him alone. The God of Israel is an army by Himself.  He doesn’t need an army to fulfill His plans for you. He honors those who do not lean on their ‘horse power’ but lean on the Lord’s power. Trust in God’s power today.

And may the Lord grant you victory in all your battles! Amen.

For further study: Psalm 20:1-9

Knowing When to Stand Down

Daily Devotional: Day 92

“But the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying, “Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord: “You shall not go up or fight against your brethren! Let every man return to his house, for this thing is from Me.”’” Therefore they obeyed the words of the Lord, and turned back from attacking Jeroboam” (2 Chronicles 11:2-4, NKJV).

Rehoboam succeeded Solomon as King of Israel, but he was rude and mean toward the elders of Israel. Consequently, within a short time, all the tribes of Israel, except Judah and Benjamin, separated and created their own independent kingdom (of Israel) in the north, making Jeroboam their king. In response to the north’s rebellion, Rehoboam assembled 180, 000 warriors to go fight them and restore the unity of the kingdom.

God, however, told Rehoboam to call off the attack. God further explained that the separation that had occurred was from Him. The south subsequently obeyed the Lord’s voice and returned home without attacking their own people in the north.

What can we learn from this incident? First, not all battles are for you to fight. And not all situations call for your involvement. Even though you may feel justified to respond to a developing situation, the Lord may be asking you to stand down.

It is vital to listen to the voice of God in prayer before you get involved in certain situations. Otherwise, you may find yourself going against the will of God, draining your energy and resources, hurting yourself and others, or making a bad situation worse.

Second, certain things that happen are directly from God – for reasons best known to Him – and He doesn’t want you to intervene. In such situations, you must stand down and let God Himself deal with it. To do this, it is necessary that you develop a close relationship with the Father, because that’s the only way you’ll know whether He wants you to take action or He wants you to stand down. May the Lord give you a discerning heart. Amen.

Prayer:

Holy Father, grant me a spirit of discernment to know what you want me to do in every situation. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

For further study: 2 Chronicles 10:1-19