Secrets of the Overcoming Life: Knowing God (Part 1)

There are many secrets to living an overcoming life. One of those secrets is ‘knowing God’. Let me explain. A problem is not really a problem if you know someone who can fix it. A broken pipe in your home is frustrating but if you know a competent, reliable, trustworthy plumber, your frustrations will eventually disappear. The Bible is full of men and women who were afflicted and plagued with problems. Some were fearful because of their problems. Some were confused because of their problems. However, their fear and confusion eventually disappeared. They eventually disappeared because these men and women knew Someone Who could fix the source of their fear and confusion:

THEY KNEW GOD

King Jehoshaphat had a great problem. A large army was marching towards Jerusalem and they were coming to steal, kill and destroy. The armies of Moab, Ammon and others were coming to fight against Jerusalem. It seemed as though all hell had broken loose against Jehoshaphat. When Jehoshaphat heard the troubling news he was afraid but the Bible records something amazing. In the midst of his fear, Jehoshaphat:

“…set his face to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah” (2 Chronicles 20:3 ESV)

Jehoshaphat knew God. Knowing God does not mean knowing that God exists. Knowing God means knowing:

  1. The Identity of God (Who God is: His character, His attributes…)
  2. The Ability of God (What God can do: His power, His authority…)
  3. The Word of God (What God has said: His promises, His covenants…)

Jehoshaphat’s knowledge of God is seen in his prayer to God in 2 Chronicles 20:5-9 :

Jehoshaphat stood before the community of Judah and Jerusalem in front of the new courtyard at the Temple of the LORD. He prayed, “O LORD, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven.  (The Identity of God)

You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you! O our God, did you not drive out those who lived in this land when your people Israel arrived? (The Ability of God)

And did you not give this land forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham? Your people settled here and built this Temple to honor your name. They said, ‘Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war,plague, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honored. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us.’ (The Word of God) 

Jehoshaphat knew God’s identity, His ability and His Word. He knew that God was all-powerful. He knew the promises God made to Abraham concerning the Promised Land. He knew that God promised to answer any prayer for help that was made in the Temple or towards the Temple that Solomon had built. Therefore, Jehoshaphat prayed and God heard him and helped him and all Judah.

God delivered Judah from that large army. God won a great victory for Judah because their king knew God. Jehoshaphat overcame fear because he knew God. Those who believe in Jesus Christ can be victorious even though there is a large problem coming to steal, kill and destroy. Jehoshaphat knew the problem. He knew the problem was big. He knew the problem was too big for him and his army to handle. But Jehoshaphat knew the problem was not too big for His God to handle.

Are you facing a problem that is too big for you to handle? No problem. There is no problem which is too big for God. Remember the Identity of God, the Ability of God and the Word of God. Learn Who God is. Learn what God can do. Learn what God has said. You will overcome!

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. (John 10:10 NLT)

Day 18: You Have Legal Rights!

Every human being has legal rights! I am not referring to those legal rights given to us by the laws of the country in which we reside. I am referring to those legal rights given to us by our Creator, the King of Heaven. Everything that God does is legal. In other words, no human being or spiritual being can successfully challenge the legality of God’s actions on the earth. When God decided to save the world from sin He used the legal process of Redemption. Redemption may be defined as:

The action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt. (English Oxford Living Dictionaries)

The Apostle Peter says:

For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. (1 Peter 1:18-19 NLT)

Adam left mankind with a great debt that we could not clear. However, it was not the will of God to leave us with this debt hanging over our heads. It was God’s will to pay that debt in full. There was only one price that was acceptable in the eyes of God:

The Blood of a sinless Man

That sinless Man was Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Through the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross every human being obtained the legal right to be set free from sin. Through His death, Jesus has given every human being the opportunity to abandon sin and live righteously in the eyes of God. All who take this opportunity are legally declared to be forgiven of their sins. The Bible records:

For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. (Colossians 1:13-14 NLT)

Every believer in Jesus Christ has exercised their God-given legal right to be forgiven of their sins. However, every believer in Jesus Christ has also received other legal rights . These legal rights must be embraced and exercised to overcome Satan, the enemy of our souls and every obstacle and difficulty in life. The Prophet Zechariah gave us a glimpse into what redemption looks like:

Then the angel showed me Jeshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD. The Accuser, Satan, was there at the angel’s right hand, making accusations against Jeshua. And the LORD said to Satan, “I, the LORD, reject your accusations, Satan. Yes, the LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you. This man is like a burning stick that has been snatched from the fire.”

Jeshua’s clothing was filthy as he stood there before the angel. So the angel said to the others standing there, “Take off his filthy clothes.” And turning to Jeshua he said, “See, I have taken away your sins, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes.” (Zechariah 3:1-4 NLT)

God has snatched us from the fire of sin. Our clothes were filthy but through Jesus Christ, God took away those filthy clothes and gave us new clothes to wear. This is redemption!

You were redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. Your redemption was paid for in full by Jesus Christ. You are legally free from sin and no human being or spiritual being can successfully challenge your redemption which is in Christ Jesus.

Day 16: God’s Army Stands Ready (Part 1)

Semper Paratus is a Latin phrase which means “Always Ready”. This Latin phrase is the motto of the United States Coast Guard. It paints a picture in my mind of the United States Coast Guard always being ready at a moment’s notice to protect and to save. It paints a picture in my mind of the United States Coast Guard always being ready to handle any danger or evil that it is called to respond to. The United States Coast Guard is an earthly army. There is a Heavenly Army whose motto is also “Always Ready”.

The Bible records that in the time of greatest need God’s Army stands ready to protect and deliver those who put their trust in God. One day Elisha the Prophet and his servant were in a city called Dothan. The King of Aram heard of Elisha’s presence in Dothan and the King sent a “great army with many chariots and many horses to surround the city”. Elisha’s servant became afraid. However, Elisha had a different response:

“Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes and let him see!” The LORD opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire. (2 Kings 6:16-17 NLT)

Elisha and his servant were surrounded by a great army but that great army was surrounded by an even greater army:

God’s Army

God’s Army stood ready to protect Elisha, the servant of God. Are you one of God’s servants? Are you a follower of Jesus Christ? Then be certain of this:

God will never leave you nor forsake you!

God has provided around the clock protection for you. His Army stands ready to protect and deliver you at a moment’s notice. While surrounded by armed men who came to arrest Him, Jesus told Peter:

Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? (Matthew 26:53 NLT)

Trust God today!

Day 13: God wants You to Eat Like a King (Part 1)

Do you know that God wants you to eat like a King? This is the description that the Bible gave concerning the food that was available for King Solomon on a daily basis:

The daily food requirements for Solomon’s palace were 150 bushels of choice flour and 300 bushels of meal; also 10 oxen from the fattening pens, 20 pasture-fed cattle, 100 sheep or goats, as well as deer, gazelles, roe deer, and choice poultry. (1 Kings 4:22-23 NLT)

There was no shortage of food in King Solomon’s palace. I believe there are persons in the 21st century who would scoff at the lavish lifestyle that Solomon lived. Therefore, I think it is best to put Solomon’s lifestyle in context. Firstly, Solomon was the King of Israel. He was the highest authority in Israel. Everyone looked to him for guidance and to do justice whenever persons had disputes with each other. In every Kingdom the position of King was highly esteemed and the King or Queen enjoyed certain privileges. One of those privileges was having more than enough to eat. As the King of Israel, Solomon enjoyed that privilege also.

Secondly, Solomon was blessed abundantly by God. One night God told Solomon:

“What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!” (1 Kings 3:5 NLT)

Solomon asked God to give Him wisdom. God said He would give it to him. However, God gave Solomon something else:

…I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! (1 Kings 3:13 NLT)

God gave Solomon riches and fame. Some of the Kings and Queens of the earth already had riches and fame but God gave Solomon much more riches and much more fame than all the other Kings and Queens. This is the context in which we should judge Solomon’s lifestyle. But the question is asked:

How is Solomon’s diet relevant to me living an overcoming life as a Christian?

The measure of Solomon’s diet was not only in the abundance of food he had but the quality of the food he had. The Bible records that Solomon had “…choice flour…pasture-fed calves…choice poultry…” The word “choice” meant that the food which Solomon ate was the best. God blessed Solomon with the best food. Solomon truly ate like a King.

However, there is something about Solomon’s life that is even more exciting for us as Christians. God gave us the opportunity to eat the best food:

Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35 NLT)

Solomon was indeed a very rich King. However, the food that Solomon ate was never of such a high quality that Solomon did not have to eat again for the rest of his life. Solomon had to eat of that food every day until He died. Our Father in Heaven has given us something better:

THE BREAD OF LIFE

There is no food which is greater than the bread of life. The bread of life is of the highest quality. It is of an eternal quality. Those who eat of it will never hunger again. This is the lavish lifestyle of the Christian. Believing in Jesus Christ is a lifestyle of abundance. It is an overcoming lifestyle. Jesus said:

…My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. (John 10:10b)

Certainly, there is no doubt that God wants you to eat like a King.

 

By Corey H.D. Beckles

Day 11: Remember the Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God is one of my favourite topics. Throughout the Bible, there are references to many different Kingdoms and the Kings and Queens that ruled over them. Some of these Kingdoms were very powerful. They had powerful armies and they were very wealthy. Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome and even Israel were powerful Kingdoms at one point in time. All of these Kingdoms were ruled by some human being and when one of those human beings died another human being replaced them.

However, the Bible records that there is another Kingdom in existence. This Kingdom is similar to and still unlike any other Kingdom on the earth. This Kingdom has a King Who sits on a throne like the other kingdoms. This Kingdom has laws like the other kingdoms. However, this Kingdom is not ruled by a human being who can die. This Kingdom is not ruled by a human being who can become weak and powerless. This Kingdom is not ruled by a human being who has to be replaced by another at some point in time. This Kingdom is not ruled by a human being who can lose his/her wealth and riches. This Kingdom is not ruled by a human being who can be defeated in battle by another King. This Kingdom is ruled by a spiritual being Who is eternal in existence, eternal in power, eternal in glory and eternal in victory. This Kingdom I am referring to is:

THE KINGDOM OF GOD

God is a King and He has a Kingdom. God’s Kingdom is Heaven. Therefore, the Kingdom of God is also called the Kingdom of Heaven:

This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool… (Isaiah 66:1 NLT)

God is a victorious King. He always wins. There are many Kings on the earth which were defeated by other Kings. However, there is no power in Heaven, on the earth or under the earth that can overcome God and His Kingdom:

Who is the King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty; the LORD, invincible in battle. (Psalm 24:8 NLT)

Satan could not overcome God and His Kingdom:

Then there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels. And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven. This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels. (Revelation 12:7-9 NLT)

Human beings could not overcome God and His Kingdom:

As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. (2 Chronicles 20:22 NIV)

Death could not overcome God and His Kingdom:

But God released [Jesus] from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip. (Acts 2:24 NLT)

The Kingdom of God is always victorious. The Kingdom of God overcomes every evil and every obstacle. All believers in Jesus Christ are citizens of this overcoming Kingdom. When we are feeling overwhelmed we must remember that we are citizens of a great and powerful Kingdom. When we feel defeated we must remember that we have a King Who is always victorious.

REMEMBER THE KINGDOM OF GOD

By Corey H.D. Beckles