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God is our Refuge

We have seen tremendous inventions and innovation in this era. This is especially true for technology. It has impacted every area of our lives and is now being embedded into every device.

We have applauded these changes and the people behind them. I am happy that we celebrate Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and numerous others but where are the Christians who are leading these changes?

I firmly believe that we should be at the forefront of the changes. God wants us to fulfill our mandate to establish the rule of His Kingdom on this earth. We have seen the restoration of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, healing, miracles, the office of the Apostles and Prophets, and many other areas of ministry to the church. Sadly these advances have not translated to changes in every sphere of our lives.

We are still up in the mountain. Basking in the Presence of God. Safely hiding from the world. The children of Israel faced this dilemma. For 40 years they wandered in the wilderness. Then God took them to Mount Horeb. They stayed there for a few months before he told them it was time to enter the promise land.

Deuteronomy 1:6-8

“The Lord our God spoke to us in Horeb, saying: ‘You have dwelt long enough at this mountain.

Turn and take your journey, and go to the mountains of the Amorites, to all the neighboring places in the plain, in the mountains and in the lowland, in the South and on the seacoast, to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, as far as the great river, the River Euphrates.

See, I have set the land before you; go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—to give to them and their descendants after them.’

He strengthened them. Then was moving them to the next phrase. This band of ragtag people were about to be established as a mighty nation. The challenges along the way would prepare them. Victory would cause every other nation to fear and admire them. Their transformation would draw the other nations to the worship of the God of Israel.

Emerging From the Tower

Going forward meant they had to leave their place of safety on Mount Horeb. War had to be waged. The promise had to be taken by force. So Moses begins to outline God’s plan for them in the promise land. Meticulous steps were taken to prepare them mentally for the battles. Over and over he assured them of imminent victory, the richness of the new land and the tremendous wealth awaiting them. They were also warned that, what they received had one contingency. It would only be sustained by their faithfulness to God.

“How does this relate to me?” You may ask.

Oftentimes believers come into the church to seek refuge. We run from the ravages of life by escaping into the arms of our Loving Savior and Master Jesus Christ. We normally expect it to last forever. We naively expect to now cruise through life. Unfortunately, that is not how it is. We are only allowed to hide for a short period.

During the period of hiding, the Lord will build us daily with the Word. Our mind is renewed. We are strengthened emotionally, mentally and spiritually. He trains us to hear and recognize his voice. We are armored for battle (Ephesian 6:14-18). We are then released to fight.

Waging War

The fight will place us against the very thing that we ran from. The first generation of the Israelites ran from the battle to take the promise land. Now their children had to do the fighting. Where the parents failed they had to succeed. This is a picture of our old and new self. The old self had to die for the new confident, ‘take-no-prisoner’ self to emerge.

Imagine this for a minute. See what I am saying as a boxing contest. A boxer is in a ring. He faces an opponent that is bigger than him. The opponent has destroyed many other boxers. He’s had decades of experience. The boxer tries his best to fight. Several punches are hurled at him. He tries to dodge and block them but they keep hitting him. He is becoming weary. Finally, one lands on his jaw. It sends him crashing to the canvas. The referee begins to count. One! Two! The referee’s hand is in the air. Suddenly, the boxer staggers to his feet. He is a little disoriented, so he is allowed to go into his corner. The injuries are treated. The coach whispers encouragements in his ears and tells him how to overcome the opponent. He is given water and sent back into the ring. The opponent swings at him. He dodges the blows and counters with a right upper-cut. It sends the opponent flying across the ring. Bam! He hits the canvas. Totally knocked out!

That my friend is you. That is what God does with you when you take refuge in Him. He is a high tower. Refuge in Him situates you far above the battle field. It allows you to see the ensuing battle and also the strategies of the enemy. From this vantage point, you can safely plan counter measures.

Now I know you have your success principles. You have attended all the conferences by the best speakers and feel energised to go out and conquer your giant. Just a word of caution, “do not rely on your own strength”.

Be armored for battle by the word of the Lord. Submit your vision, mission, vision board and other plans to Him.

Proverbs 19:21

There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.

Do not ask Him to bless your plan. Ask Him for the plan for your life. When He created you a plan was established. It outlined your destiny, purpose, gifts, talent and the people that would help you along your journey. As you work through the plan rely on His counsel. He knows the pitfalls, roadblocks, closed doors, enemies, traps, etc that lie ahead. He will give you the strategies to overcome them.

He does not release us to fight on our own. He is always with us. He promised that he would never leave or forsake us.

Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

Sharpening Your Sword

You may be attempting entrepreneurship or looking to create the next technological breakthrough. Do not be frightened by the enormity of the task. He’s always used one person to accomplish great feats. Gideon a former village coward became a man of tremendous courage. He then used a handful of ragtag soldiers to defeat a huge army. The Hebrews were slaves in Egypt. God sent Moses to save them. Then he used this small nation to defeat nations of giants and larger fortified nations.

Let God build your team. I was in partnership with some guys to develop software. I felt good about the team. The camaraderie was great! But God told me to disassociate from them. He began to show me how they planned to take control of the projects and their non-commitment to invest money in our business venture. Their friends were invited to join the team, which did not alarm me. I welcomed the additional talent. I felt we were building a strong team. God alerted me to the dangers as I consulted him about our work. He showed me their intention. He’s done this several other times for other projects.

May I advise that before you advance into business, seek to know the will of God. His plans for you is far greater than you can imagine.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Know your skills, gifts and talents. Sharpen them, acquire new skills, if necessary. Do not be afraid to stretch yourself. Use them to your advantage. What do you think would have happened if David had put on Saul’s armor and gotten himself a sword to fight Goliath? His trust would have been in his armor and swordsmanship. That would have resulted in his defeat. Just like Saul and his army. David slew tens of thousands because his trust was in God. He knew God was with Him. It meant he would never lose. Yet he did not just run off into battle. He first attacked the enemy in prayer before he went on the battle field. The result of that is the book of psalms. Oral Roberts was given the task of building a University that would train christian leaders. He had no clue how it could be done but he consistently sought counsel from God. That vision was successfully executed and now stands as a testimony to His obedience and reliance on God.

As He given you a God-size dream? Something that you cannot implement on your own? Don’t panic. You are right where He needs you. Continually ask Him for the strategies. Then release your faith by doing what He says. This was Joshua’s key to his success.

Do not panic if God does not give you the big picture all at once. Work on the little you are given. The children of Israel captured the Promise Land bit by bit. God gave them the vision. Then he told them what to do over a period of many years.

Stay in prayer as you work. Successful people are praying people, my friend. When we begin to spent time before God to receive the blueprints for what He plans for the industries. Then we will become industry leaders.  Our approach should be different from the world. The enormity of the task should not deter us. Prayer allows us to focus. It is out targeting system, that allows us to not be distracted by the noise around us. It also allows us to receive divine counsel from the omniscient God.

Proverbs 10:4b

“The hand of the diligent makes rich”

Go forth and conquer!

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