So give yourselves humbly to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7 TLB
We all strive to be successful. Whether it’s success in our profession or our personal lives we want to be our best at whatever we do. How can we insure our success in all of our endeavors? What can we do to have an edge?
Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race,
but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize. 1 Cor. 9: 24 HCSB
If you have run in a race you know that there is a wall that you hit that seems impassable. It can stop you in your tracks or motivate you to push threw. But, it requires calling on ever last ounce of effort. Sometimes that extra effort isn’t enough. Sometimes our best efforts and shear strength is not enough.
What do we do then? Give up? Make excuses?
Jesus gives us insight into how we can succeed in life.
“I am the vine, you are the branches.
He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit;
Wait a minute! That’s got to be a misprint! I am an adult who is able to do anything. How can Jesus say such a thing? He can say that because He knows that we are only able to do so much while we live this life. We can get by for awhile but to be successful in this life – in a way that is important to God – we need to be connected to the source of power and strength.
Jesus is that source
and He uses the example of the vine and branches to illustrate His point.
The Word of God is full of people who were incapable of great things in their own strength but will God did mighty works. Abraham, Moses, Gideon, Samson, Paul, Peter and many more. His grace is sufficient for them and is also for me – and You too!
So the next time you are tempted to sin (no matter what that might look like) remember the formula for success –
Humble yourself before God
Resit the devil (the temptation)
Rest in the assurance that you and God have sent the devil fleeing
also consider this
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.1 Cor 10:13 NKJV
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.Heb 4:15 NKJV
How do we react to instability in our lives? Do we frightfully hang on for dear life, as I did while crossing this rope bridge in Ireland, or do we rest easy knowing we are in the Fathers arms?
I never have been much for heights. Although I have been to the top of the Empire State building without a care and if needed I can walk most roofs but you couldn’t get me on a roller coaster until recently. I think the reason behind my fear of certain heights was control. If I felt like I was in control of the situation I wasn’t afraid no matter how high I was.
But we aren’t always in control of our environment or the conditions of the road ahead of us. What then? Fearfully clinging? Or resting easy? What would the Word of God encourage us to do? How would Jesus hope to see us react? I am reminded of a circumstance that Peter found himself in. Matthew records the event here.
While in a storm swept boat with the disciples Peter calls out to Jesus Who is walking on the water towards them. Peter asks Jesus to let him come to Jesus on the water and Jesus calls for him to come. Peter steps out of the boat and walks on the water to Jesus – UNTIL he takes his eyes off of Jesus and looks at the storm – THEN HE SINKS LIKE A ROCK! The disciples were fighting that storm for hours. Truly an unstable environment. Yet when Peter saw Jesus and kept his eyes on Him he overcame the circumstances around him and did the impossible – he walked on water. But when he “looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink“ (vs. 30 TLB). But, remember, the high waves and rough seas were there before he stepped out onto the sea, they just weren’t the focus of his attention.
So, clearly we all need to remember that when the waves and storms and instabilities of life arise, we can rise above them if we focus on Jesus and not the circumstance. The following is a short list of encouraging words found in Gods Word for us all to hide in our hearts for a rainy day.
So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.Mark 11:22
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:1 and 27 NIV
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love1 John 4:18 NKJV
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,that He may exalt you in due time,
casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.1 Peter 5:6
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Eph 3:17-21 KJV
My Friends please hold His words close to your hearts because the Word tells us that there will be a time of unprecedented instability in the future (maybe our future, maybe in some distant time) but we can stand the times of emotional, economic or social instability if we stand in HIM Whom first placed our feet on solid ground.
Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus ChristPhilippians 1:6 KJV
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a famous rope bridge near Ballintoy in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The bridge links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrickarede. It spans 20 meters (66 ft) and is 30 meters (98 ft) above the rocks below. The bridge is mainly a tourist attraction and is owned and maintained by the National Trust. In 2009 it had 247,000 visitors. The bridge is open all year round (subject to weather) and people may cross it for a fee.