Brian dreamed for a long time of building a house for his family on a wooded, five-acre plot of land nestled within the city. Notice I used the word dreamed. Brian did not just want to put up a simple home for his family of five. He wanted to build a ten-thousand square foot ministry center. I remember many of us thought he was overreaching. Why not just build a modest home and then as God provided continue to expand?
When the opportunity came, Brian started construction and soon the framing of his large home was in place. From the outset he faced continuous setbacks. He incurred a costly lawsuit stemming from accounting errors. The Fire Department insisted he pay for a fire hydrant for $28,000. When he sought to put in a water tank at considerably less expense they resisted his efforts and delayed for months his ability to move into the completed home. Permits took far too long to obtain from city officials who seemed intent to block his efforts to build. Neighbors filed false complaints about creek diversion which brought in the Corps of Engineers. Stairs had to be redone because they were 1/8thof an inch off. What a battle just to construct a home.
Eight men currently live with Brian and his family and are receiving help. Two groups and a house church meet every week for counseling and for worship. A small cottage for prayer is almost finished. Indeed a ministry center thrives and people’s lives are impacted for the glory of God.
1 Chronicles 5:20-22—They received help against these enemies, and the Hagrites and all their allies were handed over to them, because they cried out to God in battle. He granted their request because they trusted in Him. They captured the Hagrites’ livestock—50,000 of their camels, 250,000 sheep, and 2,000 donkeys—as well as 100,000 people. Many of the Hagrites were killed because it was God's battle. And they lived there in the Hagrites’ place until the exile.
The Israelites were commanded by God to inhabit Canaan. But knowing where they were supposed to live was far easier than actually dislodging their enemies. Notice that prayer and trust were vital in spite of the fact they were fighting God’s fight.
How often do we face battles that are of our own making? Before taking action we must be clear that we are in line with God’s will. A helpful question we ought to ask is, “Is this a battle that results in the advancement of God’s Kingdom, or is it my own kingdom I am furthering?” If it is the latter, we better be very sure we are in God’s will or we may find ourselves damaged and compromised in ways God never intended. Once we are sure we are doing what God laid on our heart, we still need to pray and trust Him. Even in obedience there is the danger that we fight in our own strength. Assumptions and presumptions too often are the bad fruit of self-reliance. Nowhere does it say in Scripture, “I can do all things through my own strength.” Prayer and faith help us keep perspective that the battle is the Lord’s and in His power and provision we will prevail!
It is on the battlefield that we reflect what’s on God’s heart, and we stand in that place where God longs to make Himself known.—Erwin Raphael McManus in Chasing Daylight
©2011 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)