As Christians, we have a responsibility to live right, because whether or not we know it, people are watching to see how we are going to deal with various situations. Also satan, who the bible calls the accuser of the saints, is waiting for us to miss up so he can getting us to challenge our own faith and get into, self condemnation.
However the beauty in all this, is for those truly born again believers in Jesus Christ, God has given his Holy Spirit who understands our responsibility and therefore, through his strength, gives us the ability to RESPOND.
If we say we are people of faith, that faith is going to be tested, as the only way we will know how strong our faith is, is in testing times.
A good example of this is Gideon in Judges chapters 6 – 8. He was a man who God called to save Israel from the Medianites. His first reaction was to say he can not do it because he is too small and weak, being from the smallest tribe Manasseh. However, then he began to respond and put faith into action, so he made a sacrifice and offered it up to God. His sacrifice was what is known as a Meal offering, which signified EFFORT, in other words HE had to play HIS part in it and it took effort to prepare. If you are going to respond to a situation in faith, it is going to take EFFORT on your part.
Judges 6:18 -21
“Jdg 6:18 Do not depart from here, I pray, until I come to You, and bring forth my food offering and set it before You. And He said, I will stay until you come again.
Jdg 6:19 And Gideon went in and made ready a kid and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour. He put the flesh in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out to Him to the oak, and offered it.
Jdg 6:20 And the Angel of God said to him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes and lay on this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so.
Jdg 6:21 Then the Angel of Jehovah put forth the end of the staff that was in His hand and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes. And there rose up fire out of the rock and burned up the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the Angel of Jehovah went away out of his sight.
Gideon continued to respond as God ministered to him, but he was a work in progress as we ALL are, and therefore he had some fears that he was yet to overcome:
Jdg 6:25 That night the LORD spoke to Gideon again: Get your father's second-best bull, the one that's seven years old. Use it to pull down the altar where your father worships Baal and cut down the sacred pole next to the altar.
Jdg 6:26 Then build an altar for worshiping me on the highest part of the hill where your town is built. Use layers of stones for my altar, not just a pile of rocks. Cut up the wood from the pole, make a fire, kill the bull, and burn it as a sacrifice to me.
Jdg 6:27 Gideon chose ten of his servants to help him, and they did everything God had said. But since Gideon was afraid of his family and the other people in town, he did it all at night.
How many times has God told you to do something, but because of fear and embarrassment of what people will think, you either delay it or you do not do it at all?
These are the times your faith is going to be tested.
E.g. When you are in the company of non-believers and you sitting down to eat a meal, are you too embarrassed to bless your food? Do you quickly mutter your prayer under your breath in the hope that no-one sees?
As believers we should not be man pleasers, but we should want to please God first and foremost.
We need to understand that sometimes our stand for God is going to come with some stiff opposition, but if God tells us to do something; he also gives us the ability to fulfil it:
Judges 6: 28 - 30
“Jdg 6:28 When the people of the town got up the next morning, they saw that Baal's altar had been knocked over, and the sacred pole next to it had been cut down. Then they noticed the new altar covered with the remains of the sacrificed bull.
Jdg 6:29 "Who could have done such a thing?" they asked. And they kept on asking, until finally someone told them, "Gideon the son of Joash did it."
Jdg 6:30 The men of the town went to Joash and said, "Your son Gideon knocked over Baal's altar and cut down the sacred pole next to it. Hand him over, so we can kill him!"
The bible says in Rom 8:31 “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”
Gideon is the perfect example of the scripture in Corinthians which states:
1Co 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
Later on we read how God took this same man who initially thought he was nothing and weak, to defeat the armies of Median with only 300 men after 22,000 of his original army LEFT him and went home out of FEAR.
Is there ANYTHING too big for God?
So what is your perception of yourself? You need to have the right one because, your perception will affect your opinion and your opinion will affect your attitude and your attitude will affect your performance.
Remember as believers we walk by faith and not by sight, so as Philippians 4: 6-7 states
“Php 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
Php 4:7 And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
In this business first and foremost you have to believe you are going to be successful, because if you do not, you have already failed.
You are going to have to do some personal development, which will then enable you to respond in certain situations.
You can not afford to let FEAR govern you, because if you do, you will not do the things you need to do.
You can not be people pleasers but you will need to be able to tell people the things they need to hear and not necessarily the things they want to hear.
You will need to make a step of faith and move out of your comfort zone.
You will need to put effort in and be willing to make sacrifices.
There is not one successful person in the world today, that their success did not cost them anything and the journey not full of ups and downs. Most people fail because they do not want to put the effort in and they love the ups but can not deal with the downs.
That is a person who reacts rather than responds.
Which one are you?
Jason Gregory Business Coach & Mentor
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