Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | August 21, 2015

August 21, 2015 “Kickoff Time”

“The sons of Reuben and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh,consisting of valiant men, men who bore shield and sword and shot with bow and were skillful in battle, were 44,760, who went to war.  They made war against the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish and Nodab.  They were helped against them, and the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hand; for they cried out to God in the battle, and He answered their prayers because they trusted in Him.”            (1 Chronicles 5: 18-20)

Good Morning and Blessed Lord’s Day to All!

Yesterday, as Lydia and I were driving home from supper (we ate out), my cell phone rang. It was my nephew Alex calling from Vancouver, Washington. He had a message for me to convey to Lydia. He wanted me to tell her that his team (the Seattle Seahawks) were going to beat her team (the Kansas City Chiefs), in a pre-season game between those two NFL powers this weekend. That was the extent of the message. It’s true…football season, one of my favorite times of year, is here once again. It’s kickoff time! I love football. I love watching teams go toe-to-toe on the gridiron. It’s interesting to me to see how teams are ranked and the expectations that are made of them even before they take the field. Most of the time, these speculations, based on their talent and strength of schedule, play out fairly accurately, but not always. Every year, and nearly every week for that matter, there are upsets that result in the underdog team rising up in victory.

Scripture informs us that the armies of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh did possess instinct and great skill as warriors. They were physically fit and deft in the utilization of their weaponry. But they possessed an even greater ally than their skill and acumen. When they were engaged in the heat of battle, they “cried out to God in battle and he answered their prayers because they trusted in him.”  The natural and developed abilities God gives us are meant for His glory, but should never serve as a replacement for our dependence on Him. When we place our trust in our own cleverness, strength, and skill rather than in God, we open the door for pride. In fact, just a few verses later we read of the Half tribe of Manasseh, under new “leadership”, doing just that as they turned away from God and were defeated by the Assyrians.  When facing difficult situations, seek God’s purpose and ask for His guidance and strength. Psalm 20:7 says, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Let’s pray!

Mighty and Merciful God; As I face my daily challenges, I cry unto you for deliverance and victory in all I undertake. You alone are my strong tower, and I place all my trust in you. Hear my prayer I make in Jesus’ great Name. Amen

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