Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | September 6, 2015

September 6, 2015 “The Underdog”

“The Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh had 44,760 men ready for military service—able-bodied men who could handle shield and sword, who could use a bow, and who were trained for battle.  They waged war against the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish and Nodab.  They were helped in fighting them, and God delivered the Hagrites and all their allies into their hands, because they cried out to him during the battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him.”  ( 1 Chronicles 5: 18-20)

Good Morning and Blessed Lord’s Day to All!

One of my favorite times of year is here…football season! 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 prognosticated for their success on the gridiron even before they take the field for the opening game of the season. 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 where the underdog team rises up in victory. When that happens, I am reminded of one of my childhood heroes…Underdog! He would boldly declare, “Not plane nor bird nor even frog. It’s just little old me… Underdog”

Scripture informs us that the armies of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh did possess instinct and great skill as warriors. They were physically fit and skilled with their weaponry. But they had a greater ally than their skill and acumen. When they were engaged in the heat of battle, they “cried out to the Lord” and “God answered their prayers because they cried out to 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 to come in and deceive us into thinking more highly of our own particular abilities and less on our dependence on God. In fact, just a few verses later in this passage, 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 and you are the apparent “underdog“,  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!

Trustworthy and Almighty Lord: As we face life’s particular battles, may we, like the faithful of former days, understand that our purpose in life is to  please and obey You. The most important quality we should demonstrate is not to be found in our own skill and ability, but in our faithfulness to You, for You alone are Lord and God. Hear our prayer and guide and direct us throughout this day. This we ask in Jesus’ mighty Name. Amen!

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