How to Prevail in the Battles of Life

How to Prevail in the Battles of Life

Today we will meditate on how to prevail in the battles of life while still drawing insights from the passage below. Specifically, we shall dwell on the value of self-motivation in achieving success.

So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from there the ark of the covenant of the LORD…And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. And when the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp, all Israel shouted so loudly that the earth shook. Now when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, “What does the sound of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” Then they understood that the ark of the LORD had come into the camp. So the Philistines were afraid, for they said, “God has come into the camp!” And they said, “Woe to us! For such a thing has never happened before…Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness. Be strong and conduct yourselves like men, you Philistines, that you do not become servants of the Hebrews…Conduct yourselves like men, and fight!” So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and every man fled to his tent. There was a very great slaughter, and there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers. 1 Samuel 4:1-11

The third lesson derived from the passage above, which will form the basis of our meditation today, is that self-motivation is required to prevail in the battles of life.

If the Philistines had given up and withdrawn from the battle after hearing that the Ark was brought into the Israelites’ camp – especially considering the terrible things they had heard that God did to the Egyptians and those who dared to cross the Israelites’ path – then they wouldn’t have known that they could, in fact, win that war. They would have fled and never got to savour the victory that was awaiting them.

But they encouraged themselves to go ahead and fight, despite the odds; and they won the battle.

Therefore, it is usually not what is happening on the other side that determines the outcome of a matter. Oftentimes, it is what is happening at your side that does. What are you telling yourself? Are you psyching yourself up for the challenge or talking yourself out of contention? What are you doing? How are you preparing? These are what really matter and determine the result you get in most cases.

The Philistines decided to damn the consequences and braced themselves to fight anyway rather than bail out. And, much to their own surprise as well, they routed and defeated the Israelites who seemingly looked favoured to carry the day. You never can tell what you can do or how far you can go until you try. And to try at all, you need to motivate yourself in the face of many discouragements.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

God’s Presence Does Not Guarantee Success

God’s Presence Does Not Guarantee Success

Today we will meditate on the dynamics of God’s presence in relation to success.

So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from there the ark of the covenant of the LORD…And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. And when the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp, all Israel shouted so loudly that the earth shook. Now when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, “What does the sound of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” Then they understood that the ark of the LORD had come into the camp. So the Philistines were afraid, for they said, “God has come into the camp!” And they said, “Woe to us! For such a thing has never happened before….Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness. Be strong and conduct yourselves like men, you Philistines, that you do not become servants of the Hebrews…Conduct yourselves like men, and fight!” So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and every man fled to his tent. There was a very great slaughter, and there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers. Also the ark of God was captured; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died. 1 Samuel 4:1-11

Another lesson for our meditation from the passage above is that, the fact that you invite God’s presence into an endeavour before stating, or at any stage of it, does not guarantee that it is going to succeed.

From our reference scripture, we can see that both Israelites and the Philistines had different false hopes. The Israelites were jubilant that the presence of God, symbolised by the Ark of Covenant, was now with them. So they were very confident that they would overrun their enemies in battle. The Philistines, on the other hand, were fretful that the end had come for them, since the Israelites now had God’s presence, which had wrought great havoc on their adversaries in times past. So they were not looking forward to taking them on in battle – they just had to fight.

Both parties were proved wrong by ensuing events, as the confident Israelites were routed, slaughtered and captured by the fretful Philistines. Now what could have gone wrong for the Israelites? Why couldn’t they defeat their enemies even with the presence of God in their midst?

The answer is simple: if the persons involved do not have a relationship with God and are not in right standing in His sight, the name of Jesus which makes all knees bow will be a mere mouthing, and the Ark – whatever it represents to them – will just be another article of furniture.

Therefore, the fact that you have invited God into a venture does not guarantee its success if you are not right with Him. Also, a project can carry the name of God and still fail if the people behind it are not aligned with Him. If God does not have your heart, He cannot take up your fight.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

Obedience: Redefining Success

Obedience: Redefining Success

Obedience is the actual profile of success.

Very early in life (almost from birth) we are trained to be successful according to the world’s definition of success. We are driven by goals and accomplishments from the day we take our first steps and ride our first bike. As we grow older, we are pressured to accumulate knowledge and “things” in order to prove our success.

In our Christian walk, Jesus calls us to a new definition of success – one determined not by what we accomplish, but by our obedience. The disciples walked and talked with Jesus, but they still faced many challenges with faith and obedience. One morning after fishing all night without a catch, Jesus called from the shore. John 21:6 “He said, ‘Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some {fish}.’ When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.”

The disciples were successful that morning. But we must understand that the large number of fish did not define their success. They would have been successful even if the nets remained empty. They were successful the moment they were obedient and threw out the net.

One thousand years earlier, King Saul was told to “attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them,” (1 Samuel 15:3). But Saul allowed the Amalekite king and the best livestock to survive. He tried to cover His disobedience by saying the calves and lambs were for a sacrifice to God. “But Samuel replied: ‘Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.'” (1 Samuel 15:22).

In any task we undertake for God, it’s easy to become discouraged by our apparent lack of success. We often feel inadequate – and those feelings increase when our goals seem to be elusive. But we must remember, the outcome of the task is secondary to our obedience. God doesn’t need our “fish” – He wants our devotion and trust. He desires that we love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Let’s take our eyes off the accomplishment of the “catch” and what we can produce. Rather, let’s focus on walking each step according to His leading. Let’s concentrate all our effort on obeying His call to cast out the net.

–  Author Unknown

Meditation: So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. – 1 Samuel 15:22

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

How to Remain Current and Take Sure Steps (2)

How to Remain Current and Take Sure Steps (2)

Here is a conclusion of our meditation on tips to help you remain current and take sure steps in your daily endeavours.

“For I am the Lord. I speak, and the word which I speak will come to pass; it will no more be postponed; for in your days… I will say the word and perform it,” says the Lord God.
– Ezekiel 12:25

Even as we need information from different sources to make informed decisions and take guided steps, the information we work by may not be foolproof as to prevent us from making mistakes or running into a hitch along the way. Many people have sincerely taken steps based on experts’ advice or natural course, but which resulted in grievous consequences. That tells us that even the best-resourced information does not absolutely guarantee success.

There is, however, a resource that is time-tested to always provide you with accurate information on any matter of life. It is called the Holy Bible; it contains the words, counsel, instructions, commandments, charges, opinions and thoughts of God. The Bible is an old resource, yet it is ever current and accurate in its direction about past or present issue as well as future developments. It is current because the information you will cull from a passage today may not be what you will get tomorrow from the same passage. It is ever dynamic in the insights it offers and it is relevant in all situations. It is the best tool available to us for research before making a decision on matters of life.

Therefore, even when economic forecasts or experts from other fields are predicting gloom and recess, but the word of God says there is going to be abundance, it is in your interest to align your decision and action with the word of God. If the experts or circumstances are pointing that there is no hope, but God says there are possibilities, you will be sinning to ignore God’s counsel for the verdict of His creatures. This is because heaven and earth may pass away, as the experts predict, but the word of God will never pass away or fall to the ground until it has accomplished the situation for which it was released.

So, if you want to be current in the fundamental matters of life as to ensure that your actions are on point, you need to make reading the Bible and talking to God your second nature. the word of God will always prevail over physical evidence or what the experts say, and it will prove the most accurate and up-to-date information you can get. When circumstances and experts’ advice are conflicting with what God says, your position should be “Let God be true and every man a liar.”

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

How to Remain Current and Take Sure Steps

How to Remain Current and Take Sure Steps

Our meditation today shall be on tips to help you remain current as well as take sure steps in your daily endeavours.

Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
– Proverbs 4:5

We are all products of our environments. And environment is not limited to physical location alone; much more than that, it includes our mental (the places we get the information we feed our mind), spiritual (the place(s) we go to for spiritual nourishment), career (factors affecting our discipline), business (industry and location of our commercial activities), as well as emotional (relationships) factors. All of these constitute our environment.

Being current about happenings and developments in your environments can be very beneficial. Apart from the fact that it portrays you as a smart person who is on top of his game, the information you garner will equally help you to make informed decisions or actions about aspects of your life that the information you have is relevant to, which will, hopefully, yield you good results.

To operate in the more popular environments, we rely on the mass media and informal sources for the information we need to plan our day, week, month, year and future. We source for information on the weather, stock market, investment opportunities, job openings, etc. and we launch into action based on our gleaning. When meteorologists say the weather is going to be foul, we plan to stay indoor; when stock analysts’ predictions are negative, we hold on to our money; when we learn that government is focusing on a particular sector of the economy, bankers and businesspeople invest there; and so on. These tell us the importance of information in keeping us current and helping us to take appropriate steps.

But, our quest for information should not be restricted to functioning in our physical and economic environment alone. Equal attention should be devoted to our mental, emotional and spiritual environments. As our reference Scripture charges, you must consciously seek wisdom and understanding. It is to the extent that we are informed in these other areas of life that we will perform as individuals as well as attain balance.

To be concluded tomorrow…

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

How to Excel in the Workplace

How to Excel in the Workplace

How to Excel in the Workplace

The anecdote below captures the essence of going the extra mile as a necessary ingredient to excel in the workplace and marketplace:

Ezra and Thomas joined a company together a few months after their graduation from university. After a few years of work, their Manager promoted Ezra to a position of Senior Sales Manager, but Thomas remained in his entry-level Junior Sales Officer position.

Thomas developed a sense of jealousy and disgruntlement but continued working anyway.

One day Thomas felt that he could not work with Ezra anymore. He wrote his resignation letter, but before he submitted it to the Manager, he complained that Management did not value hardworking staff, but promoted only the favoured!

The Manager knew that Ezra worked very hard for the years he had spent in the company; even harder than Thomas and therefore he deserved the promotion. So in order to help Thomas to realize this, the Manager gave Thomas a task.

“Go and find out if anyone is selling watermelons in town?”

Thomas returned and said, “yes, there is someone!”

The Manager asked, “how much per kg?” Thomas drove back to town to ask and then returned to inform the Manager; “they are N100.00 per kg!”

The Manager told Thomas, “I will give Ezra the same task that I gave you. Please pay close attention to his response!”

So the Manager said to Ezra, in the presence of Thomas; “Go and find out if anyone is selling watermelons in town?”

Ezra went to find out and on his return he said:

“Manager, there is only one person selling watermelons in the whole town.

The cost is N500.00 each watermelon and N300,00 for a half melon. He sells them at N100.00 per kg when sliced. He has in his stock 93 melons, each one weighing about 7kg.

He has a farm and can supply us with melons for the next 4 months at a rate of 102 melons per day at N350.00 per melon; this includes delivery.

The melons appear fresh and red with good quality, and they taste better than the ones we sold last year.

He has his own slicing machine and is willing to slice for us free of charge. We need to strike a deal with him before 10am tomorrow and we will be sure of beating last year’s profits in melons by over N2,300,000.00.

This will contribute positively to our overall performance as it will add a minimum of 8.78% to our current overall sales target.

I have put this information down in writing and is available in a spreadsheet. Please let me know if you need it as I can send it to you in fifteen minutes.”

Thomas was very impressed and realized the difference between himself and Ezra. He decided not to resign but to learn from Ezra.

Let this story help us keep in mind the importance of going the extra mile in all our endeavours. You won’t be rewarded for doing what you’re meant to do, you only get a salary for that! You’re only rewarded for going an extra mile; performing beyond expectations.

To be successful in life, you must be observant, proactive and willing to do more, think more, have a more holistic perspective and go beyond the call of duty.

May you be blessed with a better perspective to do your work this year and beyond.

The life ahead needs this mentality of going an extra mile. In ministry, career, as husbands, mothers, children, etc.

Let’s learn to carry extra oil like the five wise virgins. So that even in sudden situations and circumstances, we can meet up. Don’t be like the five foolish virgins who are just about normal situations and circumstances. Life is more than normalities.

– Author Unknown

Meditation: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.Matthew 5:16

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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