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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The LORD will give us victory.

When the Philistines saw them coming, they shouted, "Look! The Hebrews are crawling out of their holes!" Then the men from the outpost shouted to Jonathan, "Come on up here, and we'll teach you a lesson!" "Come on, climb right behind me," Jonathan said to his armor bearer, "for the LORD will help us defeat them!" So they climbed up using both hands and feet, and the Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor bearer killed those who came behind them. They killed some twenty men in all, and their bodies were scattered over about half an acre. (1 Samuel 14:11-14 NLT)
Jonathan went up against a big enemy with only an armor bearer and the LORD.  But God + 1 is always a majority.  Jonathan followed the LORD and the LORD led him to victory.  This was a big victory.  Twenty enemies were slain that day.  Jonathan, let by the LORD was a mighty warrior.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4:7-10 NIV)
God promises to give us victory, too.  We can fight the enemy and experience victory.  With the power of God within us (1 John 4:4), we, too, can be mighty warriors.  But it doesn’t end there.  God doesn’t just empower us to personal victories.  His whole army is strengthened by our individual victories.
Suddenly, panic broke out in the Philistine army, both in the camp and in the field, including even the outposts and raiding parties. And just then an earthquake struck, and everyone was terrified. Saul's lookouts in Gibeah of Benjamin saw a strange sight--the vast army of Philistines began to melt away in every direction. "Call the roll and find out who's missing," Saul ordered. And when they checked, they found that Jonathan and his armor bearer were gone. Then Saul shouted to Ahijah, "Bring the ephod here!" For at that time Ahijah was wearing the ephod in front of the Israelites. But while Saul was talking to the priest, the confusion in the Philistine camp grew louder and louder. So Saul said to the priest, "Never mind; let's get going!" Then Saul and all his men rushed out to the battle and found the Philistines killing each other. There was terrible confusion everywhere. Even the Hebrews who had previously gone over to the Philistine army revolted and joined in with Saul, Jonathan, and the rest of the Israelites. Likewise, the men of Israel who were hiding in the hill country of Ephraim joined the chase when they saw the Philistines running away. So the LORD saved Israel that day, and the battle continued to rage even beyond Beth-aven. (1 Samuel 14:15-23 NLT)
Jonathan’s obedience to the LORD resulted in victory over twenty people himself.  This victory spurred on an even greater victory for the Israelite army.  The same is true for us today.  Our individual obedience and resulting victory helps to bring about even greater victories for the whole team.
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4:11-16 NIV)
How about you?  Are you fighting the good fight?  Are you winning victories through the power of God who is within you?  Are you doing your part of God’s team, spurring the team on to victory?