When you see obstacles, odds, and enemies larger than your own resources — do not be afraid.
I am at a men’s prayer summit this week. I decided I would do a post every morning related to what I’m “hearing” and “seeing.” I am a recovering perfectionist, so shooting from the hip is hard for me, I don’t like to push “publish” until I’ve completely over thought a post, but I am intentionally not over thinking this week… because I need to loosen up a bit and let who I really am show through. This is the final installment of my “Thoughts from the Summit” series.
God is laying out new paths in my life. Dreams and visions that have emerged for decades are finding legs. Every dream and every vision comes complete with its own set of obstacles. We have to wrestle through the obstacles. Whether you are leading a church, a business, or building out new platforms in your life, you will, of course, face obstacles and resource challenges.
In The Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 20, God gives directives for going to war. In the pursuit of our calling, our dreams, and the fulfillment of God’s vision in our lives we have to cross the boundaries of our comfort zones and move into conflict.
Deuteronomy 20:1 says, “When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt” (ESV).
How can we position ourselves to boldly pursue the things in our hearts? Here are four things declarations necessary to go boldly into the battle to contend for the vision.
Rely Upon God’s Resource
Look around. See the odds against you. Just look at all the other people who have gone before you who failed and the remnants of their foolish attempts lie scattered on the ground. Faith says that if my directive is from God, God will provide. If the battle is the Lord’s, then we trust him to intervene in the battle. When my resource is inadequate, then it does not really matter how inadequate my resource is… too little is too little no matter how it scales. When I get into a God-zone, then either I trust or I don’t, there really is no in between.
I’ve always wanted to live my life in pursuit of God’s plan for my life in such a way that I was reliant upon him. To pursue God-dreams so big that if God did not resource and intervene, I would utterly fail. I am getting dangerously close to such a posture, and it is kind of scary. It’s scary because I have to give up control. It’s scary because my resource is not enough. It’s scary because I have to trust, trust that God is sufficient.
God is With You
The difficult implication of Deuteronomy 20 is that God is with “you” and not “them.” Be careful with this. When I frame this in the context of God’s calling on my life, if God has called me to a task, if he has birthed a vision within me, then his purposes and activity in my life supersedes the strength of the obstacles. Walking through the grief process the greatest comfort to me was, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, he is WITH me.” I learned in a new way that God was with me. The word of God to his people is, “When you see obstacles 10x bigger than you are, don’t be afraid because I am with you.”
Stand Against the Obstacles
A house divided against itself cannot stand. God cannot be for the thing he put in you and for the things that tear you down. Think about it. Sometimes we pursue our own imaginations, and it is dangerous to assume our own imagination is a directive from God. We have to work out the difference. Sometimes all we can do is move forward with a sincere heart and proper motivations. Time and God’s activity will bring some adjustments.
There are always obstacles, and I cannot let them scare me away from the things I sincerely believe I am to pursue.
God Has Proven Himself in the Past
When we look back we see good things and bad things. I’ve been through the times of looking back and just getting angry that God did not intervene differently, but I also look back and see God working on my behalf. David, the shepherd boy, had the courage to go against Goliath because he had been victorious in his skirmishes with bears and lions while protecting the sheep. David’s reasoning was that God helped him with the bears and the lions, he would help also him with the giants. If God helped us before he will help us again.
Contending for a vision is sometimes like going to battle. We have to wrestle against ever-present obstacles. Usually, the world isn’t out to get us… it just feels that way sometimes. Stepping into our desired future is always hard because it necessitates leaving our comfort zone. That, in and of itself, is a battle.
I will boldly content for the things in my heart… because I believe they came from the heart of the Father.
(NOTE: This post is the last in the series of “Thoughts from the Summit.” I took on the challenge of posting “from the hip” things that were stirring in my heart this week.)