PREVAILING WITH GOD!
- I believe that God wants you and I to prevail.
- To live a life by His strength in which we overcome, walk in victory and prevail.
- Life has a way of wearing us down or wearing us out, but God wants to come and strengthen and empower us and cause us to prevail.
- Yes there is a battle but we can be confident in the fact that we are not alone and God wants to work on our behalf and cause us to be a prevailing people.
- It is only with God that we can truly prevail.
- We cannot do it in or with our own strength.
- But with God we can prevail!
1. WHAT DOES THE WORD PREVAIL MEAN?
- The word prevail is a strange old-fashioned word that we do not use today.
- It is a word that is used regularly in the Bible.
- The root word meaning of the English word we know as prevail has several meanings.
- To prevail means: to have strength, to be strong, to be powerful, to be mighty, to be great.
- It can also include: To make strong or strengthen. To confirm and give strength, to confirm (a covenant), to show oneself mighty.
- The definition of the word means: To gain ascendancy through strength or superiority, to triumph, to be or become effective or effectual.
- Lastly to prevail means to accomplished your purpose.
Acts 19:20 ‘So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.’
2. A BIBLICAL EXAMPLE OF PREVAILING.
- The Bible contains many accounts of prevailing but one stands out for me.
- It is the story of David killing the giant Goliath.
- Here is a little, untrained shepherd boy with only a sling as a weapon.
- The mighty army of Israel could not handle what this young man was happy to challenge.
- 1 Samuel 17:50 ‘So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck down the Philistine and slew him.’
- David, against all odds did the impossible.
- This is a picture of prevailing.
3. JACOB’S PREVAILING!
- Jacob also prevailed.
- The story of Jacob is one of those remarkable stories.
- Here is a man who wrestled with God and prevailed.
- Have we not all had times when we could just not understand why God has allowed certain things to happen or why He did not seem to intervene?
- Have we not all contended with God about some aspect of our lives?
- Genesis 32:24 -28 And Jacob was left alone, and a Man wrestled with him until daybreak. And when [the Man] saw that He did not prevail against [Jacob], He touched the hollow of his thigh; and Jacob’s thigh was put out of joint as he wrestled with Him. Then He said, Let Me go, for day is breaking. But [Jacob] said, I will not let You go unless You declare a blessing upon me. [The Man] asked him, What is your name? And [in shock of realization, whispering] he said, Jacob [supplanter, schemer, trickster, swindler]! And He said, Your name shall be called no more Jacob [supplanter], but Israel [contender with God]; for you have contended and have power with God and with men and have prevailed.
- Notice a few things:
1. We will find ourselves in situations where we contend with God!
2. This whole experience changes us. (Jacob walked with a limp!)
3. But God can turn any situation around. He can even change our very nature.
4. Ultimately God wants to bless you and we expect His blessing!
4. PREPARATION FOR PREVAILING Joshua 5:1-15
REALISE THAT PREVAILING IS OFTEN PRECEDED BY A WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE.
- Before the nation of Israel prevailed and entered the Promised Land there was a period of wandering in the desert for 40 years.
- Before Moses was used by God to lead the nation out of captivity in Egypt, he spent years tending flocks in the desert.
- Before Joseph rose to the throne in Pharaoh’s palace, he spent time as a slave and in prison.
- Before David was appointed king he spent years wandering and hiding in caves.
- So realize that prevailing is often preceded by a wilderness experience.
- If you have been facing a wilderness experience, begin to believe that there is a season of prevailing ahead.
GOD’S IDEA OF PREPARATION FOR PREVAILING IS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TO WHAT THE WORLD MAY SUGGEST.
- We may believe we know what we need to do to set ourselves up to prevail.
- If we want to prevail in some sporting activity we know we need to train to develop our fitness and strength.
- If we want to prevail in a military sense we know we have to be equipped, battle ready and we must have the necessary arms and equipment.
- If we want to prevail in business, we know we must have a business plan, a marketing strategy and good management.
- BUT when God prepares us for prevailing the preparation is completely different and it differs from person to person.
- God prepared the nation of Israel for prevailing just before they entered the Promised Land.
- This preparation was not what we as humans would have expected.
- Let’s take a look: Joshua 5:1-15
- Now the Nation of Israel is set to prevail. The nations occupying the land have lost heart and are ripe to be conquered.
- But before God allows them to do what would otherwise be the most natural thing, He takes them through a preparation process.
- It is an example I believe we can apply to our own lives if we want to be prepared for the prevailing God has in store for us.
5. STEPS TO PREVAILING WITH GOD:
- RE-ESTABLISH YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
- Joshua 5:2-7
- God required the circumcision of all the men.
- Circumcision spoke of two things:
A. Restoration of the covenant relationship between God and His people.
– The act of circumcision and the spilling of blood was part of the covenant relationship between God and His people.
– This covenant connection had been lost during the wandering and the wilderness experience.
B. Circumcision was an identifying mark and differentiated God’s people from the rest of humanity.
– In the process they were marked people, belonging to God.
- You and I need to be clearly visible in the fact that we belong to God.
- People should have no doubt that we are God’s and we are serving His purposes.
- As time passes and we go through our wilderness season we can begin to look like everyone else. Our relationship with God cools and our first love can fade. We can begin to look and act like the world.
- We need to re-establish our covenant relationship with God!
- PUT YOUR TRUST IN GOD ALL OVER AGAIN.
- Joshua 5:8 After all the males had been circumcised, they rested in the camp until they were healed.
- The act of circumcision had a resultant consequence.
- The men who were ready to fight and possess the land were robbed of their strength and forced to rest.
- This was a very vulnerable time for the nation of Israel.
- The enemy was not far away and all the men were incapacitated.
- They were sitting ducks and a target unable to defend themselves.
- The only thing they could do was to trust God.
- They would have to trust that God would undertake until such a time as they were healed and their strength had returned.
- This act of complete dependence and trust in God is something that God is looking for in us.
- I like to call it ‘DESPERATE DEPENDENCE!’
- Each of us must get to that place where we come to the end of our strength and because we have no other alternative, WE TRUST GOD!
- GET RID OF THE BAGGAGE.
- Joshua 5:9 Then the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Today I have rolled away the shame of your slavery in Egypt.’ So that place has been called Gilgal to this day. (NLB)
- Joshua 5:9 Then the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.’ (NIV)
- Having been through slavery the nation of Israel carried some baggage.
- There was a shame, an embarrassment, a sense of disapproval, a feeling of discredit and disgrace.
- God removed this. Now the people had to let it go.
- In the course of life, things happen. These things leave us feeling much the same as this nation felt.
- But God wants to remove the reproach and it is for us to get rid of the baggage.
- We cannot carry the weight of the baggage and expect to prevail.
- Perhaps there is a sense of shame in some area of your life? Today is the day to let it go and move on.
- You will not prevail while holding onto it.
- Yesterday is gone.
- We must live in the victory of today and expect to prevail as we go forward.
- REMIND YOURSELF OF GOD’S GOODNESS IN THE PAST.
- Joshua 5:10 ‘While the Israelites were camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, they celebrated Passover.’
- Now it was time to remember God’s faithfulness of the past.
- The Passover was a time when, as a result of the blood on the lintels and doorposts, God passed over their homes and spared them the death that all of Egypt had faced.
- The Passover was a time of celebrating how God had delivered them.
- One of the great tools we have in our hands as we face our present day battles, is the ability to look back and remember God’s goodness and faithfulness in the past and expecting it again in the future.
- As you remember God’s faithfulness to you in the past it will give you the strength and courage you need to face the next battle.
- I am reminded of the scripture that says: Joshua 1:5 ‘As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.’
- Be strengthened today as you remind yourself of God’s faithfulness!
- SUBMIT YOURSELF TO GOD’S CONTROL.
- Joshua 5:13-15 As Joshua approached the city of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man facing him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, ‘Are you friend or foe?’ ‘Neither one,’ he replied. ‘I am commander of the Lord’s army.’ At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. ‘I am at your command,’ Joshua said. ‘What do you want your servant to do?’ The commander of the Lord’s army replied, ‘Take off your sandals, for this is holy ground.’ And Joshua did as he was told.
- The key to prevailing is to submit yourself to God.
- Settle it once and for all and know that God is in control.
- Submit to God!
- We can only prevail if God is allowed to be God in our lives.
- We need to get to the same place, where from a place of humility we can honestly say: ‘I AM AT YOUR COMMAND!’
- Are you ready to prevail?
- 1 Samuel 2:9 It is not by strength that one prevails!
- Proverbs 21:30 There is no [human] wisdom or understanding or counsel [that can prevail] against the Lord.
- Then take these 5 steps:
- RE-ESTABLISH YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD!
2. PUT YOUR TRUST IN GOD ALL OVER AGAIN!
3. GET RID OF THE BAGGAGE!
4. REMIND YOURSELF OF GOD’S GOODNESS IN THE PAST!
5. SUBMIT YOURSELF TO GOD’S CONTROL!
OTHER SCRIPTURES ON PREVAILING!
2 Chronicles 14:11 Asa cried to the Lord his God, O Lord, there is none besides You to help, and it makes no difference to You whether the one You help is mighty or powerless. Help us, O Lord our God! For we rely on You, and we go against this multitude in Your name. O Lord, You are our God; let no man prevail against You!
Jeremiah 1:19 And they shall fight against you, but they shall not [finally] prevail against you, for I am with you, says the Lord, to deliver you.
Exodus 17:11-13 When Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and when he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy and grew weary. So [the other men] took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Then Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side and one on the other side; so his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua mowed down and disabled Amalek and his people with the sword.
By: Andrew W Roebert
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