Have the Boldness of Lions!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Leadership

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

1 Chronicles 12: 8 Some Gadites joined David at the stronghold in the wilderness, mighty men of valor, men trained for battle, who could handle shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as gazelles on the mountains:

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

As we continue our study of the men who followed David, let's look at their boldness — the boldness of lions! We also need this boldness in the face of the enemy who is "like a lion", himself….a roaring lion. While it is true that the devil received a fatal wound at Calvary, he is still roaming, dangerous, and seeking whom he may devour. We need to stand bold as a lion against him, for we have the "lion of Judah" [Revelation 5:5] as our Captain, ready to defend us. And greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.

David's mighty men were gifted and fearless warriors. They also had a powerful and courageous leader whose righteousness, faith, and humility, were a great inspiration. A strong, courageous and righteous leader will bring out the best in his followers. David's men of valor were bold as lions and swift as gazelles.

But our Captain Yeshua (Jesus), is the the most courageous, humble, and righteous leader who ever existed, and his power is ultimate. He has given us to partake of these qualities, and when we do, we can walk in authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and triumph over all the power of the enemy.

The mighty men of David present a great example for us in our spiritual warfare. They must have been fearsome to the enemies of Israel. Following Yeshua closely, we also will cause the enemies of God to tremble and flee. Bold in Him, we will be invincible — bold as lions and swift as gazelles!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Leadership

You're Chosen for a Task!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Leadership

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Hebrews 1:8,9 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

As we continue our study of Mashiach ben Yosef, we observe that both Joseph and Yeshua (Jesus) were chosen or "anointed" for a special task. When Jacob gifted his son Joseph with a coat of many colors, lifting him up above his brothers, he reflected Joseph's calling by the Lord for a life work as a leader.

The preparation for this role was grueling. Joseph endured the fires of testing, sold into slavery, thrown into prison, and seemingly abandoned by God he must have wondered to himself, “Why is this happening?” It seems clear from hindsight that Joseph was learning the deep humility required for God's kind of leadership. We also see the humility of the Son of God in His Incarnation and crucifixion. ("My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?") So as Joseph saved the whole world from physical death by starvation, Yeshua saved the whole world from spiritual death, the judgment of sin

If you have seen signs of your own anointing for a specific task, and find yourself in the midst of painful "unexplainable" trials and tribulations, you're in good company. God gives responsibility to people of character. Both Joseph and Yeshua are beautiful examples of the kind of leader God loves–a humble one.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Leadership

Spiritual Blacksmiths Arise!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Leadership

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

1 Sam. 13:19-22 Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears: But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share, and his coulter, and his axe, and his mattock. Yet they had a file for the mattocks, and for the coulters, and for the forks, and for the axes, and to sharpen the goads. So it came to pass in the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people that were with Saul and Jonathan: but with Saul and with Jonathan his son was there found.

This interesting passage speaks of a time when Israel had no blacksmiths to make weapons and was without any armament to defend themselves. The enemy had succeeded to disarm Israel by removing their weapons, and those who forged them! He's attempting the same tactic today.

A blacksmith is someone who works with raw material and fire, and who knows how to form and shape liquid metal into powerful weapons. Anyone who works skillfully and accurately with the word of God is a spiritual "blacksmith". The enemy, who is constantly attacking the word of God, the sword of the Spirit, also seeks to silence or remove the spiritual blacksmiths of this world. If he can get rid of them – the battle is over.

We need to pray for God’s blacksmiths because the enemy is after them. Together with the fire of the Holy Spirit they forge the raw material of His word into powerful weapons which shape and mold God's people into His image and equip them for spiritual warfare and fruitfulness. But we are all called to be strong in the word, and to take it up as our primary weapon. Every spiritual blacksmith, himself started out as raw material which was shaped and formed by the fire of God to fight in this battle with Satan.

So, as the battle rages, pray for the protection of God's "blacksmiths", even as you submit to His process of shaping you into one, yourself.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Leadership

Do you want to be honored?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Leadership

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Mark 10:44-45 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

A noncommissioned officer was directing the repairs of a military building during the American Revolution. He was barking orders to the soldiers under his command, trying to get them to raise a heavy wooden beam.

As the men struggled in vain to lift the beam into place, a man who was passing by stopped to ask the one in charge why he wasn't helping the men. With all the pomp of an emperor, the soldier responded, "Sir, I am a corporal!"

"You are, are you?" replied the passerby, "I was not aware of that." Then, taking off his hat and bowing, he said, "I ask your pardon, Corporal." Then the stranger walked over and strained with the soldiers to lift the heavy beam. After the job was finished, he turned and said, "Mr. Corporal, when you have another such job, and have not enough men, send for your Commander in Chief, and I will come and help you a second time." The corporal was thunderstruck. The man’s name was General George Washington.

We all want to be honored, respected and appreciated. So badly, sometimes, that we try to demand it. The fact is, that these things cannot be demanded or even requested. True honor, respect and appreciation only come one way. When we become servants.

Let’s ask the Lord to help us to become the servants he would desire. After all, He did set a great example by laying down his life for us.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Leadership

As brothers who are blinded – open their eyes!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Leadership

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Genesis 42:8 And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him.

2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

When Joseph became ruler over Egypt, his name was changed, and his identity was altered so that he no longer appeared or lived as a shepherd son of Israel from the land of Canaan, but as an Egyptian Prime Minister. The transformation was so thorough that when his ten brothers arrived in Egypt he was totally unrecognizable to them. This true story beautifully illustrates Mashiach ben Yosef (Yeshua/Jesus at His first coming), and contains a prophetic picture pointing to Yeshua and His Jewish people living today as we approach the Second Coming.

Several details elaborate this amazing parallel. After Joseph was rejected by his brothers and sent to Egypt, his life naturally began to develop in the nation of his exile, including the learning of its language and culture. Constantly proving his capacity, responsibility and leadership, Joseph was ultimately embraced by the Egyptians, exalted, and given an Egyptian bride (Asenath, daughter of the priest of On). In like manner the rejection of Yeshua by the Jews of His day resulted in His becoming a light to the Gentiles, who rightly accepted and exalted Him, so that in many ways He seemed to take on a Gentile identity and characteristics. As He betrothed Himself to this predominantly Gentile "Church" (with its Jewish roots), He ironically became virtually unrecognizable to His own Jewish people.

To illustrate further, Yeshua and His disciples had lived and worshiped according to the Biblical Jewish calendar: Shabbat, Passover, Shavuot, Sukkot, Feast of Dedication (Chanukah). The later Christian (largely Gentile) church instead adapted and transformed pagan festivals and used them in their worship calendar, changing the cultural expression of the Jewish Messiah and His original followers to a Gentile expression, and even proscribing the use of Jewish festivals in "Christian" worship. All the while, Yeshua's true nature and identity remained, even as Joseph's did.

But through these parallels we can begin to understand the portent of Joseph's experience with his brothers; weeping bitterly when he first recognized them; then, carefully arranging the circumstances which would bring them to repentance, and finally, removing the Egyptians, for the dramatic revelation of his true identity to his brothers, the sons of Jacob. Likewise, Yeshua, weeping over His Jewish brothers, finally gathers them back into the Promised Land, begins to arrange the circumstances which will bring them to repentance, so that finally at some final private revelation,"they shall look upon Him whom they have pierced and mourn for Him" in amazed gratitude. [Zechariah 12:10].

God, Himself, working behind the scenes, has allowed Satan to do his blinding work on Israel, for a season, while gathering the Gentiles into His fold. But this season is ending. The mystery of Israel's blindness is being broadly revealed, prompting the prayers of millions of Gentile believers, and their love for Yeshua and His Jewish brethren is making Israel jealous; so the veil is being removed from Jewish eyes, just as it was from Joseph's brothers.

And what is our part? To understand the times and seasons in which we live, to pray and labor for both the fullness of the Gentiles and the spiritual revival of Israel which will usher in the coming of Messiah and life from the dead! Through the story of Joseph and the prophetic revelation of both Testaments we know that all Israel will be saved, with the fullness of the Gentiles. Since much of the world is still blinded to Messiah, we need to make the most of every opportunity to open blind eyes, Jewish or Gentile.

Let us reveal Yeshua to the entire world, especially reaching those whom the Lord has placed in our lives. Every time Yeshua is truly revealed, another one of "Joseph's brothers" can weep with joy, gratitude and amazement, that a humble Suffering Servant is also a great and glorious King!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Leadership