Will We Learn From History?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Victory

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Isaiah 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

This Saturday night, Jewish people around the world will mourn Tisha B'Av, the ninth day of the fifth month of the Hebrew calendar year. Some of you may know that a lot of bad things have happened to the Jewish people on this date, the first of which was when the spies returned with an evil report of Canaan, the Promised Land, recounted in Numbers 13 and 14. Both the first and the second Temple were destroyed on this exact date, hundreds of years apart. The Crusades began on this day in 1095. The Jews were expelled out of England on this day in 1290, and again were expelled from Spain and Portugal on Tisha B'Av in 1492. And there are many more examples of this infamous day in Jewish history!

The number "nine" is sometimes associated with "judgment" or "fruit" in scripture. Not taking this too far, yet we may still see repeated expressions of the Lord's judgment through this recurring historical pattern. Moses warned, especially in Deuteronomy, of the terrible things which would happen to the Jewish people throughout history were they to abandon the Lord, worship false gods, and forsake His covenants. And He often used idolatrous nations who hated or were jealous of Israel, to bring judgment upon their disobedience, though they often went way too far and angered the Lord bringing His judgment against them as well.

But God's judgments are almost always tempered with His mercy and grace, for one constant purpose — and that is to bring people back to Himself! We see this in our own lives and in the history of nations throughout the world. But as the saying goes, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". And we have a powerful example of this in Tisha B'Av. Israel's idolatry brought God's judgment upon her. And as the Jewish people around the world are fasting in preparation for the observance of this "day of judgment", we may remind ourselves of our own past failures which we don't want to repeat!

Will we remember and learn from these past failures? We are not doomed to a fate of failure. If repentance is sincere and deep, we can avoid the judgments and consequences of past sins, and learn from history. If we seek the Lord to expose the roots of failure in our lives, and pray with faith for healing and deep repentance, trusting Him for the power to overcome the sinful nature…we really can avoid a pattern of judgment. Let's spend the time with Him now… so we don't need to return to Him through the terrible shame and sorrow of "Tisha B'Av."

Worthy Christian Devotions » Victory

Have the Boldness of Lions!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Victory

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 » Victory

Go into the Highways and Byways!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Victory

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

1 Samuel 22:1-2 David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father's house heard it, they went down thither to him. And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.

When David was anointed king over Israel, he didn’t take his place at the throne immediately. He had to wait, and bide his time, until Saul was removed from power, before arriving at his destined place as King. Like His father David, Yeshua (Jesus) was received as Israel's king/messiah at the triumphal entry, (often called "Palm Sunday"), and then, "anointed" King of the Jews, ironically receiving His true title from the Romans, while hanging on a cross. But He is still waiting to reveal His identity as King on earth, during the Millennial reign when His kingdom will replace the kingdoms of this world at His second advent. [Rev. 11:15].

Now, while David was waiting for his kingship to become a reality, he was chased and persecuted by Saul, driven into the wild, outlying places in the Land. There, he found other outcasts who became his followers; men who were in distress, in debt, or discontented in one way or another; those who felt they had no part in this life any longer.

Rather than casting these people away from him, because, after all he was a king, David drew them to himself, by the anointing on his life and the strength of his character; and they, of all people, recognized that he was the chosen King of Israel. David's true kingly nature embraced these lowly men and transformed them into a mighty army.

Yeshua does exactly the same with us, even while He has been rejected as king of this world. Outcasts, broken, indebted, despised, discontented people [1 Cor. 1:26-28] are chosen out of the world, and transformed by Him into mighty vessels to serve his kingdom purposes while we wait and pray for His kingdom to come.

Perhaps you’ve been in distress, or struggling with debt, or discontented with life…have you met the outcast King of the Jews? Have you decided to follow the One whose own received Him not? Have you recognized that His present kingdom is not of this world, because He's waiting for His house to be filled, before He returns? If you, an outcast, have recognized the One whom the world has not known, press on, following and serving Him! He has called you to be a mighty man of war, as were the men who surrounded King David. Only remember, your battle is not with flesh and blood.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Victory

From the Pit to Rule!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Victory

Ephesian 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

When Joseph was thrown into prison, his life was thought to be over. How could anyone escape an Egyptian prison? But then, in one day, according to God's perfect timing, he was instantly promoted to reign over all Egypt with only the Pharoah, ("god on earth") as his Lord. Could there be a transformation more sudden, astounding and dramatic! So it was for Yeshua (Jesus) as He fulfilled the identity of Mashiach ben Yosef, suffering to death for our sins, but then, on one day, supernaturally resurrected and now seated at the right hand of the Father (God in Heaven). Such an amazing parallel!

Now we need to come fully to this realization: that the moment we came to faith in Yeshua, the Father instantly and supernaturally delivered us from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of the Son He loves. In one moment we were regenerated as sons and daughters of the Most High and spiritually seated with Him in heavenly places. Even as we remain in our flesh awaiting our incorruptible bodies, our Spirit has been born into a Holy Family and a Royal Priesthood.

So, we are called to be overcomers; to war and to win, to exercise authority in Yeshua's name…

…but are you still "in the pit"? Then please take this realization to heart: the resurrection life of Yeshua remains within you, enabling you to endure. And that too, is a kind of victory. As you submit to His discipline in faith, your day will come to exercise greater authority in His Name, just as it did for Joseph. He patiently endured his trial of faith, and was raised up; so you also can, through Yeshua's indwelling Presence, arrive at a new day of release and victory…maybe tomorrow, maybe even today! Amen.

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Worthy Christian Devotions » Victory

Keep Going — Don't Stop!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Victory

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Hebrews 12:1-2 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

In the Greek olympic games of old, a unique race was run. The winner was not the runner who finished first — it was the runner who finished with his torch still lit!

There are times in our lives when we feel like we just can't continue in the race. These are precisely the times when the enemy loves to assault us to the point of breaking and torment us saying "You'll never make it to the finish line, you may as well just quit now". This is the time we need to cling on to God's promises! The Lord will soon reward our diligence for all our toiling here in this world. Paul said, "Let us not grow weary in well doing for in due season we shall reap if we do not faint".

Let's allow God's wonderful promises to strengthen and comfort us in each circumstance so that we can run the race — not to finish first, but to run together, side by side — the flame of our torch reaching the finish line blazing brightly with fire for Him!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Victory