Learn to deploy a victorious battle strategy!

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

2 Ch 20:17,21-22  You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!' Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you."  And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: "Praise the Lord, For His mercy endures forever." Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.

We've been encouraged by numerous phone calls and emails over the past few days, telling us that people are praying and fasting for Israel and believers in the land — and we so appreciate it, more than words could ever express!

For the past few days the conflict in Gaza has been front page news. In this conflict some of the most sophisticated weapons ever developed are being deployed, and yet the amazing truth is that we, as believers, have a weapon far more powerful and effective than any man-made weapon ever created — Worship!

Most of us worship God when things are going well. And while worship can and should be a daily joyful exercise, and also an expression of praise for the Lord's victories, remember that worship has also been commissioned by God's people as one of the weapons in our spiritual arsenal.

So we can learn something from Jehoshaphat. He assigned worshipers to lead the armies into battle — and Israel crushed her enemies! Worship brought forth the victory in the midst of battle!

In the midst of your spiritual battle, learn the power of praise and the weaponry of worship, to disarm principalities and powers in heavenly places. When fears, doubt, discouragement, and despair threaten to overwhelm you — try warring with worship. Learn to praise Him in the midst of the battle…and soon enough you'll be praising Him even more, for the victory!

It's not about us!

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Psalms 138:8 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Many of you know that we've been in Israel a little over ten years now. I am still trying to adjust to the spiritual atmosphere, culture and language. Those few things, in and of themselves, are enough to become overwhelmed. But if that's not enough, we are pioneering a new ministry here, trusting totally in God for His provision, trying to raise two young children in a way that is pleasing to Him and all the while, going through our own personal trials.

When we face difficult trials, often we get to feeling sorry for ourselves — we wallow in our self pity, thinking things like "I'm not worthy enough, not strong enough, not able enough, not adequate enough to get through these things — I just can't do it!"

But hear the truth of God's word today! HE will perfect that which concerns us! It is not us — it is HE who perfects us! It is HIS great strength and mercy that works through us, that allows us to be worthy, strong, able and adequate!

Let's start giving to the Lord all those things which concern us. God will have the victory!

Beware of the blade!

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Have you ever heard about how the Eskimos kill wolves? You're not gonna believe this one!

First the Eskimo coats the blade of his knife with animal blood and allows it to freeze. He then adds and freezes more layers of blood, several coats, in fact, until the blade is completely covered with frozen blood. Next, he plants his knife in the snow, the blade facing up and goes about his business.

When a wolf finds his way to the luring aroma of fresh blood, he starts licking. Then more and more vigorously, lapping it until the sharp blade of the knife is exposed. However, by this point, so intense is his craving for the scrumptious blood, that the wolf does not notice the sharp sting of the blade on his own tongue, nor does he even realize that his ravenous craving is now being satisfied by his very own blood! By light of dawn, the Eskimo will find him laying dead in the snow.

Sin entices and seduces us in precisely the same way. Satan lures us to the place where he plans to ravage us with some sort of destructive fleshly pleasure — gossip, rage, sexual sin, etc. Once we give in to it's lustful pleasures, our craving for it increases. When we continue to allow ourselves to indulge, it grips us all the more. And before we know it — it completely consumes us. Our friendships are damaged. Our marriages are broken. Our testimony, spoiled. Satan has come only to rob, kill and destroy.

Let's begin recognizing our enemy's tactics upon us! There is no more time to give in to his destructive ways! We must strive to walk in holiness and righteousness for the glory of God's Kingdom! There is so much work to be done!!

You've Been Freed to Worship!

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

The Biblical feast of Pesach (Passover) has ended, as once again, those who celebrated recalled the deliverance of the Jewish people from the land of Egypt where they had served as slaves. The word for slaves in Hebrew is "avadim", which, interestingly, is also the same word for "servants."

Pesach recalls to us our own personal deliverance from the slavery of sin — and the amazing joy and privilege of being free to be servants of the Living God who redeemed us. The same root letters which form the words for "slave" and "servant" also give us the word "avodah", the Hebrew word for "work", which is also a word that means "worship"!

To be a freed SLAVE of our God is to be a devoted SERVANT whose WORK is WORSHIP. So, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." [Colossians 3:23-24]

Be His Friend!

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

James 2:20-23 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works;  and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness"—and he was called a friend of God.

Looking at the relationship between “love and affection” ("chiba" in Hebrew) and “obligation” ("chova" in Hebrew), we find another closely related word, “chaver”, one of the Hebrew words for “friend”. Friends are people with whom we share love and affection and also a sense of obligation. Our God and Father wants us to be His friends, to share love and affection with Him and to carry the sense of responsibility and obligation which friendship requires.

Abraham was a friend to God. He believed and trusted His Friend, but he also came to share the awesome responsibility of that friendship. Abraham's Friend, the Lord Himself, asked Abraham to become a living picture of His relationship with His own Son, Yeshua, (Jesus), by offering his own beloved son Isaac on an altar at Mount Moriah. Abraham's response to his Friend's request expressed a level of commitment to the friendship which was probably unprecedented in all human history since the time of Adam.

As we consider these Hebrew words and their common roots, we begin to see that Biblical language expresses profound realities, and carries meanings which resound through history. And we find that the God of all creation desires an intimate friendship with human beings He created and loves. But that friendship involves degrees of commitment which test the very frontiers of relationship. If you are on one of those frontiers, you may count yourself blessed. Not everyone is called "a friend of God."