Archive for June, 2013

imagesHave you ever heard the expression “if you give him and inch he will take a mile”? I know we have all heard that one once or twice before. But why does it matter? Here is why…I want to talk briefly about that first inch that you give up, that you concede, that you compromise. You see, the expression “give him an inch” indicates from the very beginning that you gave in…or you gave up…something…that you thought maybe you had to, in order to improve the situation. What you did was compromise. Now, please don’t get me wrong here. Compromise in a relationship is crucial for it to last, Am I right? We do not agree with our spouse’s or our friends all the time. Have you ever “agreed to disagree” and hopefully still maintained the relationship? Good debate is healthy and promotes independent thinking and I think is the key to long-lasting friendships however compromise in other areas of our life is what I am focusing on today.

I am reading a new book by Dr. David Jeremiah called, The Writing on the Wall, and it talks about the prophet Daniel who while captive in Babylon for 70 years, Daniel did not compromise his God ever, no matter what his circumstances, even in the face of death. His consistency is astounding and frankly a model for all of us to follow. But Dr. Jeremiah makes a point here that I want to illustrate with you which is simply that it takes guts…real guts, to say no, even with God on your side. Daniel was resolute in his defiance in Babylon and for you and I, no matter where we are in life, we do not “have to bend the rules to be blessed of God. Success is NOT dependent upon our compromise”. Everywhere a compromise is worked out in the Bible…bad things happen…

From the very beginning, we see compromises;

  • Adam, who fell right in line with Eve’s sin by compromising and eating the forbidden fruit… Well, he lost Eden.
  • Sarah’s lack of faith in God caused her to compromise and send her husband Abraham in with Hagar, who gave birth to Ishmael. As a result, life in the Middle East will never be the same.
  • We all remember Esau who compromised his birthright because he was hungry.
  • King David, who was a man after Gods own heart, compromised Gods morality by sleeping with Bathsheba and then killing her husband Uriah. He lost his son…

The list goes on and on with Solomon, Judas and Ahab. All of them compromised something significant in their lives and it cost them. To think all they would have had to do was to just say NO…I am going to stand on what my God has promised me and take whatever comes my way.

I want to finish with a story Dr. Jeremiah shares in his book about an exchange in a high school class between some students and a godless professor.

In one of his lectures he said, “will all of you who believe the myths of the Bible please stand.” Several stood.

 Then he added, “now this semester I am going to free you from this religious Bible nonsense. I have read the Bible, and it is certainly written by a bunch of mixed up men.”

 One young Daniel stood up and said, “Sir, the Bible is God’s letter to Christians, and if you are confused it’s because you are reading someone else’s mail.”

Guys, I pray that all of us can stand firm and NOT compromise in the face of this kind (or worse) of adversity against your faith or yourself. I will tell you this, this life and its “adversity” will continue to get worse and you are going to be in circumstances where you will be asked to “give an inch”. What’s an inch you say? In our case as Christians, it is truly the difference between a life spent with God in Eternity or the alternative…Hell. It is that simple

You get to make that choice…

My advice, choose Daniel…no compromise…

Until next time Guys…

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theBible_poster_joshua

The Ironman Strength blog has always been about being strong in God and taking on the challenges that this life sends our way and this post is no different. Guys, I sense some wavering out there…some doubt in your lives that if left alone, could cause some very serious problems for you and your family down the road. Please read this post with the same urgency that I write it and please take it to heart. I begin with a verse for warriors that I hope you will apply today…

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15 NIV)

This is a great verse because it is clear and to the point. When Joshua wrote this verse, he knew he was going to die. He had fought the good fight for God and now he was old but before God took him into heaven, Joshua spoke to the children of Israel and gave them two options about their spiritual future; either serve God…or don’t serve Him. They had already experienced the power of God throughout their daily journey as they moved through the promised land and continually overcame obstacles that were more than they could have ever withstood on their own…And now, here they stood on the precipice of the most important decision any of them would ever make for their future…and with Joshua gone…would they give in and serve the gods of the existing tribes around them…or…would they take a stand and serve the God who had brought them to where they were now?

What is critical to note here though is Joshua’s final opinion on the two options he gave Israel. He said, “as for me and my household, we will serve The Lord”. As was typical of the rock who Joshua was…He did not waver or falter…he spoke from his heart and it was solid.

Joshua was one of the most powerful warriors in Biblical history who served God with all he had and when the end of his life was near, he took his final stand in front of his nation and announced who he and his house would serve…

My question to you is…which option have you chosen for you and your house?

Have you taken the stand for yourself and firmly planted your feet on the solid ground before God?

I believe that now is time to“man up” in your relationship with God…It is your responsibility to shield both you and your family from the harm that Satan seeks to wreak upon the people you care about. Now is NOT a time for doubt, it is a time for clarity. Otherwise you will be like this;

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. (James 1:6 NIV)

Everyone has seen seaweed being tossed back and forth inside waves with no stability whatsoever. That seaweed could end up anywhere because it has broken away from its stronghold under the sea. Guys, if you doubt, that will be you being thrown around in this world like the seaweed in the waves…with nothing to hold onto…being tossed around with no idea where you will end up…

Trust me here…that is NOT God’s plan for you or your family.

Guys, I challenge you right now to be the warrior God intended you to be by taking a stand inside your house by protecting your wife and kids from what Satan seeks to do them. It starts by clinging onto our God who is a rock and a fortress and will always be there for us…

I challenge you to be like Joshua and declare to the world…

As for me and my house, we will serve The Lord…

 

Until next time guys…