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The Contender

Posted by Steve Grusendorf , 15 July 2013 · 1221 views

David was no stranger to difficulty. He spent many years of his life on the run from the likes of Saul, a man who was bent on killing David. The Bible tells us that David gathered a small band of fighters around himself. Over time it would have been easy for David to wage a desperate battle for control by pitting his band of irregulars against the troops of Saul. But, much to our surprise, David did not see his troops as his greatest ally in battle. He relied on someone completely different.

David regularly petitioned God to be the one who would fight for him. In Psalm 35 David goes as far as to ask God to pick up arms on his behalf. “…fight against those who fight against me. Take up shield and buckler; arise and come to my aid. Brandish spear and javelin against those who pursue me.”

Many of us know God as the “Good Shepherd” but how many us know God as the “Contender”?

If you are a child of God and your faced with a fight you have two options. First, you can fight in your own strength. You can gather an army and wage a war. Or, second, you can plead that God fight for you. You can cry out to the one who is strong enough to defeat any foe. This is so important when it comes to completing the Great Commission of Matthew 28 because no matter how good your church is at accomplishing Christ's mission the global need is God sized. In fact, sometimes our success at missions becomes the very thing that keeps us from seeing God as our Contender.

When it comes to the mission program of your church, what would you consider your greatest asset? Is it your budget? Is it your short-term teams? Is it your global partnerships? Is it your strong tradition of training and sending new missionaries to foreign fields? Let me challenge you to assess where God fits into the equation. A simple way to check is to consider the last time a crisis came up in your mission program. What was your first response? Chances are how your responded first reveals what you value as your greatest strength.

Over the years David’s army grew. But I challenge you to look again at some of the most familiar stories. David’s successes where never gained through human means, rather victory was achieved when God contended for David. In fact, those times when David did rely on his own strength were often the times he failed miserably.

Let’s together become people who value the fact that God is willing to contend for us and regularly ask Him to fight on our behalf.

Community Questions:
  • What are some of the strengths of your mission ministry at your church?
  • How can you invite God to become the “Contender” of your mission ministry at your church?
  • What are some ways you can guide your congregation to understand God’s desire to fight on their behalf?

  • Julie Daube and Don Sappington like this

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