THIS IS FOR YOU FACING DEFEAT

You didn’t get the promotion…you are getting a divorce…you are dealing with bankruptcy…you are facing some type of defeat.

 

A lot of times in Scripture, victory was wearing defeat’s tee-shirt. VICTORY looked like DEFEAT, and the defeat had to happen in order to gain something BIGGER, GREATER, AND BETTER!!! Either God is going to win in your life or Satan is. There are two sides to this fight that we face. You can go through a defeat and listen to the lies of the enemy and find yourself defeated, because you’ve listened and believed that you’re never going to be anything: “Well that was my one opportunity, and now it’s gone // Well I found my identity in that relationship, and now it’s over…” You can go through defeat, listen to the enemy, and be defeated OR you can go through defeat believing what God says is true: that HE WILL MAKE EVERYTHING WORK TOGETHER FOR THE GOOD OF THOSE WHO ARE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSES!!!!!

 

2 Kings 4:1

1The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.”

She is telling the prophet of God, “Listen, my husband died, the creditors are banging on my door and I can’t pay the bills, they are going to take my children and get their money’s worth out of them as slaves because we can’t pay.”

 

DEFEAT. She was facing major DEFEAT. The most utmost of defeat. Elisha, the prophet of God, said to her:

 

2Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”

“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.”

 

She was defeated, but she had SOMETHING!!

 

3Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. 4Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.”

 

So she believed in what the prophet was telling her. She ACTED upon the belief that the prophet of God was going to give her VICTORY while facing defeat.

 

5She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. 6When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.” But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing. 7She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”

 

She could have allowed the creditors to take her sons and live a defeated life for the rest of her life. But she approached the prophet of God and said, “I’ve got this problem, you need to help me, you need to bring victory from it.” And HE DID.

 

I wonder how many of you are facing defeat today, and it is very, very REAL. You can go through defeat, Satan can win, and you can be defeated OR you can go through defeat believing that God will actually PRODUCE SOMETHING out of the defeat. Hello, look at Jesus who allowed Himself to be crucified – it looked like defeat, but HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD!!!!! Don’t let your defeat defeat you. Stand in the face of whatever it is that is coming at you and defeating you, and take it to the LORD, not your friends. TAKE IT DIRECTLY TO THE LORD. Say, “Lord this is not my problem, I surrender it to you because You have PROMISED ME VICTORY; You have to make something good come out of it, because I am called according to Your purpose!!!!”

 

I wonder how many of you are facing this and not believing what the Word of God says, but believing what the enemy is saying. I wonder how many are walking around facing defeat defeated, rather than facing defeat believing that God WILL BRING VICTORY out of it, believing that there is a RESURRECTION, believing that there is something GREATER!!!! Sometimes victory will wear defeat’s tee-shirt; it will disguise itself and we have to push through what we see with our eyes, and believe that GOD IS WORKING ON OUR BEHALF!!!!

 

I know from my first marriage what defeat feels like; I was facing defeat from everyone that was coming against me. I REFUSED TO ACCEPT DEFEAT!!! I REFUSED TO CAVE TO THE DEFEAT!!! I refused to operate under what other people said. I chose to believe that God was going to turn it out for HIS GLORY and for HIS PURPOSES because I WAS CALLED according to His purpose, and so are YOU!!!!

 

Don’t let defeat defeat you!!!! Let defeat give way to VICTORY for you!!!!

 

I love you guys // hope this encourages you today.

Ugly Confrontation

I sat in the kitchen that was warm in its decor but cold in its energy.  It was just me and a friend.  She started slowly with, “A few of us have been talking and thought for sure…..”  I sat and listened as each word came as a dagger to my heart.  Months before I had noticed a shift in attitudes towards me.  I noticed a coldness from friends and had no idea why. I often wondered and prayed that the reason behind this cold attitude would surface someway, but God in His wisdom knew that my dependence on Him was more important than the answer I was seeking.

I remember looking at her with tears in my eyes as she finished up her monologue of confrontation and said, “Why didn’t anyone ask me?”  She stopped, not expecting my answer with, “well, we just assumed.”  That day many years ago cemented in my mind as a springboard to confront issues in the lives of those I love immediately.  The damage done to my heart and those that had participated in the gossip about the issue begged a better way.

I’ve noticed a huge trend in confrontation.  The trend?  No one wants to do it.  Let’s face it, it’s pretty much the hardest thing ever to look a friend in the face and tell her something she has done has bothered you.  Most people would rather do anything else than confront a friend.  I get it. It’s hard.  No one wants their confrontation meeting to turn out like a scene from The Real Housewives. However, did you know that there is a definite biblical way to confront a friend?  When I learned this, it was probably one of the most beneficial and practical things I had read.  No one wants to live and “deal” with a friend constantly frustrating them!  Living with that frustration is pointless because we have been given a way to have successful confrontation.  If you live in close relationship with anyone you will have a need for confrontation because people are not perfect!

Women, this is especially for you.  How often do you call a friend and complain about one of your other friends RATHER than calling the person that has caused you problems directly and talked to them about the problem.  A Federal case ensues. Often times, gossip and frustration plague a life that doesn’t handle confrontation appropriately and swiftly.  Here’s the good news, YOU DON’T HAVE TO LIVE FRUSTRATED!!!!  Yay!

Matthew 18:15 says,

If you brother sins, go and show him his fault IN PRIVATE if he listens to you, you have won your brother.

This is the first step to any confrontation.  Show your brother (friend) the fault.  This is the hardest step, however, if your friend knows the problem they can fix it and move forward.  If you don’t share the problem with your friend, they can’t fix anything.  As hard as it may be for you the conversation will be well worth it!  I have had many a conversation that have literally made me sick to my stomach.  I have left many a conversation and cried on the way home or when I got off the phone because it was so hard, but having those conversations have made my relationships stronger and closer than they ever were before.

Proverbs 27:17 says,

Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

If we live in close relationship with anyone it is one of our jobs as a friend to help them if needed. When we do decide to sit and have a confrontational conversation there is one thing that we must do.

Ephesians 4:15a,

But speaking the truth IN LOVE.

It is imperative that we speak truth and we do it in love.  We might get to the point of having coffee or a tough phone conversation and mean to say exactly what needs to be said and when we finally get the opportunity we chicken out.  One thing I know, God will provide the grace needed to follow through. Then speak truth in a loving way.  Most people don’t confront but when they do they don’t do it in a way that shows they care for the other person.

Proverbs 27:6 says,

Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of the enemy.

There are times in all relationships that confrontation is the most loving thing you can do.  If you don’t help your friends when they are going in a sinful direction or have sinned against you, are you really there friend?

Let me be clear, confrontation needs to happen in private and it needs to be a conversation.  Facebook, twitter, or text messaging is not a way to confront.  The party cannot read the love and compassion with which you will communicate when done in person.

I sat in that kitchen all those years ago and left that conversation with a closer friend.  The air had been cleared.  Truth had been spoken and although things weren’t handled properly I was better because of it.  God will bless your efforts, sweet friend.  I’m rooting for you!