Strategies for Winning – Part 5

Topic: Wednesday Evening Bible Study
Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime

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Strategy – a plan, method or series of maneuvers for obtaining a specific goal or result

The Word of God gives us two things to help us win in life:

  1. Warnings
  2. Strategies

Matthew 6:25-34 NKJV  “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?  (26)  Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  (27)  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?  (28)  “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;  (29)  and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  (30)  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  (31)  “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  (32)  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  (33)  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  (34)  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. 

Jesus said to “take no thought…”. What that tells us is that thoughts are going to come but you have a choice as to whether you take them or not. 

Worry is when you accept the thoughts. 

You cannot stop worry from coming but you just don’t accept it. Thoughts of doubt, worry and fear are going to come; you just don’t receive them. 

Mark 11:23 NKJV (23)  For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 

The word “doubt” in this verse is not in the causative sense but in the passive voice and therefore means that the person is the recipient of the action and not the cause of the action. In other words, this verse could be better translated: “… and does not receive doubt in his heart…” 

1 Thessalonians 5:23 NKJV (23)  Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Hebrews 4:12 NKJV (12)  For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 

2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT (17)  This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 

1 John 4:15 NLT (15)  All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 

The spirit of man is the eternal part of you. It is the part of us that makes contact with God. 

The spirit of man is where God lives in you and this is where He speaks to you. 

Proverbs 4:23 NKJV  (23) Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.

Proverbs 4:23 NLT (23)  Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

Proverbs 4:23 CEV  (23) Carefully guard your thoughts because they are the source of true life.

Proverbs 4:23 GNB  Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.

 Issues of life = resources of life; the outflow of life 

Guard your heart – same as building a wall around a well 

The spirit of man is the place from which answers from the Lord come. It is the place where He reveals His solutions to us. 

Your mind is a wonderful tool, but your mind can only give out what you put into it. If you do not put the information into your mind, you cannot ever retrieve that information. 

Your mind does not always do a perfect job of giving you back everything you put into it. It can sometimes give back what you put in it in a way that is a little bit inaccurate. Studied in school but still did not make a 100.

Worry and anxiety is the direct result of a fruitless search for life’s answers out of your human mind. 

If there is an answer that you need, and your mind has never known the answer, then you will never be able to recall or get that answer from your mind. 

There are just some things that your mind does not have. 

Proverbs 16:1 NLT (1)  We can make our own plans, but the LORD gives the right answer. 

If you face a new problem, then the answer is going to have to come from the Lord. 

When you are searching for the answer in your mind by going over and over the problem to look for the solution, you only cause yourself more anxiety and frustration. 

1 Peter 1:13 NLT (13)  So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 

You have to control your thoughts and prepare your mind for action. 

Don’t follow every thought that pops into your mind and every “rabbit trail” they can produce. 

Chasing after all these thoughts is where confusion comes from. 

Confusion = lack of clarity or distinction, perplexity or bewilderment. 

1 Corinthians 14:33 NKJV (33)  For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. 

In this story we see two principles that will help us to overcome worry and anxiety in our lives and show us where the answer comes from: 

2 Chronicles 20:1-11 NKJV  It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat.  (2)  Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar” (which is En Gedi).  (3)  And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.  (4)  So Judah gathered together to ask help from the LORD; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.  (5)  Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court,  (6)  and said: “O LORD God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You?  (7)  Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?  (8)  And they dwell in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying,  (9)  ‘If disaster comes upon us—sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine—we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.’  (10)  And now, here are the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir—whom You would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them and did not destroy them—  (11)  here they are, rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession which You have given us to inherit.

  1. Recall the promises of God’s Word, place your focus on them and pray over them.

2 Chronicles 20:12-13 NKJV (12)  O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” 

Notice he did not just leave his statement at, “We don’t know what to do.” He ended it with, “…but our eyes are upon you.” 

(13)  Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the LORD. 

  1. You must get peace in your mind so that you can get the answer you are seeking from God.

The peace comes when you begin by saying, “My mind does not have the answer but my God and His promises do have the answer.” If you don’t have peace first, the answer or solution does not come and it comes from your spirit. 

2 Chronicles 20:14-25 NKJV  Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly.  (15)  And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the LORD to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.  (16)  Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of Jeruel.  (17)  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.”  (18)  And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the LORD, worshiping the LORD.  (19)  Then the Levites of the children of the Kohathites and of the children of the Korahites stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with voices loud and high.  (20)  So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.”  (21)  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.”  (22)  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.  (23)  For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.  (24)  So when Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and there were their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped.  (25)  When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away their spoil, they found among them an abundance of valuables on the dead bodies, and precious jewelry, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away; and they were three days gathering the spoil because there was so much. 

There is always a way! There is always a solution! 

God has a thousand answers or solutions to every problem we face. All you and I need is one. 

Philippians 4:6-9 NLT  Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  (7)  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  (8)  And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  (9)  Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.