In the Biblical story of the Prodigal Son, a young man found himself in a desperate situation because of his decisions. He found himself in a pig sty, about to eat the pig’s slop. His desperation caused him to consider an option that he otherwise would not have considered.
Fortunately, he didn’t eat the pig’s slop because “he came to himself.” He made the decision to allow his current state of desperation to lead him to his deliverance. He stopped despairing and started embracing the hope that he could return back to the right way thinking, being, and doing.
If you are in a desperate situation, realize you don’t have to succumb to desperation. Instead use it to bring you the deliverance you need. You do have options! Stop and think before making a permanent decision about a temporary situation. Get help from a trusted source, if needed. You are more powerful than you think! Make the choice to live and not die. To succeed and not succumb to defeat!
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…” Genesis 50:20 (NIV)
Saboteurs, have you ever encountered them? I’m sure you have! These are the people whose clandestine behavior can make your life miserable. They are the haters and doubters in your life. They are often duplicitous. You can’t trust them because they don’t really want you to succeed!
The O’Jays sang, “They smile in your face. All the time they want to take your place – the backstabbers!”
As a leader, I have often wondered why I always had someone on my team who seemed to make my demise their goal. I was perplexed by their behavior!
Then it occurred to me that leaders far greater than me had saboteurs on their teams. For example, Lucifer lead praise and worship in God’s Heavenly choir before he attempted to overthrow God’s Kingdom and was kicked out of Heaven. Judas was one of Jesus’ original twelve disciples, and he betrayed Jesus. What about Joseph? His brothers were jealous and sold him into slavery. They tried to sabotage his destiny!
Should we be surprised when our experiences are similar?
I heard an interesting story once about a fish seller who wanted a shipment of fish to be delivered alive, but shipment after shipment of fish arrived dead. Finally, in desperation, the shipper decided to add to the tank of live fish their natural predator. Guess what? The fish arrived at their destination alive! It appeared that the threat of the fish’s predator caused the fish to swim literally for their lives! Without the threat of a predator, the fish simply stop swimming and died.
The saboteurs are being used to help us get to the next level!
I am not asking you to foolishly embrace the saboteurs in your life, but I am asking you to examine the role they might play in your development. Also, I am asking you to forgive them so you can keep moving forward.
If I examine my experiences, I find that the saboteurs have taught me how to be less naive. I have learned to be more thick-skinned, forgiving, longsuffering, decisive, strategic, humble, generous, disciplined, and determined.
Saboteurs can’t stop your success! Remember, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper…” Isaiah 54:17. So, let the haters hate, let the doubter do what they do best, and keep your eyes on your goals as you soar to higher heights in your life! The saboteurs won’t be able to keep up, if you keep soaring!
“Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid…” Joshua 1:9 (KJV)
Statistical data on American phobia / fear researched by StatisticBrain.com, in 2014, stated:
- 60% of things feared never took place
- 30% of things feared happened in the past and couldn’t be changed
- 90% of the things feared are considered insignificant issues.
This data implies that most of our fears are a complete waste of our time! The truth is fear can rob you of your future best self. Fear can be debilitating and it’s often irrational. It’s extremely negative. Fear tells you why you can’t do something awesome! It always paints a picture of you failing. It will even call forth witnesses like overly protective family members or memories of past failures. Fear doesn’t want you to succeed so it will try to rob you of your divine purpose. The Bible states, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, love, and a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
When we are fearful but yet challenged to take action; often we make excuses, in an attempt, to rationalize the presence of fear. But, as it is with excuses, most of them are ridiculous! Excuses are the accommodations we make for fear and ultimately failure!
Consider how, in Exodus 4: 1-18, Moses had all of the qualifications for his God given assignment. Moses was born to be a great leader! Instead of leading sheep, now God wanted Moses to lead His people. Moses had been groomed since his birth for this very moment, but fear made him reluctant! To persuade God he wasn’t the right person for job; Moses gave God multiple excuses.
Have you ever done this? I know, I have! But, the good news is God never accepts our excuses!
God never makes a mistake in choosing us. We make a mistake when we choose not to trust God and courageously obey Him. God knows our capabilities!
I will admit life has its challenges. It is not always easy to be more or do more. But we were never promised that this life would be easy! Our promise is, “we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:37
We are Overcomers! God has already uniquely qualified each one of us for a specific purpose in this life. It is our responsibility to trust and obey God despite any fear!