Devotional: The MVP Is On Our Side
Over the last several weeks I’ve been spending time reading the stories of the Old Testament. I’m embarrassed to say that in all my years of knowing the Lord, I tend to favor reading the New Testament–the gospels, the stories of Jesus’ life, the encouraging words of Paul, etc. And while those are incredible, I’ve become really curious to learn more about the people and stories in the Old Testament. I want to get more familiar with what happened, instead of just loosely knowing the details, and see how it applies to my life. So lately I’ve been reading about Moses and how he led the Isrealites out of Egypt. Something really stuck out to me while reading this and I want to share that today.
After the Lord helped the Isrealites escape slavery in Egypt, they were traveling through the desert to get to the promised land. But along the way, they had a lot of struggles–no food, no water, lots of unknowns. And they complained, A LOT. But God continually showed up to provide for their needs. Time after time, when the situation looked dire, God took care of them.
One day the Lord told Moses to send scouts to check out the promised land. The scouting mission took 40 days and they came back with a full report:
the people living in the promised land were strong and powerful giants, they were seven to nine feet tall
the cities and towns were fortified with walls as high as 30 feet
the land was fertile, flowing with milk and honey
the enemy was vulnerable
God is on our side
(Numbers 13: 25-33; Deuteronomy 1:19-33)
After hearing the reports, the Isrealites were fearful and discouraged. They focused on the negatives–the giants and the fortified cities with tall walls. They completely overlooked the positives–the enemy was vulnerable, the land was fertile, plus God was on their side. He had already promised their victory. Yet the Israelites still felt helpless and too afraid to move forward.
Their fears were understandable, but not justified. Moses offered encouragement in the Lord, reminding them that He will fight their battle.
“But I said to you, Don’t be afraid! The Lord your God is going before you. He will fight for you, just as you saw Him do in Egypt. And you saw how the Lord your God cared for you again and again here in the wilderness, just as the father cares for his child. Now he has brought you to this place.” Deuteronomy 1:29-31
Ultimately, the Isrealites still felt too intimidated, too weak, too fearful to just trust God for the victory.
As I was reading this, I couldn’t help but think about all the ways I do the same exact thing. Instead of focusing on the positives, and the many ways God has shown up for me over the years, I allow myself to dwell on the possibility of defeat. I allow myself to think about the negatives more than the positives.
And here’s the thing–the Israelites would have had a hard fought battle. It wouldn’t have been easy. But that struggle would give God the opportunity to show up and fight for them. They would have been victorious with God on their side, if only they had trusted Him in the fight. And the same is true for us. We will face battles, we will face hardships, but in that fight God is on our side and in His strength we can crush any army. (Psalm 18:28)
Are you willing to see the giants up ahead and go anyway? Are you willing to trust God for the victory, even when things are hard?
I want to encourage you today to turn your eyes towards the positive. Don’t dwell on the negatives or the giants ahead. The enemy wants you to focus on those obstacles. He wants you to feel weak, powerless, and afraid. He’s always happy to remind you of the possibility of defeat. But we can rest in the assurance that God is on our side, standing in front of us in even the hardest battle. We have the MVP, the starting quarterback, the giant of all giants on our team! We have the undefeated King fighting for us! It won’t always be easy. There will be walls we’ll have to climb along the way and giants we’ll have to battle. But don’t forget this:
You and God can conquer anything.
“Lord, you have brought light to my life; my God, you light up my darkness. In your strength, I can crush any army; with my God I can scale any wall.” Psalm 18:28-29
“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get back up again and keep going.” 2 Corinthians 8-9
“Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.” Luke 10:19
“Be strong with the Lord’s mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil.” Ephesians 6:11
“Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will be standing firm.” Ephesians 6:13