October 31, 2015


Numbers 21:34 The Lord said to Moses, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have handed him over to you, with his whole army and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.”

Past victories can be a powerful encouragement. We must not take it for granted that we can repeat what we have done, but if we have experienced God’s enabling one time it is easier to believe for it the second time, and on and on. The big risk is indeed in taking things for granted, and especially in thinking that it is we ourselves who have accomplished whatever it is, rather than God enabling us and doing it through us. Some people have problems with conceit and overconfidence, and some people seem to have trouble believing they can do anything at all. Most of us have times of both, at one point or another. The answer to both is taking our eyes off of ourselves and fixing them on the Lord. When we really do that we realize that anything good that happens is because of Him, and also that He can do anything He likes, even using us with all our frailties and faults. The longer I minister the more convinced I am that most if not all of people’s problems would be solved by that one little thing of taking their eyes off of themselves to fix them on the Lord. I’ve preached it until I’m blue in the face, but many people just can’t seem to get a real hold on it to do it consistently. I can’t say I do it perfectly myself, but I can testify that it gets easier with practice!

This is another area where Cathy and I are being stretched at the moment, because some of the demands on us seem extreme. However, we have seen God carry us through trial after trial, and so can have assurance that He will carry us through this as well. We have experienced the reality of His all-sufficient grace, and know that it will be enough not only for the present situation but also for whatever comes in the future. I’m preaching on “Knowing the Future” tomorrow, and as the Lord has prepared me to say, we don’t need to know the future, we just need to know Him.

Father thank You that I can indeed say with Paul, “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12) Thank You that Cathy can say it too. May we make full use of this opportunity to tell others of the hope that we have, not being pushy but being fully available to Your Spirit, so that Your grace may be poured out through us to many, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

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About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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