Promises in the Womb

Jeremiah 1:5 – Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, [and] I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
Much like Hannah did for Samuel and much like Samson’s parents did for him, we found out yesterday that our parenting starts before the actual birth of that child. Hannah committed her son to the service of the Lord before he was even conceived. Samson’s mother was forbidden to drink strong drink or eat any unclean thing because of the promise that was in her womb. Let’s not forget the much-anticipated birth of even Isaac to Abraham and Sarah. Preparation for parenting must begin immediately. Prayerfulness, faithfulness, and preparedness are keys to helping your child become the promise God intended your child to be.

Who can forget the momentous occasion when Mary greeted her cousin Elizabeth who was still pregnant with Jesus’ cousin and forerunner John the Baptist, “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.” (Luke 1:41)  Evidently, this connection, while yet to happen physically, transcended the womb and caused John to leap within Elizabeth!Don’t let lethargy, weakness, or a feeble spirit interfere with your child being a success in the Lord. Each generation should be setting up the next for success. Each generation should be holding up the hands of the next. Rather than decaying in principles, values, and morality, if parents embraced the will and direction of the Lord for their children, we would be raising generations that would do even greater exploits than this present generation.

Think about it Mom and Dad – David was forbidden to build the temple for God, but that didn’t stop him from setting up the next generation! What will you do today dear mother who has the promise yet in her womb to ensure your child walks in the richness of God’s grand design for their life? What will you do dear father to set up the generation of promise that is still nesteled in the womb of your beloved wife?

Parenting begins the moment you conceive. God has already ordained a future for that child. Embrace the promise. Set the child up for success. Love God and be faithful to Him. Be prepared to train up the child in the way he must go.

God bless you parents – whether your child of promise has been fully birthed or yet to arrive.

“I Have Not Yet Begun to Fight!” Part 2 of 2

Click here for Part 1 of 2

Refresher…At the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775, John Paul Jones went to Philadelphia and entered the Continental Navy. In December he was commissioned a lieutenant on the first American flagship, Alfred. Jones was quickly promoted to captain in 1776 and given command of the sloop Providence. While on his first cruise aboard the Providence, he destroyed British fisheries in Nova Scotia and captured sixteen prize British ships.

In command of Ranger in 1777 and 1778, he operated in British home waters and made audacious raids on England’s shore. In recognition of his exploits, he was placed in command of five French and American vessels. Aboard his flagship, the Bonhomme Richard, Jones led his small squadron in the capture of seven merchantmen off of the Scottish coast. On September 23, 1779, Jones fought one of the bloodiest engagements in naval history. Jones struggled with the 44-gun Royal Navy frigate Serapis, and although his own vessel was burning and sinking, Jones would not accept the British demand for surrender, replying, “I have not yet begun to fight.” More than three hours later, Serapis surrendered and Jones took command. (Adapted from the article Lauren Pitre see “Traditions…of the Naval Service” website.)

Samson

Judges 16:20-24 And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.

21 But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house. {put out: Heb. bored out}

22 ¶ Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven. {after…: or, as when he was shaven}

23 Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand.

24 And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us. {which…: Heb. and who multiplied our slain}

  • Of all the men who would have surely been able to say they had fought their hardest and won many battles
  • Of all the men who could have lived out his days satisfied that he had avenged the Philistines
  • Of all the men who could have been contented that he had dealt a deadly blow to his enemy
  • This man who had slain 1000 Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey
  • This man who literally picked up the city gates of the Philistines and carried them away
  • This man who tied 300 foxes together and set them on fire and turned them loose into the corn fields and olive yards of the Philistines
  • HIS GREATEST BATTLE HAD YET TO BE WON!

Samson could have said all of those things. But with each turn of the grinder’s wheel, something supernatural was taking place. God was restoring his strength…

  • Not so he could just be a better grinder
  • Not so he could continue to be a good slave

But, so he could finish the job God called him to do.

This brings us to the point of Samson’s story we can all connect with

Judges 16:25-30 And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars. {them: Heb. before them}

26 And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them.

27 Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport.

28 And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.

29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. {on which…: or, he leaned on them}

30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life. {me: Heb. my soul}

As if to say…”I have not yet begun to fight!” Samson asked to be led to the 2 central pillars of the house. He prayed to God…” O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.”

Indeed, God granted Samson the strength one last time to avenge himself of the Philistines.

Even without his eyes, Samson had one more good fight left in him and dealt the Philistines a blow that was greater than all the other battles he had fought in his entire life.

In Closing

On the third day after Christ’s crucifixion, the greatest comeback of all time happened! Jesus arose from the dead.

Some would have surely said that the battle at Calvary was without a doubt the most brutal of all battles that Jesus, or anyone for that matter, must have faced. But on the third day something that has never happened before or since took place; Jesus arose from the dead…victorious over death, hell and the grave.

But you know what, as tough as Calvary was. As daunting as defeating death, hell and the grave were. Jesus is saying today to the church…I have not yet begun to fight!

Our greatest challenges are not behind us, but ahead of us. We need the Army of God to be stronger and more determined than ever to stand up and face the enemy down and say and mean these words, “I have not yet begun to fight!”

“I Have Not Yet Begun to Fight!” Part 1 of 2

JPJI Have Not Yet Begun to Fight!

Scripture:

Mic 7:7 ¶ Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. 8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.

 

2Cor. 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

John Paul Jones

Considered by many as the “Father of the American Navy” Captain John Paul Jones fought his most notable battle on the night of September 23, 1779. he engaged H.M.S. ‘Serapis’ and the ‘Countess of Scarborough’ off the coast of England.

The ‘Serapis’ had superior fire power and Jones had to maneuver skillfully to bring his ship alongside and lash her to the ‘Serapis’. During the dreadful 3 1/2 hour fight on a millpond sea, the ‘Alliance’, part of Jones’ squadron, fired at the ‘Bonhomme Richard,’ holing her so badly that she later sank. Over half of the crews of the two ships, including Jones himself, were either killed or wounded and many men were horribly burned. After the Bonhomme Richard began taking on water and fires broke out on board, the British commander asked Jones if he had struck his flag. Jones replied, “I have not yet begun to fight!” In the end, it was the British commander who surrendered. Jones had to transfer his crew to the ‘Serapis’ and together with her sister ship the ‘Pallas’ which had captured the ‘Scarborough’ he sailed to the Texel in Holland with over 500 prisoners.

Standing just 5 foot 5 inches tall, Jones is remembered for his indomitable will, his unwillingness to consider surrender when the slightest hope of victory still burned. Throughout his naval career Jones promoted professional standards and training. Sailors of the United States Navy can do no better than to emulate the spirit behind John Paul Jones’s stirring declaration: “I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm’s way.”

The Bean Field

2Sa 23:8-12 ¶ These be the names of the mighty men whom David had: The Tachmonite that sat in the seat, chief among the captains; the same was Adino the Eznite: he lift up his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time.

 9 And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David, when they defied the Philistines that were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were gone away:

 10 He arose, and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword: and the LORD wrought a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to spoil.

 11 And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentiles: and the people fled from the Philistines.

 12 But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the LORD wrought a great victory.

After all of the Israelites had fled into the hillside, Shammah, literally stood his ground.

I can envision a man that would have at that very point raised high his sword and said the words, “I have not yet begun to fight…BRING IT!”

Defiance of the Enemy

Some of us, when the first defiance or opposition arises, we feel we are out of the Will of God. But we are in a Battle!

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Eph. 6:12)

Opposition is going to happen, Offenses are going to happen, but as Jesus said, Woe unto them from whom offenses come! (Matt. 18:7)

In other words…Look out, we have not yet begun to fight!

Determination Not Enough

What I’m saying today goes beyond mere determination and self-will, I’m talking about involving the Divine Power of God in your situation. As powerful a victory as Shammah would have had, the scripture stated, “And the Lord wrought a great victory!”

If you feel like you’re on the losing side, maybe you are! We need to make sure we have God’s blessing and sanctioning in our battles.

Simply go to God and say, God, I need your intervention in my situation. I can’t face this battle alone.

When God’s divine hand shows up, you will without a doubt feel the emboldened power of the Holy Ghost come upon you and you will be able to say with confidence…I have not yet begun to fight.

Our Best Battles are NOT Behind Us

We need to lose the mindset that we have done all we can do.

In your heart of hearts can you honestly say you’ve done all you can do?

Can you say, like Paul, I have fought a good fight, I have kept the faith, I have finished my course?

If you’re still breathing, if you’re still struggling…then YOU HAVE NOT YET BEGUN TO FIGHT!

Generations to Come

Your best days and best battles are not behind you. You have an enemy that is not content to destroy just you but he wants to destroy generations of Apostolics to come!

We need moms and dads, grandpas and grandmas to once again pick up their spears, their bows and arrows, pick up their sword and shield and let the battle cry go forth…I HAVE NOT YET BEGUN TO FIGHT!

Future generations are relying on us to stay on the field until the very last enemy falls.

See tomorrow’s posting for the rest of this message…