EVERYTHING GOD GIVES TO US IS SURROUNDED IN BATTLE BECAUSE THE ENEMY WILL ALWAYS SHOW UP TO CHALLENGE YOUR CLAIM.
THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT BATTLES PRODUCE CHAMPIONS, SO IF YOU WANT TO BE A CHAMPION FOR GOD, THEN GO GET READY FOR BATTLES
- Dr. Mensah Otabil at International Gospel Christian Centre, Christ Temple Accra, Sunday Service
Today I am concluding my teaching series on rising.
I am concluding with ‘ARISE AND TAKE WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN YOU’.
As we read the scriptures, we see that when God wanted to do something for people or people wanted to do something for God, God would usually command the people to arise.
It is expressed so many times in scriptures. We are going to look at four scriptural examples where God tells people to arise and possess their possession.
Genesis 13:16-17, Deuteronomy 2:24, Joshua 8:1, Judges 7:9
If you look at all of these four scriptures, one thing is common – God told all of them to arise and take something He was offering. He told Abraham to arise and walk in the land that He had given him (Genesis 13:16-17), He told Moses “I have given you the land of the Ammonites but you must rise and battle it (Deuteronomy 2:24). He told Joshua “I have given you the land of Ai but you must rise and go against it (Joshua 8:1) and He told Gideon “I have given the Midianites to you but you must rise and go into their camp” (Judges 7:9). In each of these cases God tells them what He has done and also what they must do.
There are two ideas – First, we must know what God has given to us. We cannot live our Christian Life just hoping that things will happen well for us, we must live our Christian life with the certainty and the knowledge of what God has given to us.
Secondly, we must take what God has given us. Know it and take it.
Most of the time, if you look at those verses, what God has already done is in the past tense. That is because God concludes things in the spirit but what has been concluded in the spirit realm must be actualized in the natural. Between knowing what God has given to you and taking what God has given to you is that word “ARISE”.
Three thoughts that explain arise to us :
I. To arise means to take up the task, to stand upright and alert, ready to take on the challenge.
II. To arise means to show up, that is to work towards what God has given to you.
III. To arise means to establish it. To make it happen.
Sandwiched in-between ‘given to you’ and ‘taking it’ is rising. Stand up and take on the task, showing up and not running away for the battle, establishing it and making it happen. We see from scriptures that we cannot be passive about the blessing of God.
We cannot be passive about the Goodness of God. We cannot say God has done it so there is nothing for me to do. God has done it but we must stand up and engage in battle to possess it. There is activity on our part in relation to the promises of God.
We are going to look at a statement made in the Bible by Jephthah one of the judges of Israel. Jephthah had to fight the Ammonites, Jephthah was sort of a vagabond because he was rejected by his Father’s home and he became a fighter. At some point, Israel got into trouble and there was no one to lead them in battle except Jephthah. Hear what Jephthah said –
 “And now the LORD God of Israel has dispossessed the Amorites from before His people Israel; should you then possess it?  Will you not possess whatever Chemosh your god gives you to possess? So whatever the LORD our God takes possession of before us, we will possess.
At that time the Ammonites came to fight Israel because on their way from Egypt, Israel took possession of some of the land belonging to them so they came back for it. Jephthah is saying to them, “you guys worship Chemosh, if he gives the land of Israel to you, won’t you stand up to possess it?
So all we did was to take what Jehovah our God has given to us”. Whatever God has given to us, Jephthah says we must possess it.
Many times people who worship idols are more obedient to their idols than those who worship Jehovah. If an idol says their worshipper should wear white on Fridays, every Friday they would wear white. Whatever they have been told to possess, whatever it takes they would do it.
But when it comes to believers, when God says they should do something, they won’t do it. No wonder the people who worship Chemosh are possessing the land while those who worship Jehovah are losing the land.
When a fetish tells a person to put food at the junction in the middle of the night, they would do it but believers that God says should tithe and He would rebuke the devourer for their sake, they would argue and argue about it and they won’t tithe.
Jephthah says you guys think the land is yours because Chemosh told you so and we think it is ours because Yahweh said so, and whatever Yahweh gives to us, we will possess it.
When Yahweh gives you salvation, you possess it. He gives you healing, you possess it. Yahweh cannot give you riches and you are saying you are poor. If Yahweh gives you riches, you possess it. Everything God gives to us is surrounded in battle.
All the people God gave things to, they had to fight for it. Why is it so?
Because the enemy will always show up to challenge your claim.
If you say God has spoken to me, the enemy will show up to challenge you.
He doesn’t sit down and say “Take it free”. Battles birth champions, champions do not emerge from comfort. Champions emerge with battle bruises.
If you have watched the Rocky movie series starring Sylvester Stallone. Rocky is a boxer and when every battle is over, Ricky is chanting with his title in his hands but his face is battered. He has been punched bad but he is the champion.
In life you will be punched, you don’t lie down when you are punched, you get up because God has called you to be a champion. Battles produce champions, if you want to be a champion for God get ready for battles.
You think your enemies will clap for you and cheer you because you have a plan to be a champion then go to Neptune. But if you are on planet Earth, then your title will be challenged. Battles also deliver rewards. The spoils of battles come from the scars of battles. Good things come to those who win their battles in all areas of life – in academia, in ministry, in marriage and everything.
If you see a couple celebrating their 60th anniversary of their marriage and you say “Wow, see the way he is holding her hand. They look so sweet”.
That is not how it has always been, if you roll through the sixty years you will see battles, quarrels, and difficulties but they persevered and now you are taking pictures of them after 60 years but you, the little thing between you and your spouse and you say “I think we are incompatible”. You will not get a picture after sixty years because the rewards come after the battle.
Whatever God gives to us, He gives us the grace to receive it. No matter the battles surrounding it, you have the grace for it.
Whatever God entrusts into your hand, He will give you the grace for it. In the midst of the battle, there is grace.
How does God give us grace?
- He trains our hand for battles (Psalms 144:1). If you don’t know how to fight, God will train you. He trains you ahead for the battles.
- He teaches us to profit (Isaiah 48:17).
Whether Israel, Joshua, Gideon or Abraham each of them had to battle for what God had given them and He trained them for the battles.
You don’t just sit down with good intentions, you must rise up and take what God has given to you. Don’t be afraid of the battles, it’s part and parcel of the package. What you must take, you must battle for it. The Lord is with you.
You will be punched many times, there will be scars all over you but in the end, you will hold the title.
- May the Lord cause you to hold the title.
There are some of you who have been punched so bad and you are about to quit but the title has been promised you. Try it again, do it again.
Start it again because God has ordained you for something and you must possess it.
God rewards those who overcome. In all areas of life when you lose the battle you get punished but when you win, you get punished.
When you look through the Bible, in the Book of Revelation which is about the end of all things, the Word of God says some wonderful things to those who overcome.
Revelation 2:26, 3:12, 3:21
 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.  But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (NKJV)
On the list of those who would not overcome the first is the cowardly, he mentions cowards even before he mentions murderers. Because being a coward in God’s economy is more serious.
Overcomers are not cowards. We will not stop battling until we become all that God has said we should be. If God says we will be prosperous, don’t allow poverty knock you out. As for me and my family we will fight through because the Lord says it is our heritage.
This morning I came to tell you that you are a champion. Arise because whatever God has given to you, you have possess it.