I tell you for the glory of God. I have been in full-time ministry for the past 13 years, with not one single failure during my crusades. I can honestly say I have never returned from a mission and had to admit: “1 failed there; because it was a hard place.” Do you know why? It’s because I know that God is with me. Roman 8:31 (b) says:
“…If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Why do we get discouraged? It’s because when we face a challenge we see it as so big and ourselves as so small, and that discourages us.
Every time you compare the problem with yourself, you get discouraged but instead when you compare the problem to your God, courage will fill your heart. I say to each challenge: “You may be great, but my God is greater than you!” This will make your problem look so minute.
In Numbers 13:1 and 2 we are told:
The LORD said to Moses, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.”
So Moses sent twelve men, one from each tribe, to explore the land. They explored the land for forty days and returned to give their report to the assembled tribes. This is found in Numbers l3:26 – 28:
They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. They gave Moses this account; “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there.”
Also in Numbers 13:31-33 we read:
But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are”. And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendents of Anak came from Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our eyes and we looked the same to them.”
Ten gave a negative report and sadly all the congregation preferred to believe this bad report. Friends, you don’t need to search too hard to find the narrow-minded ‘Dr Do-Nothings’ in your lives. People who do nothing are ready to offer their criticism and empty suggestions. Also you don’t need to search too far to find people who are willing to take that type of advice.
If you are a man of courage, you’ll often find yourself standing alone. An eagle flies high and it will be soaring all alone up there, whereas a crow has it’s companions following it. If you are a Christian, then you are an eagle, not a crow.
Among the twelve, ten gave a negative report and only two (Joshua and Caleb) gave a positive report.
I learned long ago in my walk with God, that God is never with the majority, however, one man plus God is the majority. Therefore never go by people’s opinions. I don’t mean by this that you should never take advice. The Bible lays:
I have counselors and I do take advice. All my counselors are eagles. It is important that we have godly and Word-oriented people as our counselors.
Elijah was one man. He was on one side while Israel with their king was on the other side. Whose side was God on? It was not the side of the majority but of this one man, Elijah, who was doing the will of God.
I want you to look at the attitude of two groups of people in Numbers 13. Listen to the ten people in verse 33:
“…We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
My question to those ten is: “How do you know that? Who told you that you look like grasshoppers in the sight of the enemy?” Did they approach the giants and ask their opinion about the sons of Israel? I don’t think so. Then how did they know it? They said: “We looked like grasshoppers in our sight. ” So here is the truth: Whatever you are in your own eyes, that’s how you believe others sec you. I have learned in my life never to see myself as people look at me but to see myself as God sees me. The ten people saw themselves as grasshoppers, so they though! like grasshoppers, they acted like grasshoppers, and finally they became grasshoppers. I call it “grasshopper mentality” and I call such people “grasshopper Christians”. People with this kind of mentality not only become grasshoppers themselves but succeed in influencing others to become the same thing. So many people fit into this category. That is why the Bible says in Deuteronomy 20:8:
Then the officers shall add, “Is any man afraid or fainthearted? Let him go home so that his brothers will not become disheartened too.”
There was no place for cowards and grasshoppers in the army of Israel. Why? Their influence can destroy the morale and courage of the whole army. If it was true for the children of Israel, who were called armies of the living God, it is true about us, who are Christians and called soldiers of God. I am an eagle and I tell my team working with me that they are with an eagle and so they need to become eagles too. Thank God my team consists of eagles.
So let’s go back to the Israeli spies and look at the attitude of the remaining two, Joshua and Caleb. We read in Numbers 13:30:
Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land for we can certainly do it.”
He also said in Numbers 14:7-9:
“The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the LORD is pleased with us, He will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the LORD and do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”
I like what Joshua and Caleb said in verse 9: “We will swallow them up”. The ten predicted that the enemy would swallow them, but Joshua and Caleb said the opposite would be true. Why? What was the difference? The difference was that the ten compared the enemy to themselves and became grasshoppers. But when Joshua (Hid Caleb saw the enemy, they compared the enemy not to themselves but to their God, with the result that the enemy looked like grasshoppers. Joshua and Caleb knew that the enemy’s protection was gone but that the LORD was with idem. (Numbers 14:9)
My friend, don’t make the devil and his army a mighty force. You need to know that his protection is gone. In fact, the Lord Jesus not only destroyed the works of the devil 11 John 3:8), but he destroyed the devil himself (Hebrews M4).
I like the Greek meaning of the word destroy. The word used is “Katargeo” which means – to be rendered Entirely useless, to dissolve, to break or beat into pieces, to be of no effect, to bring to naught and vanish away. Reading this should make you shout Hallelujah!
Remember the devil’s protection is gone, but the Lord ii with you. This should make you stand up straight, hold your head high, raise your eyes and walk in authority. Walk with courage!
‘Dare to Win!’
The Bible tells us about a time when the kingdom of Israel was at war with the Philistines. The Israelites got up early in the morning to do exercises. They were probably lifting dumbbells and pounding the bench press. They put on their armor, took their swords and charged into battle The Philistine army lined up on one side and the Israelites on the other. 1 Samuel 17:8 and 9 says that from the Philistine camp one man strode forward. He was nine feel tall and a huge soldier. He looked at Israel and said:
(Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for the battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us”
The people of Israel saw Goliath and another war cry came out of their mouths: “About turn” and they ran back. I1!very day they were getting up early in the morning, exercising, charging up to the battleground, and on seeing Goliath and hearing his challenge, they would turn back again. This happened for forty days.
Now we might laugh reading this. But wait a minute -we do it too. We go to church and sing: “In the name of Jesus, In the name of Jesus we have the victory. In the name of Jesus, satan will have to flee” and “When I stand in the name of Jesus tell me who can stand before”. Then as we go back home we may have a flat tyre, our courage leaves us, and we wail: “Oh God, where are you?”
Israel performed this maneuver for forty days. Back and forth they went. The reason the people of Israel ran away was that they saw how big Goliath was and how small they were; they were comparing the enemy to themselves.
One day David came to the battlefield, having been lent by his father to bring food to his brothers. David spotted Goliath, and asked (1 Samuel 17:26):
“What will be done for a man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defile the armies of the living God?”
The army of Israel considered themselves the armies of King Saul. But David recognized them as the armies of the living God. When the people of Israel saw the enemy they ran away. But when David saw the problem he said: “What will I get if I overcome this problem?”
I have learned this truth in my life from the Word and from my experience: every problem is an invitation to receive the blessings of God in your life. Every time God wants to bless you and do something in your life, the devil Will bring a “Goliath” so that we see the magnitude of the problem, get discouraged and lose sight of what is in store fer us beyond Goliath. The Goliath in your life is an Invitation for you to get a breakthrough in your life. Hallelujah! But when David asked what he would get if he defeated this Goliath, immediately he came face to face with discouragement.
Every time you attempt something for God the devil will bring discouragement. This comes from two sources:
Firstly, from your own people. When David asked what he would get if he defeated Goliath, his brothers got angry with him:
When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” (1 Samuel 17: 28)
So it’s always your own people who are first to rubbish your ambitions for God. Does that sound familiar to you? The discouragement comes from people from whom you would have never expected it. But the man of courage will not give up. Many are the precious people of God who have let their vision die and lost the call of God because of lack of support, or even opposition, from their own family and friends. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, faced discouragement time and time again from his own wife who would try to pour cold water on the revival fire in Wesley. But John Wesley was a man of courage who knew the call of God upon him and refused to give up.
His brothers immediately passed judgement on him, accusing him of being conceited and wicked at heart. Whal a terrible indictment! Don’t allow the judgement of those who are doing nothing to discourage you.
But David was a man of courage and he did not give up. Don’t throw in the towel just because people make harsh accusations. Keep your heart pure and walk in integrity. Now I want you to shout at the top of your voice: “I will not give up!”
David was taken to Saul the king, who looked at this young man and said:
“You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth.” (1 Samuel 17:33)
The second way of discouragement is from so-called experienced, ex-anointed people.
When I began my ministry, I was in my twenties. When I preached at my first crusade, I was very thin, I had long hair and I appeared very immature. At one crusade, When the organizers saw me for the first time, they had a shock. They had just heard about me but had never seen me; now they had invited me to preach the gospel in their town. I had arrived with three friends and the organizers asked us: “Which of you is Rambabu?” My friends pushed me forward: “This is Rambabu,” they said. The crusade organizers looked at me up and down with an expression that said: “You? The preacher?” Nobody believed it could he this skinny chap with long hair. Many so-called experienced Christians said: “Oh, we have come across so many young people like you, but they don’t stay the course.”
Or perhaps you will hear remarks like: “Do you want 10 preach?” “Ministry? You?” “You can’t do it.” “Which Bible College did you go to?” “If you didn’t, then God won’t use you!” “My experience tells me miracles will not happen.” “My experience tells me days of healing are over.” “My experience tells me…”
A man of courage should be bursting to say in reply: “Please keep your experience to yourself. I will not give up!”
Dear friends, as you read now say out loud: “1 will not give up!” I repeat: “A man of courage will not give up!”
At this point I want to emphasize that I have some very experienced people around me who are certainly anointed.
My friends are people who have been a constant encouragement to me. A man who is experienced in his walk with God will always be willing to encourage and teach a younger man. To mention a few men who encourage me: Brother Augie David of -Augie David International Ministries, India; Rev J. Prabhakar of India; Pastor Dave Roberson of Prayer Center Family, Tulsa, USA; Terry Virgo, Founder of New Frontiers International, UK; Terry Mize of the USA. These are men who have been a constant source of encouragement to me out of their vast experience in their walk with God. The wisdom of an experienced man of God is a blessing to the kingdom of God.
But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he defied the armies of the living God. The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:34)
My friend, the anointing upon David increased step by step, that is God’s way. First you get the anointing to overcome a wolf. When you defeat the wolf you get the anointing to kill the bear, then you get the anointing to kill the lion. After you defeat the lion, then Goliath arrives. Step by step the anointing increases.
Firstly preach the gospel one-to-one, then on the streets, then in a small church. Then you will build up the confidence to move on to a city, then a state, then a country, then nations and continents and the entire world. That is the way God works.
Some people say: “I will not preach the gospel one-to-one. I want a big crusade and a platform straight away.” If that’s you, forget it!
Saul said to David in 1 Samuel 17:37 (b)
“.. .Go, and the LORD be with you.”
And in verse 38 we read:
Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic…
The Bible says Saul was the tallest man in Israel and David was a young boy. Imagine David wearing Saul’s armor. One man of God has said that if David had gone wearing Saul’s armor, Saul’s helmet, and Saul’s sword to fight Goliath, Goliath would have surely died…of laughter!
Some people try to discourage you and when they don’t succeed they act as though they are with you, but (they are actually mocking you behind your back. “Do you want to serve God? Very good! Full time ministry? Fantastic!” But behind you they are cynically saying: “I’ve seen all this before; let’s see how far he gets!” I have heard no many people talk like this. You don’t need to look far to find ‘Dr Dolittles’. They neither do anything for God themselves nor do they encourage a person who wants to go and do something for God. I recognized long ago that the call of God supercedes the opinions of man. Those who have done nothing have no right to criticize those who are doing something for God.
In verse 39 and 40. David says to Saul:
“I cannot go in these, because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
David did not want to rely on borrowed armor – and you cannot operate on borrowed anointing. You need to get your own! Get your own anointing from the Lord!
David knew he could not win with borrowed anointing. So he removed Saul’s armor, took his sling, chose five stones and strode forward to face the enemy. Goliath looked at him, irritated, and said:
“Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods, (verse 43).
What a confession! Israel feared Goliath believing him to be a lion. But Goliath said: “Am I a dog?” He said it himself! We make the devil, our enemy, into a lion, when in fact the devil knows what he really is; he knows that he is already defeated. God knows that he is defeated. And you must believe that too. If you don’t, then he will turn on you and defeat you.
David said to the Philistine:
“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those who gather there will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17:45.)
David wanted two groups of people to learn important lessons:
A lesson to the world – the world should know that there is a God in Israel. It is through a man of courage that Clod will show Himself as God. Dr. Billy Graham once said that God cannot use a discouraged servant. How true that is! If the world is going to know God as God, it can only happen through Christians who choose to walk in courage.
A lesson to the congregation – the battle is the Lord’s.
Many quote the words “the battle belongs to the Lord” as a scripture to conceal their laziness. They are the people who do nothing, and when asked why they are idle and Irresponsible, they defend themselves saying: “Well, the battle belongs to the Lord.” Friend, I want you to know that having said that the battle belongs to the Lord, David did not sit back in a easy chair in his tent. The Bible tells us in I Samuel 17:48:
“…David ran quickly towards the battle line to meet Goliath.”
“The battle belongs to the LORD,” is the statement of a man of action, not a man of laziness. God will always fight for a man of action. Amen!
‘Dare to Act’
A man of courage will not wait for the right circumstances, but will always be ready for action, his loins girded (1 Samuel 17: 48 and 49):
As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly towards the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground.
Who said Americans made the first missile? It was none other than David! David slung the stone, and the Holy Spirit was traveling on that stone, so that when it hit Goliath on his forehead, that enormous warrior fell face down. A man of courage will never miss his target.
If you are a man or a woman of courage, God will back you up and you will never miss your target either. Israel saw the enemy and thought he was too big to defeat, but David took the view: “He is so big that I cannot miss!” The bigger the problem, the easier it is to spot. Therefore, the bigger the problem, the easier it is to win!
The Bible says in 1 Samuel 17:49 (b):
…The stone sank in his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground.
When somebody hits you on the forehead, do you fall down forwards or backwards? Backwards, surely. But the Bible
says that Goliath fell forward, face down! Why? Because at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow. Goliath fell down:
That is the man of courage. A man of courage will never look at the problem and compare it to himself and get discouraged. David was a man of courage like that. He saw the enemy and ran straight towards him (verse 48).
The Lord Jesus said in Mark 16:15:
“Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”
And He promised in Matthew 28:20 (b):
“…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Phew! When I think of the Almighty God with me, I stand tall, look the devil straight in the eye and rebuke him in Jesus’ name. Where do I get my courage from? From the knowledge that the Lord my God is with me wherever I go.
Today the Lord says: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go”.
‘You will win’.
‘You are created to win’.
It is not God’s will for you to be discouraged. I want you to understand His will. Recognize all fear, intimidation, anxiety, worry, spirits of heaviness, discouragement and depression as weapons launched at you by the devil.
The Lord is on our side, therefore we will not fear The Lord is our helper. We will not be afraid – what can man do to us? When God is for us, who can be against us’. Go and serve the Lord without fear.
‘Dare to walk in courage!’
Dare to win!
Taken from Chapter 1 – Dare to Win by P.S. Rambabu. All rights belong to the author. Reproduced here by permission of the author.