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Submitting preparation to God's Grace

Opinion & Analysis
As we wind down the calendar year, we often take stock so that we go into the coming year refocused where necessary and refreshed. I trust that these nuggets will be handy in doing so.

PRUDENCE demands that preparation precedes embarkment of any journey or undertaking. However, wisdom or scriptural and spiritual insight submit to the guidance and direction of God. Life experiences teach that you can be so prepared and fully equipped but still fail. Loaded with adequate research and practice, success and victory may elude.

As we wind down the calendar year, we often take stock so that we go into the coming year refocused where necessary and refreshed. I trust that these nuggets will be handy in doing so. All indications in the rehearsals and training camp may point to a whitewash victory but when the contest comes heavy loss may come. Preparation should always be subservient to God's grace. Without the hand of God, chasing the wind is common; performance never yielding satisfactory results.

Trusting in the Lord should not be basis for foolishness and laziness. There's usually a temptation to fail to equip ignorantly supposing that if God's power is that great, He will anyhow and anyway give the victory. Of course, we know that will not be godly because He does not control humans as if we were robots. Remember it's God who created the human being; spirit, soul and body with faculties to be exercised and freely used.

In His justice, God allows for freedom to excel affording a level playing field with some coming first yet others last. We quickly recall Ecclesiastes 9:11, "I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all." In His greatness, He will make sure that none is disqualified after having done that which ought to be done. Although we are spirit, He gave us the senses, we use them.

In life many factors may bar us or deny us access, but God will always override the system on the scale of justice, mercy and love. The world can use culture and tradition to block us. Age, race, gender, height, complexion, weight or even hair colour and texture can disqualify us. Athletes and models know this too well. It's after you have prepared fully, researched comprehensively, studied enough, worked out in the gym, prayed and fasted but the system still finds occasion to exclude you.

In accomplishing tasks and dealing with challenges, God made it clear to the Israelites when He was giving them instructions of war. He instructed in Deuteronomy 20:4, "For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you." It was not going to be their stature, numbers or sophistication of their weaponry that would win war but God Himself. While it appeared they were the ones going out to face the enemy, it was God Who did the fighting. All they had to do was to enroll for the battle and then experience the victory. Availability and obedience are key requirements in walking and fellowshipping with God. In many instances He would ask them to just praise and worship Him. The enemies would panic and fight each other to death while God's people watched.

A good curriculum vitae is a good starting point, an ideal launchpad. The knowledge and experience are very useful. However, these only function within human limitations. As a shepherd boy, David had the knowledge and experience of killing predators to his sheep. He would kill lions and bears with bare hands. His chance to make it on the international stage came when a menial errand to take supplies to his brothers on the battle front resulted in him seeing an opportunity in fighting Goliath. It was his knowledge and experience that stirred him. Although the rest of the army of Israel had adequate preparation, they did not use scriptural teaching that it was God who fought for them.

As recorded in 1 Samuel 17, David prevailed over Goliath. His victory came as a result of the name of his God that he used. He used his fighting knowledge, skill, expertise and experience to go out to the battle. Once he got out, he didn't lean on his ability but on the invisible hand of God. As I conclude, I ask you how have you been faring in your battles? If you have been going out naked without the covering of God, change tact by accepting and confessing Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

Let all your dealings be under His banner. Accepting and receiving the Gospel of Christ is the starting point. At school, submit to His Lordship. Let this be the case at work, home, in marriage and indeed in every human endeavour including the governance of nations. We commit our preparation to the Lord. He establishes us. Now unto him who is able to keep you from falling and present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion, and power, both now and ever. Amen. Grace and peace be multiplied to you through knowledge.

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