• Jason Wade


20 When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you.2 When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army.3 He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them.4 For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” Deuteronomy 20:1-4

Some times the victory is in taking the first step. I know that all week long we have been preparing all of us to be ready to take the first step into this new year together. I know that there are still a ton of unknowns and opportunities that may or may not happen, but one thing is certain, we are going to take the first step together with God and claim victory. In history I learned about the way that the Western expansion occurred. It seems that settlers who wanted to stake their claim would pay a certain amount of money and would be lined up to race for their plots. Yeah there was no negotiating that took place. You literally lined up with a marker and when they shot the pistol and you ran as fast as you could to stake your claim on the land that you wanted to begin settling. I could only imagine what that would be like today. People would be trying to do anything possible to get an advantage through using drones to scope out the area. Using ultrasound and X-ray imaging to see what lies beneath the service. People would also probably hire the fastest runners in the world to try and represent their interest because they were not willing to give up their claim. Oh and by the way, in the old west, you had to defend your claim as soon as you marked it. There were many gun and fist fights that erupted over the loss of a claim of land.

I want to place this image in your head because of the historic steps that we will take today and the next day that may change the world. As we step into the future, yes we still have no idea what the next day may bring, but we step in faith and confidence that God is by our side. We are stepping into today to mark claim over the land once again for Jesus. And it

does not mean that you have to have a gun fight or a stake in your cars to plant and claim the land. We have the power of the Holy Spirit that calls us to pray over the land and return it back to the original Creator of all things. So it is as easy as praying as you are driving for God to reclaim this spot for the Kingdom. It is as easy as praying in your household for your family and professing that God has victory over your home. It is as easy as praying in your work place that God would be able to find a foothold through us to change the dynamics of where we work for the glory of God. It is by praying for each of our campuses and asking that God would have a voice through our students and teachers to infuse Christian beliefs all over the campus. It is by taking ONE STEP and asking God to help us to truly overcome the battles that have torn our world apart. The only way that we are going to be able to claim victory is infusing God back into the equation and that starts with ALL of us taking one step towards victory.

Today we are reading about how God's people were able to claim the same victory by taking the first steps into the battle. We are able to read the instructions given to the soldiers who are preparing for battle. It does not mean that we will have the greatest and most people in our army, but it does mean that we have the one who has conquered death and this world. It means that we will come together and spend time reaching out into this world and into the battle grounds that continue to arise. It means that we can claim victory by just stepping on the field and professing the name of Jesus. Don't see your campus, school, home, office or anywhere as an obstacle that cannot be obtained, but as an opportunity for the power of God to overcome and a mission field that you have been personally selected to enter into for the name of Jesus. God is going to go with us and proclaim victory through our battles. I know that it may not look like it right now, but God is already revealing even more opportunities for us to take hold of the uncertainty of this world and use it to glorify God. We are the actors that live out the faith that God has revealed in and through us. We have so many enemies in this world that would like nothing less than us to give up, stop moving and just exist with the world. But remember we have been called to go and make disciples for the transformation of the world. It is not going to be easy, but it is going to be worth it when we see how God has woven together His plan to change the world.

So all I am asking is for you to take ONE STEP with us towards victory. Prepare to come back to church and reconnect with the CREATOR as we move forward towards the ultimate victory God has in store for us heavenward. Trust in God's plan and take one step of faith onto the battlefield and you may be amazed at the giants God is going to ask you to slay. If God can

use a young boy like David to step on the battlefield against his enemy Goliath, God can definitely use us and give us the same opportunity to slay the giants that stand before us claiming victory in the name of Jesus. It is time that we climbed that mountain and overcame the fears and doubt that have been holding us back. Take courage and believe that God has called us to where we are for a reason and that we must continue to press on to help others see and receive the love of God. We are the soldiers... the battlefields stand before us... and the enemy is truly ready to thwart anything that we may have planned. But remember that the battle already belongs to the Lord, and we must live faithfully into that part of our calling. No one ever said being a Christian was meant to be easy, and it's not. We are called to take action and not just sit back and expect the world to change if we are not going to be a part of the solution. Welcome to a new day. Step into the moment and recognize the opportunity that we all have to change the world if we overcome that mountain and claim victory over it in the name of Jesus. Running the race always starts with taking the first step, and this life is not a sprint but a marathon meant to stretch us and test us in how much we truly trust God's plan for our lives. Victory is waiting... are you ready to step onto the battlefield today?

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