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Several decades ago, I sat in my home church contemplating all that God had done over the past twenty years. In 1980, I found myself in one of the greatest struggles of my Christian life and ministry. That year, God showed me my “self” and how unlike Christ I was. He showed me how I had failed Him, my family, and my church. I was so discouraged, I thought I would never preach again. But during that time, there was a deep work of brokenness and repentance in my heart — and a restoration of fellowship with God. The Holy Spirit had convicted me of my selfishness and pride. He brought me to the end of myself, then filled me with the life of Christ.
In the midst of defeat, God began to speak peace and victory to my heart. He reminded me of the promises He had given me years earlier. He assured me that if I would do His work His way and in His power, I would be used of the Holy Spirit in a way I had never before known. As much as I was enabled by God, I surrendered myself completely to His Spirit.
Almost twenty years later, I stood at the door of an opportunity to proclaim the gospel that I never imagined possible. I would stand in the largest stadium in the world and proclaim the good news of God’s love and forgiveness. “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound!” God’s grace is greater than any human tongue can tell. He is able to take our defeats and turn them into victories. Where’s there’s genuine repentance, there’s abundant grace. Where there’s brokenness and conviction, there’s restoration and healing. Where there’s honest confession, there’s profound cleansing.
It’s amazing how God can change our circumstances when we are transparent and repentant. Joshua and the children of Israel had met defeat at a place called Ai. One of them, Aachan, had disobeyed the Word of God, and it resulted in defeat. But after thorough confession and deep repentance, God spoke once again to Joshua: “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land” (Joshua 8:1). God wasn’t through with Joshua. He still desired to use him for His glory. His plans had not changed.
In this passage we find several principles that show us the way from defeat to victory. First, the promises of God are permanent. Even when we fail, God never fails. His Word is true even when we prove false. God said to Moses when he sent the spies to check out the promised land, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deuteronomy 1:21). Then forty years later, when he was to pass the baton of leadership, Moses reiterated God’s promise to Joshua: “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Joshua 31:8). Now Joshua had to pick himself and the children of Israel up after a great defeat. And God said the same thing: “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” When we have nothing else to cling to, we must not forget the promises of God. They stand true forever.
But God wanted to show Joshua that His strategy also had not changed. The victory would be won in the wisdom and power of the Lord and not human strength. God’s methods would change, but His principles of battle remained the same. They would capture Ai in the power of God’s wisdom and strength, just as they had captured Jericho. But this time they would not march around the city. That was God’s method for Jericho. Instead, God would lead the children of Israel in a surprise attack. The strategy of God was to depend wholly on the Lord! That strategy never changes. But God’s method often changes. There’s a different method of fighting every battle in which God leads us. Many Christians are defeated in their spiritual battles because they’ve never learned to distinguish between God’s strategy and God’s method.
Finally, after the children of Israel experienced their victory, Joshua brought the people back to the Word of God. “Afterward, Joshua read all the words of the law — the blessings and the curses — just as it is written in the Book of the Law” (Joshua 8:34). Joshua had learned his lesson and learned it well. Before and after every great victory lies a great temptation. So Joshua immediately brought the people back to their source of victory. He reminded them of what God had said. The Word of God will stand forever! Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Deuteronomy : Chapter 1
19)  Then, as the Lord our God commanded us, we set out from Horeb and went toward the hill country of the Amorites through all that vast and dreadful wilderness that you have seen, and so we reached Kadesh Barnea. 20)  Then I said to you, “You have reached the hill country of the Amorites, which the Lord our God is giving us. 21)  See, the Lord your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Book of the Month

Sammy Tippit told his fiancée, “I can’t promise we’ll be rich, but life won’t be boring.”
Sammy had no idea what an understatement that would become. Beginning in the bars of Baton Rouge and the nightclubs of Chicago, Tippit has shared the news of life-changing faith in Christ all over the world – including in the middle of a revolution in Romania, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, and war in Burundi and the Congo.
Sammy’s lifelong adventure has come at a great price. He’s been cursed, threatened, arrested, deported, and blacklisted. He’s also been personally broken, ravaged with illness, and devastated by grief.
Yet he continues to preach to in stadiums, in open fields, and via satellite technology to hundreds of thousands around the globe.  For all other books…

About Sammy Tippit Ministries

STM has been providing inspiration and help around the world for nearly 50 years. Sammy Tippit, founder and president, is a world renowned counselor, teacher and evangelist with experience serving and helping people in over 80 countries. Sammy provides materials that help people tackle a broad array of social, societal, psychological and spiritual issues. He is particularly passionate about making materials accessible to other countries around the world. Sammy is married to Debara “Tex” Tippit, and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Sammy Tippit Ministries is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
Contact: info@sammytippit.org

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