who decrees victories for Jacob.
Through you we push back our enemies;
through your name we trample our foes.
I put no trust in my bow,
my sword does not bring me victory;
but you give us victory over our enemies,
you put our adversaries to shame.
In God we make our boast all day long,
and we will praise your name forever.
Spending time with my grandmother (my dad’s mom) this Christmas was a good reminder to me of some of my family’s personal history. She’s been into family genealogy research for many years now, and because I’m something of a history nerd, I’ve actually found a lot of her research very interesting. We can trace our family line back through the Civil War, where some of our relatives were buried north of Atlanta, through to Thomas Dudley, one of the governors of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, all the way to pre-Elizabethan England, where Dudley Castle was owned by several prominent nobles, notably John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, who led an unsuccessful attempt to install Lady Jane Grey on the throne of England. Even though you’re probably yawning about these people, to me understanding where my family comes from gives me a special sense of purpose, and helps me see that I’m just one tiny link in a generations-long chain of people which will continue to extend for centuries after I’m gone.
In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul talks about how he pleaded with God to remove a terrible thorn from his flesh which he found too debilitating to ignore. God’s response was the famous phrase, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Weakness is a powerful tool in God’s hand. As the Psalmist says, I put no trust in my physical strength or material assets, because these things are not the source of my salvation. God alone delivers victory and pushes back our foes for us. My first challenge for you today is simply this: What are you putting your trust in? Is there anything in your life which has eclipsed God as your source of security?
Second, as I mentioned in my previous post, I’m planning to write a heavy piece on the importance of remembering where God has brought you from. This is yet another reminder to me that God has a tremendously detailed plan for my life which has been literally centuries in the making. If you’re not familiar with your own family history, I highly recommend you take just a few minutes this week to reconnect with your parents or grandparents and ask them a little bit about the family tree. I’ve discovered that learning even just a little bit about the generations that came before you can have a powerful effect on your sense of purpose in life.
God didn’t bring you this far by accident. He’s been planning your life for over a dozen generations. Put your trust in Him, because he alone can deliver you to the great destiny he has in store for you.