Defying Odds

24 Jul

“How big is God?” may the most important question you ever ask! Your answer to that question will determine your spiritual future. – Mark Batterson

There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two of Moab’s mightiest warriors. Another time he chased a lion down into a pit. Then, despite the snow and slippery ground, he caught the lion and killed it. Another time, armed only with a club, he killed a great Egyptian warrior who was armed with a spear. Benaiah wrenched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with it. These are some of the deeds that made Benaiah almost as famous as the Three. He was more honored than the other members of the Thirty, though he was not one of the Three. And David made him commander of his bodyguard. (2 Samuel 23:20-23)

How big is God?

In yesterday’s devotional, I shared that we are currently in a Chase the Lion series about grabbing life by the mane. The series is based on the book “In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day” by Mark Batterson. Over the next seven devotionals, we’ll look at 2 Samuel 23:20-23 from seven different angles. Today we’ll take a look at it from the perspective of an odds maker. Today’s message contains an excerpt from Mark’s sermon titled “Defying Odds.”

In that message, Mark starts by talking about the curiosity of his 4 year old son and how he keeps asking his parents how big God is. A.W. Tozer said it best: “A low view of God is the cause of a hundred lesser evils.” But a person with a “high view” of God “is relieved of ten thousand temporal problems.”

It is also the difference between scaredy-cats and lion chasers! If your god is smaller than a 500 pound lion you’ll run away! But if you’re God is bigger than a 500 pound lion you might just muster the moral courage to chase lions!

Impossible Odds: What odds would an odds maker have given Benaiah in the three encounters mentioned in 2 Samuel 23:20-23 above. Not too good. Benaiah was the underdog in all three. He was doubled-teamed by two mighty Moabites. He had to be a two-to-one underdog. If I’m placing bets on an average size Israelite with a club or a giant Egyptian with a spear I’m going to put my money on the sharp pointy thing! And I don’t even know how you begin to calculate the odds of man vs. lion.

Not only do fully grown lions weigh up to 500 pounds and run 35 mph, their vision is five times better than a human with 20/20 vision. This lion had a huge advantage in a dimly lit pit. And I guarantee that a sure-footed lion with cat-like reflexes certainly gains the upper paw in snowy, slippery conditions.

Now zoom out. Doesn’t it seem like Benaiah is choosing his battles poorly! He’s out-manned and out-sized! And yet this guy goes on to become Commander-in-Chief of Israel’s army. And if you’re Commander-in-Chief you better know how to choose your battles wisely!

Most of us don’t like being in pits with lions on snowy days, but those are the stories worth telling. Those are the experiences that make life worth living! So lion chasers don’t try to avoid situations where the odds are against them. Lion chasers know that impossible odds set the stage for amazing miracles!

How big is your God? Is He bigger than your biggest problem? Is He bigger than your worst failure? Is He bigger than your greatest fear? Chase the lion!

Prayer Power
Heavenly Father, the Bible is full of stories of people who overcame incredible odds because they had faith in You and You fought their battles. Coach each of us to defy the odds – to live a life of faith that brings glory to You. Thank You Jesus. Amen and Hallelujah!

Link of the Day
Chase the Lion: Defying Odds – Flash video by Mark Batterson

Hint: You don’t have to watch the entire video. You can play it and listen to the message while working on something else at your computer.

Blessings to defy the odds!

Joseph PeckJoseph

Joseph Peck, M.D.
The Time Doctor
Empowering Dreams
Author, I Was Busy, Now I’m Not

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