Itís Different This Time!
The devil may think that he is going to win again but God wants me to tell you that it is going to be different this time! God is going ahead of you, last time you got ahead of God, but this time you are waiting for Him to move. The children of Israel had to wait for the cloud of fire by day and the pillar of fire at night to move before they moved. His timing is impeccable. You may have gotten in the flesh last time but not now.
It is recorded in Joshua Chapter 6 that the children of Israel got a plan to defeat Jericho from God and acted accordingly. They went around the walls of Jericho once a day for six days and seven times on the seventh day, for total of thirteen times. Some think that the number thirteen is an "unlucky" number but it is really a blessed number. It means deliverance from an impossible situation, just like Jericho. Later on, as recorded in Chapter 7, the children of Israel didnít ask a plan from God but decided to go against a city called Ai and take spoils. They were routed by the men of Ai and ran away, with the men of Ai pursuing. It was later on revealed that there was "sin in their camp." Achan had taken some "stuffí from Jericho and the whole Israeli army was cursed as a result. After Joshua killed Achan and his family, the curse was broken and they now consulted God for a plan against Ai. In Chapter 8 it is recorded that God gave them a plan; Go against the city the same way and as the men of Ai come out, run away from them like the first time. As they pursued after them He told them to have troops come behind them and go into the city and burn the city. After they burnt the city, they were to come behind the men of Ai and have them in a "sandwich." You need to understand that when the enemy comes against you for Jesusí sake and you feel surrounded, that in reality God has your enemies surrounded. He is leading them into a trap by coming against you and He will get the glory. Remember how Elijah was surrounded by his enemies and his assistant was getting scared. He asked God to open his eyes and he saw the armies of God surrounding the enemy. This is Godís protection around you. The devil and his demons all report to God. All things (including the devil) were created by God and for God and by Him all things consist. The devil is a created "waste." (Isaiah 54 v. 16) Praise God! In this story of the city of Ai in the book of Joshua, the first time the children of Israel came against the city they were routed, but it was different this time! This time God was with them. This time they werenít out there by themselves, at the mercy of the devil. God protected them from total defeat the first time as they lost only 36 men, but they were still humiliated. Corrections were made and God won for them. You may be going again into a situation where you were defeated the first time, but it is different this time. You allowed God to make corrections in your life and point out to you where you did wrong. All the "weak spots" in your armor are covered now. There are no openings for the devil to break through. You may have had the wrong people in your life the first time and it left you vulnerable. This time they are gone! It is just you and God! It is different this time! Go take the spoils and capture the king! God wants to prepare a table right in front of your enemies. Donít be afraid of going back into a situation where you suffered a defeat. It is different this time! There will be a different result! You will be on top, not the bottom! You will be the head and not the tail, above and not beneath!
In 2 Samuel Chapter 5, David was enquiring with the Lord of whether or not to attack the enemy. Each time God said for him to go, because he would win. In v. 22 it is recorded that the enemy came back into the same place that they were defeated the first time. This time God told David to go behind them and wait for the sound of the wind going through the mulberry trees (v. 23). He did as God told him and had a great victory! He gave him a different plan. God may want to give you a different plan than the one you used the last time. Listen to Him! He wants to give you the victory more than you want to receive the victory. Maybe it was your fault that you suffered a defeat the last time!
In 1 Kings Chapter 19, Elijah had just finished defeating the 850 false prophets around Jezebel and all of a sudden he is running away from her. He was hiding in a cave when God told Him to go back to where he was running from. While he was in the cave there was an earthquake, fire and a great wind. They didnít harm him. He was protected in the cave. God was trying to tell him that he was protecting Him, covered by the God of refuge! He was really saying that it was going to be different than what he believed when he went back to where Jezebel was. You see God is with you this time. Donít be afraid of trying again. Apply for the job again. Try to be reconciled with that person again. Go back to school and finish you education. It will be different this time!
In Acts 14, Paul was stoned in Lystra and left for dead. It is recorded in v. 21 that he returned to Lystra. It was different this time! Nobody could even come close to him this time. He confirmed the souls of the disciples and ordained elders. The enemy couldnít stop him from going back through fear and telling him that the same thing would happen again. Donít let the enemy stop you from doing things for the kingdom of God just because it didnít seem to work the first time. How many elections for various positions in the government did Abraham Lincoln lose before he became President of the United States? How many times did Colonel Sanders drive around to different towns trying to sell his chicken before he became rich? They both had the idea that it was going to be different this time!
You need to know that God doesnít play nine innings, three periods or four quarters. He plays until He wins! He knows he canít lose. The outcome is never in question! It doesnít matter how many times God asks you to do something that doesnít seem to work. Just keep doing it! It will be different this time!
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