How are you today? This morning I want to talk with you about a different kind of spring cleaning – a spiritual cleaning. I’ve been reading through Judges recently and the story of Jephthah really struck me.
You see Jephthah was the son of a harlot and his half-brothers did not want him to share in the inheritance of their father. They chased him away and Jephthah fled to Tob where he became a man of influence. Soon the sons of Ammon came to fight against Israel, and what happened next is where the story gets interesting.
“When the sons of Ammon fought against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob; and they said to Jephthah, ‘Come and be our chief that we may fight against the sons of Ammon. ‘Then Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, ‘Did you not hate me and drive me from my father’s house? So why have you come to me now when you are in trouble?'” (Judges 11:5-7)
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The elders came and asked Jephthah to LEAD them! The way I see it, the Lord picks who He picks. He chose the son of a whore! Because Jephtah was the Lord’s choice, even the very people who rejected him came back and begged for help!
What would you do if that were you? Would you go back and help Israel after they ran you out? In my life, I’ve made it a practice to forgive before they come back. Forgive after they have hurt, slandered and rejected me. This way my heart doesn’t grow cold and so the Lord forgives me when I’m an idiot.
The truth is, in order for your influence to grow, in order to get promoted, you have to make forgiveness your greatest weapon! Failing to forgive will keep you stuck… out of malice, self righteousness or whatever wound from your past.
“Now the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, so that he passed through Gilead and Manasseh; then he passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from Mizpah of Gilead he went on to the sons of Ammon.” (Judges 11:29)
Jephthah became a success story, because he chose forgiveness. What I want you to understand, is you can’t use your past as an excuse not to step up and accomplish what the Lord is calling you to do. You can’t use your parents, your upbringing or past pain as an excuse to not be successful!
Look at Jephthah‘s life – he was the son of a whore. Look at my life; I started from absolute zero… some might even say “sub-zero.” But if you want to achieve success, gain influence and get promoted in life, start by using forgiveness! With this most powerful weapon, you are setting yourself up for endless opportunities.
Today, choose forgiveness! I hope this message helped you, and becomes another area you can add to your list for spring cleaning this year. Leave me your comments below, share your thoughts and make sure to share this message with your friends by clicking Like and Share on today’s message.
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In great faith,
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