The valley may not be conducive but keep moving. You may not have the best of support or resources but you can make do with what you have. Jephthah didn’t have the best of career coaches nor philanthropists. He had helpless people just like him. But even in his helplessness, he raised a mighty army out of riff-raffs. He didn’t have the best of military resources with him, the odds were against him but he raised a formidable force out of nonentities. He started with the available.
You may not have gotten your dream job that pays #400,000 a month yet but you have one already that pays #80,000. Put all your heart to it and be diligent. If what you are experiencing now isn’t the picture God showed you about your life, then know that what you are experiencing is temporary. Do something! That little loaf can feed five thousand. The small rod in your hand can part the red sea. The small marble stone in your hand can bring down Goliath.
Be faithful in what you are doing today in ‘prison’. For very soon, God will promote you to do same in the ‘palace’ with far greater reward like it was for Joseph. Whatever you are not in ‘Potiphar’s house or in prison’, don’t think you can become it in ‘Pharaoh’s palace’. ”
Someone said, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can”. He that waits for the perfect weather will never sow. Start something with what you have and quit complaining.
4. HE HAD A GOOD ATTITUDE EVEN IN THE VALLEY
The elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob. “Come,” they said, “be our commander, so we can fight the Ammonites.” JEPHTHAH SAID TO THEM, “DIDN’T YOU HATE ME AND DRIVE ME FROM MY FATHER’S HOUSE? WHY DO YOU COME TO ME NOW, WHEN YOU’RE IN TROUBLE?” The elders of Gilead said to him, “Nevertheless, we are turning to you now; come with us to fight the Ammonites, and you will be our head over all who live in Gilead.” (Judges 11:5-8 MSG)
The elders came back to him and requested for his help. He upbraided them of their unkindness to him and made them realize necessity brought them to him. Jephthah could have taken his pound of flesh on them but he didn’t. He had so much resource that they believed he could defeat the Ammonites. Jephthah could have denied them help and say, “Where were you 10years ago when I was chased out of my father’s house”? “You couldn’t do anything when I had to take to street hawking to make ends meet while you were swimming in your millions” “I had to drop-out of the college to go for vocational training because none of you could help with the fees”. He didn’t say any of such but he chose to help his people. Always remember that everything you have was given to you by God. Have a good attitude!
You can choose to be bitter by rejection or be strengthened by it. When they come to make pacts with you, will your response be: “You don’t know my story, you can’t share in my glory” “You didn’t share in my pain, you can’t enjoy my gain”? or will you respond like Joseph did when his siblings came to Egypt and he said, “It was not you who sent me here, but God” [Gen.45:8].
Jephthah was rejected but when they needed his help, they couldn’t help but come begging. Wait for God to grant ‘Pharaoh’ the dream that will bring you to the ‘palace’ in grand style.
They rejected you and assumed nothing good would ever come out of your life but little do they know that God is behind the scenes. He is making their moves a divine orchestration for you to fulfill destiny.
5. HE HAD A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
Jephthah answered, “Suppose you take me back to fight the Ammonites and THE LORD GIVES THEM TO ME—will I really be your head?” (Judges 11:9 MSG)
Even in his rejected state, Jephthah didn’t forget the Lord. He knew only the Lord could win the battle against the Ammonites for him. Many a time, we are quick to say, “Why me?” “Why should all these be happening to me?” “God, where were you when I lost that job?” “God, what were you looking at when I lost that relationship” “How could you have allowed me to miss a life-time opportunity as that?”
Jephthah didn’t break up with God even in his down-times. And questions like these have made a lot of believers to draw back. Jephthah still trusted God to come through for him despite the set-backs. Before the challenge, He is God. During the crisis, He is God. After the storm, He is still God. The only variable is your crisis which is subject to change. Why should we focus on a variable at the expense of an unchanging God? Trust the one who is unchanging to change the temporal.
God doesn’t change. Storms do. You have to choose which one gets your focus.
6. HE TOOK HIS LIFE INTO HIS HANDS
When I saw that you wouldn’t help, I TOOK MY LIFE IN MY HANDS and crossed over to fight the Ammonites, AND THE LORD GAVE ME THE VICTORY OVER THEM. (Judges 12:3 MSG)
This is actually my best shot of the lessons learnt. Jephthah took his life into his hands. On many occasions, we’ve been waiting and trusting on people to come through for us but they have disappointed us. Time after time, they have failed us.
The chief butler forgot Joseph for years. Stop chasing after chief butlers to introduce you to your Pharaoh.
A pilgrim song. I look up to the mountains; DOES MY STRENGTH COME FROM MOUNTAINS? NO, MY STRENGTH COMES FROM GOD, WHO MADE HEAVEN, AND EARTH, AND MOUNTAINS. [Psalm 121:1-2 MSG]
No one from the east or the west or from the desert CAN EXALT A MAN. [Psalm 75:6 NIV]
Learn to take responsibility for your lives instead of relying on people. They aren’t always going to be around to help you. Take your life into your hands and with the greater one on your inside, you’ll defeat the ‘Ammonites’ without help from the ‘Ephraimites’.
No matter your background, there is a seed of greatness in you. Have faith in God and the gifts he has given you. Be diligent. Give yourself something to wake up for in the morning.
Nobody owes you anything. All things are yours in Christ. Quit blaming the government or the society. Everything is turning around for you. I can see the breaking of a new dawn. Everything is changing for you. God is working it out for you.
Take your life into your hands and watch him come through for you.
I Believe So Much In You