The Spoils of War
2 Samuel 3:22 And behold, the servants of David and Joab came from a raid and brought much spoil with them;
If you have looked at the news at all during the last few weeks, it has been like receiving reports from a war zone. Shootings, Mass Murders, 2 people gunned down, 16 people injured, more than 20 people killed. All of my senses are screaming “war”!
Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 says there is a time for EVERYTHING under the sun. A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to love and a time to hate; a time of war and a time of peace. This certainly feels like a time of war.
I can’t begin to imagine the hurt and pain of losing a loved one on a shopping trip to Walmart. Literally, here one moment and gone the next moment. The families are now left to suffer and rebuild from the ashes of death.
In the Bible during the days of the Children of Israel, God would send armies into wars and many times tell them to bring the spoils back. The spoils of war are the profits – the overflow that comes from the winning the war. In those days it was the livestock, or if allowed the slaves, the gold, silver or whatever precious cargo that the enemy had left after they were annihilated. The victor would take the spoils of war.
The spoils are those things we gain after a battle or a war. When I first heard of this concept in a modern day setting, I was like, ummmm no, I don’t have any spoils from the battles that I have fought. But man, was I wrong. I have so much gold and silver and wisdom and knowledge from the battles.
I think of my mother’s death as a battle and I would NEVER think there would be a profit from her death. What would be gained by losing my mom, my champion, my best friend? However, because she passed away, I wanted to honor her legacy by creating San’s Child, Inc., I have had the opportunity to mentor so many young ladies, speak at various conferences and women’s retreats and meet some of the most dynamic women in the world. San’s Child, Inc. has been a spoil of war.
In 2002, I met a man and fell head over hills in love with him. We dated for years and then we broke up. He ended up marrying another lady and for a year or two after the relationship ended, I was devastated. I would have never thought that I would ever have a nice word to say about him or ever see him again. But years later when we met again and actually talked and became friends, he introduced me to my new church home. I found so many women in Christ who have led to greater depths and knowledge in the word of God, who have encouraged me to become an active disciple maker, who have pushed me beyond my comfort zone to go out to evangelize to a lost world. I have met new friends that I love like sisters and it was because of a terrible breakup that left me broken. I would have never thought that I would say that a bad relationship led me a greater relationship with the lover of my soul, but yet another spoil of war.
What are your spoils of war? Every battle, heartache, disappointment has led to a greater blessing. How do I know? Because the Bible promises that ALL things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). I pray that the victims of these heinous attacks knew the Lord and are resting in peace and I pray that the families that have lost their loved one know the Prince of Peace. It doesn’t look or feel like it now, but God uses everything for his glory. What the devil meant for bad, God works for our good.
Continue to pray for the families of the victims of the shootings in El Paso, TX, Dayton, OH, and Southaven, MS, and those who have lost their loved ones to senseless murders, cancer and other diseases. May they find comfort and peace in the midst of their mourning and they see the spoils of their war. Take a moment this week to discover your spoils of war. They are there! I promise. Don’t forget to live in the Red ~ Loved, Forgiven.
Saying, Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me: NEVERTHELESS, not my will, but yours be done.
Have you ever despised a job? Like really despised a job, so much that it would become mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically impossible for you to go to work everyday. I had a job that I hated for about 6 months and every day I would pray for a fender bender so that I would have an excuse to miss work. I know, sad but true. Not a major wreck, but a fender bender that would allow me to miss a few days of work, giving me a reprieve.
My boss was a mad woman who hated Christianity and anything associated with it; my subordinates were all very young and stayed in trouble all the time. Every morning, I woke up trying to figure out how I could get out of going to work.
I was miserable. I wanted to be done and over with this job NOW. My aunt called me one day and told me she had a book for me to read. It was called The Prayer of Jesus. She told me that it would literally change my life. Anything that could change my life was welcome! She gave me the book and I remember reading the scripture above. What stood out in the scripture was the word, NEVERTHELESS.
I decided to pray the prayer of Jesus about my job, so my prayer was “Lord, please give me another job; if there is ANYWHERE else that you would rather I would be, send me there, but NEVERTHELESS if this is where you want me to be, give me the strength to be here.” That was it. That was the prayer that I prayed over 17 years ago.
Until I read that book and studied the verse, I really didn’t understand the prayer. Now I realize that the scripture - that prayer, allows us to see the man and the deity of Jesus Christ. The man in him, said “Father please take this cup from me”. I can’t imagine, facing death on a cross and knowing the “why” - It would create salvation, but also knowing that it would be the most painful, humiliating price to pay for sins that you didn’t commit. And yet the deity, the savior, in an instant says, NEVERTHELESS… translated it means… In Spite Of, Yet, Though, In Any Event, Come what may, it’s not my will, but it’s your will.
That’s a place of total surrender. Of being FULLY persuaded that come what may, it is what it is, and I will do whatever I have to do. Do you have a NEVERTHELESS situation in your life? You know where you are in a place or a position that God has called you to, but your carnal man is screaming, please take this cup away from me! Please take this burden away from me! Even though, it’s for the greater good, I just can’t do it.
I am so happy that Jesus was real and transparent in that moment. It has taught me a valuable lesson. We all have struggles and face situations and circumstances that we just want to go away, even Jesus, the lover of our souls struggled for a brief moment with His assignment. However, it’s so significantly important to offer a NEVERTHELESS in that moment. God knows best. In my situation, He gave me another job. Literally two days after praying that prayer, I received a call for an interview and I have never looked back. With his death, Jesus created salvation. All because He offered a NEVERTHELESS prayer.
I will never forget the day my mother died. I prayed fervently for God to save my mom and keep her on earth with me and my sister. In the quiet early morning hours of February 25, 2001, God answered, “no”, in His still sweet sovereign voice. I remember initially crying in anguish and pain, but then, like Jesus as He accepted His fate on the cross, the NEVERTHELESS prayer happened… “not my will, but yours be done.” As I sat at my mom’s bedside, I prayed that God would receive my mother’s spirit and give her soul rest. Nevertheless…
I am sure some of you are facing some NEVERTHELESS moments, seasons, circumstances and you are praying that God would remove the cup. I implore you to offer a nevertheless prayer. One thing that I do know is that God loves you. He wants you to trust him with all of your heart and lean not to your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6), and He will direct your paths. Today, lean in, trust, give God your NEVERTHELESS, and remember you are Loved and Forgiven. Live in the Red!