‭‭Not Measuring Up (missing the cut)‬‬

I would like to think that I’m athletic, but I was always skinny and short, so most of the time, unless the part called for, skinny and short, I wasn’t towards the top of anyone’s draft choice board

One of the most embarrassing and traumatizing moments in my young life was when the gym coach had everyone lined up, so two captains could choose teams. Much like Donkey, in the Shrek movie, deep down inside I was jumping up and down yelling, “Ohhh, choose me, choose me!!!”

I would like to think that I’m athletic, but I was always skinny and short, so most of the time, unless the part called for, skinny and short, I wasn’t towards the top of anyone’s draft choice board.

But, I was picked to be on San Bernardino’s JCC’s Little League Braves, most likely because my middle brother David was a stud. Anyways, Coach Art sternly warned me every time I stepped up to the plate, “Put that bat on your shoulder son and don’t even think about swinging!!!” Since I was short, my strike zone was probably the size of a piece of paper, Coach Art knew no 11-14yr old had that much command of their pitches to hit a target that size three times. I always got walked. I had a .000 batting average that year, but was on base probably 20 times. Lol, Coach Art saw me as a “sure-thing” when it came to having someone on base.

I have read many accounts of how a random incident like a flat tire, caused someone to miss work on 9/11, or other occasions when a fluke hold-up was enough for someone to miss what would have been disastrous. An alarm clock that one person forgot to set, a bus that was missed, a train delay, a missed taxi, a sick child and so on.

In 2nd Samuel Chapter 8 there is a Biblical account of missing the cut, not measuring up and it’s a good thing.

2 Samuel 8:2 NLT “David also conquered the land of Moab. He made the people lie down on the ground in a row, and he measured them off in groups with a length of rope. He measured off two groups to be executed for every one group to be spared. The Moabites who were spared became David’s subjects and paid him tribute money.”

The Bible has some odd storylines, this one is just one verse, but I’m sure when the Moabites were living it out, it was terrifying.

War is hell, and we cannot fully judge the thought process behind David’s decision of how to handle these people. Most nations were utterly destroyed, so saving 1/3rd seems genuinely gracious to those 1/3rd who ”Made the Cut”. I can almost hear the wailing for those that didn’t, and the sighs of relief for those that were spared.

So what do we do with Scriptures that seem so barbaric and cruel? If we run this through the matrix of what it says in 2 Timothy 3:16, how is 2 Samuel 8:2 supposed to help me?

Then I start to think of what the Scriptures say about sin, how we are all sinners and fall short of Gods Glory, and how the wages of our sin is death, and how no one is good, no not even one. Therefore in reality we are all measured out and fall within the 2/3rds of those that should die.

NOBODY measures up to the other 1/3rd. Except ONE, yes that 1/3rd falls on Christ and he says, I’ll pay their debt, you let them live, I’ll die for them.

So then our mourning turns to gladness because we have been spared…

And His gladness turns to utter grief, because He will be handed over to the cruelest of all terrorists the world had known. The professional executioners in Rome.

You see the Romans didn’t invent crucifixion. NO, they perfected it. They learned how to make it take days for a person to die, and it was publicly on display to show anyone who walked by, “This is what happens to those who do …” Your crime was posted above you as a deterrent and reminder to anyone who read it. Being crucified was so terrible they invented a word to accurately describe the pain. EXCRUCIATING.

So what was Jesus’ crime?

Jesus of Nazareth

King of the Jews.

A phony charge, tried in a rigged court, in the middle of the night with no chance of a reprieve.

He took the fall, for you and me. He did it so that we would always measure up. Our sin, our faults and failures, our miserable, despicable lives, in place of His. So remember what He did, the next time you think you are not WORTHY and that you don’t MEASURE UP.

To the Holy and Anointed One, you were more than worth it.




There is a hope and a promise that has been deferred, that will soon come into full effect in your personal life, private time and public ministry. I truly believe it.

Last week I received this word, and I shot it to a pastor friend of mine because I thought it was a specific word. But I never got a response to it, so naturally I got salty, but God in his gentle way said, “My Word doesn’t return to me empty, or void, it’s not a specific word to an individual, but to my children within your sphere of influence.”

So forgive me for almost robbing you of a blessing. Here it goes…

Psalm 119:49 NIV “Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope.”

What old promise keeps you going strong? What prophesy of old has not yet come to pass? What is it, that looks like defeat from other people’s perspective that you know deep inside was Gods way of saying, “Not yet”?

I’m thinking of you today and say this, REMIND HIM of that WORD he gave to you that has given you hope.

PERHAPS you need to remind yourself of that word. Dust off that old cassette tape that they used to hand out when the prophet was in town. Go back to that old Bible you highlighted and circled and underlined in. The one that doesn’t have any space in the margins and sleeves because of the notes and ideas that came to you in your prayer time.

There is a hope and a promise that has been deferred, that will soon come into full effect in your personal life, private time and public ministry. I truly believe it. I’m pulled over down a dead end road typing you today.

REMEMBER the promise!

Peter wrote, God is not slack, in keeping his promise.

I believe there is a redemption coming, a wave of repentance about to shake our city, churches and homes. I pray for boldness to come on every pulpit and living room like never before. I pray for greater compassion and clarity as well. A supernatural sensitivity and a fine tuned ear and heart to the things that are righteous and pure. I just asked God why not eyes? And I believe He wants us to totally trust without having to see it. We will just know that we know. There will be a “God-Peace”

I struggle for the correct wording, because my fingers want to write… broken heart for the lost, but that really doesn’t quite explain it. We will just know.

Someone’s promise is for families, relationships, health, and lives restored, while others are hoping for a financial or business/professional breakthroughs.

You are in my thoughts and prayers. I remind you today, Remember the promise.

Love you.



Chin Checked

How many times have you been so certain about a thing that you spoke without first checking all the possible outcomes

2 Samuel 7:2-5 NLT

“the king summoned Nathan the prophet. “Look,” David said, “I am living in a beautiful cedar palace, but the Ark of God is out there in a tent!” Nathan replied to the king, “Go ahead and do whatever you have in mind, for the Lord is with you.” But that same night the Lord said to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord has declared: Are you the one to build a house for me to live in?”

It’s been over 4 months since I last wrote my thoughts about 2nd Samuel. I left off on Chapter 6, King David finally brought the Ark of the Lord back to Israel. We don’t know how much time has passed between Chapters 6 and 7, and it probably doesn’t matter.

All that matters is this…

David is looking around and appreciating what he has. A lot could be said about that. How many of us take the time to look around and appreciate what we have?

It seems like in our house, just when I’m getting used to the decor, my wife is ready to change everything. To me home is wherever I kick off my shoes. I’m not concerned with styles, trends, etc… but Ti, oh no! It’s Modern, Contemporary, Farmhouse, Mid-Century Modern. I’m like, WHATEVER! Just give me a place to sit, the remote and a cold drink and I’m happy.

King David finally has peace from all his enemies. The previous verses say, he settled in his palace and was at rest. No fighting, no issues, no fires to put out. He’s probably on his favorite chair, with the remote and a cold beverage in his hand. What at this particular time makes him think about where the Ark is located?

Could it be that as hard as it was to get the Ark back from Abinadab’s house, then the fiasco with Uzzah, and then sending it to Obed-edoms house… could it be that King David was pondering the Holiness of this thing?

If indeed there was to be no more wandering, hiding and living like vagabonds for Gods people, perhaps it’s time for the very Presence of God (the Mercy Seat) to finally have a proper resting place as well?

So back to my original thought, David has this brilliant idea, “I’m going to build God a house!!!”

He was so fond of his brainchild, he straightaway shares it with the prophet, and Nathan without hesitation agrees. “Dude, that’s a brilliant idea!”

Something like that.

But a funny thing happens that evening. The Prophet Nathan gets “chin checked” by God. Funny to me, not so funny to Nathan. Nope he probably felt like a straight up sucker.

I’ve been there, open mouth & insert foot.

God tells Nathan, “Dude, you were out of line, go tell David, he isn’t building me anything!”

And that’s what I want to focus on.

How many times have you spoken with an authority that wasn’t yours?

How many times have you been so certain about a thing that you spoke without first checking all the possible outcomes?

I’ve been there, and to say “it sucks” doesn’t even begin to shed light on how it feels to get set in your place.

It’s so humiliating! I can imagine Nathan dreading having to go back to the King, and tell him, God said…


But God wasn’t being a jerk! Not even close, He was essentially saying,


“You might build me a house that might last decades, but I’m going to build your house and it will last FOREVER!”

What in your life is temporary? What have you spent so long building that won’t even last 2 generations?

My brother David once told me, “John, it’s possible that your children’s, grandchildren won’t know a thing about you, other than your name.”

And I started to think, that’s true, I don’t know much about my great-grandparents other than they’re my grandparents – parents.

What kind of legacy will I have, will you have?

Let God build something in you – thru you that will last generations.

“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” Proverbs 19:21 NLT

If you let it…




How does a man, who went to college with a $500 art scholarship end up playing 6 yrs in the NFL?

There are teachable moments happening all-day, everyday if you bother to pay attention. Whether you are in the laundry room folding clothes and listening to the television in the other room that is playing Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, or you are in your work truck listening to sports talk radio. Someone is telling a story that was born out of adversity, out of travail.

For me, last week I heard one sentence that made me have to pull over to the side of the road to write it down.

While I was listening to The Rich Eisen Show on FOX Sports Radio, Rich had former athlete and current actor, Terry Crews as a guest. Terry had shared about being a walk-on football player who eventually earned a scholarship to play for Western Michigan University, he spoke on his lofty expectations of getting drafted into the NFL. How he felt round after round not getting a call from a team on draft day, eventually getting chosen in the 11th round.

For approximately 15 minutes he spoke of never quitting, even when everything was telling him he failed. He spoke of high expectations and pursuing a dream. When Rich asked him, if he ever took acting lessons, Terry to all our surprise, responded, NO.

How does a man, who went to college with a $500 art scholarship end up playing 6 yrs in the NFL?

How does a man who never took an acting lesson end up hosting America’s Got Talent, and guest stars on the current best comedy show Brooklyn Nine-Nine?

Is it Gods Favor?

Is it destiny or some otherworldly purpose?

Perhaps, but something Terry said made me pull over to write it down.

He said, “I was afraid to fail, to mess up, but then I saw other well known actors mess up, and no one cared.”


“Perfection is not expected, FAITHFULNESS is!”

You see, you don’t have to get it all right, you don’t have to make correct decisions every-time, but you are expected to be faithful. Show up everyday, do your job to the best of your ability.

I’m sure you have wondered, “Why is she in that position? Who did she sleep with?”

Ahhh come on now, I know you thought it!

Or, “Why is he doing that? I’m more qualified!”

Could it be that they aren’t more qualified, just… more FAITHFUL?

Is faithfulness enough of a qualification?

Can your classmates, teammates, co-workers, family, friends, employers, spouses, or children, count on you?

Are you reliable?

In what area in your life are you looking to be flawless, instead of just being faithful?


Why I’m here

First blog, not for the sensitive.

I’m looking forward to imparting some wisdom or shedding some light on my view of things. You may not agree, but hey. It’s my blog, you start your own! I can be sarcastic, brutally honest and sometimes I’ve been called brash. But it is mostly by those who have no sense of humor and have been given participation trophies all of their sheltered lives.

I’m trying to journal my way through the Bible. Not in any particular order, but once I choose a book it’s going to be chapter by chapter. I’ll be loosely using the S. O. A. P. Format; Scripture Observation Application Prayer. I hope in some way you are provoked to dig deeper into the scriptures.



Careless Worship

Our ideal environment and greatest need is to be in the presence of God; before God gave Adam a wife, He gave him, HIMSELF!

If you are wondering where I’ve been, I’ve been on vacation. As we continue to journal through the book of 2nd Samuel this is where we left off; David was finally King over a unified Israel, and 2nd Samuel 6 tells us about how King David plans on getting the Ark of the Covenant back to its rightful place. You see, the Philistines had captured it after a battle (1 Samuel 5 & 6) and having it, brought nothing but trouble to them. So they carted it off to the nearest town they could find that worshiped the God of Israel.

It would be over 20 years before the Ark was returned to its rightful place. King Saul was too busy pursuing David to care about God’s presence; if you remember, Eli, the High Priest fell backwards off his seat, broke his neck and died when he heard that the Ark was taken in that battle. You would think that getting it back would be priority, but King Saul was wrestling with some pretty dark stuff to be trifled with the affairs of the priesthood. He just didn’t VALUE God’s Presence.

We place a value on everything that we have, and the things we do or do not do, are also prioritized by how we value them. We as human beings place or bestow honor to things.

I value my family; therefore I care for the needs of my family. They are important to me so I honor them by working hard. My kids know that I love them, and I care for them because I value them.

We value our favorite teams, musicians, politicians and actors. We treat them with the utmost respect and reverence. We are awestruck when we catch just a glimpse of them. We will wait for hours in bad weather to watch them walk down the red carpet at the award shows. Some people idolize their hero’s, they are fanatics, with posters and memorabilia, adorning their rooms.

My question today is…

• Where is our adoration for God?

• Where has our reverence gone?

• What value have we placed on that relationship?

Peter calls us to be; Holy as God is holy, and we are also called a holy nation, a royal priesthood. 1 Peter 2:9

Holy/Pure: not mixed with anything else!

Have the things of God become so commonplace in our lives, that we no longer honor or value Him?

Where is the fear of that Awesome God — the Master of the Universe?

Many would ask,

• God, where are you in my life?

• Don’t you see what’s going on?

• My family is in shambles, my finances gone, I’m at the end of the road, and I can’t take much more.

• Don’t you care?

God would say to you today, when will you honor ME, when will you revere ME? I am able to do more than you could ever ask or imagine, (Ephesians 3:20) but where is the honor due ME?

We all want to experience the God of INCREASE, the God of More than Enough, but some just need to Experienced God first!

You may have been saved for 20 or 30 years. BUT what in your life TODAY points to an Almighty God as your Lord and Savior? I know He used to move in your life, but what has HE done for you, or through you lately?

John 4:23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. (NIV)

You see the time has come for true worshipers to come together, yet there are some that refuse to be moved.

Think about this, If Jesus said, there were true worshipers, that must mean some worship is not “true worship”.

My prayer for you today is to experience God once again!

We have no problem cheering like maniacs at sports arenas, crying like sissies at the show, yet we come to church with the notion that somehow God has to stir you.

What do we have to do to have a visitation from the Almighty?

We were created for continual fellowship with God, but sin got in the way and since God is a HOLY God, He had to remove man from His presence.

The environment God created in Eden was ideal for this unique fellowship. It was Gods garden, and man had dominion over everything there. It was a perfect place where the Creator and all of creation lived in harmony. When Adam chose to eat the only forbidden thing in the garden, God DROVE man out of His presence and since then, man has been longing to fill that emptiness, and restore that connection with other things and other gods.

Our ideal environment and greatest need is to be in the presence of God; before God gave Adam a wife, He gave him, HIMSELF!

It was never Gods plan for us to have to WORK to get into His presence. Every part of our lives was to be done in the presence of God. His plan was for us never to have to function without HIM!

Praise and Worship doesn’t put us back into Gods presence, it brings His presence to us.

You might say, “Dude, I just don’t know how to praise! It’s awkward, and it’s weird!” That is because Praise that isn’t practiced privately can’t be displayed publically!

Psalm 22:22 (NLT) I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters. I will praise you among your assembled people.

During King Saul’s reign, the Ark of the Covenant was not among Israel. The Philistines had removed it. The Ark of the Covenant was the literal presence of God tabernacling with His people. (Exodus 25:8 paraphrased… “Make a place for me to dwell among my people”)

God had given Moses detailed instructions of how the tent/tabernacle was to be built. He had set it up in such a way that you just couldn’t stumble into His presence, because if you did… you would die! It was curtained off, with inner and outer veils. There were altars that continually burned sacrifices, lavers for cleansing and special clothes for the priests to wear.

God had to be approached clean, and in a prescribed manner.

So after King Saul died, King David wanted Gods Glory and presence in the city of David. Something was missing in Israel and it was God. King David knew that he couldn’t rule without God so he got a plan to get back the ARK.

2 Samuel 6:1-7 David again brought together out of Israel chosen men, thirty thousand in all. He and all his men set out from Baalah of Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim that are on the ark. They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the LORD, with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums and cymbals. When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The LORD’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down and he died there beside the ark of God. (NIV)

There is a right way and a wrong way to come to God, Again I ask, where is the reverence and honor due HIM?

John 4:24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” (NIV)

His grace is sufficient, I know. And the blood and sacrifice of Jesus is a game changer, but has God changed? The Bible states that He doesn’t change, He is the same today yesterday and forever. He still is HOLY; He still is awesome in Word and Deed.

Psalm 56:4 (Amp) By [the help of] God I will praise His word; on God I lean, rely, and confidently put my trust; I will not fear. What can man, who is flesh, do to me?

Praise is a CONSCIENCE choice.

I have made a choice to commend, approve, and glorify Him. It isn’t an emotional decision. It is a choice.

THEREFORE, it doesn’t matter how I feel, I will praise Him in the STORM, I’ll praise Him in the valley of the shadow of death, I’ll praise Him in the good times and the bad, because it is a conscience choice and not based on emotions! I can praise because I KNOW that He is the ANSWER to all my problems.

Psalm 145:2 (Amp) Every day [with its new reasons] will I bless You [affectionately and gratefully praise You]; yes, I will praise Your name forever and ever.

Hebrews 13:15 (Amp) let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name.

All farmers know that in order to produce fruit there has to be a time of sowing.

Sowing isn’t easy, it comes with a cost.

Praise sometimes takes everything within you. Giving God your sacrifice of praise means that you choose to dwell on Him instead of yourself, your issues, your roadblocks, your problems, and your circumstance.

Praise is an EXPRESSION of Faith, So Praise must be expressed.

James 2:17 says, So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Praise expressed in faith holds on to a promise that is not yet seen. It is Praising God even when the circumstances say otherwise; it is Praising God when the outcome isn’t visible. It is Praising God while the walls are still round about your promise.

A sacrifice of praise says, “I don’t know what You are doing or why You are doing it, but I’m going to trust You because You have never failed me.

I don’t understand it, and it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me… YET I WILL PRAISE.

Psalm 34: 1 I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

In 2 Samuel 6:1-7 Uzzah’s careless act cost him his life, perhaps he was used to the Ark, since it was at his house for 20 years, I don’t know perhaps he took peeks at it wherever it was stored. We could all speculate the “WHY” of this act of carelessness, but one thing is certain… the Ark still had power.

That had to be demoralizing to David. Here he brings a 30,000 piece marching band and choir to bring back the Ark, and during one of the songs God shows up and kills a guy.

How many pastors would have quit after that service? David was hot with God, he had his moment of frustration but he realized, perhaps I don’t know what I’m doing here. We better figure out the prescribed way of carrying this thing.

Were the 30,000 genuinely worshipping? YES!

Was there an acceptable way that was pleasing to God? YES!

It took David 3 months to get over that disastrous worship failure, so when he finally decided to give it another try. They carried it by hand the next time the prescribed way.

I believe with every step they took and as the Ark got closer to the place it was supposed to be, the glory surrounding it increased, and I also believe there are folks that will read this that also have to take steps back towards your rightful place.

• There are some that have wandered off… come back!

• There are some that have been led astray… come back!

• There are some that have given up hope… come back!

• And there are some who have nothing to lose and nowhere else to turn… come back!

Father God, We need your presence in our lives, our families, our work places, our communities and in our churches. We have grown accustomed to the busyness of our everyday lives and our worship has become common. Forgive us for thinking we can habitually come into your presence in a manner that is less than reverent and holy. We have gone too far, too long without You and we repent and ask for forgiveness. We need You like we need the air we breathe. We desire You like a thirsty man in the desert. May our worship be a blessing to You and may our sacrifice be an acceptable sweet smelling fragrance in your nostrils. We love and appreciate your grace, kindness and mercy towards us. You are Holy and Worthy to be PRAISED.




If David had never dealt with Goliath, or the taunts of one man, how could he have ever dealt with the taunts of an entire city?

About a year ago I posted this message, and it happened to fall on the week I am journaling thru 2nd Samuel Chapter 5. I didn’t change much except for a few thoughts and the prayer. I didn’t feel like there was much to add. As I read through the Scriptures I look for something that will minister to me, these few verses still stood out as what I needed to continue to marinate on. Perhaps it is because I feel inadequate sometimes? Perhaps it’s because I’m getting older and in the process of having to compete with younger people at the Department of Transportation for job opportunities? Nevertheless the taunts of the enemy are sometimes overwhelming. It’s always good to hear what God has to say about it.

So if you are saying to yourself, “I already read this a year ago why bother?” I say to you, “perhaps you need to hear it again!”

2 Samuel 5:3-6 (Amp) So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them [there] before the Lord, and they anointed [him] king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began his forty-year reign. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah. And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, You shall not enter here, for the blind and the lame will prevent (stop) you; they thought, David cannot come in here…

If David had never dealt with Goliath, or the taunts of one man, how could he have ever dealt with the taunts of an entire city?

1) How have you dealt with opposition in your life? (Taunts)

Proverbs 21:22 (Amp) A wise man scales the city walls of the mighty and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.

A wise man sees the obstacle in front of him, a wise man considers the strategy of the enemy, and he plans the engagement carefully. The enemy trusts in his walls, the same walls that supposedly are keeping you out, are holding him in. He’s trapped in what he thinks is his salvation. While hiding behind deaf, dumb, lame and blind gods.  If you are always trying to accomplish things on your own, and using your own means, power and provision, then the enemy sees you as easy pickings. In fact he sees you as such an easy opponent that the blind and the lame, could keep you from getting that which has been promised to you.

Judges 1:21(NKJ) But the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites who inhabited Jerusalem; so the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem to this day.

At one time Jerusalem had been a conquest of the tribe of Benjamin, but they allowed the Jebusites to dwell among them, and eventually the Jebusites took over the city. How many times in our attempts to manage our troubles do we eventually get to the point where our troubles overtake us? Little problems and sins that we fail to completely surrender, now taunt us every time we perceive to confront them.

Strongs: 2982  Yebuwc (yeb-oos’); from 947; trodden, i.e. Threshing-place;  947 buwc (boos); a primitive root; to trample (literally or figuratively):  KJV– loath, tread (down, under [foot]), be polluted.

Trample: to tread heavily, or to tread heavily on something or somebody so as to cause damage or injury. Trample: to behave in an insulting contemptuous way or to treat somebody in a hurtful insulting way

Pollute: Corrupt or Defile: to make somebody morally or spiritually impure. Pollute: Desecrate; to violate the sacred nature of a holy place. (Encarta Dictionary)

Those very people whom the tribe of Benjamin allowed to live and dwell among them ended up taking over, they became a reproach. The possession of peace became a threshing place. The promise of God became polluted, desecrated, this strategic location, this central city, this city on a hill, became a place where its inhabitants worshipped blind and lame gods, (idols) and they didn’t even dispute that. They didn’t hide that fact they trusted in their walls.

2) If you were David, what would you be prepared to do?

• Turn back and come another time?

• Be so twisted by the taunts that you lose your cool and make a mistake?

• Question God?

Or Would You…

• Prepare to take your city!

• Prepare to get what’s promised!

• Prepare to fight with valor.

The Jebusites have taken the city and have fortified themselves in it, and if you weren’t a threat they wouldn’t be looking for you to come.

They glory in their walled fortress, but the Bible says:

Proverbs 18:10 (NKJ) The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

The very name of our Lord should be a fortress to you.

Romans 10:13 (NKJ) For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

They glory in their advantage, but the Bible says:

Hebrews 13:6 (Amp) So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?

Psalm 27:1 (Amp) The Lord is my Light and my Salvation—whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 118:6 (Amp) The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

They glory in their pride and strength. But the Bible says:

Psalm 56:9 (ESV) Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me.

Romans 8:31 (ESV) then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

• You are not taking that city alone

• You are not facing this difficulty alone

• You are not dealing with this obstacle alone

3) Who is your fortress, pride and strength?

Psalm 71:4-8 (AMP) Rescue me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the grasp of the unrighteous and ruthless man. For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my trust from my youth and the source of my confidence. Upon You have I leaned (stability) and relied from birth; You are He who took me from my mother’s womb and You have been my benefactor from that day. My praise is continually of You. I am as a wonder and surprise to many, but You are my strong refuge. My mouth shall be filled with Your praise and with Your honor all the day.

Psalm 121:1, 2 (MSG) 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.

4) Have you considered who you surround yourself with?

Because even the blind and the lame could keep you out if you let them, if you surround yourself with people of no vision, and no spiritual walk! Ah ha! There’s the catch! Who are your companions? My grandma used to always say, “Show me who you walk with and I’ll show you who you are.” I never really paid that much attention, because I always felt my crowd was ok. But don’t we all think that the crowd we are running with are different than those hooligans down the street. I mean we never really did anything too bad. Or were we just better at getting away with dirt than them? Who are we really surrounded by?

• Do my companions have vision? Do they have a call, purpose and destiny that they are striving for?

• Do my companions walk uprightly? Do they make good decisions, and do they hold me to a godly standard in my spiritual walk?

• Do my companions enable me to realize my destiny? Or are they foolish and a hindrance?

Maybe that’s you, surrounded by foolish companions. It’s not too late to pray with me…

Father God,

I’ve been a companion with fools, I have made bad choices, silly decisions and nearly forfeited my future for what is temporary and nonsensical. I’ve let those with no vision and walk steer me to places I never should have gone towards, but only by Your Grace have I’ve made it through all the mess. Heavenly Father, I know it’s not too late to realize the destiny, promise and purpose for my life for as long as I have breath, there is still hope. Thank you for not giving up on me, enable me to make new friends, with like minded people of purpose and destiny, and give me a courage to stand for the things that are righteous even when it not popular to do so. Knowing I am not standing alone. Help me to get past the taunts of those who would keep me from what You have for me, and tune in on Your Word and Your voice. Amen.

So what did David do? He and his guys took the city!

2 Samuel 5:7,10 Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the City of David… David became greater and greater, for the Lord God of hosts was with him.