A few days ago reading the story of the 5 ‘daughters of Zelophehad’, I picked a few interesting things. Their father had died in the wilderness as the Israelites journeyed to Canaan. They were girls so they were not eligible for land allotment in terms of patriarchal Jewish inheritance customs. These girls would have none of that.
“Our father died in the wilderness…but he had no sons. Why should the name of our father disappear just because he had no son…” Moses brought their case before the Lord.And the Lord replied to Moses, “The daughters of Zelophehad are correct. Give them land…; give them the property that would have been given to their father…” Numbers 27:3-6
What they did was without precedence. It was very bold. This is what faith does. It doesn’t focus on policies, laws, rules, processes, customs and precedence. It focuses on it’s goal. Rules were changed. They set a precedence!
1. Good things don’t come to those who wait
2. Faith operates above laws, customs, precedence, processes and policies
3. Rules are for those who can’t make their own
Let nobody tell you it can’t be done or has never be done. There is always a first!
“…the people living there are powerful, their cities are fortified and very large…we saw Anakim giants there!….But Caleb reassured the people….” Let us go up at once and possess it…for we are well able to conquer it! ” Numbers 13:28-30
The Israeli spies went into Canaan. They tasted the milk and honey. They munched the olives. They squeezed the juicy grapes. But they were still afraid. The land was beautiful! Yet this was marred by the ugliness of their fear.
Let’s rewind – this fear was completely misplaced because God had just done some mighty things in their midst:
God is the master of disruptive innovation. He had created a whole new nation out of another nation. He had engineered new water control technologies such as parting of the Red Sea, changed migratory patterns of birds, created a ‘just in time’ delicacy called manna, pioneered green house technologies through cloud of fire by day and pillar of fire by night.
Yet the people didn’t think about all these things ….except…one Caleb who said, “let’s go up at once and possess it” Therein lies some key lessons in strategy:
1. Execution is the cure for fear
2. Fear amplifies threats and diminishes opportunities
3. An opportunity of a lifetime exists in the lifetime of that opportunity
4. There is a special grace for every special challenge or opportunity
5. Challenges and opportunities gravitate towards solutions
6. If God brings you TO it, he will take you THROUGH it
In the new economy risky is the new safe and weird is the new normal. Fear not. Be disruptive. Be a game changer. In this coming month of April …execute, don’t delay!
Moses sent them out with these instructions:”Go northward into the hill country of the Negeb, and see what the land is like; …what the people are like who live there, whether they are strong or weak, many or few; and whether the land is fertile or not; and what cities there are, and whether they are villages or are fortified; whether the land is rich or poor, and whether there are many trees….” Numbers 13:17-23
I rate the Bible as the ultimate strategy resource. It is interesting that before the children of Israel went into Canaan, they had to do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis.
The whole book of Numbers is about counting the children of Israel according to their “ability to fight”. They wanted to assess the depth and breadth of their military strength. Secondly they assessed the actual opportunity – the fertility of the land, the wealth, type of cities, how the people live. This was a PESTEL (political, economic, environmental, social, technological, environmental and legal) analysis.
A few lessons to ponder:
1. Without a good plan, a good opportunity becomes bad for you
2. To unlock an opportunity you need a plan
3. To defeat your enemy, you need to study their habits, strengths and way of life
Are there some opportunity or challenges in your life today. Have a plan. Assess your strength. Set aside some time to think and get it right….
Reading the famous Hebrews 11 heroes of faith this morning – something provoked me. It wasn’t the faith of Abraham or the heroic acts of Samson. This did it for me:
“By faith we understand that the WORLDS [during the successive ages] were framed (fashioned, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose) by the WORD of God, so that what we see was not made out of things which are visible” – Hebrews 11:3
LOGOS brings order to CHAOS. It’s at the point when God spoke that “let there be light, water, heavens” that the earth began to take shape. In Genesis 1, the earth could not be made fruitful until it was first put in order. The same goes for your life. The Word puts your World in order. A field has the potential to produce a harvest, but until someone comes along to establish order, it will only produce thorns and thistles. Until there is a plan to a building all you will have is a mass of bricks and mortar. Every aspect of life only thrives when the is order.
1. Until order takes root, you cannot bear any fruit
2. Speak what you want to see into existence
3. Command order in your life
Facebook just bought messaging platform What’s App for USD19 billion. But guess what 5 years ago in 2009, the co founder Brian Acton of What’s App was turned down for a job by Facebook. What an interesting turn of events.
After a 19 billion windfall he is laughing or is it chatting all the way to the bank!
Facebook turned down WhatsApp’s co-founder for a job 5 years ago. Well they just paid UD19 billion for their lack of foresight!
1. Where you are is not who you are
2. Your situation is not your destination
3. Don’t underestimate your future worth, because of today’s value
My key message is that its not what you are called that matters , but what you answer to. Your identity in life is not defined by your blemishes, but the inner glory of your personality
I was barely 5 years old in 1981. I was at a preschool. I was afflicted with eczema so my skin was all spots. There was a house adjoined to the school fence, which had a peach tree. We went as a group of kids to get peaches over the fence. As I stretched out to ask for some peaches, a small boy who was hardly older than me said, “ I wont give you any because you have skin spots”
Boy was I gutted. My confidence took such a dive. However as I was to reflect over the next few days, I decided that I was not going to be defined by a blemish on my skin. No a thousand times no!
This incident has helped me to be more confident about who I am. The labels of others do not have an impact on me. Importantly I learnt that its not what you are called that matters but what you answer to – I answer to greatness. Through all seasons of life – the winter, the summer, autumn and spring – I now listen to the ‘great within’. I have learnt to live my life under the quiet approval of God than the noisy applause of others.
I am now comfortable in my own skin. This is the message I bring to many others. Today I am in a place where I use my voice, heart, hands and head to help others find their own voice. When one’s identity is secure, then the destiny is sure.
Ever wondered why Obama wears same suits, ties and colour shirts?
You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits,” [Obama] said. “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make
1. Take care of big decisions and the small decisions won’t matter
2. Always look at the bigger picture
3. Elephants don’t swat flies