“Challenges come to change your playing field.”
Very few people like challenges but we all need challenges if we are to improve or rise higher than where we are.
Forms of challenges
Challenges can be people in your life who do not want to accept whatever you say but would want you to justify them.
It can be situations in your life that you have taken for granted and you now run into difficulties. This could be financial, family or relational or in ration to other matters.
There different responses we can make when challenges come:
- Pretend there is no challenge;
- Cry wolf; throw temper tantrums or
- Confront the challenge head on and use it to rise higher, become better rather becoming bitter.
The truth is that challenges are essential in life and they come to each one of us and they come to change our playing field.
No matter what you do or where you are at, there is always a room for improvement. You can be better. Good is the enemy of the better and better can be the enemy of the best. And those who stay at the top of their game, remain trend-setters, always embrace challenges to change their playing field.
On the other hand, those who do not want their boat rocked, remain where they are or even retrogress over time without knowing.
There is no need to ignore challenges when they come. Welcome them with open arms as partners for progress. See how you can use them to learn something new. See how you can use your new knowledge to rise higher in your chosen field. So the way you see challenges matters a great deal. It will make or mar your future.
Why does the eagle welcome the storm that kills other birds? It sees the storm as a pattern that will enable it soar to heights that are hitherto a dream. And when the storm comes all the eagle does is to sit somewhere and study the wind current and know when to open its wings and take full advantage and soar to the height it desires.
As a child of God, welcome challenges like an eagle.
31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. Isa40:31
Know beyond every doubt that God’s thoughts towards you are not evil but good, to give you a future and a hope.
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope Jer29:11
When the challenges come, partner with the Holy Spirit, who is your Counselor, Your guide, your standby, your advantage and your teacher. Pray in the spirit and as you do, your will let the Holy spirit pray through you in line with the perfect will of God. So doing you will know what to do regarding the challenges you face. He will guide you to make the decision that would take you to a higher height and a better place.
6 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. John16:7
Trust in the Lord
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego faced a storm, a challenge and their lives were on the line. They were required to bow down to the image of gold that the king had built. All other did but these three Hebrew youth, despite being in a privilege position in the land, made up their minds that they would not compromise their religious conviction that only God is to be worshipped. They were prepared to die if it came to that. So what happened?
The king threatened to throw them into a furnace that had been heated seven times hotter than normal. He was made aware that they defied him once and so gave them another chance.
The King’s Threat
14 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up?
15 Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?”
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.
17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.
18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
Using the Storm to Rise
8 They faced the storm head on. They were not afraid to face the consequences.
God did not spare them being thrown into the furnace but He protected them in it. Besides he used that situation to glorify His name.
The king was surprised that the fire could not harm them. In fact they were thrown in tied but the fire set them free to walk in the flames. And God sent his Son to be with them in the furnace.
The king was so overwhelmed that he almost turned a worship leader in his praise to God.
9 The King Is Overwhelmed and Praises
Nebuchadnezzar Praises God
26 Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire.
27 And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.
28 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God!
29 Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.”
Change of playing field
The storm changed the play field of these three young men. It took them higher than it met them. They were promoted. They were celebrated. They were acknowledged. They made history with their uncompromising stand.
30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon.
This is what God expects of you and I when we face storms or opposing circumstances. If God be for us, who can be against us. Our light afflictions work for us.
17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 2Cor4:17
Their challenge changed their playing field. It took them to a higher plane.
What challenge are you facing today? Be wise to embrace it. Then commit it to God in prayers. Praying the Spirit. Let the Counselor give you divine direction. God guides. He wants to be involved in all your affairs. He wants your life to bring Him glory. He wants your live to go from glory to glory and strength to strength and faith to faith. Trust in Him and not just in yourself. He knows better. He knows the end from the beginning. Partner with Him to take your higher through the challenge your face. Thank Him for the challenge and thank Him for the higher height that you are destined to attain through it. Give Him praise even before you see. Then go ahead and do what He leads you to do to get there.