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“Our job is not to win the battle. It’s to follow God’s battle plan.”

A thought by Larry Osborne (2015-04-01) from his book, Thriving in Babylon: Why Hope, Humility, and Wisdom Matter in a Godless Culture (Kindle Location 1985). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
I know.  That is not really what we want to hear on a Monday morning especially if you live in Los Angeles, California.  I mean every day on our freeways there is a battle to win.  Nobody waits for a space to open up so you can change lanes.  No we race to get in front.  We must win the battle.  But that isn’t necessarily God’s way.
Larry says, “There will be times when following God’s plan doesn’t seem to be working. But to those who have Daniel-like wisdom that begins with the fear of the Lord, that doesn’t matter. Even when God’s way seems to lead nowhere, it’s still the right path to take. He’s always right, even when we think he’s wrong. That’s why we call him God.”
But I know what is best.  No you don’t.  You and I aren’t God.
Proverbs 3: …

“Biblical humility offers respect to everyone.”

A thought by Larry Osborne (2015-04-01) from his book, Thriving in Babylon: Why Hope, Humility, and Wisdom Matter in a Godless Culture (Kindle Location 1552). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
I’m not really sure where we get our definitions of some words.  Larry shared that there was one particular person who “saw respect as a one-way street. She demanded it from others, but she gave it sparingly. They had to earn it. Her approach to life and others was the antithesis of biblical humility.”
He then goes on to say that biblical humility “goes much deeper than the hollow ‘yes, sir’ or ‘no, sir’ of a Southern gentleman. It’s the real deal, a heartfelt deference that comes from the recognition that everyone bears the image of God, no matter how marred that image might be.”
Larry in dealing here with Daniel and his time in the evil city of Babylon says, “This is the kind of respect that Daniel and his three friends showed toward everyone…

“God loves a mess.”

A thought by Larry Osborne (2015-04-01) from his book, Thriving in Babylon: Why Hope, Humility, and Wisdom Matter in a Godless Culture (Kindle Location 1228). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
Do you read the Bible?  Over in the book of Daniel there were at least two messes.  One was when three followers of God were thrown in a fiery furnace because they didn’t bow down to an idol.  They came out of that without the smell of smoke.  They came out alive.  But that was a mess.
Another mess was when Daniel was thrown into a lion’s den because he prayed to God.  But there was no problem.  He came out alive.  But that was a mess.
There was also a mess over in Exodus where the children of Israel had been leaving Egypt where they had been slaves.  Through a lot of different happenings the leader let them go so they could go to a land that God had promised.  God had worked that all out and he then brought them to the Red Sea and they had mou…

“When we focus on the size of our problems, we forget the size of our God.”

A thought by Larry Osborne (2015-04-01) from his book, Thriving in Babylon: Why Hope, Humility, and Wisdom Matter in a Godless Culture (Kindle Locations 1101-1103). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.(Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
So many of do this.  I have trouble reading Facebook because of all the despair.  I mean to many people the world is coming to an end because of what is happening all around us.  Granted it has been a tough couple of weeks but remember what the early Christians went through? 
Now understand this.  John writes, “Panic and fear sell. They’re riveting and keep listeners and readers coming back for more. They don’t want to miss anything. Frankly, the media and most ministry fund-raisers need a crisis to motivate people to watch, listen, and give. If they don’t have one, they’ll create one. And if all they have is a small one, they’ll make it into a big one.”  And so many people feed that into their mind all day long and wonder why they are a…

“When we obey the light we have, God shows up.”

A thought by Larry Osborne (2015-04-01) from his book, Thriving in Babylon: Why Hope, Humility, and Wisdom Matter in a Godless Culture (Kindle Location 925). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
There is the story of Sam Young when he was President of Eastern Nazarene College and of a confused young man who came to see him and who asked Dr. Young an important question.  He asked, “How do I know what is God’s will for my life?”  Dr. Young then asked him, “Did you ever know?”  And the young man said, “Yes.”  And then Dr. Young asked, “Did you do it?”  And he said, “No.”  “When we obey the light we have, God shows up.”
Larry goes on to say, “And every time he does, our hope grows stronger. We begin to experience biblical hope— the deep-seated optimism and confidence that comes from knowing that God can be trusted even when we have no idea what he’s up to.”
He then says, “We don’t have to worry about what we don’t know. Because when we obey…

“Our failures don’t have to define us.”

A thought by Larry Osborne (2015-04-01) from his book, Thriving in Babylon: Why Hope, Humility, and Wisdom Matter in a Godless Culture (Kindle Locations 813-814). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
Do you do that?  It can be an easy thing to do but it can be something that holds us back from living the life God has for us.  But you don’t know what I did?  I don’t but God does. 
I like how John Ortberg puts it in his book, Life-Changing Love: Moving God's Love from Your Head to Your Heart.  He says, “God sees with utter clarity who we are. He is undeceived as to our warts and wickedness. But when God looks at us that is not all he sees. He also sees who we are intended to be, who we will one day become. We sometimes say love is blind, but it is not so. Love alone truly sees, sees with this double vision. And in the act of seeing, God begins to call to the surface the goodness and beauty in us that is now visible only to him, so t…

“Endurance reaps great rewards.”

A thought by Larry Osborne (2015-04-01) from his book, Thriving in Babylon: Why Hope,Humility, and Wisdom Matter in a Godless Culture (Kindle Location 793). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
But here is the problem. Larry says, “It’s no fun getting there. Perhaps that’s why Paul and James both made a point to encourage us not to give up when stressed or pushed to our limits. They knew what happens to those who cut bait and run away. They also knew what happens to those who hang on and let endurance finish its work. They knew they end up handling the kinds of trials that break most others.”
Now I know what we really want is to not have to even go through being pushed to our limit but that is not the way that the Christian life works.  Now maybe the cut bait and run away life works that way but not the mature Christ follower way of life.  And there are rewards for our endurance.
Larry then says, “Endurance produces the mental toughness…

“Without perspective, everything gets blown out of proportion.”

A thought by Larry Osborne (2015-04-01) from his book, Thriving in Babylon: Why Hope, Humility, and Wisdom Matter in a Godless Culture (Kindle Location 760). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
Perspective, without it Larry says, “Everything gets blown out of proportion. We catastrophize. The loss of privilege becomes harsh persecution. Opposition becomes hatred. And every legal or electoral setback becomes cause for anguish and despair. In short, we evaluate and extrapolate without putting God into the equation. Unfortunately, those who most lack perspective seldom realize it. Why does a two-year-old think waiting five minutes is an eternity? Why does a trust-fund baby think flying coach is the end of the world?Why does a Little League parent scream and yell at an umpire’s bad call? In each case, it’s a lack of perspective.”
But once you have it, you have perspective, Larry says, “It changes everything. It allows us to see the bigger…

“It’s easy to obey God when we agree with him.”

A thought by Larry Osborne (2015-04-01) from his book, Thriving in Babylon: Why Hope, Humility, and Wisdom Matter in a Godless Culture (Kindle Locations 741-742). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
That is so true isn’t it?  But that is not the end of the thought.  Larry goes on to say, “But that’s not really obedience.”  It really isn’t.
He then says, “But let’s be honest. When things go south, our theology often goes out the window. When the path of obedience doesn’t make sense, appears too costly, or doesn’t seem to be working, we’re quick to blaze our own trail.”
We know best.  Surely He doesn’t want me to do that?  But here’s the key, “We haven’t learned obedience until we do what he says despite our doubts, confusion, or concern that his way won’t work out…  A lot of the things God wants us to do don’t make sense in a spiritually hostile environment. They seem counterproductive. Consider some of his most basic and well-known co…

“It’s not our job to determine if the faith of others is genuine or fake.”

A thought by Larry Osborne (2015-04-01) from his book, Thriving in Babylon: Why Hope,Humility, and Wisdom Matter in a Godless Culture(Kindle Locations 544-545). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
I have just finished a book and now I am looking for a new one.  I have just bought three new books and have been getting through the beginning of all of them to see which one I will find challenging and enlightening to not only me but to you.
Now this thought stopped me.  I fight within me to be critical of the Christian world and its tendency toward fighting battles that I don’t perceive as God’s battles.  In other words I fight being judgmental of others.  But as Larry says, “It’s not our job to determine if the faith of others is genuine or fake.”  He goes on to say, “We’re not supposed to take it upon ourselves to weed out the genuine from the counterfeit. That’s God’s job. Jesus made it clear that we are to leave the weeding to him.”
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