Never Say JUST An Ox-Goad
Using What You Have
(Unstoppable Session 3)
Before Shamgar defeated the Philistines and saved Israel, no one would have picked him as a man destined for greatness
Here is the secret to live an unstoppable life :
1) Start Where You Are
2) Use What You Have
3) Do What You Can
These are some helps and hints that you can jot down in your journal and work through that relate to session three in the Unstoppable series as we discussed Using What You Have.
Here is a bit of background :
Shamgar is the third in a series of judges whom God raised up to lead the nation of Israel during the years between the death of Joshua and the rise of King Saul. The judges of Israel were not formally recognized leaders. They were not elected, appointed, anointed or installed. Israel had no formal leadership whatsoever. “In those days,” the book of Judges tells us, “there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes“
And what the people thought was right in their own eyes was horribly wrong in the eyes of God. The people fell away from God and his Law. They began worshipping the demon-gods of the surrounding culture. Their society began to crumble and decay, and in time they were taken captive by neighboring nations. While in captivity, the people would repent and return to God, and God would raise up a new leader, a judge, a person who had enormous natural leadership abilities. That judge would then deliver the people from their bondage.
The first of these judges was Othniel, who victoriously led an army of Israelites against the Mesopotamians. The second judge was Ehud, whose army killed 10,000 soldiers of Moab. But Shamgar, the third judge, is very different from Othniel and Ehud. He does not lead an army. He is an army of one. He faces a hopeless situation-and he faces it alone and friendless.
In your journal answer the following questions :
What is your best quality?
What is your greatest strength?
What is your spiritual gift(s)?
All of the answers above are resources that you have to work with, these are things that God has given you right now that lets you not just start where you are but to use what you have..
As we talk about using what you have…Shamgar had an ox-goad
Why an ox-goad? Certainly there must have been a better weapon available than a pointed wooden pole!
Actually, an ox-goad may have been the closest thing to a weapon that anyone in Israel had anymore. The nation had probably fallen into such a state of moral and social decline that the arts of the weapon-smith and the blacksmith had been lost. It may well be that no one in Israel knew how to make a proper weapon anymore.
Yet, as we discovered in our study…this story is our story and Shamgar actually had much more than JUST an Ox-goad…
You have the same things….
1. Your Dreams
(Judges 5:6) the highways were deserted, and the travelers walked along the byways. Village life ceased, it ceased in Israel
Shamgar dreamed of liberating his people from the terrorism and oppression of the Philistines. Then he took up his ox-goad and made that dream a reality.
So what are your dreams? Have you taken the time to look beyond what is, and to envision what could be?
Dreams are incredibly powerful. They fill us with hope. They enable us to imagine a better tomorrow. They motivate us and energize us. They activate our courage so that we will dare to take risks in order to see our dreams come true.
In your journal answer the following :
What dream helps to drive your life?
If you are a follower and following Jesus…you have a dream…really!
Do you have dreams?
Hopefully you do! But the real question for anyone who is a follower of Jesus is “how do you know if your dream is God’s dream for your life?”
That not only is a fair question, but a question that must be answered. If you have ever wondered that then you have found the right place for resources to help you discover the answer to the question.
On this section of the website you will find some stuff that will help you make sure your dreams are God’s dreams for your life, you will discover how to start living out the life of your dreams, and most importantly how to keep those dreams on track!
God’s dream and plan for your life is the only way to really live…so here is your invitation to climb aboard the “Dream Express” and start living the dream that God has created for you!
2. Your Enthusiasm
(Judges 3:31) He killed six hundred Philistines with an ox goad
Enthusiasm is energy. It electrifies the soul. Plug into the power of enthusiasm and you’ll be amazed at what you will accomplish.
You might say, “But I don’t have any enthusiasm.” To which I would reply, “Why not? If you believe in God, you should be overflowing with enthusiasm!”
After all, the word enthusiasm comes from the Greek word entheos, which means, “in God”
In your journal answer the following:
How does God change the way you live life?
If you are “in God” and if God isin you, then your life should be brimming with enthusiasm, energy and inspiration….that is enthusiasm
3. Your Talent
(Judges 3:31) He killed six hundred Philistines with an ox goad
It’s true. We are capable of so much more than we dream or imagine. If we would simply start using even 10 percent of the talent and ability we have, we would probably be amazed at how much we could accomplish.
It has been said that amateurs built Noah’s Ark; professionals built the Titanic.
Great achievements are often produced by people of relatively modest talent who are willing to offer it all to God for the service of others. Shamgar was a farmer, not a warrior, yet he offered whatever talents he had to God, and God used him to save a nation.
4. Your Mojo
(Judges 3:31) After Ehud, Shamgar son of Anath rescued Israel
Mojo, a slang word for self-confidence, self-esteem
There are many people who are well educated who are not very wise
And there are a lot of people who could score impressively on the SAT and be bankrupt in the wisdom department
Never mistake knowledge for wisdom
One helps you make a living the other helps make you a life!
You know enough….
Final journal entry for this session:
When over this past week did God use you?
You have had the chance, even this week, for God to use you to impact the world and touch and change the world with the love of Jesus….did you do it? Did you see it? Did you miss it?
For Shamgar when the Philistines invaded he took inventory of what he had…he had an ox goad and he knew how to use it
Sometimes we focus so much on what we don’t have that we fail to see, appreciate, and use what we do have!