What Do We Do Now?: Fighting As A Team (Part 2)





(Judges 1:3-4, 17 Pas. Baines, Jr. 1/2018)

Introduction: Have you ever found yourself wondering what do you do now (e.g., got a new job, terminated from a job, retired from a job, when children leave for college or first apartment, when starting a new year, etc.)? This series gives us some principles about what to do now. In our text, the people of Judah and Simeon fight as a team to get what God had for them. This discussion centers around, “We should work on fighting as a team.”

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Key Points:

I. We have work to do. Notice in Judges 1:4, 17 that Judah and Simeon had to work for what God had for them. God didn’t answer their prayers by sending uninhabited land down from Heaven with groceries already in the refrigerator.

If we want to be happy, we should not be surprised when the Lord leads us to the work of Psalm 1:1-3 (i.e., being a wise steward of our company, thoughts, and actions). There is the work of I Corinthians 6:19-20 for those who want good health.

There is the work of II Thessalonians 3:10 for those who want wealth. And there is the work of Galatians 6:2 for those who want brotherhood/sisterhood. Let’s make sure we are willing to do the work that God is calling us to do for our blessings.

2. It takes work to build the church. Notice the work in Luke 11:23; Matthew 28:19-20. Inviting and trying to bring people to worship and growth groups (or at least Sunday School) is a great part of evangelism. Helping people to grow in their discipleship, after they get here, is a part of edification.

We grow better with discussion of applications and relational support than lectures and lay sermons. Let’s make sure that each of us are doing are part in the work of building our church. Community involvement is very important, but evangelism and edification are more important. We should all be inviting and trying to bring people with us to worship and growth groups.

3. The work is often a fight. Notice that Ephesians 6:12 talks about the struggle or fight that believers are already in. As the devil caused trouble in the life of Jesus, by using people like Judas (see Lk. 22:3), he can do the same in our lives today.

The devil can use people to block our efforts to improve our level of love, worship, community involvement, and excellence in our church family. He can use people to block our efforts to improve our level of educational preparation, economic empowerment, social justice, and health care in our communities.

Let’s live like we understand that we are in a fight against the devil who can use people. This kind of living should be known for our being prayerful and obedient, no matter what happens.

 

4. Teamwork can make the work easier. Notice Ecclesiastes 4:12 teaches that when two or three people work together, there is great strength. It is easy to see how two or three people working together can make the physical work easier (e.g., two or three people paying a bill, educating our children, and taking care of our seniors).

However, teamwork can also make the work easier mentally. Your partner may not have the skills or strength that you have. Sometimes they provide moral support. The third stringers on a basketball team often give more moral support than points. When you cannot do what you used to do, consider being moral support. Let’s work on teamwork, so the work can be easier.

5. Teamwork calls for trust. Notice in Judges 1:3 Simeon helped Judah and in vs. 17 Judah helped Simeon. However, others have tried teamwork and feel as if they were burnt (e.g., politicians who have forgotten their pre-election promises, spouses who have abandoned their vows after they reached success, etc.).

Instead of abandoning the entire concept of teamwork, consider these suggestions: 1. Always be open to people earning your trust. The new person deserves a fair chance. And even those who have harmed you, if, by some grand miracle, they apologize and commit to doing better, you should be open to giving them at least a “guarded chance.” As recipients of grace, we should also be distributors of grace. 

2. Be trustworthy. We make deposits into and withdrawals from trust accounts based on keeping our words. Promising low and performing high helps us develop a growing balance, instead of an overdrawn account.

3. Keep your ultimate trust in God. Every person can betray and/or bless you. We should ultimately trust God to work through people more than trusting people all by themselves. When we abandon the idea of teamwork, we may all end up last like crabs in a barrel (see Mk. 3:25). Let’s work on better teamwork.

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