WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JULY 20, 2023
TOPIC: NEW LEVEL, NEW CHALLENGES
BY T. O. BANSO
“When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, they went up in full force to search for him, but David heard about it and went down to the stronghold. Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; so David inquired of the Lord, ‘Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?’ The Lord answered him, ‘Go, for I will surely hand the Philistines over to you’” (2 Samuel 5:17-19 New International Version).
Many people desire to move from their present level to a higher level. This is a good desire. But it is wrong to think that when you gain a promotion, you are free from challenges. Those who think this way will soon discover that life is about challenges. Every new level of success brings new challenges. When you get to a new level, you will have to deal with new issues that you didn’t face before. Success or promotion does not exempt anyone from challenges; it may only free one from old challenges.
“New level, new devil” used to be a popular saying among Christians. The idea is that at every level, you will face a new devil – new problems. You will have to face new challenges at every new level. Satan does not give up on anyone just because he has moved up the corporate ladder, experienced a ministerial breakthrough, or is now wealthy. While things may be better in certain aspects at a higher level, there are also new issues to deal with. Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
Every level has its demons (troubles) one must confront and defeat. There is work to do and war to fight! You must desire new levels, but not because there will be no challenges once you get there. You will face new challenges and fight battles.
The trouble the owner of a small shop faces differs from that of the owner of a big supermarket or someone who has shops in different locations. The challenges faced by someone without a car are different from that of a car owner. Also, the challenges of a tenant are different from that of a landlord, and the challenges of an entrepreneur are different from that of an employee. The challenges of a married person and an unmarried are not all the same. Every new level will bring you in contact with new challenges. If someone is praying to have a mega church, he should know that it will come with its challenges.
Whenever you desire a promotion, you should be prepared to face new challenges. The challenges shouldn’t discourage you. You should be prepared for them. Somebody said as soon as she got married, it was as if all demons were released to attack her. She had to fight the devil that wanted to make life miserable for her. And she won but that doesn’t mean no more battles to fight. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12 New King James Version).
Whatever level you are, you will have to face some challenges like Pharaoh, the Red Sea, the Wall of Jericho, and Goliath. Have faith in God to defeat any devil at any level you move to. If you trust in God and call upon Him, He will fight your battles for you. He will help in the safe delivery of your destiny or what is His will for you to do. “Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?’ says the LORD. ‘Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?’ says your God” (Isaiah 66:9 New King James Version).
The Israelites wanted to move to a new level– enter the Promised Land, after God had helped them to defeat the devils of Pharaoh and the Red Sea. But they were not prepared to fight their new devil – the Canaanites, even when God had told them to begin to possess it (Deuteronomy 1:8). Ten of the twelve spies Moses sent to explore the land of Canaan said they were not able to fight the people because they were stronger than the Israelites (Numbers 13:26-33). They discouraged the people. Only Caleb and Joshua encouraged the people to go and possess the land.
Because of the lack of faith of the Israelites, they wasted forty years in the wilderness during which all those who complained, from twenty years old and above, died except their little ones. God said, “Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in. But your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised. But as for you, your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness” (Numbers 14:30-32 New King James Version).
David had faced some challenges in the past and when he was made king of Judah at long last, after the death of Saul, he faced new challenges. It was a great day for David when the Word of God concerning him by the Prophet Samuel who had since died would begin to come to pass as he was made king over Judah. David was no longer running from King Saul who had wanted to kill him. He had moved to a new level. But there were still more wars to fight.
2 Samuel 5:17-19 says, “When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, they went up in full force to search for him, but David heard about it and went down to the stronghold. Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; so David inquired of the Lord, ‘Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?’ The Lord answered him, ‘Go, for I will surely hand the Philistines over to you’” (New International Version).
Did you see that the new level David moved to, attracted the enemy’s hostility? They didn’t rejoice with him on his new promotion! Note the phrase “they went up in full force to search for him.” The New Living Translation says, “They mobilized all their forces to capture him.” If they had captured David, they would have killed him. He had to fight the Philistines to enjoy his new level.
David defeated the Philistines, who were a type of the devil. He eventually ruled over Judah in Hebron for seven years and six months, before ruling over the entire nation of Israel in Jerusalem for thirty-three years (2 Samuel 5:4-5). Some demons will oppose you as you move to your new level; others will fight you when you’re there.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 16:9, “For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries” (New King James Version). These adversaries (devils) wanted to hinder him from moving to a new level in his ministry. Moving to a new level requires you to prepare for spiritual warfare. You will overcome all devils in Jesus’ name. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death” (Revelation 12:11 New King James Version).
As a child of God, don’t surrender your vision or dream to the powers of darkness; you must confront every devil or face every challenge. “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4 New King James Version). You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13). Don’t run from your challenges; face every new devil.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, because of the victory of Your Son over the devil, help me to overcome every devil at every level I am. I shall face and overcome all challenges I face at every level. No challenge or devil will defeat me in Jesus’ name.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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