Where there is a reed that is bruised and almost broken, God says I'm going to make something of it; I'm not going to break it. And where He sees a little fire that's gone clear out and just barely smoking, a smoking flax He will not quench, but He can start a fire again. And even from a pile of ashes He can salvage a life and make something of it. Even though dreams may be shattered, even though things may have happened that would be impossible to go back and undue. God can take your life from where it is today and bring you into His perfect will. He can make the days ahead of you His perfect will for your life. He doesn't have a first, second and third will. He has one that is perfect. Never be in self pity and say I could have been in God's perfect will but until Jesus comes I'll have to settle for something that's less than His best. Tell Satan to go tell his lies to somebody else. God will take you from where you are as you surrender your life to Him and make it the best.
I have a message this morning and that is He is the God of the Valley. He is the God of the valley. Faith alternative to success is another way to put it. The Word is so filled with promises. Many promises have conditions to them and many are directed to a certain situation but there are decrees that God has made that are pillars of eternity that can never change, that no one can move out of the way; decrees that will stand forever. Too often believers have been encouraged to hold onto promises that may not relate to their situation but God's decrees relate to every situation. I'd like to refer to some of these.
Deuteronomy 33:25. "As your day is so shall your strength be." This is a decree that God has made that you'll never have to suffer more than what He has the strength to carry you through. As your day is so shall your strength be. I see this happen with people when problems come into their home. And I'm dealing with some now that they have actually been pressed beyond measure. They have taken more in their life then any human being ought to take. But they're strong, God has proven it, He's turned up the strength. As the day, as the need demands so shall your strength be. Then I like Hebrews 5, "I will never leave you nor forsake you so we can boldly say the Lord is my helper, I'm not afraid what man can do to me. The Lord is my helper. I will not fear."
I think of another great decree that the Lord made, when we put God first and His interest is above ours, He said you can't beat this because when you do this it becomes a key to the very storehouse of heaven. If you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness all of these things, He's talking about earthly things now, everything you need will be added to you. That's a decree. Romans 8:28 is a decree that the Spirit of God gave to Paul to bring to us, that we know all things work together for good to those that love God. And even those things that look so hard that you may be facing, they work together for good because you love God and you're called according to His purpose and He's working on His purpose in your life. Hallelujah.
Then there are decrees that God has made for our protection. Matthew 16:18 is one of my favorite verses in the whole Bible. Three years ago when I went to Mical and I waited before God, God met me and I want you to know this verse, He took it and wrapped it up and wrote my name on it and dumped it into my heart and it's been so real to me ever since. I use it every day. The Lord in paraphrasing this, two main things that I'm doing here, I'm building my church. On this rock I'll build my church, I'm building it, this is My purpose. I'm putting together a body of people for My name and I'm going to take that church. Then He said in putting this church and you're a part of it, He said all of the might of hell will not prevail. So what He's saying here is, "I'm going to protect My church. I live to protect My church" and He said, "I'll drive back any force that comes against my church." This body of people is a church but God reduces it down a whole lot smaller than that, that two or three who are gathered in His name is a church and when you stand all by yourself alone you are a complete unit, you are the church. You're His body, you're the temple of the Holy Ghost and Jesus said, "I'm going to protect you and all the might of hell is not going to prevail against that church."
When these people go around and start telling you that every morning you have to cast out a few demons out of yourself that has crept in and gotten into the believer's life, they don't know God. They need to have a fresh glimpse of God. Know the intent and purpose of God. God's intent and purpose is to build His church and protect His church and to carry it through. He's going to have a victorious church. It's already written out, it's already planned. In God's great picture in heaven you'll see that the church has gone right through triumphant, it isn't going down the tube anywhere.
Somebody sent me a book in the mail the other day, if you have this book burn it up. If you don't have it don't go and buy it. I'd hate for anybody to think that it got to be a best seller. It's a book that's entitled, "pigs in the parlor." And this book is all about demons inhabiting believer's lives. That just makes Satan so happy. "I want people to think how big and strong I am. I want them to know that Jesus isn't quite strong enough to defend against me. And he's got holes all through in the armor here for me to slip through and everyday they've got to kick me back out again." Any book that you get a hold of that tells you that a believer can be a habitation of demons, burn it up. When Jesus is in your life darkness can't be in because He is light. Light is stronger than darkness. John said that darkness couldn't overpower the darkness. The might of hell will not prevail against you. He said that He would back you up and support you. He said that when you were in a time of trouble, He said, "call on Me and I will answer you and I will deliver you and you will glorify Me."
Isaiah 43:2. He said no trial would ever be too severe for your life. He didn't say He was going to take all of the deep rivers out of your path but He did say, "when you pass through the waters I will be with you, through the rivers they will not overflow you, when you walk through the fire you will not be burned neither will the flame kindle upon you." Oh praise God for these decrees. Now real quickly I would like to show you how great God is and that He is not only the God of the mountain top, He's not only the God of days of success but He's still God all of the time. The Syrians had mounted an attack against Israel and were defeated. They outnumbered Israel but they were defeated as they fought in the hills and mountains. A year later they were trying to go over their strategy and wondered what went wrong. Finally they decided those Hebrew people have a God that helps them; they couldn't win because after all we had superior numbers 3 or 4 to their 1. They had outside help. But we made a discovery; they can only get help when they're on the mountain top. Their God is a God of the mountains. And do you know that Satan is giving that lie to a lot of Christians today? He's saying that your God is effective and powerful when you're on top of the mountain. And you can go along merrily success, success, success, prosperity. People are looking at success and prosperity through the world's eyes, not through God's eyes. God doesn't spell it quite the same. Things that God spells success on may not even look like success to a lot of people. Things that God says are real prosperity, somebody might say you call that prosperity, if that's prosperity I would certainly hate to see poverty. They're looking at things that, your God is just the God of the mountains.
Kings 20:23. Following this little conference they had, the servant of the king of Syria said unto him, "Their gods are the gods of the hills. Therefore they were stronger than we. But let us fight against them in the plain and surely we shall be stronger then them." So you read down in verse 27 and 28 that they lured them down into the Valley. And Israel looked so small beside all of these people. It says they looked like two little flocks of sheep out there in the valley. And there came a man of God that spoke to the king of Israel saying, "This is what the Lord says, because the Syrians have said the Lord is the god of the hills but He is not the God of the valleys, God says I want to prove something to them. Therefore will I deliver this entire great multitude into your hand and you will know that I am the Lord, not only of the mountains but of the valleys. So they fought and in one day 100,000 Syrian soldiers were slain. 27,000 of these fellows ran into the city, they said we'll get some protection in here but some angels followed them in there and they hid behind one of the city walls there. You read about it in verse 30 that those angels pushed the wall over. It would be a pretty good sized wall because it killed 27,000 of them by that wall. Though the enemies of the Lord may look superior, though it looks like, "what can you do?" Remember this, that He is the God of the Valleys.
You remember when king Nebuchadnezzar was on an ego trip. He was filled with fury because Shadrach and his friends wouldn't bow down to the image he made. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendigo said, "Our God is able to deliver us from the fiery furnace and He will deliver us out of your hand o king, but if not be it known unto thee o king that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image." They were saying we know that God has things well in hand because they were speaking in faith that if God didn't answer the way they had stated He would have some other way. Because they fully expected to keep on defying the king after that experience. When the king looked into that furnace he said, "Didn't you throw three men in there, how come I'm seeing four?" And the fourth one looks like the Son of God. He may not always be visible to human eyes but He's always there. Believers I'm asking the Holy Spirit to take a truth and then plant it deep on your heart. That faith spells success. But more than that, faith has an alternative to success. And if believers can learn that they do not have to come out with strong absolutes in order to convince God and say this is it period and build up criticisms against people who may not see just the way they do. Learning from these Hebrew children, faith has an alternative. It's God. Faith's alternative to receiving the thing that you may be asking for is having God Himself. And it's ten times more important to have God then the thing you might be looking for.
Faith's alternative to success is God. When you can put your faith in what God is doing for you instead of the One who's doing it, if He has another plan if your faith is in what He's doing you'll fall on your face. But if your faith is in God you can say but if not we have Him. He is with us. Do you remember Paul and Silas when they went into jail? Their backs were bleeding and were bruised and they had been beaten and they were sitting in the most uncomfortable position that a human body could find. "What went wrong," Paul and Silas could have asked. They knew faith's alternative. And so at midnight they said we just as well sing and praise God. So with their backs bleeding and their feet in the stocks they said we may not have received the thing that we have asked God for, the deliverance, but we still have God. So as they sang God shook the prison and they were free.
Some of you today are facing some pretty hard things. You're being torn because somebody said its God's plan that everything works out just right. But it isn't working out just right and there's a tendency to ask what went wrong. The thing for you to do is to quit worrying about whether you faith is strong enough or your faith has failed because things have gone the way they are. Instead start looking around for God. Like Moses out there in the wilderness with 3 million people, a bunch of crying babies. No place to cook. Moses, when he started praying he said, "Hey God this is a pretty rotten place, it's a narrow place, a hard place but it's a place that you possess, where you live in. Next time you get into that squeeze say, "hey God you live here right with me." Faith's alternate to success is God Himself. Look to Him instead of how things have turned out.