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Judges 12:3, “And when I saw that ye delivered me not, I put my life in my hands,
and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the LORD delivered them into
my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me?”
I Thessalonians 4:11, “And that ye study to be quiet, and to do
your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;”
One of the most amazing
statements made in the Bible is that statement made by Jephthah, “When I saw
that ye delivered them not I put my life in my hands…” One day you will need
this truth so please pay attention to this article. One of these days you are
going to come to a heartache, burden, sorrow, battle, and you will need this truth.
I am not going to in this article is deal with the vow of Jephthah about sacrificing the first thing that came out
of the gate if God would give him the victory. I want to bring to your
attention when Jephthah was fighting against the Ammonites how he was that
great general conscripted by the people to fight the Ammonites. He contacted
the tribe of Ephraim, one of the favored tribes in the Bible, and he told them
of the battles yet the Ephramites did not come to his aid. He fought the battle
for he even said; “I put my life in my hands.”
He fought the Ammonites without
his own people’s help. After the victory is won, which is so often the case,
the Ephramites said, “Why didn’t you come and ask us to help?” They wanted the
spoils without fighting the battle. Jephthah told them that he did call for
their help! “When I was at the crisis point I called for your help but you
didn’t come! You didn’t show up at all!” Thus we have the statement by
Jephthah; “I put my life in my own hands.”
There are two things that he did
that brought the victory. He divided his problem into two areas with the first
area being what he could not do about his problem or what he could not control.
The second area was what he could do about his problem. Basically the two areas
consisted of what he could not fix and what he could fix!
Jephthah divided his problems
into two areas of what he could not control or could not fix plus what he could
control or could fix. Whichever area you choose will determine your joy and
success in life and victories in life. When you look at things you can’t
control or you can’t fix then you look at things you can control and you can
fix you must decide at that point where to expend your energy.
If you live in the things you
can’t control or fix you will despair, complain, and have self-pity. In this
are of choice you will become the victim. We have a society, which has evolved
into a victim society or a victim of circumstances. Modern psychiatrists say we
need to look for the blame! Hogwash! They say you are a victim but God says
let’s find a cure because you are a victor! You can live in the first area or
you could choose to live in the second area?
Jephthah chose to live in the
second area. He had a problem! He faced a big problem so Jephthah divided his
problem into two areas.
What I
cannot control or fix
What I
can control and fix
Thus Jephthah choose the second
area and he focused on what he could control and what he could fix. In essence
he said it will do me not one bit of good to live where I cannot control. I can
blame Ephraim, I can fight Ephraim, I can write hot letters, and I could tell
everyone about how Ephraim treated me but that will not accomplish one thing.
Ephraim is not going fight with me and if I focus on what I cannot control I’m going
to fail.
However, I can focus my energies
on what I can control and put my life in my own hands! Jephthah is saying I
have two good arms, two good legs, a good mind, some men who are with me, and a
country that is loyal to me so I’m going to focus on what I can control!
Every problem we have can be
divided into these two areas. If we choose the first we will be miserable for
sure. If we choose the second area we will be a success. If I become bitter and
let my enemies dominated my mind and my life I can’t control them and I can’t
fix them and that will not help me. I can’t help, encourage, and love people if
I’m bitter. I can’t encourage if I am discouraged! I can’t love if I hate! I
can’t focus on others if I’m focused on me! I cannot keep people from attacking
me or criticizing me but I can prove them wrong!
That is why we fight back because
we are in areas we cannot control or fix. Do not spend your life focusing on
what you can’t control and fix. Spend your life focusing on what you can
control and fix.
All the critics in the world
cannot stop me from helping, giving, soul winning, reading my Bible, praying,
giving tithes and offerings, and from supporting soul winning ministries.  As of the writing of this article, if I can make it after 58 years of
being saved and 43 years in the ministry then you can make it too! I have made
it because I do not live in area number one with things I cannot control and
things I cannot fix.
Anyone can make focusing on the
cure while no one can make it focusing on what you cannot cure! Anyone can make
it by focusing on what you can control or fix. No one can make it focusing on
what you cannot control or fix.
Let the heathen rage! Let the
critics criticize! Let the scandalizers scandalize! Let the gossips gossip! Let
the attackers attack! Let the liars lie! Let the enemies hate but you live
fixing what you can control.
The truth is if you want to
really get back at your enemies ignore them and do something big! Let the works
speak for you! I’m going to spend my life focusing on what I can control and
not on what I cannot control.
Jephthah said I’ve been betrayed
by the Ephramites and I have two choices. One to spend my life becoming
critical, bitter, vengeful, or I could forget about Ephraim and figure out how
to win the battle and put my life in my own hands fixing that which I can
We also have two choices to make.
You can feel sorry for yourself, get despondent, get bitter, get angry, or you
could decide to expend energy in working on what you can control and ignore
what you cannot control. You can cry how unfair life is or you can tackle life
as it is!
Jephthah had the answer of “I put
my life in my hands.”
challenges motivate you
Focus on
what you can control and fix
·    Do not
let others entice you into spending your life expending energy on what you  cannot control
Refuse to
be a victim

Stay busy

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