Discover who God made you to be.
Discover who God made you to be.
It was supposed to be a comeback fight but instead it ended what had been a rollercoaster career. It’s been over 20 years but the Tyson-Holyfield fight is still fresh in my mind. I’ll never forget when Tyson got a hold of Holyfield and bit his ear. There was Evander Holyfield, covered in blood with part of his ear missing, but the fight continued, until Mike bit his other ear. Tyson was disqualified and the fight was over.
Someone asked Holyfield about the fight, years later. He said, “I made 35 million dollars in nine minutes. If Mike Tyson was to do the same thing again to my other ear, I’ll take 35 million more.” For Holyfield it was a good fight. A champion isn’t afraid of a fight.
The Word of God calls us champions. In fact it goes a step further and says we are even more than that.
“No. In all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37 HCSB)
There is a term in boxing for a champion. They call them, UNDISPUTED. In other words, no one can question the fact that they are the champion. They are victorious. That’s you. You are more than victorious. You are the undisputed champion. No matter what you’re facing today, the Word of God calls you victorious!
We saw God moving in powerful ways. Every person we worked with or came in contact with was touched by the presence of God. The construction projects were a blessing to the people. We saw hundreds of students come to know Jesus in the public schools we spoke at. And countless people were ministered to and healed in the services. Literally the deaf could hear, the blind could see and the lame walked. God is doing powerful things in Puerto Rico, but what He did there He will do here. What He did for them He will do for you.
“I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
“I’ve never heard of anything like that!”
That is the essence of the word, “UNPRECEDENTED.” I feel the Lord speaking this for 2018. God wants to move in your life in ways you’ve never seen before. He wants to do things that are completely UNPRECEDENTED for you. It says in I Corinthians 2:9,
“What eye did not see and ear did not hear,
and what never entered the human mind—
God prepared this for those who love Him.” (HCSB)
It sounds like the definition of UNPRECEDENTED. It reminds me of Abraham. God made a promise to Abraham that he would give him a son. Years later God did the impossible, He gave Abraham a son when he was 100 years old. It was completely UNPRECEDENTED. Years later God told Abraham to take his son and sacrifice him. I don’t know about you but I would have had trouble with this.
“Wait a minute. I’d like to be sure that was really you, God. That sounded a lot like the devil.”
Some people behave like that when God speaks to them. But it’s obedience to His Word that brings the blessing in our lives. Abraham didn’t hesitate. It says in Genesis 22:3, that he got up early the next morning and off he went, to sacrifice his son. I bet he didn’t discuss it with his wife. Try explaining that one. He just went.
How could he be so confident? It says in Hebrews 11:19,
“He considered God to be able even to raise someone from the dead.”
Now we read that and we think, “Of course.” But remember this, God had never raised anyone from the dead before. It was UNPRECEDENTED. It had never happened, ever. But he believed God would do it for him. You know the rest of the story. His son didn’t have to die, it was a picture of what God would do in sending His Son, Jesus.
Here’s the point. God wants to move in your life in ways that are beyond your imagination. But you must believe that He will do it.
Can you receive that? It makes a difference what you think. Remember the story of the 12 spies in Numbers 13. God told Israel he was going to give them the promised land. But, it was UNPRECEDENTED. Nothing like this had ever taken place in all of history. God took a bunch of slaves and made them into a nation. He promised to give them land. But when they got there they couldn’t believe it.
Ten of those spies came back and said, “We can’t do it! There’s giants in there! They’re going to eat us for lunch.” But two of those guys (Joshua and Caleb) stood up and said, “Come on, we can do it. There might be giants but God has given this land to us! Let’s go!” Who did they listen to? They listened to those guys who were only looking with their natural senses.
You can’t live by your natural senses, you have to live by what the Word says. What happened to those people? They all started crying, “God brought us out here to die!” “Weren’t there enough graves in Egypt!” So God told them he was going do for them exactly as He heard them say. They were all going to die in the desert but their children could go in to the promise.
And God made a promise to Joshua and Caleb. Because they believed His word they could go in. Everyone else in their generation was going to die. Imagine that. Everyone from your generation is dead. But you are alive because you believed the promise of God. It makes a difference what you believe and what you speak. Joshua and Caleb had to step over dead bodies of those who refused to believe in order to take hold of the promises of God. It was UNPRECEDENTED. Some from their generation might have told them, “You’re going to die too, Joshua and Caleb.What makes you think you’re special. You’ll die like the rest of us!” But they couldn’t listen to that stuff, they had the promises of God and that’s what kept them strong.
When Caleb finally got into the promised land he was 85 years old. Look at what he says about himself,
“I am still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me out. My strength for battle and for daily tasks is now as it was then.”
(Joshua 14:11 HCSB)
Then he tells Joshua to give him the hill country where the giants live. He is going to go kill all the giants and take his inheritance. What!? This is UNPRECEDENTED. An 85 year old man taking on an entire city of giants! But he believed the promise.
What are you facing today? Are there giants in front of you that no one has ever been able to beat? Don’t listen to people around you who say it’s impossible, listen to the Word of God. Get a hold of His promises.
There are facts and then there is truth. I read some things recently about Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. Newton came up with the idea of gravity. With it he was able to make predictions and calculations about how the world works and how the planets move in their orbits. Gravity is a fact. He proved it. No one would ever doubt it. Until Einstein came along and figured out a new theory. The problem was his theory didn’t work together with gravity. One of them was wrong. It turned out the traditional view of gravity had to be changed to make way for the new.
Sometimes we think we know something. We see the facts. But facts aren’t necessarily the truth. Here is one definition of truth: “A fact or believe accepted as true.” That’s interesting. What you believe matters. How you think matters. It’s important we believe what God says. If you’ve been believing something else, get rid of it! It’s wrong. The FACT is: God’s Word is TRUTH!
Believe for God to move in UNPRECEDENTED ways in your life this year!
Take a look at this picture. Which one is darker A or B? Would you believe they are both the same? Don't believe me? Cover up the middle where they touch and see for yourself. Maybe you've been fooled before by something that looks a certain way but the reality was much different.
Vision can be a tricky thing. We are conditioned to see a certain way. In order to see something different we need to change our perspective.
In Ephesians 1:18-19 it says,
"I pray that the perception of your mind may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength."
His prayer was essentially that our perceptions would be changed so we could be able to grasp all that God has for us! So often we get stuck thinking the way the world thinks and seeing the way they see. The problem is we are living in two worlds at the same time. The Kingdom of God is in us and we are living in this world. And when we are looking at things from a worldly perspective we can't comprehend God's plans for us. Instead we need to start to see things the way God sees them. We need to have our vision corrected so we can see our lives through the eyes of our Father who loves us. Change your perspective today. Get into the Word of God and believe what He says.
When we start to see the way God sees we will be changed. It is only then that we can step in to the purposes and plans that He has for us.
Romans 12:1-2 says this,
"Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God."
When you lay down your will and get your mind renewed you will be able to "discern" the will of God for your life.
“Imprint these words of mine on your hearts and minds, bind them as a sign on your hands, and let them be a symbol on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that as long as the heavens are above the earth, your days and those of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your fathers."
We like big things. I know when I visit a restaurant I am really disappointed if my food comes out and I get a small portion. I am really upset if my wife gets a bigger portion than me. I want a big plate. I want to leave the restaurant full. I want to have so much that I can take some home and eat a full lunch off of it the next day.
In life we love the big things. The big events, summer breaks, vacation, and Christmas. We look forward to these things. And so we tend to overlook the small things. The daily routine of life. We call Wednesday "hump" day, because we made it half-way through the week, looking forward to another weekend. But the small things are where life happens. Don't miss the small opportunities to speak to people about the Lord, to share your faith, to teach and encourage. That is what the Lord was encouraging the people to do in the above Scripture.
The Lord was telling them to make the Word of God the central part of their lives, so much so that even something so normal as walking down the street would become an opportunity to speak to their children about Him. They were encouraged to have the Word on their hearts and mind, to put them on their doorposts and on their hands and foreheads. The people took this very literally and still today you will see Jewish men with small boxes containing Scripture tied to themselves. But the point is the Word should be so central in our lives that it becomes the focus of all we do. We don't wait until a "big" service or a special day to discuss the Word. It is meant to be the center of our lives, because when it is that means Jesus is the center.
Make a commitment today to make Him the center of everything you do, the big things and the small things.
1 Chronicles 16:4
"David appointed some of the Levites to be ministers before the ark of the Lord, to celebrate the Lord God of Israel, and to give thanks and praise to Him."
Here in this story David has just brought the ark of God to Jerusalem. The first thing he does is appoint priests to minister. Their job description: to celebrate the Lord, to give thanks to the Lord and to praise the Lord!
All day, every day, all these priests did was minister to the Lord. They stood before the Lord and celebrated Him. In other words they remembered what God had done for them. They recalled His goodness, His mercy, His favor. They spoke of His miracles. They remembered.
When was the last time you stopped and remembered what God has done for you. We celebrate a time of thanksgiving in the United States every November. It is meant to be a time to reflect on all that God has done for us. This should not just be a once a year thing, as good as that is, but instead we should be people who are constantly celebrating the goodness of our God.
As you celebrate Him and His goodness you can't help but give thanks. I remember the story of the ten lepers in Luke 17. They came to Jesus and asked to be healed. Jesus told them to go show themselves to the priests. As they went they were all healed. But only one came back to give thanks to Jesus. Jesus was shocked. It was offensive that some were healed but never gave Him thanks. It pleases the Father when we are thankful. I know as a parent I appreciate it so much when my children are thankful. It is no different for God. He loves for us to be thankful.
Finally the priest were told to give praise to God. What is praise? We throw that word around sometimes without really understanding it. It has ties to thanksgiving and celebration, but it literally means to go crazy with your celebration. It is the same word for rave. Imagine a rave type of party, except for you are expressing worship. Now I know some people will have a problem with this. David's wife had a problem with his expression of worship as he brought the ark in. David was basically "raving" before God. Some would say, "This sounds like the flesh, that's not very spiritual!" But I would say, God gave you your flesh, worship Him with it.
Immediately after David appointed the priests to serve he wrote a song or psalm of thanksgiving to be sung before the Lord by the priests. David had in his heart to give thanks. It was right after this that God spoke to David and made a covenant with him, promising Messiah would come from his line. When we have in our heart to be thankful to Him, He is going to bless you for it. Get in your heart to be thankful today. Live in Thanksgiving ever day.
Yahweh your God is among you,
a warrior who saves.
He will rejoice over you with gladness.
He will bring you quietness with His love.
He will delight in you with shouts of joy.”
What a picture of God!
If we're honest, most of us don't see Him that way. So many have a view of God as a grumpy, old man waiting to hit you on the head with his cane. Even those of us who feel like we have a good understanding of who God is still may have trouble seeing Him as He is portrayed in the verse above.
A warrior. God is a warrior who saves you. The knight in shinning armor. That's Him! You may feel like you're in over your head, and there's no way out... But that's when the warrior comes in! To read this brings up images of fairy tales and legends, full of knights, and dragons, and the damsel in distress. It doesn't matter how big the dragon is, he is no match for the knight, determined to win the damsel's heart. That's your God. His love is beyond measure.
Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, "I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God's love, and to know the Messiah's love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God." (Ephesians 17b-19)
His love for you is beyond measure. But Paul prays that if they could just get some kind of understanding of His great love, that is to us through Jesus our Savior, they would be "filled with all the fullness of God." The key here is love. God is love. When we begin to understand that we are filled with love for one another.
Look again at Zephaniah 3:17.
He rejoices over you with gladness... In other words, you make Him happy. Think about that. You make the creator of the universe happy. If you are in love with someone, it should make you happy to be around them. This is how God feels about you. You make Him happy. Not just a small grin, happy... but rejoicing with gladness. The Hebrew word here is "sim-khaw" which is more than gladness but a happy festival! God has a big party over you. There is essentially a heavenly party taking place over your life, and God is in charge of it!
The next part of the verse says, He will bring you quietness with His love, and He will delight in you with shouts of joy! His love for you should bring peace to your life. When you know the love of God nothing can bring you down. He is shouting joy over your life today. So walk in that truth.
"For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith." 1 John 5:4 (AMP)
What are you facing today?
Do you feel victorious? Maybe you don't. Maybe you've gone through some battles and you feel like you've lost.
But the Word of God calls you victorious! So how can you be victorious when you don't feel like you're a winner. Forget about conquering the world, you don't even feel like you can kill a blind fly.
Here's the thing. You are victorious. It doesn't matter how you feel. It doesn't matter what battles you think you have lost. God will make you victorious over this world.
Look again at the words in this verse: victorious, victory, conquer... There are all from the same greek word: "Nee'kay" (or Nike) it means literally to subdue or a means of success.
This isn't for everyone. The qualifier is, "Whatever is born of God..." If you have given your life to Jesus you have been born of God. You have been re-made as a conqueror. That is what Adam's original job was. He was told by God in Genesis 1:28,
"Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth." (HCSB)
Adam was designed to rule and subdue this world. He was created to be victorious, but he allowed sin to come in and rule instead of him. But you have been re-created. You are victorious. It doesn't matter how you feel because your victory isn't tied to your feelings. The Word of God says the victory that conquers is our faith!
Believe God today for victory in whatever you might be facing. Stand up and shout the victory, because you have been re-made as a victorious person. It doesn't even matter if you can't see the victory right now, that's good, because you have an opportunity for your faith to be put into practice. Faith isn't about seeing, it's about believing. So believe God today. Speak His words. This world can't touch you. It has no hold over you. Depression and fear have no place in your life, because you live in victory.