You Are God’s Champion.

There is a story in the Bible about a man named Jephthah. Jephthah has an interesting life.  Scripture says, “Now Jephthah of Gilead was a great warrior. He was the son of Gilead, but his mother was a prostitute” (Judges 11:1).  Jephthah had a label … a tag … he was the son who was born out of an affair. His dad ran off with a prostitute and got her pregnant.  Jephthah’s half brothers made fun of him … criticized him … Jephthah tried to run from his label.

But something happened that changed everything.  His city was about to be attacked by the enemy and the town leaders realize they need this great warrior, who is the son of a prostitute.  Jephthah ends up defeating the enemy. He is now the leader over all God’s people.  You see, I have discovered that those who discount you one day, may end of needing you another day.  You may not have the tag “child of a prostitute” but there are other things that have been spoken over our lives, about us and to us.

In order to develop the heart of a champion you have to first understand WHO you are.  Notice that Jephthah was called a GREAT WARRIOR.  Church, you have so much potential on the inside of you … don’t hold it in … let it out.  It doesn’t matter what others have said about you it only matters what God has declared over you.  God declares over you today that future will be greater than your past … he shouts out that you are talented, gifted and anointed for a purpose.

You must know who you are, but you also must know WHOSE you are!  You are God’s child. Pray this right now, “I am God’s child … I am destined to win … designed to excel … and anointed to serve.”  You are the CHURCH UNLEASHED!!!

You are God’s choice … you are God’s favorite … you are God’s child … You are God’s Champion created to do incredible things for Him.

Unexpected Promotion.

I have learned one major lesson over the last 15 years of ministry – “You don’t have to find God’s favor, it will find you.”  Listen to what Psalm 23:6 declares, “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.”  His favor, mercy, love and promotion will find us where we are.

And the only thing that we need to do in the process is remain faithful to God – because God favors the faithful.  You see, when you are faithful to your wife – your marriage will have God’s favor.  When you are a faithful parent – your children will experience God’s blessings.  When you are faithful in your job – God will give you the promotion you need.

Many times promotion comes when we are not looking for it.  That means we always have to be ready for an unexpected promotion.

Moses did not plan his whole life to lead God’s people out of slavery … it was an unexpected promotion.

Mary did not decide she would be the mother of Jesus … no, she was called to it … unexpected promotion.

In the middle of what you are going through … facing difficulty or challenge … always be prepared there could be an unexpected door or opportunity that is thrown open for you!  Live ready because favor is about to find you!

God Celebrates You.

“For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs” (Zephaniah 3:17).

Its easy for us to understand that we should celebrate God, but it is more difficult for us to realize that God rejoices, celebrates YOU!  He is always cheering you on.  Believing in you is one of the greatest gifts God has given to us.

  • When you win the battle over addiction … God celebrates you.
  • When you recover from loss … God celebrates you.
  • When you say NO to temptation … God is cheering you on.
  • When you are faithful to your spouse … honoring your parents … God is shouting for you!
  • When you give your best at work … and no one notices … God is applauding your excellence.

Friend, no matter what label has been placed on you … God is telling you today, “Rise higher. Don’t give in to the negative people or negative labels. Refuse to settle there. I believe in you.”

The Bible says, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).  In the original language … the words ‘I can do’ … mean “I prevail over.”  Meaning … Yes, there are obstacles, but I will be victorious.  Yes … difficulties will come … but you cannot be defeated.

God celebrates every time you prevail over the enemy … prevail over sickness … prevail over fear … prevail over doubt …  God is celebrating you right now!  God is rejoicing over you … singing over you … celebrating you!

I wish someone told me this when I was growing up in church … GOD CELEBRATES YOU!  What is He celebrating – everything about you because He made you!  He celebrates your gifts, talents, abilities and more.  Listen closely for His applause today …

There’s No Better Time Than Now.

“For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”
(2 Corinthians 6:2)

So many people go through life believing that nothing good will happen to them or that somehow God has neglected their dreams and hopes.  But nothing can be further from the truth.  God is not an absent friend.  He is not a disconnected father.  God loves us so much that he sent his Son to restore our relationship.

Now is the time of God’s favor.  Start declaring, “This is my time.”  Friend, this is your time for miracles, open doors, blessing and opportunity.  Stop talking down your own life.  Start declaring what God has already said.  This is your time to walk in God’s favor.  It’s not tomorrow or next year.  It is now.  Favor follows the faithful.  It will hunt you down.  The Psalmist said, “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all of the days of my life.”  They are pursuing you.  Favor is on you.

Now is the day of salvation.  When you are overwhelmed by life never forget TODAY is your DAY.  Notice how specific God is – he says NOW is not just the time, but it is this very day.  This is your moment in history to experience the hope and peace you need.  Trust in God’s plan.  Our job is to simply believe, to hope and to expect God to intervene.

Your outlook often determines your outcome.  Stay in faith.  Trust God.  Remain prepared – because today is your day!!!

Praise has to come from the right place.

So many people are looking for the praise of people … they want every one to like them … to cheer for them … applaud them … and join them.  But it is easy to cheer from the stands.  After the Palm Sunday Parade had ended … guess where Jesus ended up? With his twelve disciples at Bethany (Mark 11:11). Jesus found himself with those closest to Him. He walked away from the crowds. In fact, when people were cheering Jesus on it never went to his head … pride never settled in … because he knew that praise/honor had to come from the right place.

Jesus’ ministry started with praise.  Jesus just finished being baptized by John the Baptist … the Holy Spirit comes on Him in great power and a voice from Heaven declares, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy” (Luke 3:22).  Jesus had not done one great miracle at this point.  And God declared, “I am happy with you.”

Don’t live for the applause of people – live for the approval of God!  Man, we try and find the approval of everyone. Have you ever noticed that?  We want to please everyone!  This is a hard lesson I have had to learn: I will never make everyone happy!  Someone once said: “I really cannot give you the formula for success. But I can give you the formula for failure. It’s this: Try to please everyone.”

The praise I want … the approval I long for … must be … always be … God’s.

Praise has to come from the right place.

Embrace the Unknown

There are going to be times in our lives when faith must be our greatest motivation.  In fact, most times we will be uncertain of the results of our actions.  We have to learn to embrace the unknown.

I have discovered there is something exciting about not knowing … it’s almost as if your passion grows because you just don’t know.  Each of us has to learn to embrace the unknown … and here is why … we will never know everything!  We only have limited knowledge … and that is where faith comes in.

Scripture declares, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see” (Hebrews 11:1).  In other words, our spiritual life is really about trusting God with the unknowns.  Don’t run from what you don’t know … embrace it!

Abraham was told by God to leave home and go to another place that God would give him.  The Bible says this, “He went without knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8).  There are going to be times when we don’t know what lies out in front of us … but we must embrace the unknown because “in order to be what others are not you will need to go where others have not been.”  And that means you will face a lot of unknowns.

Don’t get nervous. God has a promise – he will always be there with us and for us!  Embrace the unknown.

See What God Sees

There are three areas where we need to see what God sees.

First, we have to see what God sees in us.  This is very difficult for a lot of people … let me be honest this is often difficult for me.  We can easily look at our life through the lens of our failures, mistakes, past and shortcomings.  Beyond that we can label our lives by not just what we did wrong … but what we failed to do right.

Anybody been there?  And we wonder why it is hard for us to see our potential … that’s all because our vision is blurred by our own limitations.

Second, He also wants us to see what He sees in our circumstances.  This is even more difficult because if our circumstances are currently messed up, screwed up, and blurred up … we have a hard time seeing God’s hand in the difficulty and His hand in the process.

Scripture teaches that “the steps of the godly are directed by the Lord.”  That means God is going to use that challenge … that problem … and that storm to bring direction, correction, confirmation and yes your destination.  Don’t let the current condition discourage you – choose to see what God sees.

Third … and this is the hardest … we have to see what God sees in others!  I know … you are thinking right now … the other two were ok … but you don’t know what that person did to me … you have no clue what they said about me … they hurt me … they cheated on me … they beat me down …  God doesn’t see anything in that person … they lied to me, abused me, used me.

Are you asking me to SEE positive in that person?  Yes, I am … simply because God saw the good in us … he saw our potential, and he even saw our sin.  Yes, that person may deserve the stare! But choose to see what God sees — a son/daughter that He loved enough to send Jesus.

We have to learn to see what God sees!  Here’s why: If you learn to see what God sees you will eventually seize what God sees.