(Vince Lombardi)….”Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all the time thing. You don't win once in a while, you don't do things right once in a while, if you want to win. Winning is an attitude, Unfortunately, so is losing”.
(Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) “I try to just do the right thing at the right time. They may just be little things, but usually they make the difference between winning and losing”.
(Ted Turner) “The biggest thing I have learned from losing, is that winning is better”.
2 Corinthians 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, they are a new Creation”
My subject today is “IF We Have Won, WHY DON’T WE LIVE LIKE IT”
The question begs to be asked of each of us today…”are there areas in our lives, where we are living as though the victory Jesus accomplished, is still undecided”? Areas where we speak, and act as though the battle has not already been won?
There’s an old saying that "If one person calls you a horse's rear-end, ignore it. If two people call you a horse's rear-end, look in the mirror. If three people call you a horse's rear-end, it’s time to buy a saddle”.
"To talk to some Christians, you would think it made no difference that Jesus rose triumphant, and declared that the work was finished, and that He told us that we are now new creations in Christ, that old things are passed away, and behold all things are made new!!!!
There are stories, during the Korean conflict, that for years after the war was over, there were Japanese soldiers on remote islands, who, because of isolation, had not heard that the Japanese troops could all come home and get back to their lives. These isolated soldiers had continued to act as though the outcome of the war was yet to be decided. When they could have enjoyed being home with their families, their friends and benefiting their community in the post-war climate, they were still fighting a battle that was over!
Colossians 2:10 When you come to Christ, His victory, comes to you, too. His power extends over everything. v11 Entering into this fullness is not something you have to figure out or achieve. It's not a matter of keeping a long list of do’s and don’ts. No, you're already an insider – you’re not brought in through some secretive initiation rite but rather through what Christ has already gone through for you, destroying the power of sin. v12 If it's an initiation ritual you're after, you've already been initiated by submitting to Christ. Baptism into Christ was a burial of your old life. Death is overcome, for God was raising you from the dead as he did Christ. v13 When you were in your old life, you were incapable of responding to God but He brought you into His new life, right along with Christ!
Think of it! All sins are forgiven, v14 the slate is now wiped clean, the guilt and condemnation is canceled and nailed to the Cross of Jesus. v15 He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their stolen authority at the Cross and caused the triumph to be shown openly, for all to behold their defeat. v16 So don't put up with anyone pressuring or putting you in bondage over clean or unclean food, religious rituals, or holy days. v17 All those things are mere shadows of what was to come, because the substance is in Christ.
v18 Don't tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions through trances or states of consciousness. They're a lot of hot air. v19 They're completely out of touch with the source of life, Jesus Christ, who puts us together and makes us whole, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We grow up healthy in God, as he nourishes us. v20 So, then, if you have put all of these pretentious and infantile things behind you in Christ, why do you let yourselves be continue to be bullied and controlled by it”?
So then, what is it that causes us to continue to struggle and strive so much if the battle is over and we have won…. Is it, that something in us is not really convinced that it is already accomplished, finished and done with?
A pet store delivery truck was going down the road, and he kept stopping and everyone would run to the back of the truck, grab a 2x4 and start beating on the side of the truck. Nobody could figure out what they were doing, so finally somebody asked the driver, "What in the world are you doing?" As he continued to beat the truck, he said, “The truck scales are just ahead and this is only a two-ton truck and I'm carrying four tons of canaries. So I have to beat on the truck, to keep two tons of canaries in the air all the time."
(sometimes while we’re trying to have faith for things in our lives, it seems that all we’re doing is moving problems around from one place to another, trying to keep it all from landing and settling in one place at one time….and why is it that we approach prayer in the mighty name of Jesus, as only a temporary fix, instead of a solution that is done and over with, finalized and accomplished in the victory of Christ!!!) Could it be that deep down we’re not sure that God really meant what He said?
John 8:31-32 “ Jesus said unto them, "You are truly my disciples if you live as I tell you to, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
What is it that really keeps us from pressing in to the point that we are open and receptive to see the finished work of Christ take up residence in us?!!!! I believe that, often, it is because we might be afraid of what we might have to give up in order to get it.
Like the man who fell off the cliff and grabbed a branch half way down. He cries out, “Somebody help!” and hears the voice of God: “This is the Lord – trust me, let go, it’ll be O.K.. ” The man looks down the hundred foot drop, then looks up and says, “Could we have a little more discussion about this?” Sometimes it’s hard to let go, because what we see and feel and know in the natural mind, drastically effects what and how we hear from God!
Sometimes we are afraid of what will happen if we really give God control of our life. And what we’re saying is, "I don't want anybody controlling me." Who are we kidding? We're being controlled all the time. We're controlled by the opinions of other people. We're controlled by hurts we can't forget. We’re controlled by our baggage, our habits, hang-ups, other people’s agendas, or even our own ego!
A shaker full of salt is a good reminder of choosing to be under God’s control instead of always wanting to be in control…because lot’s wife was turned into a block of salt, she just couldn’t let go of the way it always was, and how it used to be, and give God control of the direction and the outcome of her life…she kept looking back and she kept yearning for what was comfortable and familiar. Salt is a symbol of covenant…so God was saying that He wants to prove to us that He is a covenant God, who keeps His word, whither we believe or not!
But Hallelujah, real freedom is in exercising our choice to let go and let God rule and reign in our life.
During a terrible flood, the water got so high, neighbors were gathering on the roofes of their houses. They watched as things were floating by, a couch floated by, lawn furniture floated by in the current. A small car owned by one of the neighbors came floating by next! Then they noticed something strange, they saw a hat float by, but after it got about 20 feet past the house, it turned and started floating back upstream against the current. Then it got about 20 feet on the opposite side of the house and reversed direction again. They watched it with amazement, as it did this seven or eight times and someone said, that is the most amazing thing, what in the world is it?“ One of the ladies said, “Oh, that’s just my husband Raymond. He said he was going to mow the lawn today, come hell or high water.”
No matter where you are at any given time, just beyond that place and time, there is amazing potential and incredible opportunities, but sometimes you have to plunge in and not look back, set your course and move forward, come hell or high water! There are some decisions you don’t have to keep making. Once you’ve made them, it’s done, it’s decided. That’s what Joshua did in…..
Joshua 24:15, he stood before the people and said…“ If it seems evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve….but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD”.
Don’t clutter your life, your mind and spirit with a lot of undecided issues, that’s what keeps you awake at night. Make your choice, and move forward! Get it behind you or you’ll keep running into it.
We all need to find a quite place on a regular basis, and soak in the 23rd Psalm, and let ourselves be saturated with it’s truth… It speaks to our spirit…..as deep is calling unto deep….
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. v2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the still waters. v3 He restores my soul: he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. v4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me; Your rod and You staff they comfort me. v5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies: You anoint my head with oil; my cup is overflowing. v6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the very presence of the LORD forever”.
We can shout amid the turbulence, strife and fear that arises… “The Lord is my shepherd. I do not want. He makes me to lie down in plenty, peace and fullness. I am satisfied with Him!!!!”
When you truly let go of everything, you realize that you never had it so good. Because God takes what you've given Him, turns it around, adds new meaning, new significance, new vitality, and gives it back to you in a whole new way. OFTEN WE DISCOVER THAT THE KINGDOM OF GOD WORKS CONTRARY TO the logic and common sense reasoning of the natural world!
1 Peter 5:7 “Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you”. Give God a blank check. “God, here it is, here I am, do what You want, YOU have your way, and make it what you want it to be”!
Sometimes in life we confuse the decision-making phase with the problem-solving phase. Some of you remember back in 1963 when John F. Kennedy announced publicly, "We're going to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade." That was the decision. Had all the problems been solved when he made that decision? No! If you're a good manager you know you never confuse decision making with problem solving. Kennedy said, "We're going to do it, and full resources will be made available to accomplish it" then it was NASA's problem to figure out the details. They didn’t have to make the decision, they needed to make it happen. The more things that leadership has to make happen, the less the quality, vision filled decisions that get made….
If you have ever bought a house, You make the decision, but then you have to get financing, insurance coverage, the closing, then pack boxes, arrange moving trucks, fill out change of address cards, and all the rest. The details get handled after the decision is made.
At the age of 12, I made the personal decision to give the Lord control of my life. I'm still sending out change of address cards to my past, saying, " ”The future has moved and left no forwarding address”!!! My past shoudn’t limit my future…I don't do those things anymore, I don’t live there anymore, that's not the new me, that's the old me, my shepherd and I, have a new address."
Philippians 1:6 “And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns”.
In World War II, the Marines had a definite strategy they used in the Pacific arena, when they went to retake it from the Japanese. They used the same strategy on every island and it worked every time.
First, they would go to the island that had been taken by the Japanese, and they would start bombing it. That was called the softening-up period. Some of you are in the softening-up period right now, and all kinds of explosions are going off in your life. You finally come to a point where you say, "Yes, I need help beyond myself." It's softening up your pride.
In the second phase, the Marines would come in and establish a beach head, maybe only twenty yards deep and two hundred yards wide but they would just get a presence on the island. Had they completely liberated the island when they established the beach head? No, they had just gotten in – but from there they began to fight the battles. Sometimes it would go back and forth, but once they established a beach head, total liberation of the island was inevitable. In the history of WW II, once the Marines had landed and established a beach head they never lost an island. It was just a matter of time that the entire island would be set free.
When you take the step of letting go, what happens is that the Holy Spirit has set up a beach head in your life as you allow God’s presence to come into the situation.
Romans 8:19 calls it the earnest expectation of the creature awaiting the full manifestation of the sons of God.
2 Corinthians 5:5 calls it the earnest down payment of the Spirit.
Does that mean everything in your life is perfect? Absolutely not. It means that God has established a beach head and for the rest of your life He's going to be liberating your mind, your emotions, your soulish desires, and freeing your spirit so He can rule and reign in your life…, You’ve made the decision, all the resources you’ll ever need have been made available in Christ…victory is inevitable!!!!
Ephesians 3:9 “That all men might see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hidden in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: v10 For His intention is that the principalities and powers in heavenly places might know the manifold wisdom of God through His church, v11 According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord, v12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him”.
IT’S NOT ABOUT THE SIZE OF YOUR FAITH ,BUT IT’S ABOUT THE SIZE OF YOUR GOD! It’s not about your power, but God’s authority that backs you up! Your faith doesn’t have to be “perfect” to get results. It just needs to be committed and focused in agreement with God’s solution.
We don’t want to be like the kamikaze pilot who went on 40 missions – he was very involved but he was never committed!!!!
Christians aren’t lucky, we’re the recipients of the good fortune which comes through the blessing of obedience to God and His will for our lives. Luck is a hit and miss situation at best….blessings are guaranteed!!!
An ad appeared in the lost-and-found section of the newspaper….
It said "$50.00 Reward for Lost Dog. Three legs. He is blind in one eye, He’s missing his right ear, his tail is broken and he was accidentally neutered. He Answers to the name of ‘Lucky.”
Well, thank God, He doesn’t call us “Lucky”… Let’s answer to the name He calls us!.... He calls us blessed, justified, free from the law of sin and death, joint-heir with Christ, new creature in Christ, chosen, holy, and blameless, seated in the heavenly places, God’s workmanship, complete in Christ, friend of God, beloved of God, blessed with every spiritual blessing….OH MY!!!!
Colossians 2:9&10 says, "For in CHRIST dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And we are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power."
There is embodied in us, all that is in the Godhead - the Spirit of God, the, the mind of Christ, the faith of God, the authority of God, the love of God. We have in us the very life of God, because we are in Christ Jesus.
Deuteronomy 28:1 If you listen obediently to what your God is saying, and heartily obey what He speaks to you today, Your God, will place you on high, and give you favor above those around you. v2 All these blessings will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the Voice of your God.
v3 You shall be blessed in the city, and blessed in the country. v4 God's blessing shall be on your children, the crops of your land, and even the animals of your household. v5 God's blessing shall be upon your food pantry and your table v6 You shall be blessed in your coming in, and blessed in your going out.
v7 God will resolve the conflict among you and give you peace. v8 God will order a blessing on your storehouse and your workplace. He will bless you in the place that He is giving you. v9 God will develop and fashion you as a people separated to Himself, just as He promised, if you obey what He says and live the way He has shown you”. There’s no luck here, this is all about God’s guaranteed blessings!
MAKE A QUALITY COMMITMENT TO ACCEPT ALL THAT THE LORD’S SACRIFICE HAS MADE AVAILABLE TO YOU THROUGH THE PURCHASING POWER OF HIS OWN BLOOD.
ACCEPT GOD’S WORD AS YOUR NEW STANDARD FOR LIVING.
ACCEPT GOD’S WILL AS YOUR OWN GOAL FOR YOUR LIFE. Say it with me…. “Your will be done, Lord, in my life”
ACCEPT GOD’S POWER AS THE SOURCE OF YOUR STRENGTH.
A lady called the TV repairman, desperate for help. She said that he needed to come over immediately, or she would miss Oprah! He came over about 20 minutes later, plugged in the TV and left, shaking his head!
Things work much better when they’re plugged in!!!!
GET CONNECTED!!!....Prayer is the way you plug into God’s power.
PRAYER AND OUR CONFESSION TAPS INTO WHATEVER GOD CAN DO!
The Lord’s Prayer is not WHAT we should pray, it is an example of HOW we should pray…..
Matthew 6:9-13 “After this manner therefore pray. Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Notice that this prayer contains all the steps we need and forms an acrostic which spells out the word “Recover”….
(R) realize that I’m not the source and He is!
(E) earnestly believe that God has already released what I need.
(C) choose to commit my life and my stuff into His care
(O) openly confess and declare my decision according to His word
(V) voluntarily submit to what God wants, the way He wants
(E) evaluate my relationships and release forgiveness and reconciliation
(R) reserve time with God so I can know my shepherd and Lord
Chuck Swindoll once got a letter from a lady who didn't get married until she was 30. She said she never worried about getting married, she just trusted God with her future. However, she said that every night she hung a pair of men's pants on the end of her bed and prayed this prayer… “Father in Heaven hear my prayer, and grant it if You can. I've hung a pair of trousers on the end of the bed, would You please fill them with a man?”
Well, regardless….I believe this is your time to recover what Satan has stolen from you, what the deceiver has delayed in coming to you, and what he’s blocked from getting to you that God says is yours!!!!
Get plugged into all the power you will ever need. It’s waiting to be released and it’s all available through faith in Christ….
Matthew 17:20 “And Jesus said unto them, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, be removed to yonder place; and it shall be removed and nothing shall be impossible unto you”.
When pilots fly planes, they either FLY by “Instrument Flight Rules”, or by “Visual Flight Rules”…..IFR or VFR….Every pilot is flying by one or the other. Visual Flight Rules are fine as long as you can see everything, if it's clear weather and you don’t have a lot of air traffic. All commercial airlines fly instrumentation. All professional pilots fly instrumentation, but a lot of amateurs fly visually. The FAA reports that a lot of small plane crashes could have been prevented if the person in the cockpit had simply picked up the microphone and told the tower, "I need help." (An example is John Kennedy Jr. who perished needlessly because he could not fly instrumentation)….
You may have made it pretty well so far in life, flying visually and you've controlled everything by what you see and how you see it, But one day, if you fly enough, you're going to eventually hit bad weather and the storm will have you flying in the dark.
it’s an inevitable part of life that you're going to have some bad weather. You're going to hit some places where you can’t judge by what you see, cloudy areas where you can flip upside down and you don't even know which direction you're going.
It’s then you have to call the control tower and say, "I need to switch over to Instrumentation " and you submit yourself to the settings, which the control tower gives you fly by. We all come to that point where you've got to pick up the microphone and switch to God’s directions, His plan and His ways… or take a chance on blind luck!!!!
Ask someone….Is your name “lucky” or is your name “blessed”…..?
Luck is a maybe, thing…. Blessing is a guarantee!!!!
Let us Pray together….“Heavenly Father, today, we come before you expecting this to be the greatest day of our life. A day filled with unique opportunities to share your love with every person we meet. We thank you, Lord, for the favor which will flow through us today in every conversation and for this to be a day in which you will be glorified by what we think, say and do, in the strong name of Jesus. Lord, we thank You for freedom in speaking and being a mouthpiece for You, for fearless confidence, for cheerful courage, and for boldness with supernatural assurance.
We command stolen blessings to be restored seven fold for every blessing we have missed in Jesus name. We have angels assigned to minister and strengthen us in Spirit so that we can do those things that God has called us to do, that go before us to protect and to guard us and bring us to the place that God has prepared. The angel of the Lord is stationed at our side as we seek after God and His will. We are of good cheer for the Lord has overcome the world and given us His victory. We have been made more than conquerors in Christ.
He enables us to come forth victorious and be raised to a higher place as we receive full understanding of our rights, privileges, and authority in Jesus. The lord sets us on a path of ever increasing success so that the latter days of our life are much greater than any previous time. We now leave the past behind as the Lord brings us into the wider place of His abundance. We walk in happiness, peace, Divine favor and good fortune. Our families are blessed and anointed and our possessions are secure, because the limits have been taken off and we overflow with God’s covenant of fullness.
We declare that we are in total and complete health because Your salvation has brought wholeness and wellness into our lives. You have taken away sickness from our spirit. We were healed 2000 years ago, when you were crucified and Your word says we are the healed in Jesus’ name. We boldly declare that we are made whole, spirit, soul and body, for the power of sickness, infirmity, disease or deformity is no longer given any permission to be in our body and it no longer has any place, in Jesus’ name!
We declare that the Lord sustains us, even in our old age. He gives energy, vitality, health and rescues us from feebleness and calamity. We now receive His ability, power and anointing, that we may be established in the place of His covenant design and plan. We cancel premature death and receive the full number of our days and the ability to pass on wealth and honor as an inheritance for the next generation. May You be honored and glorified as all these things come to pass, in Jesus’ Name, AMEN!!!!