Winning In the Wilderness

Matthew 4:1-11

When I was in school, taking tests was never something I looked forward to at all.  I would have anxiety, loose sleep and be very nervous the night before the test.  I studied for the test so that wasn’t my concern, but just the pressure of failing the test was in my mind.  I would always pass the test because I was prepared, but there were times when the teacher would come in the classroom and tell us that we were having a pop quiz.  These are the tests that no one was expecting, but the good thing was the teacher would allow it to be an open book test.  At times on this journey with God there will be some tests and trials in life that we weren’t expecting, but it’s an open book test.  We must be full of the Word if we expect to pass the test, trials and the temptations of this world.

In this particular passage we find Jesus about to enter into His ministry after being baptized by John in the Jordan River.  The heavens open and the Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove, and God said “this is my Son in whom I’m well pleased”.  Then He was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  This is just like life at times when God blesses us, then the enemy comes with burdens.  The wilderness is a place that we all will encounter on this journey, but the good news is God has already anointed you to get through it.

Our perception of a circumstance or situation is what will allow us to see the God in it or in them.  It is important to have a winning appetite if we are to resist the temptation when we are weak.  A spiritual appetite will keep us from falling for physical hunger.  I never go to the grocery store hungry to shop for groceries because I will find myself picking up items that I really don’t need or that are not good for me.

There are places and people that we should stay away from when we know we are weak and vulnerable in the flesh.  The enemy knows our weakness, so he will put that in front of you to distract or cause you to fall; however, having the right spiritual diet and appetite will keep you from falling into the traps of the enemy.

Having a winning attitude is another step to overcoming temptation because it is imperative for you to know you are purposed to pass the test.  Your mindset is the first line of defense to receiving the victory. Family, never compromise your faith when God has destined your future with greatness.  If God has led you to the wilderness, then He will see you through the wilderness, but we must realize we are anointed to win.  Family, the word is the weapon God has equipped you with to get the victory so let’s begin to use it and be victorious in every area of our life.  The year of Victory 2018!!

I’m So Ready For This

Deuteronomy 26:16-19

What a challenging word we received on this Sunday!  Some of you may know married couples who after years of being married decide to renew their vows.  This can be for many reasons but one of the main reasons is to recommit to their promise they made years ago to one another.  If we do that in the natural, then I believe it is necessary to renew our vows in the spiritual with God.  Just as some problems have caused us not to keep our commitment in the natural, it can happen to some in the spiritual.  God never said this journey would be easy, but He did promise us the victory if we stay committed.

It is imperative to stay connected to the source if we want to keep the resources.  Your connection to the things of God is part of the growth process.  God may have had to slow the process of your blessings because you haven’t grown enough yet.  Thank God that He knows more about us than we know about ourselves.  There are some blessings God will put on hold because we can’t handle them right now.  We may feel we are ready for marriage, but our habits may need adjusting.  We may feel we are ready for the business, but our attitude may need adjusting.  God created us, therefore He knows the defects that we may have.

God has given us a manual to help us with our defects and it is the Word of God.  We cannot be totally effective in the kingdom if we don’t acknowledge the defects we have and allow God to deliver us.  Some of us have even made promises the first of this year and have already broken them!

God is saying to us that some of the promises we have made to Him have expired and it’s time to renew them.  God did not pull us out of misery for us to stay mediocre!  There is so much more God wants to do in you and through you, but it’s going to take us renewing our vows to Him.  Family, let’s renew the promises we made to God today so we can receive the Victory in every area of our life.  2018 is The Year of Victory!!

Sharing Like A Winner

Deuteronomy 26:1-4, 10-12

What an amazing Word from God on this past Sunday! Pastor Jackson helped us understand the importance of being good stewards over every blessing God has granted us.  The moment we start thinking everything is ours, we start treating it immaturely like it’s ours.  Matthew 6:33 says “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  God says in order to receive the blessings He has for us we must make Him a priority by putting Him first.

Put God at the top of your priorities and the rest will fall in place.  Doing it the world’s way and not putting God first will only have you seeking Him later for help.  Don’t allow the world’s way of how it presents things to cause you to fall into the trap of being disobedient to God’s way of doing it.  We can’t operate on the world’s way of thinking and expect kingdom results.

Everything we have God has given us, so we have a responsibility to be a good steward.  God has given us stewardship, but He has ownership of all our blessings. We can reap the benefits of being a winner by just being on the team, but God wants more out of you than just sitting on the bench.  It is time to move from being a spectator to being a participant.

There are blessings waiting for you, but you have to quit walking in the wrong direction.  In order to receive everything God has for you, it’s going to require obedience.  You must put aside the first fruits God has given you.  Your obedience to giving God your first fruits is what fuels your faith.  We should thank God for not just giving us the blessing, but allowing us to keep the blessing.  Anybody can get married, but everybody can’t stay married.  You may be able to get the job, but can you keep the job?  It’s not a problem receiving the blessings of God, but it’s going to take making God a priority in order to keep the blessings.

What’s more frustrating?  Never having it or having it but continuing to lose it?  I want all God has in store for m, and I want to be a steward that pleases God.   The key principle to being a good steward is in our preparation and presentation.  We must have the mindset of preparing our fruit for God and then presenting it to God.

Family, if you keep God in it then you will win it.  Let’s give God our best and watch Him do the rest.   The Year Of Victory 2018!!

Things Winners Do To Win

Deuteronomy starts out by saying “these are the rules and regulations that you must diligently observe for as long as you live in this country that God, the God-of-Your-Fathers, has given you to possess”.  The Lord makes it clear that He has already given us the victory in 2018, but we as players on God’s team must learn how to dwell or live in the place and culture of victory and blessing.  God is saying to the people of God that if you are going to enjoy this place of victory and blessing, you are going to have to not only know My playbook, but be able to execute My plays on the field of life while others are trying to stop you.
Anybody can run a touchdown when nobody is trying to stop them, but can you execute when the enemy is trying to stop you?  God knows that it is not enough just to study the playbook.  We must be able to execute the behaviors and actions that He has laid out for us in order to get the victory over the opposition.
Every year NFL teams have the opportunity to draft players on their team.  Some players have the unique opportunity to join a winning franchise.  The problem with drafting high school or college players on your team is that as talented as they are, they come to the table having been under the leadership of a different coach with a different playbook.  That said, the first thing they have to do is to reprogram the player to start to see things the way the new coach sees them.  This requires the coach to work very hard to tear down some mental and physical habits that will not serve the culture of his winning team.
Many coaches have very talented individuals on their team, but they are not teachable and/or trainable. NFL owners don’t draft and pay their players enormous amounts of money to listen to their opinions. They are there to carry out and execute the plays that will allow them to live in the place of a victory.
God has given those on His team great gifts and talents, but He does not bless you or draft you on His team to listen to your opinions.  Victory comes as a result of not just your knowledge of God’s word, but your ability to execute God’s word in your home, career, marriage, family, ministry and your lifestyle. Those who practice well tend to play well.  In 2018, let’s continue to build our spiritual muscles of obedience so we can continue to celebrate victory in every area of our lives.

It Doesn’t Matter; You’re Still Winning

Pastor encourages the people of God that no matter what is going on in and or around your life, you are still going to win in Christ. God declares victory over your life, but it does not always feel like victory. What do you do when you look at your life, kids, career, spouse and ministry and it does not look like you are winning? Yes, God said you will walk in victory, but God never said you would achieve it without a fight.  The enemy is not going to let you easily just walk into your season of victory without a fight.  He is going to use everything in his arsenal to distract and cause you not to be able to visualize or see anything that looks like or feels like victory in your life.   Even though it may not look like you’re winning, you are still winning.

You don’t walk in a victory parade unless you have overcome the enemy or the opposition that was trying to stop you. In other words, you are in a battle and the good news is that God is aware of your fight and your foes and is using it to grow and walk in victory. When you look at the context of chapter 20 you will find that there will be times in all of our lives when it will look like we are out numbered, underqualified and not equipped to handle our foes and battles in life.  When it is too hard for you, know that it is just right for God.

God knows you are outnumbered and out resourced, but it is an opportunity for God to get all the glory out of your situation. When God is for you, He is more than the entire world against you.  The text says that God leads us in the victory parade. We have to follow God in all we do and if we will just obey, God will lead the way in our victory parade.

Your life may not look like or feel like you are winning.  It may seem like the enemy is too strong and has more resources than you and you want to throw in the towel; God knows exactly what He is doing. Just trust and be confident that you have the right one your team and as long as you have Jesus as your Quarterback on your team no matter what the scoreboard of life says, you can hold your head up and walk knowing the victory belongs to you through Jesus. Talk and walk in your victory through Jesus Christ in 2018.  No victims, just victors!

This Is My Year To Win

2 Corinthians 2:12-17

What a word for the first Sunday of 2018! This is the year of Victory for the people of God. The victory has already been won, so it’s time to start talking, walking, living and loving like we have the victory. There will be times when people, problems and predicaments will make you feel as if you do not have the victory and there is a force out there that doesn’t want to see you win. The enemy doesn’t threaten anything or anyone that he doesn’t see as victorious. Opposition comes to prevent us or distract us from getting to our destinations.

You will find that there may be some people who are offended by what God is doing in you and through you. Often times the opposition is not from outside the camp, but rather inside the camp. Don’t be surprised that it’s the ones that are the closest to you that bring you the most pain and pressure. The plan of God is bigger than them, so don’t use a lot of your energy trying to figure them out, but rather continue to faith it out.

God has equipped you with everything you need to deliver you from the distractions and dilemmas of life. The truth of the matter is the reason why some are throwing darts is because you’re high enough to be a target. Expect the darts to come when God elevates you to new levels in this New Year. There are some people who started the journey with you, but may not finish the journey with you. Just because those who you expected to be with you on this journey are no longer with you doesn’t negate your victory.

Don’t allow your grieving to hold you back. It’s ok to grieve, but keep moving while you mourn. The key to staying on course toward your victory is surrounding yourself with winners. This is the season to check your crew and make sure those around you are following God and have a winning mindset. There were some doors that needed to close in 2017 in order for the new doors to open in 2018, so don’t worry about the past, but instead worship about the present.

Family, there may have been some losses and lessons in the past but God has some blessings for you in the present. This is a new year with new opportunities and victories, so keep your head up because the worse is over and best is yet to come.

2018 the year of Victory!!!