12 Mar Releasing the Champion/Giant Within
The champion/giant within us is our recreated human spirit, energised by the Holy Spirit of God bringing us into all that God has made available to us in Christ Jesus.
We were made in the spirit image of God. Sin destroyed the picture and Christ has restored it. We now have two identities: our natural then our spiritual identities. In the battles of life, our spiritual identities play a more important role than the natural. This study is about cultivating the lifestyle that will give us victory on every aspect of our lives. Life is usually lived in more than one dimension.
Let us lay the foundation for our new identity in Christ.
3 dimensions of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection are: Divine Exchange; Divine Pattern; and the Revelation of the Divine love of God. These three relate to the personal aspect of our lives, the relational, and then our assignment in life.
PERSONAL (Divine Exchange)
We have a new identity, hence a new authority and that solves some personal problems of low self esteem or poor self image, as we become who He is because He took our place, suffering in our place, all satan could throw at the human race: namely rejection, shame, sicknesses, diseases, suffering poverty and lack, He took all of these and more on the cross. So we can be free of these things and take on a new identity.
2 Corinthians 5:14-17
“For the love of Christ controls and urges and impels us, because we are of the opinion and conviction that [if] One died for all, then all died;
And He died for all, so that all those who live might live no longer to and for themselves, but to and for Him Who died and was raised again for their sake.
Consequently, from now on we estimate and regard no one from a [purely] human point of view [in terms of natural standards of value]. [No] even though we once did estimate Christ from a human viewpoint and as a man, yet now [we have such knowledge of Him that] we know Him no longer [in terms of the flesh].
Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!”
RELATIONAL ( Divine Pattern)
His death, burial and resurrection also represents a pattern for our maturity. Something’s must die in us and there re things we need to die to, if we are going to fulfil destiny.
“I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains [just one grain; it never becomes more but lives] by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest.
Anyone who loves his life loses it, but anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. [Whoever has no love for, no concern for, no regard for his life here on earth, but despises it, preserves his life forever and ever.]
If anyone serves Me, he must continue to follow Me [to cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying] and wherever I am, there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”
The world has its values and we are encouraged not to be conformed to the world and its system. One way for that to happen is to reckon ourselves dead to them. (See Romans 6, and Hebrews 12.) The seed in John 12 is acted upon by the forces of nature in the soil. As a type, it takes the breaking off of the outer shell for the life in the seed to produce a plant and the plant has potential for more seeds and hence more fruit! Death, burial and resurrection becomes the pattern for our spiritual growth into destiny. Obedience to scriptural instructions will cause death to some aspects of our lives, then God’s power raises us back again. For example Husbands love your wife as Christ loved the church and wives submit to your husbands as unto the Lord, both instructions will produce a dying and eventually a resurrection.
The Divine Love of God. (Our Assignment)
The greatest motive for serving God is love. When we love people with God’s love, we are giving others an opportunity to know and experience His unconditional love. That love was one of the aspects Jesus came to reveal to us.
“When the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery. They made her stand in the middle of the court and put the case before Him.
Teacher, they said, This woman has been caught in the very act of adultery.
Now Moses in the Law commanded us that such [women—offenders] shall be stoned to death. But what do You say [to do with her—what is Your sentence]?
This they said to try (test) Him, hoping they might find a charge on which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger.
However, when they persisted with their question, He raised Himself up and said, Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.
Then He bent down and went on writing on the ground with His finger.
They listened to Him, and then they began going out, conscience-stricken, one by one, from the oldest down to the last one of them, till Jesus was left alone, with the woman standing there before Him in the center of the court.
When Jesus raised Himself up, He said to her, Woman, where are your accusers? Has no man condemned you?
She answered, No one, Lord! And Jesus said, I do not condemn you either. Go on your way and from now on sin no more.
Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life.”
You know you are loved in spite of your faults. Can you minister same to others?
Lifestyle of Champions!
To release the champion in you, you need to cultivate the lifestyle of champions. Champions are seen for their accomplishments but behind the scene is lifestyle of discipline, dedication, devotion and perseverance.
2 Timothy 2:1-7
“SO YOU, my son, be strong (strengthened inwardly) in the grace (spiritual blessing) that is [to be found only] in Christ Jesus.
And the [instructions] which you have heard from me along with many witnesses, transmit and entrust [as a deposit] to reliable and faithful men who will be competent and qualified to teach others also.
Take [with me] your share of the hardships and suffering [which you are called to endure] as a good (first-class) soldier of Christ Jesus.
No soldier when in service gets entangled in the enterprises of [civilian] life; his aim is to satisfy and please the one who enlisted him.
And if anyone enters competitive games, he is not crowned unless he competes lawfully (fairly, according to the rules laid down).
[It is] the hard-working farmer [who labors to produce] who must be the first partaker of the fruits.
Think over these things I am saying [understand them and grasp their application], for the Lord will grant you full insight and understanding in everything…”
Take note of the following as we study each professional in this verses of scripture,namely the Soldier, Athlete and Farmer as we try to capture the victorious lifestyle that Apostle Paul is teaching Timothy:
Principles That Govern,
Rules of engagement ,
Managing Outcomes/expectations .
There is an athlete in you awaiting your development. There is a soldier within you awaiting your challenging it. There is a farmer within you awaiting your seed sowing opportunities. There are dimensions of warfare like Personal, Relational, and then your assignment in God.
SOLDIER = PREPARATION!!! EXERCISE!!! BATTLE READINESS!!! ENDURANCE!!!
The lifestyle of the soldier is very much in Paul’s writings, capturing the nature of conflicts we are involved with against the flesh, the world’s systems and a host of demonic beings set to see satan’s kingdom dominate human life all over the earth. Even when we receive God’s prophetic word, we are encouraged to endure hardness or afflictions but lay hold on that word and fight the good fight of faith. We are over comers and our fight is from victory to victory. We first take our victory by faith then we stay in the fight till it becomes visible to all.
1 Timothy 1:18-19
“This charge and admonition I commit in trust to you, Timothy, my son,in accordance with prophetic intimations which I formerly received concerning you, so that inspired and aided by them you may wage the good warfare,
Holding fast to faith (that leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence) and having a good (clear) conscience. By rejecting and thrusting from them [their conscience], some individuals have made shipwreck of their faith.”
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
“For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons.
For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,
[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)…”
“In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides].
Put on God’s whole armour [the armour of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.
For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.
Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].
Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God,
And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with thefirm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace.
Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one].
And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.
Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).
And [pray] also for me, that [freedom of] utterance may be given me, that I may open my mouth to proclaim boldly the mystery of the good news (the Gospel)…”
You do warfare for causes beyond you as well as your personal battles. You war fro your country, family, values and future. The outcome can be linked to success in strategy. Developing effective strategies is vital if we are going to win our battles.
What battles are involved in building healthy relationships, in winning your personal battles, and seeking to fulfil your assignment?
ATHLETE – THE RACE IS SET.
The standards are established and the outcome is linked to your effort and determination. Other qualities needed include discipline and self denial to be ready for the race set.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but [only] one receives the prize? So run [your race] that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours.
Now every athlete who goes into training conducts himself temperately and restricts himself in all things. They do it to win a wreath that will soon wither, but we [do it to receive a crown of eternal blessedness] that cannot wither.
Therefore I do not run uncertainly (without definite aim). I do not box like one beating the air and striking without an adversary.
But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit].”
“THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us,
Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.
You have not yet struggled and fought agonizingly against sin, nor have you yet resisted and withstood to the point of pouring out your [own] blood.
And have you [completely] forgotten the divine word of appeal and encouragement in which you are reasoned with and addressed as sons? My son, do not think lightly or scorn to submit to the correction and discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage and give up and faint when you are reproved or corrected by Him;
For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes.”
There are rules that govern our race. It is not a sprint but marathon. It is not against another person but seeking to fulfil our potential and the destiny God has for us. Our obedience, endurance and adjustments are needed to run this race. When we read the context of these scriptures we see that Paul wants to fulfil destiny and has learnt to use whatever comes his way. How does this race affect you personally? How does it impact your relationships? How will it impact your assignment in God?
FARMER- THE SEED PRINCIPLE.
Understanding seasons and how best to deal with them! What you reap is linked to how/what you sow.
“Give attention to this! Behold, a sower went out to sow.
And as he was sowing, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.
Other seed [of the same kind] fell on ground full of rocks, where it had not much soil; and at once it sprang up, because it had no depth of soil;
And when the sun came up, it was scorched, and because it had not taken root, it withered away.
Other seed [of the same kind] fell among thorn plants, and the thistles grew and pressed together and utterly choked and suffocated it, and it yielded no grain.
And other seed [of the same kind] fell into good (well-adapted) soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing, and yielded up to thirty times as much, and sixty times as much, and even a hundred times as much as had been sown.
And He said, He who has ears to hear, let him be hearing [and let himconsider, and comprehend].
And as soon as He was alone, those who were around Him, with the Twelve [apostles], began to ask Him about the parables.
And He said to them, To you has been entrusted the mystery of the kingdom of God [that is the secret counsels of God which are hidden from the ungodly]; but for those outside [of our circle] everything becomes a parable,
In order that they may [indeed] look and look but not see and perceive, and may hear and hear but not grasp and comprehend lest haply they should turn again, and it [their willful rejection of the truth] should be forgiven them.
And He said to them, Do you not discern and understand this parable? How then is it possible for you to discern and understand all the parables?
The sower sows the Word.
The ones along the path are those who have the Word sown [in their hearts], but when they hear, Satan comes at once and [by force] takes away the message which is sown in them.
And in the same way the ones sown upon stony ground are those who, when they hear the Word, at once receive and accept and welcome it with joy;
And they have no real root in themselves, and so they endure for a little while; then when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word, they immediately are offended (become displeased, indignant, resentful) and they stumble and fall away.
And the ones sown among the thorns are others who hear the Word;
Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.
And those sown on the good (well-adapted) soil are the ones who hear the Word and receive and accept and welcome it and bear fruit—some thirty times as much as was sown, some sixty times as much, and some [even] a hundred times as much.”
Keep sowing the right seeds.
In your words, thoughts and actions, sow the right seeds, and guard your heart so productivity is enhanced. We have an enemy who is not interested in watching the seed produce.
How does this affect your lifestyle personally, relationally and what impact will this make on your God given assignment?