Summary: How can I, as a believer, walk in the victory that is my heritage in Christ?
Two people, each claiming to be a Christian, lose their job. One falls into a severe depression; while the other retrains himself and enters an entirely new field of employment, discovering more fulfillment than he ever had in his old job. The difference? One followed God’s formula for victorious living, while the other did not.
Two people, each claiming a personal relationship with Jesus, are struck with a terminal disease. One gives up on life and hides himself from the rest of the world; while the other maintains a positive outlook and is an inspiration to others. The difference? One followed God’s
formula for victorious living, while the other did not.
Two people, each claiming to know the Lord, are wronged by someone else. One develops a deep resentment and bitterness toward the wrong doer and spends the rest of his life unable to trust others; while the other decides to forgive and pray for the person who did him wrong. Over time, he is able to put the unpleasant episode behind him and move forward with life. The difference? One followed God’s formula for victorious living, while the other did not.
Two churches in the same community experience a downturn in the local economy. One church cuts its budget and program. They decide that they will have to accept the fact that times are slow, so they will be doing well to maintain things as they are. They commit themselves to “holding on” and “maintaining the status quo.” Over time, their giving and attendance takes a nose dive.
The other church, by contrast, decides to step up its outreach efforts. After all, they reason, people who are going through difficult economic times are often more responsive to the hope of the Gospel. As a result, their giving and attendance increases, and a depressed community is uplifted and challenged by the positive faith of the church. The
difference? One followed God’s formula for victorious living, while the other did not.
What is God’s formula for victorious living? Paul tells us about it in our text. (READ TEXT)
God’s formula for victorious living is: God’s Capability + Our Availability = Limitless Possibility
1. God’s Capability - v. 20a
Notice the greatness of God’s capability. Whatever we imagine God doing, He is able to do immeasurably more. What would you like to see God do? What is the greatest thing you can possibly imagine? Paul tells us that God is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask for or imagine!
While we might face situations where the outlook does not look very bright, remember, with God, the up look is always bright!
The trouble with many of us is that we have shrunk our view of God down to the level of our understanding.
In my study, I have a book by J.B. Phillips in which he discusses the many misconceptions that Christians have of God. The name of the book is a profound challenge to you and to me, “Your God Is Too Small.”
What is your understanding of God? Is your God too small? Or do you have the understanding that Paul had about God?
(Show Francis Chan video - The Awe Factor of God)
If we are going to live the victorious Christian life, overcoming, instead of being overwhelmed, then we must follow God’s formula for victorious living, and believe in the immeasurable capability of our God! But we need to add to God’s capability . . .
2. Our Availability - v. 20b
As important as is our faith in God’s capability, it is equally important that we make sure of our availability. For, you see, God works His wonders often through human instruments.
“For we are fellow workmen (joint promoters, laborers together) with and for God.” - 1 Corinthians 3:9 (Amplified)
If we are going to life victoriously by the power of God, then we must learn to cooperate with God.
Note how Paul says that the degree of victory that we experience in our lives is in direct proportion to the degree to which we allow God’s power to work in and through us.
In other words, the more available my life is to God, the freer God is to do in and through my life those things that are immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine!
How do I make my life available to God? By choosing to obey Him.
“Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.” - Psalm 37:4-5 (NASB)
This is a wonderful passage, which teaches us how to make our lives available to God. Note the two life giving principles taught here:
A. What I delight in will determine my desires - v. 4