Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Part 3 of 3 in the Living Your Calling series

"Living Your Calling"

Part 3 - Breaking the Limitations

NewSong Church - 07/27/08


1. God created us with unique abilities for a planned purpose. [s2]

2. Our abilities are intended to be gifts – given away to God and others [s3]

3. We realize God’s plan fully when we remove the limitations placed in our lives [s4]

:: The God With a Plan ::

Jeremiah 1:4-5 [s5]

“The Word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;’”

Ephesians 2:10 [s6]

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

• Hindsight is 20/20 – we can look back and see how we got to where we are (see the plan)

• But when we are sitting in the middle of the process as it unfolds, the future can be vague and uncertain

• When we attempt to project and see what lies next, it can lead us to the wrong conclusion and cause us to make incorrect determinations

• And when we apply that process to ourselves or others, it causes us to underestimate calling, abilities and destiny;

• It results in unnecessary limitations being put on ourselves – or putting limitations on others.

:: Famous Failures :: [s7]

Here’s an example of what I mean; this video shows a few people whose pattern and track record would indicate that they would be unsuccessful in life and fade into obscurity… let’s take a look:

VIDEO: “Famous Failures”

• The Bible tells us about a young man named David

• His position and skill set would not seem to be an indicator of his destiny

• His calling didn’t seem to match up with his destiny

• He tended sheep; but God’s plans went far beyond his flock

:: David’s Story ::

1 Samuel 17:20-28 [s8]

Early in the morning David left the flock with a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry. David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and greeted his brothers. As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. When the Israelites saw the man, they all ran from him in great fear. David asked the men standing near him, "What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?" When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, "Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle."

• How dangerous is the attitude, “I know who you are.”

• Our familiarity with someone can often lead us to place limitations on them – those closest to us know our weaknesses and worst sides

• Have you ever tried to convince someone who knows you what you are truly capable of? Have you ever been shut down?

• Even Jesus had this problem; the Gospels tells us that there was an entire town where Jesus could perform very few miracles because the people doubted who he was and what he could do: “Aren’t you that carpenter’s son? Your family lives in our neighborhood – we know all about you!”

1 Samuel 17:31-33 [s9]

But what David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him. David said to Saul, "Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him." Saul replied, "You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth."

• Equally dangerous is the attitude: “You are not able.”

• Perhaps you’ve struggled with someone telling you, “No, sorry you can’t.”

• Perhaps you’ve made a judgment about someone in this way

• Evaluation can be a difficult process, and is not always incorrect in what it reveals; limitations are placed when we focus on the weakness that will prevent someone from succeeding instead of focusing on the calling, abilities and strengths that will keep them from failing.

• Breaking the limitations that have been placed on us begins when we learn to recognize our weakness, face potential failure, and still determine to go forward and fulfill our destiny

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