6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: This message explores the God given desire to be great. Inspired by "The Seven Longings of the Human Heart" by Mike Bickle.

("Invincible" – Movie Clip from ScreenVue featuring the Philadelphia Eagles open try-out)

Oh, to be great! Each and every morning, before the sun comes up, grown men punish their out of shape bodies on the basketball court at the YMCA in an effort to live out a dream of greatness.

How many men, as just young boys across the state of Kentucky, shot baskets in a drive-way. And as we lined up to take the shot, we thought in our heads (enact vision – but with common scenario). . . Right? Of course not. It was the game winning shot. The shot to end all shots. The championship basket. Because we all want to be great!

My Map to Greatness @ 25:

- Master’s Completed & Ordained

- Ph.D. by 35

- District Superintendent by 45

- General Superintendent by 55

Some people think such visions and aspirations of greatness are carnal. They must be suppressed. They are not appropriate wants and desires for a Christian.

But you know what? It isn’t prosperity gospel when I tell you this morning that. . .


It’s already mapped out and prepared for us. We are going to be great. There is no doubt about it.

Listen to these promises from God’s Word –

“To Him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My Throne.” (Revelation 3:21)

How does that sound for greatness? To sit with the Lord, on His throne. Does it get any greater than that?

Look at what Jesus taught with some of the first words of His first sermon.

“Whoever does them and teaches them [My commands] will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19)

Not, might attain greatness. Not, may be one of 5 lucky winners to be great. But, will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Again, how does that sound for greatness? It’s one thing to be called great on a basketball court, or in a board room, or within a community. . .but to be called great in the very kingdom of heaven. That would be great!

In fact, if I might take those verses one step further. We know that God wants us to overcome like He speaks of in Revelation. We know that God desires that we obey his commandments like Jesus talked about in Matthew. So we know that God not only guarantees our greatness, but. . .


You see, we desire to be great precisely because we were meant to be great. God has built into our spirits a longing to be great. It is part of our divine calling. In fact, you will never, anywhere in this book, find Jesus rebuking anyone for wanting to be great.

Because, as with all the longings of our heart, there is no problem with longing to be great. It is part of who God made us to be. There is only a problem when we attempt to fulfill the longing in the wrong way.

So we knock people off the hill on our way to the top. . .and now we’ve got a problem. We back stab someone in the office. . .and now we’ve got a problem. We strive for worldly acclaim and honor resulting in a spirit of pride and egotism. . .and now we’ve got a problem. An age old problem.

Because thousands of years ago Jesus even had to look at the church people of His day and say, “Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues.” (Luke 11:43) And that’s not the kind of greatness God made us for.

And as with all of these longings here is the really ironic part. In all our earthly efforts to attain greatness, we are left feeling empty, when an even greater greatness is right in front of us for the taking. God satisfies our longing to be great by granting us, his Bride, a position of authority that passes even the highest ranking of angels. A seat on His throne. According to Revelation 5:10, a kingdom on earth to reign over. And the title of greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

So what’s the catch? Well, God guarantees our greatness. He has destined us for it. But God has a bit different guide down the path to greatness. Instead of asking Tom-Tom how to get there, we have to ask God-God. And His road to greatness, His directions are a bit counter cultural. But if we will buy into them. Immeasurable greatness awaits us.


1. Willingness

Turn with me to Exodus 24. If you received the 40 Days of Prayer eDevotionals, brace yourself for some repeat. But it is just far too applicable to this teaching to ignore. Exodus 24:12 (read through verse 18).

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