Sermons

Summary: God calls us to victorious living.

What is success? What does it look like? Most people have a mental image of success that looks something like this: The wealth of Bill Gates, the physique of Arnold Schwarzenegger (or Cindy Crawford), the intelligence of Albert Einstein, the athletic ability of Michael Jordan, the business prowess of Donald Trump, the social grace of Princess Diana, the imagination of Walt Disney, and the heart of Mother Teresa. That definition of success sounds absurd, but it is closer to the truth than any of us are willing to admit. If success required becoming someone else none of us would ever achieve it because we are who we are. If I do not have to reinvent myself to be successful in life, then what must I do to achieve success in life?

Success or failure in life is determined by the adjustments we make along the way. All of us want to be winners. We want to experience the thrill of victory. We want to hear the applause of the crowd. We want to know the joy of a job well done. And most of all, for the child of God, we want to hear those wondrous words at the end of the race, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” Be honest, just once wouldn’t you like to know what it feels like to drive down victory lane and pull into the winner’s circle or stand atop the podium and have the gold medal placed around your neck? Why then are most of us content to settle for mediocrity?

Those of us who have accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord of our lives have received the ultimate promise of victory: eternal salvation. Why then, are we still here on planet earth? Why didn’t God just take us on to heaven at the moment of our conversion? The primary reason God

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left us on earth after our salvation is because God wants us to succeed right here. God wants us

to experience for ourselves, and demonstrate for those around us, the victorious life we have in Christ. He wants us to know victory here. There is a purpose for your life He not only wants you to pursue but to fulfill. Most of us are getting by, but getting by is not enough. God calls us to victorious living. Average is unacceptable in His eyes. So how can you be the winner God created you to be?

I encourage you to open your Bible’s to the Old Testament book of Joshua as we discover God’s Winning Formula: How to Succeed in the Race of Life.

The book of Joshua is a book of victory. It is the record of God’s people claiming their promise and fulfilling their destiny. It pictures victory through faith and trust in the power of another. It is also a treasure chest containing principles for achieving success in each of our lives. How can these words written 1450 years before the birth of Christ have any bearing on our daily lives?

First of all, the book of Joshua and the exploits of the Israelites are relevant to us because God said they are relevant to us. First Corinthians 10:11 tells us in reference to Egypt,

the wilderness, and the Promised land, “Now these things happened to them as an example, and

they were written for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages have come.”

The victory of Joshua is a portrait of our victory in Christ. God has given us victory as a possession. Every Christian is meant to live a victorious life. You say, “But Pastor I know some Christians who are not victorious. I know some Christians who are not succeeding in the race of life.” So do I, but God intends better for our lives. While the Bible admits failure as a possibility, it never presents failure as a necessity. Here is our problem: we have dumbed down Christianity and accepted our reality as theology rather than theology as our reality. We allow reality to alter our theology instead of letting our theology affect our reality to the extent that we walk by sight and not by faith. We operate by what we see instead of operating by what God has said. Sadly, those of us who are most vocal in proclaiming Biblical truth are woefully delinquent in applying it. We end up settling for a barren dry life in the wilderness when God has a wonderful land of victory and abundance waiting for us on the other side if we would simply walk through the water and claim it. So the book of Joshua is written and recorded for all time and eternity to show us how to live victorious lives. It provides us with principles to achieve the kind of success God wants us to achieve. God has already proclaimed you a winner. The rest of life is making needed adjustments to allow that promise to be fulfilled.

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