“Who’s Number One?”
Football teams and fans are battling for the right to be number one. There are polls and commentaries all chiming in on who is number one.
In our personal life there’s a battle also. There’s a war going on and if you want to win you have to have Jesus deep down within. Our flesh is under the control of our mind. If our mind wants something it tells our flesh “Flesh! wouldn’t it be nice to have that,” Our flesh now gets the desire for it. That’s why the Bible says
“Let the same mind that is in Christ Jesus be also in you”,
Jesus mind was in control, His mind was to do the will of his father and Jesus flesh was in subjection to his mind.
Since we have not brought our flesh under subjection we allow our desire, our wants, and our ambitions of our flesh to give its’ first allegiance to everything else but God.
Our nature and tendency is to indulge our flesh, to allow our profession, our social acceptance, our livelihood, our comforts, and our pleasures the opportunity to be satisfied.
We spend so much time trying to ensure that we meet the right people, drive the right car, wear the right clothes, attend the right social events, impress the right people, operate in the proper arenas so that the social powers to be of this world might take notice of us.
We diligently and meticulously strive for popularity and prosperity because human conception is based on the belief that this is what it takes to be blessed and we confuse our resource with our source.
So what happens is we spend all of our energy trying to reach unattainable expectations so that our flesh may be satisfied and what little we have left we then offer unto God if our flesh isn’t too tired.
What we must realize, is that our flesh will never be satisfied, and no matter what we have or achieve, no matter who knows our name, no matter how much success we may get, we will never be truly blessed until we “Make God First.”
The Bible says in Matthew 6:33 says “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
The mentality of society is to get all these things and if you have time then seek God. We even find preachers whose sole basis of their ministry is material possessions. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with having material things, but how we acquire it is important.
God desires for his people to be blessed and prosperous, we find in 3rd John 1:2 “Beloved I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
God wants his people to be prosperous, God desires for his people to have life and life more abundantly, God is the creator of all and we are his children and we should have it, but first, God wants us to have His power, His anointing, His wisdom, His understanding and Once we have achieved these things then all those other things will be added unto us.
We find in our society so many people that have achieved great prosperity & popularity, and according to human status they seem to really have it going on, they have the nice cars, live in the fine homes, travel to all the exotic places, no matter how big you or your house is, no matter how big your cars and toys are, when we die and are buried all of our graves will be the same size 2 1/2 feet wide by 8 feet long…
I’m amazed how we learn the art of desire at a very early age. As a baby we desire to be fed. When we feed babies you can see their appreciation by the sounds and looks they give as they eat. Then after a couple of hours the baby has forgotten about their last feeding and has no appreciation for the efforts made to feed them and then begin to cry out for another feeding.
When we go and buy food or other perishable items we look primarily at two things, the price and the expiration date. In accounting courses we learn two key terms, FIFO (First-In First-Out) and LIFO (Last-In Last-Out). So, when I go and buy milk I go straight to the back where I know the expiration date has more time than the milk in the front.
When it comes to wanting or desiring something many of us know that our appreciation can be vital to receiving what we want. We all have experienced wanting something so much that we may be willing to do anything to get it. However, once we get what we wanted, needed, begged for, or had to have many will become unappreciative of that which we couldn’t live without.
Once, some years ago as the Christmas season was approaching our children was letting us know what they wanted for Christmas. Then my wife asked them to tell us about the gifts from the previous year for Christmas. Not only did they not know where those gifts were but they couldn’t remember what they were.
We knew what we gave them and had an idea where they were. We considered rewrapping their old gifts and giving it to them again due to their lack of appreciation of our efforts to provide their gifts..
Unfortunately, too many of us act as though appreciation has an expiration date. After the Christmas season, the gifts are no longer appreciated as if the gift expired. After the first couple of years of marriage some act as if their appreciation for one another has expired. After God has blessed us with gift upon gift when circumstances and situations come our way we act as though we have no appreciation for what God has already done.
Therefore, don’t let your appreciation expire. I have learned and I encourage to practice the following appreciative principles. In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart and I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
These are wonderful times to be alive. It is clear and true that our whole attitude will determine what we get out of life. In all of our good times, no matter when the times happen to be. There’s always the worst of times for others.
Therefore, what determines our good times is our whole attitude, because it’s our attitude that determines our outlook, and our outlook determines our outcome.
One of the key things we can do in our life is to write down or make a mental note of at least three things every day for which we are thankful. You’ll be surprised how an attitude and posture of thanksgiving can be. It will focus you on things for which you are appreciative and grateful, and it sends a rush of positive energy in your way. I’m talking about the power of God, and how the power of God will come and help you. Hope will come your way. Joy will come your way. Love will come your way. All kinds of positive things will happen and come your way.
One of the things that happens when you focus on looking at each day for at least three things for which to be thankful is, it will change your whole attitude and your perspective about life. It will cause you to start zeroing in on the things to be thankful for.
My daily prayer and meditation includes me saying, “I will bless the Lord at all times and His praise shall continually be in my mouth, my soul shall make its boast in the Lord and the humble shall hear of it and be glad, oh magnify with me and let us exalt His name forever. I also, say This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice, and be glad in it.
Now, I also find some stuff to get aggravated, irritated and agitated about, whether it’s just driving through traffic, listening to nonsense or whatever irks me but I am not looking for the things that aggravate me. I am looking for the things that will cause me to rejoice. I do that on purpose.
So I am on a mission possible, every single day. So, whatever you are looking for, the anticipation of what you expect, will change your whole attitude. One of the reasons that kids are so excited on Christmas Eve is because of what they expect the next day. They don’t care whether you put them on punishment and tell them that they got to go to bed early. When there is a positive expectation on the inside of you, something changes. You know why?
It’s because Expectation Causes Preparation. You don’t get what you want in life. You get what you prepare for, and expectation causes preparation. So, more than anything else, Expectation Causes Preparation.
There are too many of us, if we are not careful will suffer from what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called a “paralysis of analysis”. Basically, we miss out on great opportunities and miracles by overthinking a situation, circumstance, position, place or condition. Then, many of us will not proceed in our journey, destination and purpose because something doesn’t make sense and/or we don’t understand.
Some of you may be familiar with this example of something we do and we don’t understand. Many of us eat pizza, right? Why is it that a round pizza come in a square box and it is sliced into triangles? I don’t know either but I won’t spend too much time thinking about it either because I like my pizza hot and don’t nobody have time for cold pizza.
Yet, God can have something for us and because we don’t understand it, we will exhaust ourselves with questions. We will present our dilemma to all of our family, friends and people who we deem are equally as intelligent and analytical as we are.
You may ask yourself why would God keep sending short men your way. You don’t understand, and you are convinced that God know that you love tall men. Or, you may ask yourself why does God continue to send you strong willed women. You don’t understand, and you know without a doubt that God know that you love women that you can control.
So, you spend valuable time like a hamster on its exercise wheel, you’re running a lot but going nowhere.
God has a history of commanding us to do something that doesn’t make sense. For example, when God was going to conquer the oppressing army, God told Gideon to send home almost all of his own men. This DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. Why would you attack an opposing force of tens of thousands of men with only 300 soldiers? Gideon and the 300 won.
Or, When King Saul failed in his kingly role and God sent Samuel to look for a new king. He chose the smallest, youngest, not-even-thought-of-by-his-father-Jesse for the position. This DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. People want to follow the strongest, most physically impressive warrior kings, don’t they? Yet, God looks at the heart, and David leads God people.
So, why not trust God with the purposes and plans he has for your life. You may believe, you’re not good enough, unqualified, too old, too young, too short, underweight, too poor, too mean, too quiet, too scary or whatever limitations you have allowed to keep yourself from greatness.
I just want you to know that before University of Oregon track athlete Phil Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman founded Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS) in January 1964 and then change their name on May 30, 1971 to Nike and eventually coin the phrase “Just Do It!”.
God has been telling us to “Just Do It!” throughout the history of humankind. Before Jesus first miracle. His mother Mary said to His disciples, “Whatever He says to do, do it!”
So, even if you don’t understand what God is leading or telling you to do, “Just do it!”