Don’t Write Someone Off

We all have someone who we're hoping will change—a family member who's off course, a child who's not making good decisions, a friend who's struggling with an addiction. We're praying and believing, but perhaps it doesn't look like it's making any difference. It's easy to get frustrated and think we're wasting our time. But if they're going to reach their destiny, they need someone who will keep praying, keep encouraging, keep speaking faith into their future. They need someone who will stand in the gap and cover them with mercy—not judge them, not condemn them, but will help love them into wholeness.

We write people off too easily. Where they are now is not where they're going to end up. Don't judge them by the present. Before the apostle Paul was a follower of Christ, he was the biggest enemy of the church. If you and I had seen him as Saul the persecutor of believers, we would have thought, "This guy doesn't have a chance. He's a terrorist." Yet God told Ananias, "Go pray for Saul, for he is a chosen vessel to bear My name before Gentiles" (Acts 9:15). Some of the people whom we're tempted to write off are chosen vessels to advance God's kingdom, to do great things. They need someone to wait and be there for them, to send them a text and tell them that they're praying for them, to invite them to lunch and tell them that they love and believe in them—not to condemn them or try to straighten them out.

I think about how many times God waited on us when we were off course. He waited when we had a bad attitude, when we failed, when we were addicted and compromising. He could have said, "That's it. I'm done with you." But He waited. He showed us mercy. He picked us up when we fell. He kept the addiction from taking our life. He protected us when we chose the wrong friends. He stopped the accident that could have taken us out. He waited when we didn't believe in Him, when we ignored Him, when we were bitter because He didn't answer our prayer the way we hoped.

Now He's asking us, "Will you wait on someone for Me? Will you wait on that loved one who's making bad choices and trapped in an addiction? Will you call them, encourage them, and let them know that you care? Will you stand in the gap for them?" God is saying, "Keep praying, keep encouraging, keep loving. Don't judge them by where they are. They're in the process of changing. Today may be their turning point."

 

Be the Champion

I heard a story about a boxing trainer who had so much confidence in his boxer's ability that before every fight he would write on a slip of paper the number of the round he predicted the boxer would knock out his opponent and place it in the boxer's glove. That little note instilled in the boxer so much confidence that it gave him a champion's mentality—it reminded him of the champion inside and the world champion he became. But the truth is that little note was just a piece of paper with a number on it. It had no effect until it become a part of the boxer's thinking, a part of who he was.

It's interesting that when God speaks about us in Scripture, we often don't feel like the person He's talking about. He speaks about us as if we're already the completed person He's making us into. For instance, He says that in all the things we face today "we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37). Despite however you may feel to the contrary, God sees you in your wholeness and has declared and decreed that you are more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus already.

He calls you more than a conqueror because Jesus Christ already conquered sin and death through the cross and His resurrection. When you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, He placed in you the seed that is going to be developed to cause you to overcome every foe and challenge. You have the Champion living inside you when you are born again, and He has put in you the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. Because Jesus already conquered, He has set you free from sin and bondage and gives you the power to conquer. God is saying, "It's not whether or not you will overcome. It's only a matter of time before you deliver that final blow and knock out the enemy."

But you have to get this into your thinking. You may not feel like a champion. You will become more than a conqueror when you activate that seed of greatness by what you think, by what you say, by how you praise, by how you respond to the forces of God. You are living out your destiny right now. Don't let the enemy tell you that you're less than a conqueror. God says you are a champion. You have the Champion living inside you. Rise up and be the champion!

 

Something Better Is Coming

We all have to deal with things that come to an end. We lose our main client, a friend we've always counted on moves away, a loved one goes to be with the Lord. We've seen God's goodness in the past, we've known we had His blessing, but it seems as though that blessing is taken away. Yet God never removes something unless He has something better coming. If He didn't stop certain things, we would never get out of our comfort zone. When you don't understand why the friend walks away or why the company pushes us out, God is not doing that to make your life more difficult. He's getting you in position for increase. He stops what is working to force you to stretch so you can see greater provision, greater fulfillment, and greater favor.

This is what happened when God supernaturally brought the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. Two million people headed into the desert toward the Promised Land, but they had no food. There was no way to survive out there. But every morning God gave them something called manna, which was like bread that formed on the ground. For forty years in the desert the one thing they could always count on was the manna. They had enemies to fight, heat and thirst to overcome, snakes and scorpions to deal with, but every morning, like clockwork, there was the manna. They knew that was the hand of God taking care of them. But they didn't realize the manna was only a temporary provision. They were satisfied with something to eat every day, but God wasn't satisfied. He was taking them into a land flowing with milk and honey, a land filled with all kinds of fruits, vegetables, and resources.

When they ate their first produce from the Promised Land, something interesting happened. "The manna ceased…and the children of Israel no longer had manna" (Joshua 5:12). After forty years, the manna stopped. I can hear them asking in a panic, "God, what's happening? You've provided for us. Why are You leaving us now?" They would have depended on the manna forever, so God stopped the manna. He said to them, "From now on, you don't need the manna to sustain you. There's provision all around you. I'm bringing you into abundance." It wasn't a coincidence that the manna stopped when they were about to enter the Promised Land. When something ceases in your life, it's not the time to get discouraged. It's time to get ready, to stir up your faith because increase is coming, greater provision is on the way, and God is about to take you where you can't go on your own.