Become a Champion of God (Part 1)
Updated: Sep 9
The Olympics is the pinnacle event for champions to rise up and demonstrate what they are made of. Behind every triumph and every loss lies a story of a champion who rose up against the odds to reach the pinnacle of their sport.
How much more the Christian? Do you desire to be a winner rather than a loser? To be at the top rather than at the bottom? Do you want to succeed in God! The Scriptures clearly tells us that God intends for us to be champions. Champions who succeed, who overcome, who are victorious. We find some of these keys in 1 Peter 1:13.
1 Peter 1:13 (NIV84) Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
From this passage we discover some keys to living as champions. As Christians we have every reason to live as champions. God has chosen us to be part of a family of champions. God has made every provision for us to succeed in this journey of faith. He is with us every step of the way and has provided us the power to be champions!
God has chosen us to be part of a family of champions. He has made every provision for us to succeed in this journey of faith
Yet to be as champions, we need to live as champions. So how do we live as champions?
BE PREPARED LIKE A CHAMPION (v13a) "…prepare your minds for action..."
What does it mean to be prepared?
In 1 Pet 1:13 (KJV) "…gird up the loins of your mind…". It provides a graphic description based on the Old Testament times. An Israelite male wore a long, sleeveless shirt that reached to the knees or ankle. When at work or war, it was tucked into the belt at the waist to leave the legs free. That is what it meant to gird up. Gird up the loins of your mind means to make ourselves ready for action mentally. To be alert or watchful. To be prepared.
It is well known that for athletes and sports people to perform well, they need to be prepared mentally. Have you ever watched some of the weightlifters in the Olympics before they go out to lift huge weights? They are mentally psyching themselves up to step unto the stage. Why do they need to do that? Isn’t it all about their brawn? You might be surprised to learn that the mental game is just as important as the physical side.
In the same way the Bible is telling us that our minds must be mentally prepared for action. If you are to live as champions, you need to prepare your minds like a champion. This applies also to our Christian faith, our work or any area of our lives.
If you are to live as champions, you need to prepare your minds like a champion.
Why should we be prepared?
There are a number of reasons why we should be prepared mentally for action. Firstly, because we are engaged in spiritual warfare.
Ephesians 6:12 (NIV84) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Unless we are alert spiritually, we become a casualty of the Enemy. A soldier that is not alert gets wounded or killed easily in the battlefield. The problem is Christians often do not realise they are in a battlefield. We need to open our spiritual eyes to recognize that there are spiritual terrorists around us. Waiting to blow us up if we are complacent. In Australia, the terrorists have not been able to do anything significant because our security forces are so alert. Are we alert? Or are we getting blown up?
Secondly, we are called to advance God's Kingdom. How can we advance God's Kingdom unless we have been prepared to do what it takes? No army can advance into enemy territory unless it has been well trained. How can you pioneer care groups, develop new ministries, plant churches?
When Lai Ling and I went to start the church in Brisbane, we were not unprepared. We were equipped because we prepared ourselves as best as we could in God. If you want to be used of God significantly, you need to get prepared!
God has destined you to be a champion. Now prepare like a champion!
How do we be prepared?
Just 2 key pointers:
1. Renew our minds.
Rom 12:2 (NIV) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
As we renew our minds, we will become more aware of God's purposes. We will change our thinking about ourselves. Instead of seeing ourselves as losers, we begin to see ourselves as champions as God intended. We view the world differently. As God sees it. Losers see problems. Champions see opportunities!
We view the world differently. As God sees it. Losers see problems. Champions see opportunities!
Zig Ziglar, a famous motivational speaker and Christian once said, "Your attitude determines your altitude"! The key is your perspective of yourself. Go to God's Word, go to God in prayer. Let God renew your thinking!
2. Train for a winning response.
Sports people train themselves for a winning response. Imagine if in a tennis match, we have to try and work out what force and spin our opponent is hitting and then work out exactly what we need to do to counteract it each time, it will be too late! Instead, good tennis players acquire all the top skills to be used when needed, during their practice times. In a match, they pull out the skills that they need to return or make any shots.
If we are to live as champion, we must train for winning responses, not just mediocre responses. In a tennis game, there is a huge difference between simply trying to get the tennis ball back and aiming to beat the opponent with a winning shot.
If we are to live as champion, we must train for winning responses, not just mediocre responses.
How do we train for a winning response in our lives as Christians? Are we seeking to understand key winning principles from God's Word and applying it in our lives regularly? Not to make do, but to excel!
Heb 5:14 (NIV) But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
Have we trained our hearts to forgive quickly? Have we trained to give a soft reply to harsh criticisms? When we know and apply God's Word constantly in our lives, we will become more proficient in spiritual matters and see great success in our lives and ministry. It is the same in other areas of your life. Train for winning response, whether at work, at school, in doing life!
To be continued in Part 2 [Click]
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