Weekly Uplift - I Am Excelling
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I am Excelling

 

MULTIMEDIA 03

 

 

 

 

 

By Minister David Adabale
New Wine Church, London 

 

 

 

Foundation Scripture: Genesis 17:1-6

Sunday 12th April 2015

 

Today, I would like to encourage you with a message titled ‘I Am Excelling’. Our theme and focus this year to ‘excel’ has always been God’s original idea, His blueprint for mankind. Genesis 1:28 gives us a clear directive from God on this, which reads: ‘Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion...’. It’s another way of saying, ‘all provisions for excelling has been concluded, now go ahead and excel’. When God zeroed in on Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5; ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations’ (NIV), He (God) was reminding Jeremiah of his inherent ‘excel’ capabilities.

 

This is how Isaiah 46:9-10 speaks about God’s incredible, awesome power: ‘Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure’. Before we showed up on earth, God had already concluded His part of the ‘excel’ mandate. A good example for illustrating this is the writing of a book. Usually, a writer writes a book chronologically, starting with the first page, and concludes with the last page. However, God begins from the conclusion and then gives permission for the beginning to unfold. Mothers can relate to this when embarking on a road trip with children. In order to ensure that the children enjoy the journey without too many distractions and complaints, the car is often stocked with food, drinks, games and other necessary provisions. This is exactly God’s modus operandi, Ephesians 2:10 reads: ‘For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do’ (NIV).

 

Not only is ‘Excel’ God’s idea, we have also been wired up to excel. It should not surprise us then, when we begin to experience frustration with an issue or a problem that seems to be hindering our progress in life. The human anatomy was designed to excel also. For example, our feet, hands and even our face were designed and wired to look and move forward.

 

Once God gives you a promise, be rest assured that it will come to pass, provided you do not give up. Hebrews 10:35-36 reads: ‘So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised (NIV). In order to fully grasp God’s credentials as the unfailing, promise-giving One, our foundation scriptures give us a clue to His character. Here is Genesis 17:1, which reads: ‘When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am El-Shaddai--'God Almighty.' Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life’ (NLT).

 

God describes himself as the ‘Almighty’ one, as translated in many English versions of the bible. However, the original Hebrew translation describes God as ‘El-Shaddai’. ‘El’ refers to God, while ‘Shaddai’ is from the root word for ‘Shad’ (the breast). Nursing mothers only need to feed their breastfeeding babies with milk, which contains all the nutrients the baby needs to grow and develop. Conversely, our God is the Almighty, all-sufficient one who can provide all that we need and require to excel.

 

If all that we have discussed above is true and exciting, why is it then that what we have been promised isn’t matching up with what we are experiencing? Probably, you have prayed, fasted, confessed and believed God over the months and years regarding an issue without much success – and it seems that every other person is experiencing a breakthrough except you. You need to realise that ‘excel’ is both a destination and a journey. The human nature however prefers the destination. Have you ever booked a holiday to an exotic location, for instance Barbados, and spent weeks fantasizing about it? You think about the warm sunshine, the deep blue sea, the coconut, the pina colada and much more? You hardly ever think about the various inconveniences on the way to the destination – traffic to the airport, the security checks, the waiting and the long flight? Isn’t that the reason why the question ‘Are we there yet?’ is such a popular question that children ask on the way to a favourite holiday destination? Similarly, when God gives us a promise, we hardly think about the journey or the process, our minds are fully focused on the destination. However, God is interested in both the journey and the destination.

 

God is interested not only in giving us a promise, but also in who we become in the process of obtaining the promise. Abraham was given a promise – His descendants would be so many like the stars in the sky, too numerous to count (Genesis 15:5). Joseph was also given a dream by God – He was to be a star in his own right; a ruler to whom other stars will bow down to (Genesis 37:9). Yet, God left out all the other details – the journey to the pit, Potiphar’s house and the prison. Joseph was already favoured at home, given a coat of many colours and living the life of a young manager, administering and supervising the work done by his older brothers, for which they hated him (Genesis 37:8). They eventually sold him into Egypt, and at that point, one could almost conclude that the dream was over. Do you feel like Joseph, you feel so far away from attaining your God-given dreams and aspiration? I want to encourage you not to lose hope or become discouraged because the one who has promised will fulfil His word; He is working behind the scenes on your behalf, and your testimony of the glorious future that God will release to you will be like that of David, who said ‘Oh taste and see, that the Lord is good’ (Psalm 34:8).

 

The reason why God focuses on both the journey and the destination includes:

 

(a) God wants us to live a life of faith: Romans 1:17 says ‘For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith’. The obstacles obstructing your progress can be easily removed by God, but the process of preparing an outstanding reality of the dream He has given you usually takes time. A good illustration is the time it takes for a lady to sit in a hair salon, weaving an intricate and gorgeous hairstyle. The time spent may take so long, but it eventually turns out to be worth the wait. Conversely, if what God is preparing for you is taking so long to manifest, I want to encourage you to keep your faith in God. In the process of waiting, you are living a life that glorifies God and honours His name, and it will eventually all work out for your good. The Israelites had the Promised Land to look forward to, but God had to take them through the process of preparing them for the land. First, they had to develop their faith to fight and secure every square inch of the land and then maintain their faith to live on the land. The generation of the Israelites that left Egypt unfortunately were impatient and intolerant to this life of faith, and they forfeited their inheritance as a result of this – only Joshua and Caleb outlived that journey. Whenever Satan comes to tempt us with an alternative, his ultimate aim is to draw us away from a life of faith. This is what he presented to Jesus when He was tempted in the wilderness. Job experienced the same treatment (albeit coupled with sickness). 

 

(b) God wants our lives to be pleasing and acceptable to Him:  Jesus spoke in Matthew 7:22 saying: ‘Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ This scripture suggests that it is possible to achieve results and still be outside of God’s will for our lives. However, God cherishes those who prioritise living their lives with the ultimate aim of bringing pleasure and glory to His name, before assessing what they have obtained in the process. Remember that, God is not just concerned about the ‘what’ that we get, He is also concerned with ‘how’ we get it.  He doesn’t focus on the ‘what’ we obtain but ‘who’ we become in the process. As much as God is preparing a great future for you, He is also working on and preparing you for that future.

 

(c) God wants us to develop the strength to maintain the promise: Whenever a promise is taking so long to manifest, God is simply preparing you for it. You need to realise that glory has weight. As much as Abraham was not the only man waiting on God for a child in the Mediterranean desert in his time, his son was to be a child of promise. So was the experience of Hannah – Her child was to be a prophet, a pioneer and a visionary in the land of Israel. Her life of faith, and a developed strength to maintain the promise was certainly worth the wait. It is always easier to obtain than to maintain. If you look in scriptures, you will realise that God hardly puts the promise we are expecting in our hands, He often puts it within our reach. In the process of reaching for that promise, we develop the faith and the character to maintain it. The weight of 50kg of sand and diamonds often weigh the same – but you need the capacity to handle the weight of glory. So while you wait, God is stretching you, increasing your capacity and developing your muscles, broadening your shoulders and strengthening your feet on the ground, such that when the glory appears, you will be ready for it. Here is how Apostle Paul puts it: ‘For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!  (2 Corinthians 4:17 NLT). This principle informed how God led the Israelites through the wilderness. Exodus 13:17 records that when Pharaoh released the Israelites, God decided not to lead them on the road through the Philistine country, even though that was shorter. "If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt." God said. And this principle is still true for us today – God is never in a hurry, He is more mindful of the process than the prize.

 

So what should you do when the process is long, painful and slow? Maintain your confession – I am excelling. Hebrews 10:35-36 reads: ‘So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised (NIV). Stand firm on God’s word, because precious gifts take time to manifest. A medical surgeon doesn’t qualify in a week – it takes a process of years to be competent and skilled for such a highly-skilled profession. Keep your confession constant and continual. Recite the various variations of God’s word to yourself – ‘I am excelling, I am reaching beyond and further, I am taking territories and staying focused’. The part of our brain that controls our speech also controls other parts of our body. Speak to inspire and motivate yourself. ‘So if you don’t like what you see, don’t say what you see, say what you want, and you will see what you say’. 

 

Here are four entities that need to hear your confession:

 

(i) Principalities and Powers: The words that you speak are a weapon against the enemy. Ephesians 6:12 puts it this way: ‘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’ (NIV). Jesus gave us a prototype by repeating the words ‘It is written’, three times when the devil tempted him in the wilderness. So what are those words that God has given you that you need to recite to the hearing of the enemy today?

 

(ii) Helpers of Destiny: Those who God has called to help you, need to hear your confession of excelling loud and clear. All the blessings you need have been released by God, but it will get to you through people. Mary and Elizabeth encouraged each other during a period of carrying Jesus and John respectively in their wombs. Conversely, there are some dreams that God has placed within you, that will ‘leap for joy’ when you connect with those friends God has called to help you. These people inspire and bring alive all those dreams – Be on the lookout for them.

 

(iii) Yourself: Speak to yourself, saying ‘I am excelling’ over and over again till it stays with you. David spoke words of encouragement, such as ‘Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God (Psalm 42:11 NIV). He spoke words such as ‘Bless the Lord O My soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy name’ (Psalm 103:1). You are the first prophet over your life, so get going with the words you need to speak to yourself every day! 

 

(iv) God: You need to be speaking to God, regularly about your destination. Isaiah 43:26 reads: ‘Put Me in remembrance; Let us contend together; State your case, that you may be acquitted'. In the process of speaking to God about the situation, it ignites a spark and passion within you that reminds you that God is faithful and will bring His promise to pass.

 

Remember that God is in charge - He is El-shaddai, the all-sufficient God, and He will bring to pass the words He has spoken concerning you this year. You will excel in Jesus name! 

 

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(a) God wants us to live a life of faith: