Dr. Craig L. Oliver
“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.”
- - Paul Boese
How can walking in forgiveness be a tactical strategy for walking in victory? When we consider the strategy of the overcomer, the concept of forgiveness does not immediately come to mind. I propose, however, that forgiveness is one of the most powerful weapons that the believer can have in their arsenal. Forgiveness brings a restorative freedom in the life of the child of God shedding light in areas that would otherwise be consumed by darkness. We WIN through forgiveness!
“As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.”
- C.S. Lewis
In a world that promotes self-serving and egocentric behavior, humility is often a priceless commodity frequently overlooked. Attention grabbing activities aimed at bolstering already inflated egos seem to be commonplace on television and in the media. Unfortunately for many it seems that humility has taken a backseat to ambitious pride and arrogance.
“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.”
- Bobby Unser
Winners capitalize on the strategic moments when preparation and opportunity intersect in order to achieve high success. The mistake that many of us make while traversing the terrain between great ideas and successful execution is lack of preparation. Success is not an incidental or accidental occurrence, but rather, it is the result of intentional preparation.
“Praise is man’s response to the revelation of who God is.”
- Dr. Craig L. Oliver
Praise is one of the many tools that positions us to access the grace that enables us to be victorious! We Win Through Our Praise! Praise is man’s response to who God is and as such it solicits and invokes the Presence of the Lord becoming an indomitable force employed by the believer. Praise literally infuses the essence of who He is into our everyday circumstances! We can’t help but win when we praise our God!
“If I live my beliefs every day, God can use even someone as ordinary as I am to change the world.”
- Brad Wilcox
We have been called, as sons and daughters of God, to be Everyday Missionaries at ALL TIMES, to ALL PEOPLE, in ALL PLACES, to the end that God receives ALL OF THE GLORY! God has given us the wonderful privilege of this gracious work allowing us to partner with Him in the spread of His message of hope and deliverance through our words and deeds. This great work, however, doesn’t occur in a vacuum, but rather, in divinely-orchestrated everyday circumstances ripe with opportunity.
“You and I, today and always, are to bear witness of Jesus Christ and declare the message of the Restoration…Missionary work is a manifestation of our spiritual identity and heritage.”
- David A. Bednar
An Everyday Missionary is a missionary at ALL TIMES, to ALL PEOPLE, in ALL PLACES, to the end that God receives ALL OF THE GLORY! Sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ through messages and actionable deeds should be an everyday occurrence in the life of the believer. Opportunities for missionary work occur every day in the circumstances of our lives creating access points for us to share the Gospel of Christ, but we must be sensitive enough to our environments to discern those openings.
An Everyday Missionary is a missionary to ALL PEOPLE! This means we are to joyfully share the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone without regard to their race, gender, socioeconomic status, or any of the other things that can be used to classify people into various groups. We share the good news of the Gospel with ALL PEOPLE because we are called to minister to the needs of ALL PEOPLE.
“If you’re not a full-time missionary with a missionary badge pinned on your coat, now is the time to paint one on your heart.”
- Neil Anderson
Did you know that we are all called to be missionaries every day? The average person has a mental construct of missionary work being abroad in the jungles of some third-world country replete with sleeping on dirt floors, eating little to no food, and keeping an eye out for wild animals with whom you may temporarily share living quarters. Let me challenge you, however, to actively renovate your paradigm concerning the work of the missionary. The work of the missionary, in the life of the believer, can occur in everyday circumstances. This is what I call being an “Everyday Missionary”.
“True prayer is neither a mere exercise nor a vocal performance. It is far deeper than that – it is a spiritual transaction with the Creator of Heaven and Earth.”
- Charles Spurgeon
There are times within our individual contexts of life that we encounter extraordinary circumstances that require the intervention of the Good Hand of the Lord in our lives. There are moments in life that demand influence, fortitude, or strength that exceed our capacity. I firmly believe, however, that in these moments of our most exhaustive extremity that the conditions are perfect to engage the power wrought from fasting and praying. More than merely going without food, fasting and prayer reflect a humbled and submitted posture of the heart as illustrated in the story of Nehemiah.
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
In our current racial, social, and political climate it would be easy to degenerate into a mindset of fear, anger, and extremism. When we are constantly bombarded with information from the media that suggests that social justice and equality aren’t attainable for all it becomes easy to adopt a dismal outlook on our present circumstances. To adopt a mentality of such a limited and self-defeating scope, however, would be to reject the resilient and indomitable legacy we possess as a people. A mindset of the aforementioned vantage point obscures from our view the unfailing hope that we have as a people who overcame seemingly insurmountable odds.
“I shall participate, I shall contribute, and in so doing, I will be the gainer.”
Each of us has a unique virtue and grace assigned to us by God that gives expression to His presence in the earth. We have an inimitable set of skills that comprise our imprint on the world designed to answer a specific need or call in the earth. These talents and virtues were given to us to actively engage them in service to our families, our communities, and the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We all win when everyone actively participates collaboratively functioning as a single unit to accomplish the mission. A common quote often attributed to Gestalt psychology theorists is “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” which intimates that we are far more effective functioning collaboratively rather than the sum total of our individual efforts. Simply put we can accomplish far more working together than we can apart from each other.
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