STRENGTH TO ENDURE Pt.3
“You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.” – E. O. Wilson
Forward Thinkers, daily I receive reports from people declaring, Pastor I’m tired, and the prayer requests continue to come in from people declaring they are stressed out by life and desiring to quit or throw in the towel. Forward Thinkers, many report it does not seem fair for them to have to carry such a heavy load in life.
Forward Thinkers, if that sounds like you, I encourage you to declare, Lord, give me the strength to endure.
The bible often uses metaphors to compare the Christian walk to sporting events such as running a race or fighting a battle and Jesus often used parables to communicate with his audience. Today, I will follow that pattern and use boxing to empower you with the strength to endure.
2 Timothy 4:7 New International Version (NIV)
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Forward Thinkers, I had the privilege to be in the locker room a couple of weeks ago praying before the fighters went in the ring to fight. That’s the first thing I want to pull out today you must have a prayer life before the fight begins because once the punches start flying it becomes more difficult to pray. Forward Thinkers, never allow life to become so busy that you become too busy to pray unless you desire for life to knock you out.
I was once at a fight where the boxer came out of the locker room with a full band and dancers. His pre-fight game was on point but he got knocked out in 1st round. He had spent so much time looking the part he obviously forgot to prepare for a real fight. Forward Thinkers, don’t get caught up spending so much time impressing people that you never have time to prepare for the battles of life. The bible warns us to be alert and prepared because Satan desires to knock us out.
Let’s look at 3 Pre-Fight Details
1) Work Out. Forward Thinkers, we need to work out to increase our strength to endure. There is no time for excuses and laziness will never produce a victory. Forward Thinkers, work the Word and increase your strength to endure.
2) Weight Class. Forward Thinkers, a boxer must get rid of all the dead weight that could cause him to be disqualified for his chance to win a championship. Ask yourself what dead-weight are you trying to carry into the ring?
3) Wait. Forward Thinkers, a boxer has to wait in the back until it’s their time to fight, remember those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength to endure, we can’t allow impatience to turn us into slaves of defeat.
Forward Thinkers, now let’s go back to the text at 2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight—-in 1980 Sugar Ray Leonard knocks out Roberto Duran after losing to him in a previous fight and Ray says he lost the 1st fight because he tried to fight in a style that was not suited for him.
- Forward Thinkers, no strength can be found in fighting someone else’s fight
- Forward Thinkers, every charger can’t charge every phone but every charger has value
A GOOD FIGHT—Forward Thinkers, be the best you that you can be. You get tired because you are using so much energy being someone you were not created to be.
- Forward Thinkers, body shots don’t look like they hurt, but enough shots to the body will cause you to fall, therefore, we must be covered with the full armor of God at all times.
- Forward Thinkers, we must have a strong core because everything depends on your belief system.
- Forward Thinkers, your stance is very important and this season you can’t afford to get caught slipping.
I have finished the race—Forward Thinkers, today focus on the finish line not the difficulty of the race.
- There was one fighter that looked like he was defeated after the first few rounds and I heard his corner man say we have to finish the fight; you’ve work too hard to get knocked out early. (Forward Thinkers, who you have in your corner is very important)
- Forward Thinkers, his corner man also told him to forget the last round and focus on this round.
- Forward Thinkers, don’t stop because God specializes in comeback stories and if you find the strength to endure you may be next in line.
I have kept the faith—Forward Thinkers, we must keep the faith at all times and continue to declare — faith don’t fail me now. Forward Thinkers, we must hold on to the promises of God during our most difficult battles. We must commit to never letting go.
In conclusion, let’s look at Isaiah 40:27-31.
Isaiah 40:27-31 New International Version (NIV)
27 Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
27– Forward Thinkers, like Jacob, many believe and feel their situation is hidden from the Lord and God has no regard for them. Many feel they are tired and it seems God is nowhere to be found. Forward Thinkers, we must remember Jesus on the cross cried out, Lord why has thou forsaken me, but we must also remember the teacher is silent during the test but the silence doesn’t mean the teacher doesn’t care.
28– Forward Thinkers, the word is full of testimonies and the Kingdom of God is overloaded with praise reports. Have you not heard, there is nothing too hard for God?
There is no searching of His understanding-
Forward Thinkers, stop trying to figure God out and start praising Him because your praise has two purposes: 1) It moves God 2) It motivates you
29– He gives power to the faint and the weary and for those without might He increases strength. Forward Thinkers, God will multiply your strength to endure to win.
30– Forward Thinkers, on your own you will faint and grow weary causing you to stumble and fall, exhausted, but we must stay connected to the things of God and increase our strength to endure.
31– BUT those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength and power; lift up their wings as eagles; run and not be weary; walk and not faint or become tired and fatigued.
Forward Thinkers, we must endure and stay in the Word of God because all strength comes from being connected to things of God.
Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church located at 200 W. Greens Road, Houston, Texas, 77067. Pastor Deckard is also the Co-Founder of the No More Bloodshed Movement. To contact Pastor Deckard for speaking engagements contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Periscope @ Pastor E A Deckard or the church website www.ghic.net