Champions & Rivals
1 - Definition of champion - Definition of rival - A champion overwhelmingly overcomes all rivals. Rivals against faith - rivals against character. From the time you were born there were things coming against you to defeat what you were created to be and to try to tell you what you were. Anything that comes against what you’re here for in Him, is a rival. It could be an attitude. It could be the attitude of a loved one.
2 - The war we are in - Your war is not people - never flesh and blood. But there is a war that we are all in. And we fight the good fight of faith. We must continue to believe what we’re here for - what He paid for. We are going to defeat every rival.3 - Battle in the mind - There are certain things in life that are designed to get you to think a certain way - become a certain way - believe a certain way. It’s a strategy. People can speak wrong attitudes - bad motives - just living in darkness but it doesn’t mean that it’s true. But it can be directed at you - over and over. Sometimes we begin to accept it as truth.
My Past / My Story can be a Rival
4 - Identity from what we’ve been through - I asked the Lord, “Why do people hold onto the past - their horror stories so tightly?” They won’t let go of their story because it’s the only place that they’ve found any sense of identity. They believe that what they’ve been through is a piece of who they are.
5 - They feel like they need to have people address that - hear that story. But if your story hasn’t produced kingdom life - the love of God - the nature of God then it’s not your story (not the story of the real you).
5 - Disconnect from your story if it doesn’t produce life - It’s a rival - “But you don’t know what I’ve been through.” And it produces a mentality… maybe an orphan mentality for instance. Here’s what I’m saying to you: what it was like growing up has nothing to do with right now as a man, seeking the Lord. Don’t compare the two. Don’t think that you are going to get to one through the other. We need to disconnect that past from you if it didn’t produce life. If it’s not telling you who you are in Christ - if it’s telling you that you are something less, then it’s a rival.
6 - If the way that you are thinking isn’t producing life - isn’t producing Him - forming Him in you - but showing you that you are something less than what He paid for, then chances are it’s a rival - it can’t be truth.
6 - I don’t need to go into my story. I don’t need to go into your story. Let’s throw those things out. Let’s overwhelmingly overcome by this simple truth: That’s not who you made me to be. People didn’t know who I was in the first place. People had their own issues. And I am not going to let that decide who I am if Christ died on the cross, rose from the dead and put His life inside of me.
A Champion’s Mindset of Faith
7 - Replace lies with truth - Overcome by faith - You’ve got to embrace that kind of thinking as fact. You’re going to beat this thing. It’s competing against the truth in your life. You are going to be a champion over this thing through faith.
7 - Faith is not just a tool in your belt to get God to move. Faith is an attitude - a perspective - what you see and believe. Faith takes you through a situation because you won’t budge from what you know down in your heart even though everything else around you is saying something different. You wrap faith around everything.
8 - Attitude of faith - Here’s an example of an attitude of faith: He’s the Lord. And one day I’m standing before Him. And He has nothing but love for me. He paid a price to put His life in me. And He paid for me to become something - He paid for me to shine. Faith says that no matter how I feel - no matter what has happened - no matter what others think or say, I’m going to live and walk like Him. And I’m not going to let anything that’s not of Him or looks like Him get me looking like something else. I’m done with excuses. Faith says that none of that has anything to do with truth. They are side issues. They are rivals.
9 - A champion takes this opportunity of life seriously - So man up and ask yourself, what do I really believe? What am I really in this thing for? Why am I a Christian? Why am I at this conference? What am I searching for? What am I after? You’ve got to answer what’s in your own heart because it’s you that will stand before Him on that day.That’s not a fear tactic. That’s what faith says. This is real. I don’t have time for distractions, excuses, etc. Don’t give yourself permission to think that way - to submit to those feelings - “I’m just not feeling it”. Be a champion over that. If “not feeling it” is going to cause me to be lackadaisical or compromise or be something less than He paid for and my conscience over the long run and make me cycle again in my identity… It’s a rival. You’ve got to beat that thing.
10 - Grace meets faith - How do you beat it? Simple faith. As you release faith in the truth, grace comes to make truth your reality. Character and integrity.
11 - It’s a truth issue, not a prayer issue. In the integrity of your heart you need to stand and say, “No way! I’m His.”
11 - Get alone with God and say, Holy Spirit if anything compromising starts tricking me into a mindset that doesn’t produce fruit that is consistent with who you are, shake me - change me - but do a work in me. And as you pray that, it begins to happen in your life because Holy Spirit is moving.
12 - Champion’s mindset of faith - So tonight I’m just talking about a mindset of “I’m in this thing and I’m for real. I’m not compromising. I’m going to be a believer. I’m going to believe what He created me for - what He called me to.”
12 - A champion’s purpose? - To shine - He created you to shine. Let your light so shine before men. It doesn’t say, “...unless of course, you just had a falling out with your buddy… you just got laid off… you just wrecked your car.” Why are we on the earth? Nobody lights a lamp and then puts a basket over the lamp to hide it. Why are we born again? To shine.
13 - It’s scriptural. You are the light of the world. So anything that is coming against the light is a rival of the truth of why you are here - anything that is coming against your disposition - your attitude - your belief system - your motivation.
13 - A champion subdues the wisdom of the world - We all grew up in the wisdom of the world that justifies stuff that doesn’t produce life. Faith says, “I’m done with that.” I’m not talking perfection. I’m talking purity - sincerity.
15 - A champion stands in faith - There’s a time where you’ve got to stand in faith when everything is coming against what you prayed for concerning change.
Feelings can be a Rival - Overcome Them with Faith in the Truth
15 - Rival: Using others as an excuse for not manifesting Jesus - People are the biggest trap on the planet. We justify (being less than Him because of people) all the time. “If he wouldn’t have… I can’t believe that she… She should have known better… I wouldn’t feel this way if they didn’t…” We make our lives the product of somebody else's life. But we’re supposed to be the product of Jesus’ life. We let one person in our life decide how we’re doing and who we are and their name is not Jesus. That’s a problem. We’re going to sing that He is Lord and yet let something else govern who we are and how we’re doing. And then we’re teaching ourselves how do church instead of how to be the church.
16 - A champion lives by faith in truth - Not by feelings - A champion beats those things. A champion doesn’t live by feelings. He can’t afford to. He would never win living by feelings. You live by truth. You live by faith.
17 - Consistency - Because the truth has not changed - People who know me have complimented my consistency - steadfastness. It’s because I see the same. Nothing has changed. He has not changed. So I’m not going to give up on my true identity - my purpose - my destiny, etc. (ie sell out cheap). I’ve already sold out to Jesus.
17 - By faith I hold myself to that - I declare that truth - in the secret place when nobody's looking. That’s called character and integrity. God gives us the privilege to walk in those things by taking what He says and believing them first and foremost apart from feelings.
17 - Hold truth above feelings - “Yeah, but when she did that it really hurt.” I understand, but that hurt can’t be a justification that rises above truth. I’m not saying that the feeling isn’t real but you can’t hold the pain above the truth. You’ll become a product of pain instead of the truth. Those feelings are rivals. A champion overcomes them.
18 - Feelings are real but not greater than truth - It’s not that you’re ignoring pain, “Oh, I’m not hurt…” But you understand in your heart that no matter how you’re feeling, if it’s not producing life - if it’s not causing you to shine - if it’s dimming the light - it’s a rival.18 - The enemy works to keep you from shining - The whole goal of the enemy is to take out your light. If he takes out your light, you’re not influential - you reproduce nothing, you go to church and exist. You go to church instead of being her. The whole war you are in is to keep you from shining. He paid for you to shine. He paid to put His light in you.
Your Purpose - Shine
19 - Every one of us is called to shine - Your life matters so much. We assess each others’ importance - titles, badges, authority positions. But everybody in this room has the same value - to walk in the light as He is in the light. Externals don’t matter - age, shape, sized, weight, full head of hair, half a head of hair. You’re all called to shine. Everybody is worth the blood of Jesus to Him.
20 - While you were yet a sinner He sent His Son. Why? Because it’s not about the sin. It’s about you shining. He knows what you’ll look like if you’ll let Him forgive you and put His life in you and you shine. It’s worth paying for.
20 - Shining vs Going to heaven - We make it all about getting to heaven. But He wants to light the light. What good does it do if the whole earth prays a prayer to go to heaven but stays in the same attitudes, same mindsets. What matters is the light coming in. It’s overwhelmingly overcoming - defeating every rival. The whole purpose of the war is to steal the light and to keep you from being productive.
21 - Shine - Bear much fruit - In this the Father is well pleased that you bear much fruit - and that your fruit endures. It’s important and there’s not enough works that can take you there.
Become What He Paid For - Become Love
21 - Accept what He has done - Receiving who He says you are through His Son - what He paid for - and why He paid for it - is a really big deal. Just be humble and say, “Thanks! You knew me way before I had a clue as to who I was. You know why I’m here. You know why you made me. You know why you paid the price that you paid. I’m going with you.”
22 - Saved to a purpose - Apply purpose to that. It’s not just so that I can be forgiven and my name written in the Book of Life. The Bible says that you will have boldness in that day anyway if you are walking in the perfection of love because as He is so are we in this world.
22 - Become what He paid for - Love - If we’re not growing to that goal, we won’t be a champion in love. Become a champion in love. Faith works through love.
23 - When I first got saved - I didn’t pray for anyone else - only that God would form Himself in me - that I become what you paid for. I need to become the man that you paid for me to be. I need to be everything that you desire. And I am going to stay here and pray this until you make my heart one with yours. I didn’t pray for anything else - not my wife - not my marriage.
23 - Until I pray so that faith is in my heart and then grace can form this in me, I can’t even pray for my wife from the right place. Until I become love…
23 - Self-centered prayer - There is self-centeredness laced into a lot of our prayers - hurt, neediness, idolatry. And we wonder why we prayed and prayed and God didn’t change that thing.
23 - Is the goal that your circumstances change or is the goal that you become what He would be if He were in that circumstance.
24 - Self-centered Christianity - One day the Lord asked me a question to provoke faith in me and get me to pursue right things. He said, “If everybody in the world - that said they are a Christian - became what you are would anybody know - would it make a difference?” That’s not condemnation. That’s a healthy challenge of faith.
25 - Your life of shining matters - God is saying that you matter that much. Your life can be that influential. You are that important when you are walking in that truth - that He would shed His blood to restore that purpose for your life. Faith embraces that - “OK, I’m all in.”
26 - Transformation - Fear of the Lord - Beginning of wisdom - The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom - Prov. 1 He tells you to seek wisdom, to get understanding. And the very beginning of wisdom is the reverence and awe of God. That means what He says in the Bible…27 - Transformation - You will want to keep His commandments - This is not legalism. It’s not a bunch of rules but a relationship. If you love me, you’ll do what I command. - John 14:15. You can hear that legalistically - If you love me you need to prove it. No, He’s saying, When you see who I am and why - when you open up your heart and let the goodness of God lead you to repentance and receive forgiveness - receive mercy - and say yes to righteousness and stand holy, blameless and above reproach in His sight, that is going to get into your heart, then the fear of the Lord will be the birthing place of wisdom and you’ll do what He says to do. It’s relational. You’ll do His commandments because you want to. You’ll say to yourself, what He says matters more than anything that I’m feeling.
Live by Faith - Not by Feelings
28 - Living by feelings - That’s why I said feelings are a big enemy. You’ll never be a champion if you are living by feelings.
28 - Many sincere people, who see their need for a Savior and believe in Christ, still live by their feelings. Many prayers are driven by feelings. People spend much time in prayer trying to get their feelings to change instead of changing their belief system. It’s all a strategy to keep the light from being lit even though you’re sincere. It’s not a matter of being reprobate or a matter of hypocrisy. It’s a matter of being destroyed for the lack of knowledge. It’s a matter of deception. We’re talking about sincere folks that have wrong believing. And as a consequence the rivals are winning. Their light is not shining and they have many reasons as to why that is but none of those reasons is Lord. So why are they governing your life?
29 - Jesus didn’t live by feelings - You shining shouldn’t be conditioned on your circumstances changing. Where do I get that? From looking at Jesus’ life on the earth. Jesus said, “Follow Me.”
30 - Circumstances set against Jesus - Was Jesus done wrong in His life? Misunderstood? Gossiped about? Could you imagine if there was social media in Jesus’ day? Jesus, the Son of God, came in the flesh to set the earth back in right order and people couldn’t even see who He was. People mistreated Him. They were sure that He was wrong - sure that He was blaspheming and in the end a majority of them were sure that He was worthy of death. That’s a pretty serious thing when you’ve done nothing wrong.
31 - You’d have thought Jesus would have been saying, “I need a lawyer. You’re violating my rights. This is no fair.”
31 - Jesus rose above every rival - But Jesus is a champion. There are a million rivals coming at Him and He wins over every one. When He hangs on the cross, He has become a champion in love. Because He is love and love doesn’t seek its own, you can’t change Him - you can't touch Him. He’s already established in truth. He is the truth.
31 - You are meant to follow His example - Some might say, “That was Jesus.” But Jesus said, “Follow Me.” He said, “The things I do, you’ll do, if you believe.” 1 John 2 says that if you say that you abide in Him, you ought to walk even as He walked.
32 - Stand by faith in truth - Let’s stop thinking in terms of power and miracles all the time. Start thinking in terms of character and integrity and living by the Spirit. Let’s be in a position to where when everybody has misunderstood you, you’re not threatened by that because you know who you are in Him and you know that He knows you. That’s relational. If I’ve been misunderstood, why am I threatened by that? - seeing that one day I will stand before Him and it will all be worked out in Him? If you don’t really have an intimate, strong relationship with God, you’ll let what people do, say and think matter way too much. You’ll be living by feeling. And you can’t be a champion when you live by feelings. You’ll never be a champion over these rivals if you are living by feelings. It’s got to be faith in the truth. And the truth is in Him.
33 - Express faith in truth - Who was ever treated more wrongly than Jesus? But He never let that change Him. Tell Him that you respect that and you want that in your life and that you’re not playing. Holy Spirit I welcome you. Do in me what you desire. Have your way in me. Those kind of prayers are phenomenal.34 - Wake up to love - Don’t pray that and just wait for that to happen. You sniff out the rivals along the way. And you don’t budge from what you know is truth. And every day that you wake up you understand that the reason that you woke up is to be more like Him. The reason you woke up is to love - not to be love but to love.
34 - Psychology - If that becomes true in you, you can say goodby to insecurity, neediness, to human psychology - how people function. All we have done is study fallen man and we say this is why we do what we do. Jesus says to get born again and call old things dead and let new things live. But we sell out to the old. I’m not a fan of psychology. It just explains why people function the way that they do. But it’s looking at the broken thing.
35 - Psychology doesn’t work with Jesus. It would say that He’s in denial. All psychology does is diagnose. Psychology diagnoses the problem. Truth is the answer that makes you free.
35 - Christian Psychology - The only way that it would be Christian psychology is that you would use the truth about psychology to diagnose why someone is functioning a certain way and then blast it with strong truth to get the problem out of the way. That would be healthy counsel.
Ministry to Feelings vs. Ministry of Truth
36 - Ministering to feelings - Loneliness - A lot of counselling is aimed at getting people FEELing better - not feeling lonely any more. It’s not a spirit of loneliness. You just don’t have as close of a relationship with Him as you could. Nobody is judging you for feeling lonely but if you let loneliness decide you, that’s not cool.36 - Faith in truth - God reality through relationship - So in the face of loneliness - Father I thank you that I’m never alone. I thank you that you’re always in me - that you never leave me - never forsake me. I love you so much. Thank you for loving me. And the next thing you’ll know will be that the reality of God will start birthing in your heart. And you’ll laugh at the thought that you believed that you were ever lonely. Don’t spend 7 years praying against a feeling. Instead fill your heart with truth.
Pursue God Reality through Relationship - Faith in Truth
37 - Knowing God vs. Knowing about God - I’m calling every one of us to this because He is calling us to this. But we’re not going to be champions without faith in our own hearts. We don’t just want to know about God. Don’t let anything (ministry schools) take the place of knowing Him and becoming like Him. Because knowing about Him doesn’t change you.
37 - Knowledge alone can be condemning - In the long run knowledge alone will turn and bite you because everything that you know won’t be the reality of your life. And that will try to condemn you. You’ll be shooting yourself in the foot. You’ll judge your own life - seeing what you haven’t risen up to. “If I’m not there, I don’t know when I'll ever get there. If I didn’t get it by now, something must be wrong.”
38 - Pursue relationship - Get alone with Him - So get alone with Him in faith. There’s no other answer - no better answer - no simpler answer. Get alone with Him and believe that He is - that He loves you. Tell Him that you don’t have room anymore for compromises and “whatevers” and detrimental feeling. Holy Spirit, I’m serious. Help me in this. I’m going after this because you paid for me to be a champion and that’s what I am. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for forgiving me. Thank you for putting your life inside of me.
38 - Wrap faith around truth - Agree with everything that He says is true. Don’t ask for it. Agree with it. Go after God that way. Without getting relationship - without getting to know Him - without wrapping faith around these truths that reality of God - that knowing of God - will never form in your heart. It’s relational. Eternal life is knowing Him. It’s not merely a confession of faith.
39 - Walk it out through relationship - You can see your need for a Savior, believe in the cross, pray Rom. 10:9 out with sincerity but what does any of that have to do with walking this thing out? That’s a starting point, not an end.
39 - You’ve got to walk this thing out. It’s not works. It’s simple faith in the truth. He’s in me. He wants to live in me. All that He is is in me. And the whole reason that I’m alive is to shine. I’m waking up to love because love is shining.
Stop Justifying Rivals - Overcome them through Love
40 - Justifying rivals - Justifying staying the same - Anything that tries to hinder that truth is a rival. Sometimes we are our own enemy in that we will justify the things that are rivals. That justification thing - when your conscience is violated - and now you’re avoiding people who are going to ask you about the issue and you know you are going to have to lie. “Well, they don’t know what I’m going through. They don’t know how tough it has been.” And all that you are doing is defending staying the same - when staying the same is suffocating you spiritually. You do not need permission to be less than who He is in you so don’t seek it out.
41 - Counselling people who are justifying - They give you 10 reasons why they are OK not being OK. But I’m like, it’s not OK, because none of the 10 reasons are Lord.
41 - Responding without justifying - You attach strong truth to those 10 reasons. Example - loss of job, break up with fiance, etc. It’s real stuff but you’ve got to pull back and get alone and say, Oh man, I’m a whirlwind of feelings right now God. I don’t even know what’s going on. But I know this, I’m going back to square one. I don’t want to hurt her. I’m not going to panic and fall apart and become a laid off man. I’m your son. You live in me. And I’m called to shine. Holy Spirit I yield to you. I’m not going to be a hurting man. I’m not going to be insecure. I’m not going to make whatever she did, my reason for not being like you. I’m not going to let her become Jesus in my life.
42 - Hard-heartedness? - I’m not talking about hard heartedness. I’m talking about getting real. “Well, I don’t care what anybody thinks.” No, you’re talking like that because you’ve cared for a long time. “I don’t need anybody. Jesus loves me.” Stop. You’re hurt.
43 - Overcome rivals by faith in truth - Become love - Anything that hinders the light is a rival. Any time that you release faith in truth that takes you over that thing, that’s a champion. The goal is to become a champion of love - you’ve been established in love - which means that you do not seek your own. You seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. And everything you need to walk that out will be added to you.
43 - Do you see why we’re not going to let things (circumstances, what people say, think or do to you) matter more if it’s not what matters most? (God)
44 - There’s no other way to say this. You’ve got to walk this out by faith. You might need a brother to come alongside of you for a time. But ultimately this thing boils down to you believing that you have this value and this calling and that He paid for it. Get real with God. Let Him love you, forgive you and determine the value of your life.44 - See yourself through Him - If you don’t find yourself through Him, you’ve got a wrong view. Something else is telling you who you are. And in the end that something else won’t be there (when you stand before Him). You can only truly find you through Him. If you are not looking at yourself through Him, you are not getting a good view.
Rival: Low Self-esteem - See Your Value As He Sees You
45 - Healthy self-esteem - When you let this be the foundational truth of your life - what He paid for and how He sees you - it’s where, in a healthy way, you start liking yourself - start loving yourself. The biggest detriment in our lives is a false identity. A lot of us didn’t like who we were at all.
46 - Low self-esteem - Addictive behaviors - cycles - they all stem from low esteem - people not knowing who they really are. They don’t see the value of their life.
46 - The only thing that can keep you from caring about what we’re saying is low esteem. It doesn’t mean that you have a dull heart. You’re seeing yourself through a lesser truth and you’re settling for something that you’re not created for.
47 - Get alone and get real with Him - You say, “Well, what do I do about that?” Talk to Him. Lord the things that Dan shared tonight, I could relate to that. I could hear the truth in them. But for some reason, I don’t even feel convicted by them. For some reason I don’t even have that fear of the Lord thing that He’s talking about. If you hear me and if you’re out there… He’s not offended by that. He’s a lot bigger than your if. He’s pretty secure.
48 - You take where your life and heart is and you get real with Him. If you feel like you have low esteem, talk to God about it. Ask Him to illuminate your heart in these truths so that that lie is seen to clearly be a lie.
48 - Your prayer life - communion life - is how you take steps towards God. [Counseling examples - addiction??] You’ve been where? It’s because you don’t see the value of your life. And the more that you do that sin and yet sit in church, the more evil you think you are. “I’m probably not even saved. I probably have a devil in me. I’ll probably never get it.” But you keep coming back because something is crying out in you, in your DNA, to be with God. You are believing all of these lies. They are all rivals.
49 - You are in all the right places (church, etc.) but you’re not becoming what He paid for so you are not becoming a champion.
49 - So what do you do? You talk to the Lord about your identity - about your value. Lord, please help me to see what You see when You look at me.
50 - That you care shows that you are changing - The fact that you are trying shows that you care. People come to me crying - thinking that their hearts are dead inside. If that were true, why are you crying? You’re just believing lies. You’ve been scammed. You are crying because there’s something on the inside called integrity. But you are believing things that are suppressing integrity. You wouldn’t be telling me about it if you were as bad as you believe.
51 - If you are here - You care - Now go after Him - You don’t come to a conference like this because you are lost. You come because the is something in you crying out for more. Look for the life in a person - not the problem. We’re not people loaded down with a million problems. We’ve got one incredible Answer. We need to keep our eyes on the Answer and go after it. The just shall live by faith.
51 - Feelings are probably the biggest lie in our lives. All of our feelings are birthed out of wrong motive, wrong believing, self-centeredness. The feeling you and I have related to weren’t birthed by walking in the Spirit. So what does life in the Spirit look like? I bet it looks like it’s brand new.