Resurrection Life Church – Traverse City
Sunday – Living Beyond Yourself 4
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  • Resurrection Life Church – Traverse City
    2586 Crossing Cir, Traverse City, MI 49684, United States
    Sunday 9:30 AM

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God’s desire is for each and every one of us to make an impact in the sphere of influence we have been placed
· So many of us don’t see ourselves as leaders
· Leadership is defined as influence
· All of us are called to influence others
Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
· Even though most of us are familiar with this passage we have a hard time believing it
· The truth is, most people don’t see themselves successful
· We need to look beyond ourselves to experience the success God has planned for us
No one can limit the plan of God for your life except you
Psalm 78:41 (KJV 1900)
41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.
· They sent out spies who saw the giants
· They chose to look at all the reasons they couldn’t go
· They allowed the fear of man to keep them in the wilderness
· We need to change ourselves, our thinking and our mindset
· We can take the limits off God
When we are not willing to step out into the unknown we limit God from taking us where He wants to take us
Many people fear the unknown because there is risk involved
· We fear being uncomfortable
Don’t be content with doing nothing but surviving and just getting by
· You need to have a purpose
· You need something that drives you
We instinctively fear things we don’t know
“The only way to overcome the fear of the unknown is to focus on the God who is known!”
1 John 4:18 (NKJV)
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
· The things we fear can torment us
· The perfect love of God empowers us to overcome fear
If you have a dynamic relationship with the Lord, you don’t have to fear the unknown
· You don’t need to fear starting over again
Some people are just afraid of doing anything, yet they are failing because they aren’t doing anything
Fear of Risk
2 Kings 7:3–9 (NKJV)
3 Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “Why are we sitting here until we die? 4 If we say, ‘We will enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall only die.” 5 And they rose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians; and when they had come to the outskirts of the Syrian camp, to their surprise no one was there. 6 For the Lord had caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses—the noise of a great army; so they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us!” 7 Therefore they arose and fled at twilight, and left the camp intact—their tents, their horses, and their donkeys—and they fled for their lives. 8 And when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing, and went and hid them; then they came back and entered another tent, and carried some from there also, and went and hid it. 9 Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us. Now therefore, come, let us go and tell the king’s household.”
· The Syrians had the people of God surrounded
· It was so bad they were selling animal dung
· Two women killed one of their babies and ate him
· The next day they were going to kill the other and eat him
If anyone should have been afraid to do anything, it was those lepers
· If they went into the city, they would die because of the famine
· If they stayed outside the city, they would die because of starvation
So, they decided to take a risk and go out to the enemy, knowing that the worst thing that could happen is that they would die
· They had to take a risk
· They went back and told the king what they had found
· The whole city was delivered because they were willing to take a risk
Fear of Failure
This can happen when our life becomes somewhat comfortable and we don’t want to rock the boat
· It’s better to step out and believe God
· Even if you fail, you can let God pick you and dust you off, so you can get up again
The worst failure is being paralyzed to the point of doing nothing
If you feel God put something on your heart – Do it!
· The safest place to be is in the will of God
Many of us are limiting God because we aren’t doing what God has put in our heart due to the risk involved
Dwight L. Moody 1837-1899
Once attended a service in Chicago where he heard a preacher make the following statement:
“The world has never seen what God can do through one person who is totally committed to Him.” Dwight stood up and said, “I’ll be that man,”
Even though he only had a third-grade education and could barely read
When Dwight preached, he would read a passage of Scripture up to a word that he didn’t know, then stop and preach on it
· Then he would start on the other side of that word, so people wouldn’t know that he couldn’t read
Dwight L. Moody was rejected by three churches
· He tried to join them, but they didn’t consider him to be a good enough Christian to be a member of their churches
· They kept him from being a member, yet he preached to crowds of 150,000 before they even had microphones
He preached to kings and impacted every continent on the face of the earth
· He was the Billy Graham of his day
· He saw miracle after miracle, and amazing things happened through his ministry
You may have some things in your heart that would cause you to live your life differently if you didn’t have restrictions
· Don’t limit yourself or what God can do
You Have Potential
If we were honest 80-90% of us would say we don’t know for sure that we are doing what God called us to do
· If you want to see the place with the most potential, go to a graveyard
· The vast majority of people take their potential with them to the grave
· So many of us have dreams and goals that we have just set aside because of the risk and fear of failure
Fear of Change
Many of us are afraid of doing something different
· The truth is many of us are lazy
· It takes effort to change
Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV)
7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
We need to become under the control and direction of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit
· Most of us are under the control of our TV sets
You can get to a place where you become comfortable and stop stretching yourself
· 42% of college students never read another book after graduating
· 80% of US families didn’t buy a book last year
· 70% of adults have not shopped for a book in the last 5 years
Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
· Stretch yourself
· Be a lifelong learner and get the training you need
· Read the Bible and other study helps
· Pursue the will of God
· Become the person He created you to be
· Don’t quit!
If you really knew the plans God has for you and what He wants to do with your life, you would realize there’s more than what you’re doing
· You need to get rid of the fear of failure
· Be willing to change
· Take a risk
· Commit yourself to living for God
Say this…
· God I’ll go anywhere
· I’ll do anything
· Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do!
2 Timothy 4:7–8 (NKJV)
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
Fear of Man
One fear that limits what God can do in our lives is fear of man, also known as persecution
· It’s not normal or natural to enjoy people hating or criticizing you
· We have got to get to the place where we just turn it over to God and not worry about what others say or think
1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV)
7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
When you start doing what God told you to do, you have a huge target drawn on your back
· Increased influence comes with increased criticism
· People like to pick apart a person that gets promoted to a position of leadership or greater influence
· If you don’t want to get criticized, don’t ever do anything
Fear of man will keep you in a state of entrapment
Proverbs 29:25 (NKJV)
25 The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.
The vast majority of Christians are insecure because they are paranoid about someone criticizing them
· We don’t speak the truth
· We want to be politically correct
· We limit the plan of God for us
Stand up for the truth
1 Kings 17:1 (NKJV)
And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.”
· Elijah stood up in front of a king who was killing all of God’s prophets
· He walked right up to him and said, “thus saith the Lord”
Because he was willing to stand up and speak the truth Elijah became the central figure in the nation, within three years
Leviticus 19:17 (NKJV)
17 ‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.
· We need to speak up for morality
· We shouldn’t accept everything the world says is OK
· We should stand up for what God says is OK
There is no excuse for the moral decline in our country
In foreign countries people give up their lives standing up for the truth
· That’s true persecution
· We feel persecuted when people look at us a certain way
· We have become addicted to everyone’s acceptance
· We need everybody’s approval
We need to get to a place where all that matters is God approval
The godly will suffer persecution
2 Timothy 3:12 (NKJV)
12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
Nobody can have influence over you without your consent
Remember the person that fights you the hardest is the one with the greatest conviction
· All people, at a heart level know when they are wrong
· They don’t like the sense of guilt and condemnation
· When they attack you, they’re only trying to make themselves look good
Just learn to rest in God and trust that He loves you!
Fear of (or test of) Success
Proverbs 27:21 (The Message)
21 The purity of silver and gold is tested by putting them in the fire; The purity of human hearts is tested by giving them a little fame.
· The true test of character is when you experience success
· When everything is going well, do we read our bible, fast and pray?
· The Lord warned the people of Israel not to forget Him once they came into the Promised Land – Deuteronomy 8:1-20
Success has destroyed more people than hardship and failure ever has
· Success exposes what’s on the inside
When King Saul was little in his own eyes – was humble and obeyed God – God could use him
When he became great in his own eyes – was lifted up with pride and disobeyed God – God couldn’t use him
1 Samuel 15:17, 26 (NKJV)
17 So Samuel said, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the Lord anoint you king over Israel?
26 But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.”
· Saul didn’t continue to walk with God because he became proud and did his own thing
· He limited what God wanted to do in his life
Proverbs 16:18 (NKJV)
18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
· There is a fear in prosperity
· Prosperity has destroyed a lot of people and has hardened a lot of people’s hearts to the Lord
· Prosperity or success will test you
I believe that there are those who fear being successful in the thing God called them to because that last time they trusted Him in a leadership role, it exposed an area they weren’t ready to give over to the Lord
· We blame others
· Deep inside we don’t want to face that pain again
· We fear the risk of facing the truth about ourselves
· We fear the way others rejected us or treated us
· So, we think smaller and keep ourselves safe
· Because of this we never accomplish what God called us to do
Others of us feel unworthy of what God is calling us to do, consequently we settle for less because of fear
Jeremiah 1:4–8 (NKJV)
4 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” 6 Then said I: “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.” 7 But the Lord said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ For you shall go to all to whom I send you, And whatever I command you, you shall speak. 8 Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord.
· Believe God has a plan for your life
· Trust him to bring it to pass
· Don’t let fear hold you back
· Get a God vision for your life
· Let God shape you and direct you
· Stop limiting God