Urban Life Church
Winning in Life | Craig Clark | Urban Life Church
Wisdom for Life
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    Maud Ave, Crowthorne AH, Midrand, 1684, South Africa
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Winning in Life - Week 1
Unlocking Favour and Success

So it turns out that, How to tie a tie is one of the most searched “How To’s” on Google.Someone has suggested that people who are asking how to tie a tie, are actually, deep down, wanting to know how to grow up, become mature??

Many times in our questions, there is actually a deeper yearning that we may or may not be aware of.

We are going to take some time to look at how we can Win in Life. Now to qualify this, I don’t believe that life is a game that is played and success is achieved by luck. Life is not a roll of the dice.

The writer of the Hebrews uses a metaphor that life is a race:-

Heb 12:1
So we must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into. Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has already been marked out before us.

Paul the Apostle writes to the church in Corinth

1 Cor 9:24-27 TPT
Isn’t it obvious that all runners on the racetrack keep on running to win, but only one receives the victor’s prize? Yet each one of you must run the race to be victorious. A true athlete will be disciplined in every respect, practicing constant self-control in order to win a laurel wreath that quickly withers. But we run our race to win a victor’s crown that will last forever. For that reason, I don’t run just for exercise or box like one throwing aimless punches, but I train like a champion athlete. I subdue my body and get it under my control, so that after preaching the good news to others I myself won’t be disqualified.

At the end of his life, he writes to his spiritual son Timothy

2 Timothy 4:7 ESV
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

The Bible has two main themes running through its pages.
1. It shows the way TO God, that is Jesus Christ, the way the Truth and The Life

2. It shows how to walk WITH God.
One of the helpful Books in the Bible that helps show us how to Walk with God, is Proverbs.

It is part of the Books of Poetry Proverbs is like a Divine School of Wisdom and Revelation to learn the ways of God and How to walk with God.

Proverbs is a deep well of Wisdom to help us Reign in life, to Win in Life. Not win one day in the distant future, but to win in life today, everyday!

The Book opens like this,

Prov 1:1 TPT
Here are kingdom revelations, words to live by, and words of wisdom given to empower you to reign in life, written as proverbs (Proverbs are General Statements of truth but not Binding Guarantees.) by Israel’s King Solomon, David’s son.Within these sayings will be found the revelation of wisdom and the impartation of spiritual understanding.Use them as keys to unlock the treasures of true knowledge.

These “Words to live by”, are keys to unlock favour and success.

In cutting a key to unlock favour and success, one has to go through a process. FINDING, seeking the deeper revelation - God hides things for us not from us.RECEIVING it through an impartation of the Spirit, because of HIs grace and generosity.

Prov 2:6-8 TPT
Wisdom is a gift from a generous God, and every word he speaks is full of revelation and becomes a fountain of understanding within you.For the Lord has a hidden storehouse of wisdom made accessible to his godly lovers.

If wisdom is a gift, then it needs to be unwrapped. Unbox it! You see, every Word God speaks is full of Revelation and these revealed truths are Words to live by.

Do you feel like the score in life is running away from you? Struggling to keep pace with the so called “front runners” Are you in the dying moments of the game, maybe even feel like you are in Extra Time and you are behind, needing to score a desperate goal.Wisdom is a gift from a generous God that will unlock favour and success for winning in life.

Out of time, low on energy, tried all the tricks, the self help strategies. The clock is ticking, but you are not done yet.Wisdom is a gift from a generous God that will unlock favour and success for winning in life.

You want to make a difference with your life? Success is a burning passion in your heart. Opportunities and possibilities are calling your name, decisions, decisions! Before you step out, find Wisdom, it is a gift from a generous God that will unlock favour and success for winning in life.

We want to take some time over the next few weeks, and unwrap this amazing generous gift of wisdom. We want to gaze at its multi-faceted beauty. Just like a diamond, from every angle, a magnificent beauty shines forth revealing how to live a winning life.We are believing for an outpouring of grace and the Spirit of God to baptise us with fresh power and revelation to live a winning life for Christ and His glory.

So let's take a few moments to look into a proverb, a statement of truth, and allow The Spirit of God to begin to cut a key that will unlock favour and success.

Let’s take Proverbs 3 seeing we have been talking about how to tie a tie.

Proverbs 3
My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.

Remember this is Poetry
These versus are couplets
First line makes the statement, the second develops in some way.
It does this through Completing Deepening Contrasting
This causes us to slow down and look at this in more than one angle. To meditate.Like a diamond with many facets

So this Couplet,
is it completing the statement, deepening the statement of truth or
contrasting the statement?

I believe it is deepening it!

The rewards are long life, peace, success and favour. This is the Victor's Crown, The Winning in Life

But how you may be asking? How do we cut the key? We all want keys that will unlock a new door to our future, our success??

In the first couplet we are reminded to not FORGET the teaching. This word forget can also mean, cease to care, to stop caring.

Have we forgotten what has got us here?

We learnt some things, God took us through some difficult circumstances and His gracious Hand held us and we found success.I have seen that so many times I forget Who has helped me and I begin to think it was ME, my ability, my carisma. Let us not forget The Shepherd who leads us into quiet waters.

Or maybe we have forgotten the process to a new key?

My brother told me something that his cardiologist told him. - To a man with a hammer in his hand, everything is a nail.
God added a tool to our tool box and we found success through using the hammer to hit in a nail. “No weapon formed against me prosper”
But now, we are facing something different, and a hammer wont work.

We need a new key to open a new door

There are people listening and watching me today and I believe that God is speaking to you to put down the hammer and find a new tool for the work ahead. I believe that to be in many different areas, like a career, a job, a toxic relationship. Put down the hammer. To allow God to form a new key to open new doors.

Stop trying to force an old key to open a new door.

The second couplet takes us deeper into this not forgetting. It says , the way we won’t forget, is to bind loyalty and faithfulness around our necks
Steadfast Love = Loyalty to covenant = love
Faithfulness = Dependability = mercy

The way we are not going to forget is to bind loyalty and dependability around our necks and write them onto the tables of our hearts.

This metaphor describes committing them to your affection and memory. Wise men are loyal and faithful on their inside and their outside.

Can I ask you a question? "Are you experiencing a "deficiency" of inner peace deep down in your soul?"

You know there is more to life.

This lockdown has revealed some things to you. Some ugly things and some good things.

But deep down you know that you are not rising to your expectations but falling to your real level of maturity and you want to grow, you want to live a life that will glorify God.

But How?

Just like for every key there is a shaft or “Bow”

Onto the shaft the different cuts are made to open different locks.

The writer gave us the blank, the Bow and Shaft of the key that the Great Locksmith of Heaven will cut with precision and skill if we let Him. It is found in the opening statements of the Book.In verse 7

We cross the threshold of True Knowledge when we live in obedient devotion to God.

Other versions say, “When we live in the fear of the Lord”

I prefer, “when we live in obedient devotion to God” This is the beginning of all wisdom

When we bring this “Blank” to God, The Great Locksmith of Heaven will grove through the highs and lows of life a key to open new doors.

If we want peace, favour and success in our relationships, our parenting, our businesses, in gaining skillful leadership to live a winning life, then we need to begin or come back to an obedient devotion to God.

Today is the day to cross a new threshold in winning in life.

I leave you with one last proverb

Proverbs 2:10
When wisdom wins your heart and revelation breaks in, true pleasure enters your soul.

Remember I said there are two great themes running through the Bible? The way to God, and how to Walk with God.
Wisdom is a Person and His name is Jesus! It starts with allowing Christ to win your heart.

When Christ wins your heart it is not just a new affection that you fall in love with Christ but more importantly, that your heart is conquered by Christ.There is a battle for control. God wants to win your heart through His love. He loves you so much that He sent His only Son to make a way to be in relationship with Him.Yet man wants to control his own life, his own destiny. Selfishness, greed, Control, and many other enemies in the heart are fighting to win your heart and your life.You were created by God to be in fellowship with Him to WALK with Him and sin separated us from Him, but Christ came and made a way that we can through making Christ Saviour and Lord of our hearts, that He can win our hearts and we can start to live a life of obedient devotion to God.