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Saturday, February 1, 2014

You Are Not a Loser

So, you had a bad day. Maybe it was a bad week or year or decade or lifetime. At least, it seems that way. The bank account isn't just empty but the bills are due. The job isn't just hard. It isn't there at all. The prospects for love are gone. The marriage is in the toilet. Your friends have not only abandoned you; they hate you. No one would notice if you stop existing. You can't see why you keep living.

Okay, maybe it isn't that bad but it certainly seems that bad. What you are feeling is tired. You simply don't want to go on living like this. By all accounts, you are a loser.

I have a different perspective. Would you listen for just a few moments?

Maybe you have been caught in the way the world defines success. The world says that we are successful when we can satisfy our senses, our desire for possessions and our need for people to esteem us. We want to be caressed, extremely wealthy and known by everyone. These desires are built into our flesh. They stem from a separation from the Spirit of God.

Even preachers fall into this trap. They think that success is having the biggest church, the largest budget and the praise of all the other preachers. They see others building bigger and more elaborate buildings, creating huge staffs to do all the grunt work and having their names put in store windows announcing their coming to such and such town. They want to be like these other preachers. They want to write a book that sells 40 million copies, take up an offering of $21 million and invite presidents to be on the stage with them. They don't care that God's will for them may not include this. They want to be considered successful and this is undeniably the way to do so.

But most of the preachers don't get this definition of success. In fact, most people don't get the world's definition of success. I have seen so many people trying to tell me how big they really are because, down deep, they feel like failures.

So, let me tell you why you are a winner instead of a loser even when the world tells you something else.

The world thinks that this is all there is. The world is right to define success as sensuality, wealth and pride if this is it. The only heaven the world will ever know is right now. The world must exist inside itself and the rules apply to everyone who is of the world.

But you don't exist inside this world. You are in the world but not of it. You are beyond the world by one factor- your faith. Your faith extends beyond this world and connects with eternity. It connects with the true King and lives under His system of values. He says that the greatest is the one who is the servant of all. He says that you do not have to depend upon the world to give you success.

I played in a couple of football games in high school in which my team was behind the whole time. In one game we came from behind with a touchdown in the last thirty seconds. Think of it: we were losing all but thirty seconds of the game. If the game had ended thirty seconds earlier we would have lost. But the game wasn't over until the game was over. (Sounds like Yogi Berra, huh?) No one said we lost the game in the end.

Believers will never be losers. The world says we are losing and if we listen to the world; if we look at the circumstances that the world presents to us, we will believe it. But believing something is true doesn't make it true. It takes something or Someone who is reliable to determine what is true.

God has said that your faith overcomes the world. God has said you will never be a loser because the game just isn't over yet.

1 John 5:4-5 (ESV)
4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

1 comment:

Anthony Chia said...

Hi Ps Prentis, this is a good article. I will add only an additional aspect, which is outside of the scope of your title of your entry, for your article is intended (solely) to encourage believers to have the perspective of they are NOT a loser, although, indirectly you have touched, too, on this:

Indeed the game is NOT yet over; we have to continue to be of faith, continue to overcome, even as we are overcomers. Some overly grace preachers are telling brethren there is nothing to overcome or that overcomer is simply just another way of saying a believer. They are in fact, supporting your exhortation of encouraging believers to see that they are NOT losers, but metaphorically speaking, they are saying to believers along this line – you are a soldier, but you need NOT fight! The truth of the matter is that a soldier fights, and an overcomer overcomes; it is NOT there is nothing more to overcome, in the life of a believer (I know, from your writings, you, Ps Prentis, are NOT a believer of this line of teaching). Such heretic teaching is most insidious, for it encourages apathy, complacency, and “there is nothing more for a believer to do”; there is a lot exhorted in Scripture for the believer to be doing). Such teaching does NOT equip believers to deal with inevitable troubles that would come into a believer’s salvation journey.

We are NOT a loser because of who Jesus is and what He had done (to suffer and die, and be resurrected). It is in Him, we can do all things. In Him, we can continue to overcome until the end, and then, as is declared in Rev 3:21, we can be seated with Christ Jesus, at the end.

Rev 3:21 - To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.

I encourage readers to hop over to read this article of mine on the proper exposition of 1 John 5:4-5. The link is this: http://high-expressions.blogspot.sg/2013/08/who-are-overcomers-part-ii.html. (This is part of a 4-part series of “Who are the Overcomers”, and so, you can also access the other 3 parts from my blog-site, www.high-expressions.blogspot.com)

Anthony Chia, high.expressions