An enemy called ‘average’, by Minister Gabriel Adunmade
Text: Philippian 3 vs 12-16
There is a common adage that says ‘good is always an enemy of better while better is always an enemy of best’. The same can be said of average, average is always an enemy of best, excellent, superior, outstanding etc.
The next question is who or what is enemy and what is average
English dictionary described enemy in many ways, but for time, I just picked one out of the many. And the one I picked out is: An enemy is something (that something includes both animate and inanimate object ) something harmful or prejudicial to other things.
Enemy always stand on the way of progress. It is out to frustrate all efforts to progress.
There are different categories/kinds of enemies;
It can be in human form, while it can also manifest in behaviour or character. In order words, somebody’s character or behaviour can be detrimental to his or her progress.
In most cases, the one in human form can be easily identified e.g. that old woman with rotten teeth and two horns on her head that you always see pursuing you on you dream, you don’t need any prophet to tell you she is a witch and your enemy.
Or even or the boss in the office who just hate you for nothing.
You can easily identify them and deal with them through prayer and committing them to the hand of God. However, it is quite interesting to see that there are certain categories of enemy that are not easily identified, but do affect our progress in life negatively.
These categories of enemy manifest through our behaviour and attitudes.
For instance, laziness, indecision, fear, complacency, procrastination to mention but few.
Average on the other hand can be described as something typical, common or ordinary.
God has not created us to be ordinary or common people, rather the bible says we are the chosen generation, a royal priesthood, peculiar people (1pet 2 vs 9).
You are created for extraordinary blessing, uncommon mercy and unprecedented favour. And that we’ll be exactly your portion this year IJN.
You are not created to be an average person; an average student is neither pass nor fail. He cannot say boldly that he is successful neither can he say he belongs to categories of failure.
Just as an average person cannot say he is living a successful life even though he cannot say he is not successful.
An average Christian cannot say he is 100% pleasing God, though he might be claiming he is better than unbeliever. In the dictionary of God, there is nothing like an average Christian. You are either hot or cold, there is nothing like lukewarmness.
Rev 3 vs 15-16 confirms that.
Don’t settle for an average life, God wants to launch you past the middle to the top in every facet of life. Never try to defend your present position and situations, choose to be a person who is on the offensive not the defensive. People who live defensively never rise above being average.
We are called as Christian to be on the offensive side, to take initiative ( Right from the time of John the Baptist, the kingdom of God suffered violence………) A lukewarm indecisive person never secure, regardless of his wealth, education or position.
Joshua 1 vs 6,7,9 God told Joshua to be strong and courageous
I believe God is saying the same thing to us today.
Being on the offensive and taking initiative is a master key which opens the door of opportunity in our life. Every morning when you wake up and your feet touch the ground, you should be thinking on the offensive, react as an invader, taking control of your day and your life. (Of cause with the help of God).
(que sera sera should never be found in your dictionary, i.e. what will be will be).
Intimidation always precedes defeat. If you are not sure which way to go, pray and move towards the situation in confidence and trust. (As David did to Goliath)
It’s like two fishermen, who got trapped in a storm in the middle of the lake. One turned to the other and asked, should we pray or should we row. His wise companion responded, let’s do both. The most dangerous place to be when on a journey is the midway.
Quickly, 4 things we have to know and do if we are to overcome enemy call average this year.
1. DON’T CONSUME YOUR TOMORROW BY FEEDING ON YOUR YESTERDAY.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we need to break the power of the past to dominate our present and determine our future.
Luke 9 vs 62; Jesus said no man lay his hand on the plough and look back is fit for the Kingdom of God. We should not allow the past to exercise a great hold on us. The more we look backward, the less we are able to see forward.
The past make no difference concerning what God can do for us today.
That is the beauty of a Christian life. Even when we fail, we are able to ask for forgiveness and be totally cleansed of and release from our past action.
1 John 2 vs 1b and if any man sin, we have an advocate with the father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (Interceding for us)
But then at the same time, Roman 6 vs 1 say we cannot continue in sin and expect grace to abound, vs 2 say God forbid.
It is never God who holds us back; it is always our own choice whether to allow the past to keep us from living to the fullest in the present and the future.
We should learn to profit from the past (i.e. learn from the past) but invest in the future.
(An adage says when a child falls, he looks forward, but when an adult fall, he looks backwards to see what cause him to stumble so as to avoid it in future)
The past is past, it has no life.
2. THE BEST TIME OF THE DAY IS NOW
As I said earlier, procrastination is a killer. When you choose to kill time, you begin to kill those gifts and calling which God has placed within your life. (I will do it later, I will serve God later, let me have time for myself first)
In Eccl. 11 vs 14, the living translation bible paraphrase it that “if you wait for a perfect condition, you will never get anything done.
The first step in overcoming procrastination is to eliminate all excuses and reason for not taking decisive and immediate action.
The mistake most people make is thinking that the main goal of life is to stay busy.
Such thinking is a trap. What is important is not whether a person is busy, but whether he is progressing.
It is one thing to be busy, it is another thing to be progressing, and it is a question of activities versus accomplishment. For instance, the Israelites in the wilderness were busy moving around for 40yrs but not progressing. They were just moving in circle.
It is like running on a treadmill. We should be known as people accomplishing great things for God not merely talking about it. We need to be like the apostles, they were never known much for their policies, procedures, theories or excuses, instead, they were known for their acts. (It was the acts of apostles not the theories or policies).
Many people say they were waiting for God, while in actual sense it was God waiting for them. Psalm 31 vs 15, David said my times are in your hands
The price of growth is always less than the cost of stagnation.
A man Called Edmus Burke once said “the only necessary triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”
Occasionally, you may see someone who doesn’t do anything and yet seems to be successful in life, don’t be deceived, the old saying is true. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
As Christian, we are called to make progress, not excuses
Prov. 21 vs 25 The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.
3. KEEP YOUR FEET ON THE ROCK WHEN YOU REACH THE END OF THE ROPE
What do I mean; never at any time consider quitting as options or alternative.
Don’t quit. There is a big different between quitting and changing.
When God sees someone who does not quit, He looks down and says, this is someone I can use. Galatians 6vs 9, we are told not to be weary in well doing, for we shall reap it in due season if we faint not.
God doesn’t quit, it is impossible for Him to do so.
Phil 1 vs 6, Apostle Paul wrote about being confident of this, that he who began a good work in us will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.
We can therefore have that great confidence that He will complete the good work He has begun in us. He will see us through every step we take till we have reached our ultimate destination (which is heaven).
One of the best examples we have in the bible is the man Joseph. He has so many reasons to justify giving up. First, he was trapped in the pit where his brothers had thrown him because of their jealousy. I am sure he said to himself. This is not the way I dreamed my life would work out. Later on he could have been justified to become discouraged and quit when he was unjustly accused and thrown into prison for a crime he did not commit.
Again he could have said to himself, I am not supposed to be here.
But eventually, the dream which God had given Joseph became reality (as somebody’s dream will become reality this year IJN.
He was elevated from prisoner to prime in one day. Within 24hrs, his dress was changed 3 times, (from prison uniform to a dress that will make him presentable before king then as a prime minister.
Although Joseph did not know or understand the steps through which the Lord would lead him, he remained faithful to his God. Despite the trials and obstacles he faced, he did not quit.
There is no greater reward than that which comes as a result of holding fast to the words and will of God.
Only you can decide not to lose. Most people quit right at the helm of their success.
There is only one degree between hot water and steam.
You will not quit at the helm of your success IJN.
Do you know that even though antelope got into the ark of Noah first or as quickly as possible, with perseverance, chameleons and snails got into the ark before the door was closed.
I remember in 1991 when I was pursuing my post basic study at UNN Enugu campus in Nigeria, after passing the pre admission examination, it took me one full year to get sponsorship approval from NEPA, the organisation I was working with.
The course was highly competitive that you cannot defer admission (we were about 120 candidates who sat for the exam and they needed only 20, but because I did not have god father to help me for sponsorship, but I have God the father.
By faith I applied for deferment of admission, for the reason I did not know till tomorrow, it was granted, but I knew it can only be God.
I have to be shuttle between Jebba and Lagos nearly every week for one year, a distance of about 8 hrs on Nigerian road.
At some point, my colleagues, friends and even my in-law said I should not make it a do or die affairs. But thank God I succeeded and that was part of what brought me to where I am today.
I don’t believe in giving up or quitting, it is never in my dictionary.
Persistence simply means; Ability to stick to a process until desire result is achieved.
4. THE MOST NATURAL THING TO DO WHEN YOU GET KNOCKED DOWN IS TO GET UP
When you stumble or get knocked down, the natural thing to do is to get up.
(I remembered my first year in this country when I fell Down on black ice, I looked here and there, thank God there was nobody within vicinity , I quickly got up before people call 999 for me.) Failure doesn’t mean that nothing has been accomplished.
There is always the opportunity to Learn something. We all experience failure and make mistakes, sometimes out of ignorance or lustfulness.
Successful people always have more failure in their lives than average people do.
You will find that throughout history, all great people at some point in their lives have failed.
Only those who do not expect anything are never disappointed.
Only those who never try, never fail. (For instance, if you are afraid of failure, you will not attempt practical driving test in this country). It is far better to fail in doing something than to excel in doing nothing. Everybody gets knocked down, it is how fast he gets up that matters.
The greater the degree of spiritual maturity, the greater the ability to get back up, and verse versa, i.e. the less the spiritual maturity, the longer the individual will continue to hang on the past failure. God never sees any of us as failure, He only sees us as learners.
We have only failed when we do not learn lesson from the past failure.
(David was a vivid example. I am sure he would no longer stay at home when he supposed to lead his people to battle against their enemy after he has fallen into sins of adultery and murder. I hope we all still remember the scenario.
Here are the keys to be free from the strangle hold of past failures and mistakes.
1. Learn the lesson and forget the details, just as David did.
2. Gain from the experience, but do not roll over and over again in your mind the minute details of it. (“Ina esisi Ko kii Joni nigbameji”)
Finally brethren, anywhere you go through out this year, always remember these 3 things:
1. Beware and be careful, there is always free food on a fish hook.
2. What really matter is what happens IN us not what happens TO us.
3. There is one guarantee formula for failure, and that is to try to, please everyone.
1. I will excel in everything I lay my hands upon this year IJN.
2. At a particular year, you visited Sarah and Abraham, after 25yrs of waiting, let this year be my year of divine visitation IJN
3. I will not operate below the standard you have set for me in every area of my life IJN.
An enemy called ‘average’, by Minister Gabriel Adunmade, a sermon delivered on January 11th 2015