Power to Excel
Then Isaac sowed seed in that land and received in the same year a hundred times as much as he had planted, and the Lord favored him with blessings. And the man became great and gained more and more until he became very wealthy and distinguished;
Genesis 26:12-13 (KJV)
12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him. 13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:
Life is not a competition where the winner takes ALL! It is not supposed to be a rat race. Life is a huge privilege and an opportunity. God has trusted you with gifts and abilities, which he wants you to use. He is faithful to us and he expects us to be faithful to him as we correctly use our given powers to excel in well doing.
–Power and Excellence are two important words in this message.
–Power is the drive or ability to do something in a particular way: Or
–the capacity or ability to direct or influence others or the course of events
–person or Organization that is strong or influential within a particular context
–ratio of force to the surface area – force, speed, velocity equate power.
–excellence talks to distinction, greatness, supremacy, eminence and goodness.
–the power to excel therefore talks about the ability to remain distinctive in well doing.
–Ephesians 2:10 – For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
–we are God’s masterpiece – not inferior, not substandard.
–we have to be created anew in Christ Jesus after SIN brought into our lives Strenuous labor – poverty, pain in childbirth, broken relationships, and death
–God remained committed to his purpose for our lives – we have been created to excel, already infused with good works.
–God appears to have summonned all forces on earth, in heaven, underneath the earth to come and assist US so that WE can succeed and excel.
SO, WHY ARE WE NOT EXCELLING? there are challenges —
–Natural challenges – Famine, scarcity, competition
–Relational challenges – jealousy, hatred, greed, selfishness.
–Personal challenges – ignorance, slothfulness, doubt, disobedience, procrastination,
–1 Samuel 17:45 – Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
–Clearly, there are Two different kinds of power – the power of javelin and spear; and the power in the name of the Lord.
–the use of the power of God is not popular. People prefer to use the power of the spear and hence the mistakes and limitations in the outcome they achieve.
–NOW, the two biggest mistakes I see with people’s quest for and use of this kind of power revolve around:
–accessing and using the wrong kind of power to achieve excellence
–usurping and using the power they don’t have to achieve excellence
TYPES OF POWER:
it’s important to realize that power exists in all of us. It’s also possible that you have different kinds of power with different groups or situations
- Coercive power is associated with people who are in a position to punish others. People fear the consequences of not doing what has been asked of them.
- Connection power is based upon who you know. This person knows, and has the ear of, other powerful people within the organization.
- Expert power comes from a person’s expertise (duh!). This is commonly a person with an acclaimed skill or accomplishment.
- A person who has access to valuable or important information possesses informational power.
- Legitimate power comes from the position a person holds. This is related to a person’s title and job responsibilities. You might also hear this referred to as positional power.
- People who are well-liked and respected can have referent power.
- Reward power is based upon a person’s ability to bestow rewards. Those rewards might come in the form of job assignments, schedules, pay or benefits.
CHARACTERISTICS OF POWER THAT PRODUCES EXCELLENCE
1. The Power that brings excellence is divinely produced: Acts 10:38 – how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
–1 Samuel 2:9; It is not by strength that a man prevails.
–Spiritual NOT worldly power makes a man to prevail.
— Spiritual power is far more important than earthly power. It cannot be manufactured. It can only come from the kind of relationship Jesus had with God.
2. The Power that brings excellence inspires your dream:
There was a power inside of Joseph that kept his dream alive.
–He passed the hater’s test without losing focus of his dream
–He passed the prejudice test – Will – Genesis 37:5, 23.
–He passed the pit test – Endurance – Genesis 37:28
–He passed the Potiphar house test – Faithfulness – Genesis 39:1-16
–He passed the prison test – Patience – Genesis 39:19-20
3. The Power that brings excellence raises your faith:
–Isaac entreated God for his wife
–Isaac sowed in the land despite biting famine
–Joseph and Isaac possessed innate powers that helped them overcome:
Delay – Joseph waited for 13years, Isaac waited for 20 years; Discouragement, Disappointment, Disapproval and Doubt.
4. The Power that brings excellence seeks solutions to problems:
–Joseph was a solution in the house of Portipha, in the prison to the butler and the baker; to Pharaoh and the entire Egyptian civilisation.
–Isaac sowed in the land
–Isaac dug several wells for water despite needless disputes.
5. The Power that brings excellence invokes diligence:
–Genesis 39:22-23 – Before long, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison. 23 The warden had no more worries, because Joseph took care of everything. The LORD was with him and caused everything he did to succeed.
–Genesis 26:12-13 – Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him. 13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:
6. The Power that brings excellence is peace giving:
–Isaac overcame failures, anxieties and worry.
–Anger as a result of unattained goals; anxiety as a result of pursuing foolish goals; and sense of guilt from pursuing unrealistic goals.
–Isaac did not allow the failures and oppositions of the past to determine his actions in the present.
–Success at work, wealth and fame are of little value if you do not have peace.
–Peace comes from walking in a right relationship with God.
–There is no pillow as soft as a clear conscience: ‘When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster’ (vv.24–25a).
–While sudden disasters may come, you can trust that God is in control. He will be with you and therefore you are not to fear.
7. The power that brings excellence enhances a strong healthy body:
–maintains sound bodily health.
–helps a strong sickness free body.
There’s a quote by Margaret Thatcher that says, “Power is like being a lady…if you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”
But I say, walk and live habitually in the Holy Spirit responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).
PREREQUISITE FOR EXCELLENCE:
1. Genesis 26:12 – Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the LORD blessed him:
People who excel sow in their grounds with eager expectation of result.
–they sow with great commitment to result
–they absorb all pains and make all sacrifice to achieve result
2. Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men:
People who excel work with passion and enthusiasm.
–Regardless of whether the job is big or small, give it your best.
–Great performers give their best effort, no matter what the size of the audience: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people”
3. Ecclesiastes 10:10 – If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success:
People who excel sharpen their skills.
–They never stop developing, growing, learning, and improving: “If your ax is dull and you don’t sharpen it, you have to work harder to use it.
–It is smarter to plan ahead” It takes more than desire to excel; it takes skill!
–Remember: You’re never wasting time when you’re sharpening your “ax.”
4. Luke 12:42 & Proverbs 20:6 – Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?: Luke 12:42 – And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?
People who excel are faithful and wise and they keep their word.
–They are reliable. They can be counted on to do what they say they’ll do.
–They excel because they keep doing what the master has assigned for them to do.
5. Hebrews 12:2 & Ecclesiastes 10:4 – If a ruler’s anger rises against you, do not leave your post; calmness can lay great errors to rest: Hebrews 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
People who excel remained focused on JESUS and maintain a positive attitude.
–Even under pressure, change, or unrealistic demands, they don’t allow themselves to become negative: Rather, they fix their eyes on Jesus who is able to help them surmount the challenges.
–Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life” (Philippians 2:14-16a NIV). And remember:
EXCELLENCE IN WHAT?
Excel in Worship
–2 Timothy 3:14-17 – But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
–Joseph was completely faithful to the Lord; Abraham built altars and worship the Lord while Isaac communed regularly with JEHOVAH.
–They excelled in the worship of the Lord through their services to Him.
–we must excel in the ministry of the Word and Prayers
–we must excel in the ministry of Giving
Excel in Witnessing
–you must excel in soul winning
–Matthew 28:19-20 – Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[Or into; see Ac 8:16; 19:5; Ro 6:3; 1Co 1:13; 10:2 and Ga 3:27.] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Excel in Work.
–sow in the land, your own ground.
–a man who is always looking at the challenges will not sow.
–God has shaped you into a Doer, Thinker, Feeler, and Talker
–God needs your contributions; not just your communication, compassion, and consideration.
–We’ve got to get to work and do it! We need people of action.
— We need people with initiative, energy, action, and a bias for achievement.
–Always do what matters most.
People who excel do more than is expected. This is a secret that every successful person has discovered. You’ll never excel by only doing what is required. Jesus said, “If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously” (Matthew 5:40-42 ).
–The horn is a symbol of power, help, victory or Glory: O Lord, exalt our horn in the name of Jesus.
–Psalms 75:6-7 : For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another: O LORD, empower me, promote me and lift me up. Let me excel in all that I do.
–Teach me humility, help me to be humble in the use of power.
–O Lord, arm me with strength and power for whatever work I have to do this year. Thank you that you will supply all I need just in time. Please fill me today with your Spirit and Power.