Finding a Way to Win
Introduction: Winning in life is not a matter of chance; it is the result of tirelessly and creatively looking for answers to problems
Proverbs 25:2 LB says, “It is God’s privilege to conceal things, and the king’s privilege to discover and invent.
In other words, God has given us the power and responsibility of searching for ways to win. There is always solutions to your challenges – Never settle for where you are.
1. There is Always a Way to Win with God
Psalm 107:4-7 NIV – Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. 5 They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. 6 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 7 He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.
God does not want you to live a defeated life, but to be a winner in this life. He gives us a way if we will just open up our eyes and look for it.
I Corinthians 10:13 NIV – No temptation[a] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[c] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
Many times we tend to become blind to solutions when we are under pressure. We should never accept that we are hemmed in and that there is no way out. God is not a God who hems us in, but one who makes a way into wide open spaces. (Moses)
Isaiah 43:16 ESV – Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters,
Every great feat and engineering accomplishment took place because engineers, scientists, or researchers did not give up.
•The French tried for 19 yrs to build the Panama Canal. They concluded that, after losing millions of dollars and some 22,000 lives in the process, it could not be done. The two seas that were to be linked by the canal lay on different levels, there the task was impossible. Then along came The Americans. We succeeded in what is now considered a miracle of engineering. We invented locks that filled with watering allowed ships to travel up to the next level. We found a way to win.
Remember, “When you are face to face with difficulty, you are up against a discovery.” Lord Kelvin
•Have An Attitude of Action
Proverbs 23:7 – For as a man thinks in his heart so is he…
“Men are not moved by things, but by the views which they take of them” Epictetus
We can adopt a fearful, fatalistic attitude about struggles disappointments, defeats, and difficulties OR we can find a way to win with an attitude of action!
Ephesians 3:20 NIV – Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
Once you think of possibilities and see things breakthrough in your life, you can never go back to the small confines of a mediocre, limited, average life.
Leonardo da Vinci once said; “Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity, and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigours of the mind.”
If we settle down to accept whatever comes along without even trying to win over negative circumstances, then we will shrivel up and become stagnant and stale.
•A Time to Pray and a Time to Play
In The Book of Heroic Failures by Stephen Pile, the story of the soccer match between Brazilian teams Rio Preto and Corinthians highlights the need to be practical. While the Brazilian goalkeeper, Isadore Irandir was still kneeling with his eyes shut finishing his prematch prayers, the ref blew the whistle for the start of the game. The Corinthian striker, Roberto Rivaling, seized this spiritual moment to shoot from the halfway line and scored the first goal of the match,, just 3 seconds after kick off.
We need to know when to Pray and when To Act
Ecclesiastes 8:5-6 NIV – Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm, and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure.6 For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a person may be weighed down by misery.
When confronted with challenges some believers resort to prayer; not as reliance on God, but as a way of abdicating their personal responsibility. They want God to do everything for them. (God is not going to tie your shoe laces, do it yourself)
I believe in Prayer. Prayer certainly changes things, but action coupled by prayer is even better.
James 2:14 ESV – What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?
Most things in life require effort and responsibility on our part, then God acts.
•The feeding of the five thousand would not have taken place if Jesus had just given thanks. Someone provided the five loaves and 2 fish to set the miracle in motion
•The wine at the wedding of Cana came fro the water with which the men had first filled the pots.
Often when God is silent, we wrongly conclude that it is not His will to give us a solution – He is waiting for us to get moving first so that HE can act in our action!
Jesus was encouraging His followers not to settle for what is, but to press on and find a way to win.
Luke 11:9-10 AMP – “So I say to you, ask and keep on asking, and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking, and you will find; knock and keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who [a]keeps on asking [persistently], receives; and he who keeps on seeking [persistently], finds; and to him who keeps on knocking [persistently], the door will be opened.
This is about a persistent man who went to a friends home in the middle of the night unexpectedly to ask for food. The friend was reluctant to help. The man eventually received what he was asking for because he would not give up and refused to take no for answer.
God does not want us to give up and take NO for an answer. When you and I face difficulties we should always expect God to back us up as we try to find a way to win.
We should not just give up because we are faced with closed doors – our answer could be on the other side.
Walt Disney in his quest to build Disney World, approached over 300 banks before he was granted a loan. IF a man with a passion to make people happy could have such determination, then surely the church, who can truly make people happy, should persist and find ways to win.
Lester Sumrall said, “Champions are a rare breed. They see beyond the dangers, the risks, the obstacles, the hardships.”
God did not create us to be the misery of creation – We are created to reflect God’s Glory and creativity. He wants us to use all the abilities and faith he has put in you to live about the ordinary and mundane. NEVER accept things as they are until you have explored every avenue for success.
2. When we Win God Wins
I John 5:4 ESV – For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
•Overcomes (Nikos) – To conquer, Champion of the games
John Maxwell said, the significant difference between champions and losers is how they view their circumstances.
Romans 8:37 NIV – No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
•(hypernikos)- more than, over above and beyond, greater, top notch, paramount, ovwhelming enormous
•This is the kind of FAITH God puts on the inside of YOU!
If we allow defeat and failure to cripple us, then God is not honored and we are to living in His best that He provided for us.
Never Settle into a Defeated Situation
When King Saul was faced with battles he thought he couldn’t win, he settled into inactivity. He said nothing and he did nothing.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing,” Edmund Burke
There are two things you should never do in a crisis
•Run away from challenges •Let problems paralyze us
“The stairs of opportunity are sometimes hard to climb, and that can only be well done, by climbing one step at a time, but he would go to the top, never sits down and despairs; Instead of staring up the steps, he just steps up the stairs.”
I Samuel 17:32-36 NLT – 32 “Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”33 “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.” 34 But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, 35 I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. 36 I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God!
Saul was sitting with his army waiting for something to happen. Goliath had threatened him and his army and nobody could find a way to win. Saul had settled into a defeated deadlock with the giant, and even though he had an army of experienced men, he allowed his lack of weapons to stop him from waging war.
•Saul had no Faith in God
Israel did NOTHING and God DIDN’T do anything…..Until a 17 yr old named David took Action. A creative young man with courage and confidence in God.
David’s weapons of choice – five smooth stones, the most unlikely way to win. But was the winning way.
I Samuel 17:50 NLT – So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword.
I Samuel 19:5 NIV – He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine. The Lord won a great victory for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad. Why then would you do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for no reason?”
3. God is on Our Side and Helps Us Find a Way to Win
Psalm 60:12 NIV – With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies. (“We can win with God’s help.”
Some people feel that they do not deserve success. They feel that God is in heaven deciding on a daily basis whether they deserve to be blessed or not. This results in a lifestyle of uncertainty and hesitancy and a life without faith.
Romans 8:31 NIV – What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
God wants nothing more than to see us succeed. He loves you and made you in His image.
Fact is, you cannot avoid or ignore problems in hope that they will just go away. Stop being a victim and rise up and face the challenges of life .
Remember: There are never problems that can’t be solved. The best way to escape a problem is to solve it!
-The US Peace Corps’ has abilities to deal with any and every tricky conditions when abroad. Example given to men who find themselves in the jungles of South America and who might be faced with the largest snake in the world, the anaconda .
•A full grown anaconda is not just a snake, it’s a telephone pole with a temper. It takes 10 men to carry one, if its in a good mood.
Here are the instructions from the Peace Corps’ Manuel
- If an anaconda attacks you, do not run. The snake is faster than you are so don’t even try to outrun it.
- Lie flat on the ground. Put your arms tight against your sides, your legs tight against each other.
- Tuck in your chin
- The snake will come and begin to nudge and climb about your body.
- Do not panic
- After the snake has examined you, it will begin to swallow you from the feet. Always from the feet. Permit the snake to swallow your feet and ankles. Do not panic.
- The snake will begin too suck your legs into its body. You must lie perfectly still. This will take a long time.
- When the snake has reached your knees, slowly and with as little movement possible reach down, take your knife and very gently slide it into the slide it into the snakes mouth, between the edge of its mouth and your leg. Then suddenly rip upwards, severing the snake through the top of its head.
- Be sure to have your knife with you.
- Be sure your knife is sharp
- Of course, if you get to number nine, or even ten, and find that you’ve forgotten your knife or that it is blunt, the rest doesn’t really matter.
No Situation is ever hopeless.
Claire Booth said, “There are no hopeless situations; there are only people who have grown hopeless about them.”
Don’t allow your troubles and challenges to swallow you alive. God always provides us with a strategy and a way to win!