Have you got what it takes to become a champion? Or, are you already topping out your spiritual game? Are you a generalist or specialist? Do you have the strength of will to endure the process and procedure of rising to the highest?
What Does It Take?
Because I am called to produced leaders, discipling is my main focus in life. In the kingdom, ‘leaders who make leaders’ accomplish their assignments by discipling. It is the process and procedure of making kingdom leaders.
Jesus says, “A person cannot be My disciple unless he never stops, appropriating his personal cross, following Me where I’m going.” [Luke 14]
The process speaks to the transformational aspect of Cross-appropriating. Carrying his own cross means personally appropriating everything His Cross provides, a crucified life that releases His life through my death. Never stops, means the process continues to restore the champion God had in mind when He created you.
Jesus has to finish you so you can finish your life’s work.
The procedure speaks to “proceeding” with this life condition in place, or going where Jesus is going, without stopping or wandering. Proceed. Once you have the lifestyle of Cross-appropriating transformation operating in your life, gather everything in your life toward what Jesus has assigned you right now in His kingdom.
Champions, in the kingdom sense, become the people God created them to be. The becoming is a process of moving from death to life. God is trying to kill you so He restore you to the person He had in mind in the first place.
Champions, in the kingdom sense, become Cross-appropriating followers. Just being along for the ride won’t get you into championship form. Stop seeing “follow” in terms of hanging around. Forrest Gump did that, always there at the big moments but totally out of touch with the meaning of those historic incidents. Just being there doesn’t make you a champion.
Champions, in the kingdom sense, appropriate the Cross every step of the way. They continue to repent-change to be changed-until they become the person who can do what champions do.
So, that means that champions, in the kingdom sense, don’t have what it takes. They have to appropriate what it takes, learning how to appropriate at higher levels, while they keep going where Jesus is going.
Hit a ceiling? Been about the same place for a while? The concept of “playing a few good years and retiring” doesn’t fit the kingdom! Being at the top of your game in the kingdom means being up-to-date with what the King is doing in your generation.
Champions don’t carry a cross into a cul-de-sac and sit down. Champions don’t polish crosses to display on a wall. Champions don’t occassionally run into a cross now and then for hook up. Champions live a Cross-appropriating lifestyle.
Flesh peaks at 27 years of age or so and starts a downhill slide. The outer man is perishing. Stop seeing champions in terms of a career. Stop being your own spiritual career manager.
Paul says, “The outer man perishes, but the inner man is renewed every day!” Champions never stop! The only measure of “highest” is Jesus, and they know they have a long way to go! The only measure of “highest” is “finish the work He gave me to do.”
Champions, in the kingdom sense, prepare themselves for eternity, perfection, ultimate, and fullness. Following Jesus requires champions to keep going when the going requires higher levels of personal surrender, sacrifice, and specialization.
Champions, in the kingdom sense, compare themselves to what their Cross-appropriating lifestyle demands. The Cross means who Jesus was on the Cross and what Jesus did on the Cross; so, champions appropriate the Cross for being who they were created to be so they can do what they are called to do.
Champions, in the kingdom sense, remain hungry and thirsty and hone their appetites on the whetstone of “Body broken and Blood poured out.” Broken for your wholeness. Poured out for your cleansing. Champions become broken bread and poured out wine themselves because they don’t grow by what they receive but by what they release.
Many would-be champions move rocking chairs into their trophy rooms at the very time they should be signing up for a higher level of personal transformation. Leaders who make leaders rocking in rocking chairs do not create champions.
Champions don’t climb a mountain just because it is there, to prove a point, or rise up to the challenge. Champions climb because they are assigned. The other side of the mountain requires that they become someone through the process of mountain climbing who is prepare to be a champion on the other side of that mountain.
Champions becoming progressively more specialized in their leadership as they grow.
Champions don’t rest when their Isaac’s are born because the highest hasn’t not yet been met. The greater test comes at the finish line.
As the father of faith, Abraham was not a generalist. He was assigned one land, one son, one blessed purpose. He would bless all nations through his specialization, but he was a specialist. As a specialist in faith, his faith had to be high enough to sacrifice his promise. His specialization required more sacrifice and surrender after Isaac was born.
Champions who learn the priorities of their obedience become more and more specialized as they mature. A continual re-prioritization is required, a periodic “first things first” measurement, because the specialization gathers all they’ve been through and become toward fulfillment of their assignment.
Champions, in the kingdom sense, aren’t attempting to break records since their Champion has attained unbreakable records in every area and arena! They aren’t setting new standards since the Standard is already set!
Champions, in the kingdom sense, specialize in their life’s work. Fulfillment of destiny requires fullness of spirit: they must become someone who can do what is assigned, finish the assignment.
Champions, in the kingdom sense, learn a great deal from the woman pouring out her alabaster box. The highest can only be reached when we have become a person with the strength of will to give everything for the “one thing.”
Strength of Will
In measuring champions, potential gets filed at the back of the drawer. Everyone has potential, so vast it remains uncharted territory. Potential is a wasteland from which we must mine raw ore. God provides a treasure map that locates the gold and silver, but even after discovery we still have something that requires a process and procedure. Discovery and destiny stand far apart. Only champions make it from one point to the other.
Jesus says, “Father, I have finished the work You gave Me to do.”
That’s priority! That’s the strength of will to turn potential into purpose. Jesus has unlimited potential but becomes a Champion by prioritizing that potential perfectly toward His assignment. He sacrifices everything to gain one thing.
The kingdom is like a man who sold everything to purchase the one pearl of great price.
Champions choose well, with the strength of will to specialize in their assignment, the priority of time, treasure, and talent turned toward finishing the work Father has given them to do.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not…in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Champions, in the kingdom sense, have done the same things those who cry Lord, Lord have done, but they have the strength of will to specialize in the will of the Father. They don’t do everything. They do the one thing.
Carrying the Cross requires strength of will to surrender. Ask Jesus. He’s been to Gethsemane so He can help you live Gethsemane. Ask Jesus. He’s finished the Cross work so He can help carrying the cross work.
Champions, in the kingdom sense, have the strength of will to surrender.
Never stopping requires the strength of will to sacrifice. Ask Jesus. He gave up heaven. Ask Jesus. He became “sacrifice” to redefine “sacrifice” so He could help you be a living sacrifice.
Champions, in the kingdom sense, have the strength of will to sacrifice.
Going where Jesus is going requires strength of will to specialize. Ask Jesus. He can do anything, go anywhere, yet He does the one thing so He can help you become who He created you to be so you can do what He’s called you to do. Ask Jesus. He says, I delight to do your Will, O God. He says, Not My will but Your be done. He does this so He can help you do the one thing.
The one thing, contrary to every expectation of people, every demand of the world around you, every pressure of life you are living, the one thing that requires your specialization, the one thing, for champions, is the only thing.
Champions, in the kingdom sense, help me understand why creation is groaning for Jesus to bring many sons into Glory. Glory?! Now, that’s where Champions want to be!
Champions, in the kingdom sense, would never walk in a parade for their glory! Champions are hungry to experience His Glory!