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Tag Archives: above and beyond

Do you have a Spirit of Excellence?

SpeedFinally, brothers…if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

Excellence.  It’s a word we hear all the time in the church.  Everyone talks about wanting an excellent ministry.  Sad to say, most of it is just talk.  We need to strive for excellence.

What is a spirit of excellence?  I’ve found that many Christians have no clue.  If you can’t define it, then you have no basis upon which to judge yourself.

To excel is defined as to do or be better than; to surpass; to show superiority; to surpass others.  Some synonyms of this word are to surpass, exceed, transcend, and outdo.  These verbs mean to be or to go beyond a limit or standard.

It should be very obvious by now that this word excel is a word of comparison.  You only use it when you’re relating to the norm, the average, or the expected.

Excellence, therefore, means that you’re going beyond what’s expected or what others are doing.  We tend to get caught up in what people do or how they do it.  Excellence is more than that.

It’s something you are.  You’re either ahead of the pack or you’re not.  There’s no partly excellent, halfway excellent or almost excellent.  You’re either living in the realm of the excellent or you’re not.

A word with a similar root is accelerate.  To accelerate means that you’re in a state of continually increasing speed.  Your speed now is higher than that of a moment ago.

When purchasing a new car, one of the considerations is how well it accelerates.  Acceleration is important when passing another car on the highway.  In the same way, on the highway of life, if you intend to surpass the normal or that which is expected, then you need the power of excellence operating in your life and ministry.

We know how a great car should act.  When we pull out into another lane to pass the car in front of us, we expect an immediate response when we step on the “accelerator.”  If the car hesitates, if the engine sputters and coughs, then we know there’s a problem that needs to be addressed.

In the same way, if the Lord speaks to your heart to do something above and beyond what you’re doing now, or what’s expected for your type of ministry, He expects immediate agreement to His Word.

Hesitation in ministry is a sign that we lack excellence.  When God instructs you to “pull out and pass” the normal or the expected, He’s looking for obedience.  Responses such as “We’ve never done it that way before,” “No one else does it like that,” or “I can’t possibly handle that” are indications that you must move on to new levels of excellence.

That’s why He’s given us His Holy Spirit.  He’ll work with us, bringing us to new heights in Christ, but only if we’re willing to submit to His leadership.  You must desire this walk of excellence.

Question: Do you desire a walk of excellence with Christ?

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Posted by on April 5, 2013 in Encouragement, Spirit of Excellence

 

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Running with Horses

Jeremiah 12:5
“If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses?  If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?”

God calls us to do greater things with Him than we could have ever done without Him.  We can go above and beyond our abilities, because of His strength working in us.  In this section of Scripture, Jeremiah is complaining about why the wicked prosper.  It was upsetting him to the point that it was affecting his work for God.

Sometimes we get distracted by the lack of commitment that we see in others.  What God tells him applies to us as well.  God’s reply to Jeremiah is that if you are turned aside that easily – just by looking at what others are doing (or not doing) – then you will really be thrown off when you see how high I’ve actually called you to go.

It’s like the person who says that their dream is to walk the Appalachian Trail, yet all the while they complain about the number of stairs leading to their front door.  Take some time to refocus your sights on the high calling God has for you.  And remember, if you let the small stuff get you down, you will never move on to the great things.

Take the time to refocus your thoughts in the presence of the Lord.  Let His plan for you fill your vision.  In this way you will not be distracted from completing the assignment God has for you.

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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