Opening: Ephesians 3:8-12 (Prayer cards)
So here I am, preaching and writing about things that are way over my head; the inexhaustible riches and generosity of Christ. My task is to bring out in the open, and make plain, what God, who created all this in the first place, has been doing in secret, and behind the scenes, all along. Through followers of Jesus, like yourselves, gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels!
“All this is proceeding along lines planned all along by God and then executed in Christ Jesus. When we trust in him, we’re free to say whatever needs to be said, bold to go wherever we need to go.” Ephesians 8:8-12 (MSG)
God, more than any other person, has a desire for your life to be an uncommon life. Nothing pleases God more than to see His children living out the plan, the destiny, and experiencing the life He purchased for us at the Cross of Calvary.
How God’s plan for us was brought about was uncommon. God’s uncommon plan was for you to live an uncommon life.
Think about this: Jesus said, I came to give you life and life more abundantly (John 10:10).
Glory to Glory.
Faith to Faith.
Living a life of Victory.
Living an Overcoming life.
More than conquerors.
Greater things than these shall you do.
Doesn’t sound common at all.
He came to lay out a plan that was an uncommon plan, to give us an uncommon life.
In Ephesians, Paul states it was his job to bring out into the open what was once hidden; to make it as plain as possible, that God has a plan for you. It is an extraordinary plan, an uncommon life, for you. Look at what Paul wrote to the church in Corinth.
“Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God! In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever! Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold.” 2 Corinthians3:8-12 (NLT)
Shouldn’t we expect a far greater glory? If the old way was glorious, how much more glorious is this new? It makes us right with God. This new way gives us such confidence we can be very bold!
The definition of Uncommon is, out of the ordinary; unusual. Of course, the opposite of that is, common; normal. There is something within us, that desires for, even longs for, the uncommon.
Often God’s plan – the plan that Paul said is glorious, extraordinary, uncommon – is often not met with the same excitement with man. Let’s take a quick look.
God said in Genesis 1:26-28 for man to…
Fill the Earth.
God’s plan was, and is, to have man live that kind of life. He not only planned it that way, but equipped us to do so. Far too often, the church has fallen into the normal, common, and mundane, all at the expense of God’s plan. God is laying out this divine plan, and we have settled for the common, while He has the uncommon for us.
The contrast of the early church versus the current church is startling. We struggle to get people to church, because church in boring, mundane, and powerless. We struggle to get people to want to be Christians because of the reputations of the Christian as powerless, faithless, boring, and lifeless. We are living the same life as the world, we just carry a Bible and give an hour a week to a tradition.
The early church had a different struggle. There was so much power and authority operating in the early church, they had to convince people they were not angels or super-heroes.
“But Peter pulled him up and said, “Stand up! I’m a human being just like you!” Acts 10:26 (NLT)
“When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in their local dialect, “These men are gods in human form!” Acts 14:11 (NLT)
“But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard what was happening, they tore their clothing in dismay and ran out among the people, shouting, “Friends, why are you doing this? We are merely human beings—just like you! We have come to bring you the Good News that you should turn from these worthless things and turn to the living God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them.” Acts 14:14-15 (NLT)
“The people waited for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw that he wasn’t harmed, they changed their minds and decided he was a god.” Acts 28:6 (NLT)
Nonbelievers in the era of the early church said of the church, these are the ones turning the world upside down.
“But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.” Acts 17:6 (NKJV)
It’s recorded in Acts 5:13 that the people had high regard for those in the church. More and more people were coming and believed.
Somehow, we have believed that isn’t for us. We believe that to have boldness in Christ is to have pride. We will kill a brother who is bold enough to believe, bold enough to sow in faith, and bold enough to reap a harvest.
I say that those days are over. We must turn the world upside down by being uncommon in our faith, our praise, our prayers, and in our belief in His Word.
1. Who had faith?
The Bible portrays faith and pride as opposites.
“Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.” Habakkuk 2:4 (NLT)
Humility and faith go hand in hand. Pride and unbelief also go hand in hand.
To not believe in God, or to have faith in God, is saying that we know better than God. We trust our own ideas, strength, and judgment over His. Unbelief is really nothing more than pride. Let me give you an idea of this.
“Send out men to explore the land of Canaan, the land I am giving to the Israelites. Send one leader from each of the twelve ancestral tribes.” Numbers 13:1-2 (NLT)
Let me tell it this way:
Twelve sent out ten who were humble; two very proud. They went for forty days to investigate. After the forty days of investigation the ten humble said, “We’ve investigated. It is a land that flows with milk and honey, and tremendous fruit. However, they are strong armies, and giants. We will have to fight. They are skilled beyond us, and they have weapons superior to ours. We are just a few days removed from being slaves. We aren’t really ready to face this kind of a fight. We should think about our families, their future, and our future. We shouldn’t attempt to take the land.”
The crowd probably applauded that conservative voice of humility. What great leaders, how wise, and humble these men are.
Then the proud leaders (Joshua and Caleb) say, “We need to go and take the land. We are well able.” Proud, arrogant, full of themselves. Glad we didn’t listen to those two, we’d all be dead by the giants if we listened to the proud ones over there.
Yet, God determined who was the proud and who was the humble.
“And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them? I will disown them and destroy them with a plague. Then I will make you into a nation greater and mightier than they are!” Numbers 14:11-12 (NLT)
They were basing their expectations on their own strength and not on the power and might of God. In God’s eyes, the proud were the ones who didn’t believe His report, and the humble were the ones who believed in the report of the Lord. The two ended up blessed, and the others ended in curse.
It takes genuine humility to have faith in God. You are relying on His ability and not your own.
Pride is the trust in yourself over God.
2. Sowing in Faith
“Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.” Galatians 6:7 (NLT)
When you plant it – you don’t doubt what’s going to come up. If you planted corn, don’t have expectation of beans. You don’t leave off wondering if corn is going to come up if you planted corn. Instead, you begin to prepare for a harvest of corn. You get all the things necessary to reap a harvest of corn, gather the corn, shuck the corn, prepare the corn, and then to preserve the corn.
When you sow in faith, you don’t leave off worrying and wondering, and fretting about what the harvest is going to be. Instead, you begin the necessary steps to handle the harvest of what you have sown.
3. What Will You Ask For?
Prayer is a prophecy over the future of your life, sowing seeds of harvest in your future.
When the children of Israel where walking around the walls they were told to be silent. Don’t say a word. Seven days from now, Jericho is ours. They’d learned the cost of negative talk, doubt, and the old common Slave Mentality. Now they were just going to claim it, then walk in expectation that, seven days later, the answer to all of the generations before would become theirs, and the fortresses that guarded it, and kept it from them, would fall. Then they’d let out a shout of victory. The shout of victory happened while the walls stood. It was the shout of expectation that happened, then the walls fell. Many won’t shout because their walls still stand.
If you prayed about it, and asked God about it, then God will bring the walls down. Therefore, you can shout. God will bring the wall down!
If God wanted you to have an uncommon life, shouldn’t you begin to sow uncommon prayers?
I think God loves uncommon prayers, look at some of these prayers in the bible:
Ax head to float.
Walls to come down.
Sun to Stand still.
Waters to part.
Dead come to life.
Then for the next seven days, I want you to sow in faith over that request – that Uncommon Prayer. Don’t sow in negativity, doubt, or despair. Instead, put that prayer in your Bible, on your mirror, or in your car.
I want you to march around your prayer for the next seven days, in prayer and praise…not in doubt.
Then watch God bring your walls down!