How, despite everything, you can carve out an amazing life now
By Mario Murillo
Almost everything today screams fear. Our minds are battlefields…modern life keeps lobbing grenades of panic and dread. The overwhelming message of today is: true happiness and fulfillment are no longer possible…don’t try to thrive, just survive.
It’s time to make a defiant declaration: Despite everything, you can carve out an amazing life. What, in this mess? Yes…in this very mess.
My title says DESPITE EVERYTHING. That is the central promise of this message. Something amazing can bulldoze the walls of despair and clear a path to an amazing life…even now.
(This message is inspired by a sermon that I preached on Thursday August 27th in the Branson Outbreak. The visitation of God in Branson continues to boggle our minds. In fact, it is, itself, proof of what I am trying to tell you about life today. The Branson Outbreak is defying every law except the law of gravity…and it would not surprise me if people started floating in the air.)
There are many opinions about how much life a Christian can actually have today. The opinions run the gamut. One extreme is the teaching that we are in the great tribulation and we must buy food and equipment and hide ourselves. I disagree with this teaching …(although; it might be wise to have some extra provisions on hand because markets will get hit.) This puts the church on the defensive at the very moment she should be most visible and engaged in a great Gospel offensive.
The other extreme is denial. In this teaching, everything is a preachy, protestant-panacea. With all due respect, I disagree with Joel Osteen. You cannot have your best life now—unless, as John MacArthur observed—you are going to hell.
Heaven is where you have your best life—earth is where you have an amazing life.
There is a galactic difference between seeking an amazing life and a “best’ life. If your idea of an amazing life is to live without cares or challenges then let’s stop wasting each other’s time—you will get nothing out of this article.
Amazing means: causing great surprise or wonder. That’s it! It is a life that blasts through limits. It is a life that does exactly what everybody said could not be done.
The Bible teems with examples of amazing lives:
-When the last spark of hope died for the slaves in Egypt–Moses saw the burning bush.
-When the world was strangling in global famine–Joseph had already stored up mountains of grain.
-When love and morality were at their lowest ebb–we find the love story of Ruth and Boaz.
-At the moment of total despair–Esther brought deliverance.
-When the Church in Acts was being destroyed–a laser knocks Saul of Tarsus down on the road to Damascus.
They all lived opposite the limits of their era. They brought surprise and wonder.
Here is how you start their brand of an amazing life
1. Dwell: Your amazing life begins by making God your dwelling place. Psalm 91: 1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” 3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. 9 Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, 10 No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.”
The most powerful phrase is “because you made God…your dwelling place.” The unbreakable bond created by the decision to dwell in God reduces stress, neutralizes terrifying images and sets you free to do impossible things.
Isaiah 26: 20 Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past. 21 For behold, the LORD comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain.”
Again, you see a clear call to enter, shut the door and hide in God during times of distress.
Proverbs 18:10 “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.”
Enter the strong tower! There awaits you a supernatural sense of safety where great plans are created. From the repose of this stronghold you plan without panic, you move forward without distraction, and you know you will finish strong.
2 Discern: Satan has practiced telling lies for thousands of years. We know from scripture that in the last days Satan will sense his doom and break out in a frenzy of deception.
Everywhere you look you see believers who have been fooled, who have been distracted and who have fallen into traps. False prophets are everywhere. Paralyzing images from fear mongers have taken many believers out of commission.
Jesus solemnly warned his followers saying: “take heed that no one deceives you.” You can be fooled off the front line. You can be fooled out of your destiny.
Isaiah 8:12 “Do not say, ‘A conspiracy,’ Concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, Nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. 13 The Lord of hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be your fear, And let Him be your dread. 14 He will be as a sanctuary,
From your dwelling place in God you see (discern) lies. You will not chase a rumor. You see through the tricks and traps. You will not stop vital activities. You will keep moving forward.
3. Deliver: You see that your real reason for being here is to destroy the works of the Devil. This final point is so urgent that I want to take extra care to make my point. Everything about the Christian Faith is rooted in unselfish service. When that focus is lost, the church is overrun by deception, division, and weakness. You would be unstoppable if you left all of your sense of reward to your future in heaven, and only saw yourself here and now as a deliverer.
Ministers fall into two categories: enablers or equippers.
-Enablers lull believers into emotional dependency and selfishness. If a pastor gets you to continually look inward it can be disaster.
-Equippers love people into strength, power and action. Under their influence, you will soon be out ministering. You will activate your gifts.
The greatest need in the American church is a military grade mindset. You are a soldier bent on victory. You are not a patient bent on recovery. The soldier is not seeking comfort and ease. They relish combat and triumph on the battlefield.
The sooner you realize that you are here to liberate others, the sooner you will stop being afraid and confused. You will stop seeking the false comfort of a “best” life, and you will embrace the excitement, and yes, the danger of an amazing life. God is hiring–there is no shortage of wages for the soldiers who renounce all to destroy the works of the devil.