Extraordinary – Moving Up from the Mediocre Mindset
Average is safe – I’m fascinated by the things that hold us back from achieving our full potential. One of the most common failure scenarios is resting once you get to average. Many use sabotage to achieve mediocrity. The logic goes something like this, “If I try to achieve too much, I may lose what I have.” The mediocre mindset is the brother of poverty. Once we fill our own cup, we stop so that there really isn’t enough to give to others. We may have said these things in our hearts:
- I don’t really need more things; I just need to learn to be content.
- Success would be materialistic and take away from my spirituality.
- God will have to open those doors for me if He wants me to multiply.
- The wealthy don’t really care about poor people.
- I need to zero out my desires to stay content in the will of God.
- Promotion is driven by self-centered carnality; I’m more humble than that.
Mediocrity is really the most common form of selfishness, where we say “no” to the affluence and influence that would position us to go beyond our own needs and bless others. The excuses are just a rationalization of why we should play it safe and not put our own needs at risk. We’re not just afraid of failure; we’re even more afraid of success, because it implies change and challenge. Nothing threatens a comfort zone like promotion and more responsibility. Going around the same mountain again and again is the easy way to mediocre, double-minded and unstable; not an attitude that will possess your land.
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Rev 3:15-17 NIV
Resurrection life – Life really begins when we learn to take manageable risks for the Kingdom and get outside the circle of self. It’s actually allowing one portion of our self-life to die so that our real identity in Christ can come to the surface. Taking care of “me” is best accomplished by taking care of you from a Kingdom perspective. When I take care of God’s business by seeking the Kingdom first, He takes care of mine…. not an easy concept to embrace!
Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 The man who loves his life will lose it… John 12:23-25 NIV
Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Matt 10:39 NIV
Jesus did lay his life down and so should we. He also picked it back up again and so should we. Experiencing practical resurrections in this life implies initiative.
“The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life — only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” John 10:17-18 NIV
Extraordinary – Real ministry that significantly impacts others costs two things – affluence and influence. We like to think that it’s spiritual to operate behind the scenes and maintain a low profile behind a facade of false humility. All we’ve done is surrender the limelight to the devil. God is looking for some Kings who are willing to rise up and allow their names to be made great and to carry enough financial leverage to bless the nations. That’s a covenant commitment not to maintain a low profile. Daniel set himself apart because he had extraordinary wisdom and spirit.
“This was because an extraordinary spirit, knowledge and insight, interpretation of dreams, explanation of enigmas and solving of difficult problems were found in this Daniel Dan 5:12 NASU
“Now I have heard about you that a spirit of the gods is in you, and that illumination, insight and extraordinary wisdom have been found in you. Dan 5:14 NASU
Then this Daniel began distinguishing himself among the commissioners and satraps because he possessed an extraordinary spirit, and the king planned to appoint him over the entire kingdom. Dan 6:3-4 NASU
God wants to make your name great! Are you willing to say, “yes Lord,” and then try to make it happen? Like Daniel, we are all called to distinguish ourselves from average and ordinary and become preeminent at the top of the class, or profession or mountain.
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Gen 12:2-3 NIV
An amazing ride – Once we decide to surrender our mediocrity, an amazing thing happens. The favor of God begins to feel like the wind is at our back and doors do open when we knock on them. It’s scary. The vulnerability feels like a high-wire act and we do fall occasionally… right into the arms of a loving Father who sets our feet back on the high places. Don’t miss out on the life of Christ; it’s all about resurrections…. “Picking your life up again.” You can fail and come back – that’s why we can afford to try.
- Love only comes to those willing to risk getting hurt. You can protect your heart by being alone, but the experience of loving and being loved is worth the risk. Martina McBride captured this point in a song: Safe in the Arms of Love.
- Prosperity only comes to those willing to “wisely” put the nest egg to work and intentionally position themselves to multiply.
- Greatness only comes to those willing to put fear behind them and step up to the platform and make their dream come true.
Faith is a vulnerable place to live. Living to protect yourself is a prison that is boring and misses the fullness of your God-given destiny. You have to choose life. Please say yes and let the doors open. Hold on tight to what you feel inside and make that dream come true. We have to decide what we want and then learn how to ask for it, work for it, and receive it.
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Deut 30:19-20 NIV