A MEDIOCRE LIFE WILL *DESTROY A COURAGEOUS LIFE
Destroy – It will break down the foundation of a courageous life.
“We truly believe with commitment, hard work, dedication and perseverance, we can become the best at what we do for God. No one wants to become mediocre” - Anonymous
Pastor George Lehman
Dictionary says of Mediocre (middelmatig): -
1) Middling quality – It’s not the poorest but it’s not the best. (Lukewarm)
- Second rate. (Shop soiled)
Let me ask you this: - If it was up to you to choose, God is saying “I will give your heart’s desire and request now” – “Will you choose mediocre?”
- The fine line between success and failure is really quite broad and well defined.
- It’s not coincidental that some people excel (uitblink) at what they do while others just manage to get by.
- There are very good reasons why we achieve and why we fail –
- Read Daniel 6:1 – 23
Daniel was a man who broke the (mould) of mediocre (middelmatig)
(second rate) living.
- When we study the life of Daniel you quickly discover his fame and success did not happen by chance. It happened by choice!!!
- His rise to fame and power can be traced to 3 important decisions.
Daniel chose character over comfort
- In a short period of time Daniel developed a reputation – Daniel 6: 3 (Amp) – Then this Daniel, because of the extraordinary spirit within him, began distinguishing himself among the commissioners and the satraps, and the king planned to appoint him over the entire realm.
- Many people are hired for their skill and abilities but are fired for their attitude.
- He was known as honourable (eerbaar) and ethical. He was trustworthy – his word was his bond.
- The Amplified bible says because an excellent spirit was in him (do you realise we have the same excellent spirit within us)-
I Corinthians 6:19 – 20: - 19 Haven’t you yet learned that your body is the home of the Holy Spirit – God gave you and that He lives within you? Your own body does not belong to you.
20 For God has bought you with a great price - so use every part of your body to give glory to God because He owns it.
Comfort is when it’s still all about me.
- Even his enemies found him trustworthy – Notice Daniel 6: 4 (Amp) – Then the [other two] commissioners and the satraps began trying to find a reason to bring a complaint against Daniel concerning the [administration of the] corruption, because he was faithful [a man of high moral character and personal integrity], and no negligence or corruption [of any kind] was found in him.
Colossians 3:23 (Amp) – 23Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men.
What I have observed over the many years is, “Most people are employed for their skill, ability, talent and abilities, BUT they are fired because of their bad ATTITUDE”
How sad it is that we live in a time where it’s so easy: - (I’m a Christian when it suits me)
- To compromise our integrity, and not even be bothered
- So what if we tell a lie, cheat, take things that don’t belong to us.
- The story of the man who sent a letter to the IRS – “I misrepresented my income on purpose and I can’t sleep at night. Here’s a cheque for R150,00. If I still can’t sleep I’ll send the rest.”
- It’s become so easy to compromise our Godly lives, our moral excellence when this type of behaviour has become the excepted norm.
- This will cost you big time because it will rob you of the joy and close fellowship with the Lord in your life.
- Like Daniel – be willing to be different strive for ethical and moral purity.
The problem is the modern church more often compliments rather than contrasts the behaviour of the world –
What other people think of me becomes increasingly un-important to me, what they think of Jesus as a result of my life – becomes increasingly important.
Be like a Daniel: - Choose character over comfort – He had the courage to be different.
Daniel excelled because he chose discipline over disorder.
- Among other important things Daniel had a disciplined prayer life.
- Notice Daniel 6 verse 10 (Amp) – Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he went into his house (now in his roof chamber his windows were open towards Jerusalem); he continued to get down on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously. (Don’t tell me you can’t live a godly life in an ungodly world)
- The reasons why some people succeed while others fail. – Has very little to do with abilities.
- Most of our failures can be traced to an absence of discipline.
- No sport team or individual wins gold medals from lack of disciplined training sessions.
Without re-preaching my sermons –
- Most of us need greater discipline
Firstly when it comes to discipline our tongue-
- More people are run down by gossip than by motorcars.
- People think gossip is a lesser sin than murder – gossip kills friendships divides a church.
- They say great minds discuss ideas average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people. (When will we learn?)
Second we need so much more discipline in our devotional life – our prayer time.
- Something I ask myself: -
- Do we have the right to complain that schools don’t pray anymore?
- Do we have a right to see the moral decay in our country and make comments?
- If we aren’t praying in our homes, having a secret place experience everyday. First speak to God about a soul before you speak to a soul about God.
- We complain about our country but never pray for the government –
- Daniel prayed 3 times every day. He got down on his knees and interceded to God –
Thirdly, we need a disciplined church life
- A commitment to the ministry that is all the activities, cells, prayer times, outreaches, courses.
- Daniel took advantage of the opportunity without letting the opportunity take advantage of him –
I’ve seen this in so many Christians lives – today they are shipwrecked, backslidden, luke warm – a life of major disorder.
They gain success from the opportunity God gave them – they allow it to rob them of prayer time, church time, and bible reading time. Disaster is the recipe.
- So many people don’t realise the importance of the Church life – is to our spiritual growth and stability.
- It’s a place I get fed and encouraged.
- Do you know you need the church more than the church needs you?
- I need a place to be accountable and challenged for my actions.
- We need a place of fellowship where people share the same values as I do.
- We must develop a disciplined pattern of church attendance and get involved in activities.
Daniel excelled because he chose discipline over disorder.
Finally Daniel’s decision: - was to choose love over life.
- A law was issued and believe me Daniel knew the consequences for disobeying this law. Notice verse 10 (Amp) - Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he went into his house (now in his roof chamber his windows were open towards Jerusalem); he continued to get down on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.
- What does he do- “Your love is better than life”?
- Daniel never planned to become lunch to the lions.
- But when faced with a decision – He chose love over life.
- Daniel chose God above all his plans, his ambitions, and his interests.
Question: - Is God more important to you; than your ambitions, seeking success, gaining wealth and possessions?
- That chorus which says: -
Lord, you are more precious than silver
Lord, you are more costly than gold
Lord, you are more beautiful than diamonds
Nothing I desire compares with you.
Is this how you feel? Is this your testimony?
When faced with an option – Daniel chose Love over life.
- Daniel was determined to serve God regardless of the consequences or circumstances.
Daniel 6: 23 (LB) – The king was beside himself with joy and ordered Daniel lifted from the den. And not a scratch was found on him because he believed in his God.
- Yes in life we will have painful experiences, difficulty, hardships, tribulations, temptations.
- If we choose to not be Mediocre (middelmatig) and push forward trusting in the Lord, He will bring us through the experiences with VICTORY.
How can we break the mould of mediocre living?
The same way Daniel did.
- Choose character over comfort.
- Choose discipline over disorder.
- Choose love over life.