Bloodline of a Champion

Did you have a pet growing up? I remember Butch, half German shepherd, half whatever climbed over the fence one night, but he was a great dog for a boy growing up. He would wrestle, swim and fetch. Our daughter’s family has Edgar, a pug. He is unbelievably ugly, still he is a purebred, and therefore expensive.

I was speaking with a friend recently and he related an experience he had as a young man. He had worked at a ranch one summer and as the summer was drawing to a close, the owners told him they might not have the cash to pay him but instead were considering giving him a colt that had recently been born. He thought, “What am I going to do with a horse?” He was relieved when they were able to come up with the cash instead, but he came back to the ranch a couple of years later and learned the colt they were going to give him was now was worth over $1 million. Why? He was in the bloodline of a champion.

In Numbers 13, the Israelites sent twelve spies into the Promised Land. Ten of the spies forgot God’s covenant; they forgot their bloodline. Joshua and Caleb kept focus. They were ready to follow God to victory. Christ died once for all. In doing so He established a new covenant. Hebrews 10:4 explains that all other sacrifices fall short, only the blood of Jesus can take away sin. Colossians 1:13 promises the God “delivered Gill out of the power of darkness, and translated him into the kingdom of the Son of His love.” My life is different because of what Jesus did. 1Peter 2:9 says, “Gill is a member of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that Gill may show forth the excellencies of Him who called him out of darkness into His marvelous light.” Does that sound like we are second class citizens?

We give the devil far too much credit. Our biggest battle is not outside but rather on the inside; it is the battle for our mind. Remember, the devil was defeated 2,000 years ago. It is not the devil’s goal to get me to sin. I will just repent and get back on track. Rather he wants to change the way I think. If he can control my thoughts, he can control my destiny. You see thoughts produce actions. Actions form habits. Habits establish character. Character determines destiny.

Phil 4:6-7 tells us, “Gill is not to be anxious in anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, Gill is to let his requests be made known to God. The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard Gill’s heart and thoughts in Christ Jesus.” God’s peace comes as I allow His Word to direct my thoughts. 2Corinthians 5:17 promises that the old has passed away. I can live in the victory of a life made new. I am in the line of a champion.
1Peter 1:18-19 tells us we were redeemed by the blood. Today that has become little more than a religious cliché but to Paul’s readers it meant much more. Redeemed was a term from the slave market. They knew it meant rescued from a life of misery and certain death and set free to live the life God meant for them.

According to Revelations 12:10, the devil is the accuser. What about God? We are told in Romans 8:33-34, “Who could bring a charge against Gill, because he is one of God’s elect? It is God who justifies Gill. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and more than that was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God and makes intercession for Gill.” Because of Jesus’s blood, we are free from condemnation. Colossians 1:19-20 tells us we have peace through the blood. When I need peace, I need to remember the blood. Rev. 12:1 says, “They overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.” We need both parts: what Jesus did on the cross and what we do by our words.

Being in the bloodline does not guarantee a champion. We must grow into a champion.
Whether it be in sports, apprentice for a trade or any skill, we must be trained and practice. It is the process of Tell/Show/ Do. We recently hired a new employee and had to take her through an extensive training process to learn all of the details of our business.
1. Tell – Training starts by telling the person what is expected, what must be done. In our spiritual walk, the Bible is our training manual. Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “The word of God is living, active and sharper than any two-edged sword.” God provides the direction and wisdom that we need.
2. Show – After telling what is needed, we need to demonstrate the actions. We need pastors, leaders and godly friends in our lives to live out the Christian walk for us to follow. In 1Corinthians 13:1 Paul makes a remarkable declaration, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.” He understood the need for not just preaching the Gospel, but also living it out in front of those he taught.
3. Do – Before a new skill is really ours, we must practice, we must “do it”. That means incorporating it into daily living. Daily living Philippians 4:9 says, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
4. Coach – The final step is we need correction and accountability. In Matthew 28:19, Jesus instructs us to ‘make disciples’. He isn’t just looking for numbers; He wants dedicated followers who are learning and growing. We must be teachable as well as accountable not only to God but to whomever He establishes over us.

To reach a goal takes focus. I recently read “No Easy Day” about Seal Team 6 and the killing of Osama ben Laden. That operation took planning, training, and focus. What I focus on becomes magnified in my life. If I focus on the negative, it will get bigger. If I focus on God’s blessings, they will be also be magnified.

Did you know that I can foretell the future? There is nothing magical about it. If you don’t change, if you don’t focus, your future will look a lot like your past. The important question is does that give you a warm, contented feeling or does it strike terror?

Where should I have my focus?
1. Focus on Christ: Heb 12:2 commands us to “look unto Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. If I focus on sin, it gets bigger, if I focus on Jesus, He gets bigger.
2. Focus on others: Luke 19:10 tells us Jesus came to seek and save the lost. If my focus is on me, “I want, I need, I feel”, how can I be a positive influence in the world?
3. Focus on the power of God: When David faced Goliath, he needed that focus. In the natural, he would have said, “Who am I kidding? This rock isn’t big enough!” (1Sam 17) But he knew it wasn’t about his slingshot but the power of God working in and through him.

Let me leave you today with one last Scripture. The doormat in front of our house proclaims Joshua 24:15: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” When you were born again, you were born into a new bloodline, that of a champion. Are you going to live like the world and become a plow horse or will you choose to serve the Lord, live by His leading and experience His victory?