The greatest battles we face are the ones within.
Often we are desperately afraid that there is greatness inside of us that will never be realized. We fear there may be more inside of us than can be accessed.
We struggle with issues of identity.
- Who am I?
- Will I ever make anything of my life?
We have been created by God with intention and for purpose.
How do I become the person I was created to be?
How do I use my life to break through the status quo?
Elisha and The Last Arrow
King Joash asked Elisha for help. Elisha knew God, and King Joash knew someone who knew God.
2 Kings 13
14 Now Elisha had been suffering from the illness from which he died. Jehoash king of Israel went down to see him and wept over him. “My father! My father!” he cried. “The chariots and horsemen of Israel!”
15 Elisha said, “Get a bow and some arrows,” and he did so. 16 “Take the bow in your hands,” he said to the king of Israel. When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands.
17 “Open the east window,” he said, and he opened it. “Shoot!” Elisha said, and he shot. “The Lord’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram!” Elisha declared. “You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek.”
18 Then he said, “Take the arrows,” and the king took them. Elisha told him, “Strike the ground.” He struck it three times and stopped. 19 The man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times.”
This doesn’t seem fair! God doesn’t give the details and we get into trouble for doing it wrong!
Too many of us need permission to get started, yet no one seems to need permission to quit.
We confuse moments in our lives where we think we failed when in reality we quit.
In the midst of being diagnosed with cancer, Erwin found the first lines from his book The Last Arrow like it was time capsule he had written for himself a year before.
“So I need to tell you before you hear from someone else, I am dying.
But so are you.”
Your freedom is on the other side of fear.
Erwin felt no bitterness or fear when diagnosed with cancer because he had dealt with fear so many years before. Working in a dangerous neighborhood
Freedom is on the other side fear.
- For too many of us, death is still in front of us.
- Life is on the other side of death!
When afraid of death, you are afraid of uncertainty, afraid of failure, afraid of risk, afraid of everything.
Lean into the fear and crash through it!
What we fear has mastery over our lives. Fear is a cruel master that will still our life away.
Fear establishes the boundaries of your freedom.
“Perfect love casts out all fear.” – I Cor. 13
Your greatness is on the other side of your pain.
Pain is the boundary of our greatness.
At the hospital after surgery to remove the cancer, Erwin told the nurse who was trying to keep him from walking:
“If I can stand in this pain, then I can face whatever pain is in front of me.”
We need to learn how to walk with pain. We give up far too soon.
I am not afraid of death because I am already alive! The proof of life after death is life before death!
We do not have to let pain define us.
Pain is not the end of the story. Jesus shows us this through His death and resurrection from the dead.
God does not come to give us a life without pain but comes to give us a way through the pain.
Your future is on the other side of your failures
God does not define us by our failures.
When you are living a life bigger than yourself, failure is just a plot twist.
When McManus Studios failed, Erwin realized that he wanted God to meet him in his faith, but God met him in his faithfulness. The miracle for the company never came.
Life is hard and faith does not make it easier, but faith make us stronger!