There are specific
things you can do to produce a supernatural, uncommon life. As
I think back over the years since 1980, I am amazed at what the
Lord has done in and through my life. I remember how Jesus came
into my car in 1980, laid his hand on my right shoulder, and spoke
audibly to me. I marvel at how He led me and kept me safe when
smuggling Bibles into China, Russia, and Communist Eastern Europe
back before the "walls" fell. I think about how God
has used me to physically save the lives of seven people. God
has used me in City Council meetings, in seats of government,
and in counseling other churches and ministries. He has used me
to minister on radio and television, etc. Plus, He has blessed
me with a wonderful wife of 18 years (which He led me to) and
four super children (when we were initially unable to conceive).
How did all this come about in the life of a very ordinary American
male? I will tell you in this letter.
The end of July,
1980, I was driving 45 miles per hour in my 1976 Buick on Highway
380 in Denton, Texas, west of Loop 288. I was working for a great
company with an international reputation in Dallas. But I was
thinking about how I had succeeded in a business career, yet I
was spiritually empty on the inside. I had been saved as a child,
and filled with the Spirit, but I had lived for my own goals.
I had climbed the ladder of success, only to discover it was leaning
against the wrong wall. I had a heart-felt desire to repent to
the Lord and live for Him. I told the Lord verbally as I was driving
that I had been foolish, that I repented of my sins, that I wanted
to live for Him, and I finished by saying, "I will
do whatever you want me to do, go wherever you want me to go,
and say whatever you want me to say." Suddenly, a
hand came on my right shoulder. I felt the pressure and immediately
in a split-second turned to look into the back seat thinking that
somebody had hidden in the back of my car. No one was there, but
I could see my shirt crumpled down on my right shoulder under
the pressure of an unseen hand! As I glanced back to see if I
was staying in my lane, the Lord spoke audibly to me in the car.
He communicated that He accepted my prayer and my yielding of
my life to Him. And therein lies the first key to living an uncommon
life: total, 100% commitment to God to do His will.
We each need to come
to the place that we actually make Jesus Lord of our life. If
we will make Him Lord, He will act like Lord! But God is a gentleman.
He doesn't force salvation on anyone, and He doesn't Lord it over
anyone unless we want Him as Lord. Most Christians simply get
their salvation and then keep wanting to run their own lives.
They are actually afraid of God they don't trust Him or
think that He is really a good God. They think He will ask them
to go to Africa as a missionary to somehow punish them for their
sins. (He asked me to go to China, Russia, and Eastern Europe
but I actually enjoyed the trips knowing I was in God's
will and that I was helping to "overthrow Communism"
The second key to
living a supernatural, uncommon life is faith. Now I know what
you are thinking you think you have heard all about that
faith stuff. Well, I wrote an entire teaching letter on what faith
really is in July, 1999, which you can read on my ministry web
site, www.wordsoflife.org. But let me say that
I immediately dug into studying teachings on faith when I started
ministering for God in 1980, and my life was revolutionized. I
found the answers to the common theological questions, and faith
empowered me to do the things God wanted me to do. Let me quickly
add that faith is not sitting on the sofa waiting for money to
fall out of Heaven, because faith without work is dead. And faith
doesn't come from formulas, it comes from relationship. It doesn't
come so much from coldly reciting a list of scriptures to try
to pressure God into doing something as it comes from spending
time with God through His Word to get to know Him and trust Him.
And when your trust level is higher, you will take on more, attempt
the improbable, and receive the impossible!
But that brings up
the third key: being led by God's Spirit. That's
because you can't just decide what you want to do and where you
want to go, then get God to bless it. Jonah tried that. You have
to discern what God is saying and where He is leading. And in
spite of our wish that He would yell it at us, God says it in
a still, small voice (the one that is so easy to run over while
listening to the other voices in the world that are shouting at
us). When my four children plus my wife are all talking to me
at once, it is difficult to pick out the quietest one to listen
to! But it is possible to progressively make the other "voices"
in our life quieter, and be able to discern God's quiet leading
in every situation! I cover this in a quick way in my book, How
to be Led by the Spirit. I cover this issue more
thoroughly in my six tape set by the same name where I explain
the processes in developing spiritual sensitivity and removing
the hindrances to hearing God.
The last key I will
discuss here to living a supernatural, uncommon life is spiritual
warfare. When Abraham offered a sacrificed bull to God in Genesis
chapter 15, God and Jesus literally came down and passed between
the two halves of the split bull (in the form of a smoking oven
and a burning torch) in a show of acceptance of Abraham's sacrifice
to confirm a covenant with him. Wow, you talk about dramatic!
God and Jesus both showed up for one man's sacrifice the
only time in history. You would think that sacrificed bull was
blessed, sanctified, and protected as Abraham was waiting for
God to show up. But verse 11 says, "The vultures
came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away."
The vultures are symbolic of evil spirits (the prince of the power
of the air, Ephesians
2:2) who come immediately to steal (Mark
4:15). Abraham had to exercise his authority and drive them
away. If he had not done so, they would have eaten up the sacrifices,
and God would not have come down, and Abram would have been wondering
what went wrong.
Lester Sumrall dealt
with more demons in his world missionary travels than most people,
becoming famous in the Philippines for delivering Clarita Villenueva
in a jail cell as she was being visibly bitten by demons (documented
on video tape). I had the privilege of driving Lester around in
Tulsa on several occasions when he flew in to speak over the years.
He once said on August 22, 1994 (I wrote it down), "It's
because you are not assaulting the devil that he has the chance
to hurt you." Coming from a man who lived one of the
most successful, supernatural, uncommon lives ever, that is an
important statement! He built huge churches on 3 continents, many
Christian TV and radio stations in America, successful Bible schools,
and a trans-continental ship and airplane feeding program for
the needy. He lived well into his 80's still going strong for
God while wearing out younger men (I met him in Russia in 1991
and everyone had to run to keep up with him). I think that ought
to motivate us to "assault the devil" amen? A
strong daily prayer life using our authority can make a real difference.
I have two different
tape sets on spiritual warfare. The one for personal change is
Winning at Spiritual Warfare. The
other is for general break-throughs in life and it is titled Classic
Studies in Spiritual Warfare. These will also
help you live an uncommon life they sure worked for me!
If space permitted, I could discuss other issues that help believers
live uncommon lives. But these four keys above will go a long
way toward helping any believer have a supernatural life. G.K.
Chesterfield once said, "The Christian ideal has not been
tried and found wanting, it has been perceived as too difficult
and not tried."
Being Uncommon for