The Making of Champions

Written by John Paul Jackson
The Making of Champions

When I first started in ministry, I held an unpaid staff position at a very large church. The senior pastor was well respected, and I kept thinking, If this man would just mention my name publicly, my ministry would be launched overnight.

Well, he never mentioned my name publicly, and if he ever mentioned it behind the scenes, it probably wasn’t good! I depended on him to move me forward in my calling, and I learned along the way that man cannot be my source. 

The quality that makes us want to succeed in God and become great warriors in His name also tends to make us think we can get there on our own. It is very easy for us to try to bring about the future God has for us by seizing control of the factors involved. But man cannot be our source. In order to do what God has called us to do, we have to depend on Him fully. There is no other option. A wrong attitude makes the statement “I can do it” a key to failure, not a vehicle for greatness. 

Moses: Impossible Battles

All champions start with an I-can-do-it mentality, but that should not discourage us. God calls His people to do things we are totally incapable of doing, and as we realize how much we need Him, our mentality begins to shift. 

After He brought His people up out of Egypt, I can imagine God’s conversation with Moses going something like this: “I’m going to take you into a land where 10 nations will stand against you. Three of them are way better than you. Those three are stronger than you. They are mightier than you. They are absolutely impossible for you to beat—but I want you to conquer all 10.” 

As part of the training process, God will bring us face to face with forces and setbacks that are stronger than we are. Sometimes it takes a battle. Sometimes it takes a hundred battles, depending on how stubborn and self-sufficient we are. But God will be faithful to teach us that we can’t rely on our own strength. He alone can give us the victory (Psalm 18:29; 1 Corinthians 15:57). 

Joseph: Impossible Prophecy

Joseph didn’t have to be betrayed by his brothers. He didn’t have to be falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife. He didn’t have to be forgotten in prison for two years. These things happened because he believed he was self-sufficient; he thought he needed to control his brothers with his dreams so they would respect him and eventually submit to him, as God had said they would.

By the time he was finally promoted, Joseph knew his Source. He was able to stand before Pharaoh and declare, “‘It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace’” (Genesis 41:16, emphasis added).

The only way God gets glory from a prophetic word is when it is impossible for us to accomplish it. Therefore, when we accomplish it, everyone sees the hand of God in our lives: “There is no way they did that! That had to be God!” 

Psalm 105:19 says about Joseph, “Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him.” The word of the Lord tests each of us as well. Will we rely on our own strength, or will we trust God to give us the victory? 

God and His Plans for You

God will complete the good works He began in us. As we embrace His plans for our lives, He cuts away our arrogance and self-sufficiency. He removes the assumption that we can manipulate, control and somehow coerce the people around us. 

We mature in Him and begin to realize that a mouse has a better chance of building a space ship and flying to the moon than we have of accomplishing God’s call on our own. He alone can bring about His plans and purposes in this world, because He alone is our strength.

With man, the plans of God are impossible—but all things are possible with God (Matthew 19:26). He will fulfill His promises.