Powerful things happen when we align our expectations with truth. And here’s the truth: God has created each of us for His special purpose. In Him, you and I are champions.
I started to realize God’s greatness in me at the age of ten when, having previously played only flag football, I entered my first year of tackle football. I have not forgotten the coach’s instruction after practice one day. “Tomorrow is game day,” he said. “Now go home, get a good night’s rest, and in the morning, find a mirror and say to yourself, ‘You are a champion!’ ten times.”
That was awkward to think about, much less do—but I decided to move past my discomfort. I stood tall, looked myself in the eye, and said, “You’re a champion. You’re a champion. You’re a champion…”
A few confessions in, something amazing happened. I started to believe, in the depths of my being, that I was a champion. By the time I hit number ten, I was fired up and ready to go perform like one!
That moment has stuck with me throughout my athletic career. It was instrumental in my becoming both an NFL and MLB player. Interestingly, I was the first and only professional two-sport athlete to not have played baseball in college. In fact, seven years passed between my high school days and when I made it to the major leagues. My success, I believe, goes back to that moment when I agreed with God’s assessment of me instead of my own.
Maybe you’ve fallen short of being a champion in life; maybe you’ve fallen short of God’s plan for your life. We all do, at one time or another. The good news is that your story is still unfolding. Every day is game day! The end of your story has not yet been written, so don’t give up. It’s not too late to find the champion inside you.
Here are some keys to living a victorious life on God’s field.
SEE GOD’S CHAMPION
If you want to be victorious, you must line up what you see and believe about yourself with what God, the Creator of this world, sees and believes about you. He’s ready to lead you onto the field and into victory, but victory will never come if you fail to realize for yourself what God sees when He looks at you, His child.
Have you thought about the fact that you are a champion? How awkward would it be to look in a mirror and say those words over yourself? Here’s the truth. You are God’s champion, and you are capable of great things. Believe it! And believe this too—God is ready to unfold an incredible story, called by your name, just like He did for Moses, Gideon, and many others.
LOOK PAST YOUR LIMITATIONS
When God, the Great I Am, selected Moses to deliver the Israelites and lead His people out of slavery and bondage, He knew the great things Moses would do. But Moses couldn’t see them. All he could see were his own limitations.
Exodus 3:11 tells us that Moses responded to God’s invitation with, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” Moses couldn’t look past his weaknesses and circumstances to see what God saw. But God knew his potential.
God always sees the end before the beginning. He will always see beyond the limits of your current situation and focus on the amazing possibilities He can perform through you. What Moses didn’t know was that his past uniquely qualified him to be the one chosen by God to lead the Israelites out of bondage.
In the same way, your past uniquely qualifies you to do the job He has for you.
GET AN EXPECTATION
In chapters 6 through 8 of the book of Judges, we read the story of Gideon, who like Moses, had little expectation of himself. All he could see in himself was a small man, the least of the least (Judges 6:15). But God saw Gideon through eyes of great expectation, not limitation. Fortunately for the Israelites, Gideon finally trusted and obeyed God, walking forward with Him through what seemed to be insurmountable odds. And God used His champion to bring the Israelites into a place of great victory.
It’s difficult to be champions when we doubt and have little awareness of the power and greatness that lives within and walks beside us. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you have the same power that raised Him from the grave living on the inside of you (Romans 8:11). When you trust His power, walk in obedience to His Word, and accept His invitation to take the field with Him, He will turn your deepest challenge or weakness into victory.
Your perceived limits are not limits God has placed on you. God is limitless! Any limits in your life are based on your own perception of yourself or on the words others have spoken over your life. It’s time to remove those limitations and experience what God desires for you. You are His beloved creation, and you are full of potential. Don’t let your own or other’s perceptions rob you of what God has in store. Don’t deprive yourself of the rich love and blessings God wants to pour out, upon you and those around you.
CHANGE YOUR PERCEPTION
Changing your perception about yourself won’t happen overnight. As you renew your mind with God’s truth (Romans 12:2), your perception of yourself will change. With God’s help, you’ll step into your full potential. When you walk with God in the truth of who you are, anything can happen.
However, if you choose a negative perception over God’s, you’ll be limited in every way, because without Him you won’t be able to do anything (John 15:5).
Renewing your mind occurs through a deep study of God’s Word, the Bible. As you challenge your thoughts about yourself and bring them into submission under God’s thoughts about you, you will begin to see yourself as God sees you. It helps, too, to start speaking God’s truths over your life. When you replace the lies with God’s truth, you can build a new perception for yourself.
What you see, think, and speak about your life can lift you to great heights of victory, or it can drop you to the depths of despair. What happens here is largely up to you. Proverbs 23:7 says that what a man thinks in his heart is who he is.
A turning point in your life will come when you stop focusing on your lack of ability and instead have confidence in God’s ability through you. It will be the difference between having mediocre results in your life and experiencing the miraculous. When you step outside your humanity and walk in His divinity, you are able to do the greater things that God promised you would do in John 14:12.