Today we continue our series entitled “Destiny’s Child – You Are Not a Mistake!” Before I get into the main part of the message, I feel led to address something first. Today is the first day of school for my children. Some children have already started their classes for the year, and others will start soon. I believe in the power of prayer and setting our faith in agreement with God in declarations of faith. So here are some things we will declare and pray for the school year.
If you have children, please use these for your children and share them. If you do not have school-aged children, please share with those who do.
Declaration of Faith for Children as they go to school:
Father, I put my life in your hands. I trust in you, and I will not be disappointed. I know who I am. No one can influence me the wrong way. I enter into this day knowing I am intelligent, graced for success, loved, and protected from all harm. I am not afraid of COVID-19 or anything else. I enjoy Your protection every day of my life. As I go to school, I respect my parents and my teachers. I am kind, nice, polite, courteous, and gracious. I have friends because I show myself friendly. The Holy Spirit helps me remember everything I need to remember for class. My mind is alert, my body is awake, and I am ready to make the most of this day. I excel academically. I am an example socially. I am God’s child, and I act like it everywhere I go. You made plans for me, and I know it. Greater is coming for me! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Declaration of Faith for Parents as their children go to school:
Father, I put my children in your hands. As they go to school, I trust in You with my whole heart. You give, and I give, angels charge over them. Nothing can harm them. No sickness, disease, bacteria, virus, or germ has any power over them. They are covered by the Blood of Jesus! I declare that my children resist negative influences, are shielded from all dangers, resistant to physical illness, and divinely capable of excelling at everything they put their hands to do. I love them, and You love them. More importantly, my children know they are loved. They are respectful and kind. They are courteous and polite. They are sharp and focused. They comprehend, process, digest, and understand everything that relates to their education. They excel academically and socially. This year is the best year of their lives! You are with them everywhere they go, and You will see to it that Your best is manifested in their lives! Greater is coming for my children! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Prayer for children for this school year:
Father, we pray for children all over the world as they go to school this year. We stifle the hands and mouths of bullies. We come up against danger, violence, fighting, attacks, and school shootings. We command angels to shield and protect our children, their teachers, and their school grounds this year. We pray against the spread of COVID-19 in all variants. May Your love fill every facility. May teachers have the patience required to adequately teach their students. May the students be respectful, well mannered, and focused on their education. May the children excel academically and socially. May this year be the best year of their lives. As parents, we also develop patience with our children. May we all be involved in our children’s education and their lives. May our children grow up to be the men/women You have called them to be for such a time as this! We pray this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Now, on to the Word for this morning.
One of the key aspects of what I have been teaching you in this series is realizing that you were born with a specific purpose. This also means God has given you the grace to face everything you will need to face in order to complete your assignment, no matter how hard it may seem. In essence, you were BORN FOR THIS!
The Apostle Paul said: “I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked” (2 Cor 11:23-27).
- Given 39 lashes with a cat of 9 tails five times. If you have seen the movie “The Passion of the Christ,” then you know how hard it was to watch Jesus go through this ONCE, much less five times.
- Beaten with rods three times. I was hit by a stick once, by mistake, and it hurt. I could not imagine what it would feel like to intentionally be beaten with rods by grown men three different times.
- Stoned once. Believe me, once is enough. This is not just being hit by a rock by mistake. This is being intentionally pummeled by grown men with big stones. This normally kills people, but Paul survived it because God was not through with him.
- Shipwrecked three times. After the second time, I would not get on a boat with Paul. Paul was on a naval vessel that went down at sea on three different occasions. During one of them, he wound up spending an entire night and a day in the open sea, holding on to a piece of the ship.
- Constantly on the move. God’s assignment for Paul required him to constantly move from place to place. This type of vagabond lifestyle cost him personally. Back then, it was hard to maintain personal relationships while you were on the road. This was before phones, the internet, and all forms of modern communications. But it was part of his assignment, so he did it, and he did it without complaining.
- In and out of prison. Paul wrote many of the letters we read in the Bible today from prison. Not from a nice office, not with the help of his secretary and not with the assistance of an editor. No, Paul was writing from jail, and even though he was enduring much personal pain, he kept focusing on his assignment from the Lord. His purpose was more important to him than his personal pleasure.
- A Soldier for Christ. Paul endured hunger, thirst, perilous times, and treacherous people, all to complete his life’s purpose. What are you willing to endure?
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. God has given you the grace for it! One aspect of grace is God giving you what you do not deserve. Another element of grace is God empowering you to do what you could not do without Him. Whatever you are facing this morning, you have the grace for it. God has empowered you to endure and overcome!
2. You will never face something you don’t have the grace for. If God had not empowered you for it, you would not be facing it. The fact that you are facing it is evidence that God trusts you with it!
3. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish when you submit to God’s plan and embrace His grace. When you start walking out God’s divine purpose, and you do so by the grace of God, you will do more than you ever imagined. Your life will be greater than your wildest dreams. You will leave a mark in this world that will not easily be erased!
4. You won’t look like what you’ve been through. When people think of the Apostle Paul today, most only remember the divine impact he had on the world back then and the impact he continues to have today. Many Christians are not aware of the challenges he went through because Paul never glorified the challenges. He glorified God. So when people dealt with Paul, they saw and felt God’s glory. They were not necessarily aware of what he had been through.
The point for you today is that when you embrace God’s grace to face whatever you have to face, then, like Paul, you will not look like what you have been through. While becoming the man/woman God called you to be is not going to be easy, and you will have to endure and overcome, people will have no idea of what you have been through when you finally get there. They will see your glory, but they won’t know your story. Why? Because when you walk with God, you can walk through the fire and come out on the other side, NOT EVEN SMELLING LIKE SMOKE! I’m a witness! You can press through all sorts of challenges and still come out with a smile on your face, a song in your heart, and a spring in your step!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, this is a season of LEVELING UP for me. I LEVEL UP by embracing the fact that I AM BORN FOR THIS! Paul endured things that would have killed the average human, but You graced him to endure and overcome. You gave Paul a difficult assignment, and along with the assignment, You gave him the grace to complete it, even though he had to face seemingly insurmountable opposition. Paul was able to do what he did because he did not face his challenges with his own strength. Like Paul, I will rely on You and Your empowering grace. I am determined to arrive at Your desired final destination for my life. Nothing can stop me because You are with me. No matter what I face, I face it knowing that I WAS BORN FOR IT! GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!