Step Towards Transformation



Sermon Preached On Sunday 27th May, 2018.

HINDI TITLE: एक असामान्य व्यक्ति बनो

It’s easy to fit in and do what everyone else is doing:

  • Our neighbors complain, so we complain,
  • Our co-workers show up late, so we show up late,
  • Our relatives have addictions, so we have addictions. It’s normal, common,

But God did not create you to be common, breathe His life into you so you can do what everyone else does;

  • You were created to be uncommon,
  • You were created to live by a higher standard,
  • You were created to do what others aren’t willing to do,
  • You were created to believe for things that others think are too big,
  • You were created to stand out in the crowd,
  • You were created to be a cut above.

Everyone at work may be complaining; that’s common, but that’s not you. You’re uncommon; instead of joining in, you find something to be grateful for; don’t focus on what’s wrong, thank God for what’s right. Why? You’re uncommon.

People around you may have a small vision, think they’ve reached their limits, now they’ve settled where they are, going through the motions of life; that’s common, but that’s not you. You’re passionate about your future, believe for big things, expect new levels, know the path of the righteous gets brighter and brighter. Or

Maybe everyone around you is compromising, not faithful in relationships, dishonest in business dealings, do anything to get ahead; that’s common, but that’s not you, you’re a person of excellence, do the right thing when no one is looking, keep your word when it costs you something.

Other people don’t understand; you could have compromised to get ahead, nobody would have known, but you live by a higher standard.

Why is that? You’re uncommon. That’s the kind of people God rewards.

Complainers are a dime a dozens, compromisers are all around.

 They are negative, “I can’t accomplish my dream,” you’ll see them every day; that’s common. But God is looking for uncommon people, that don’t go with the majority, don’t lower their standards, that go against the grain, have uncommon faith, believe when it seems impossible.

  • Uncommon commitment; do the right thing when it’s hard.
  • Uncommon attitude; when everyone around is negative, bitter, moody, you have a smile, you’re kind, goodnatured.

When you make this decision to not fit in, be like everyone else, but to be uncommon, then you will see uncommon favor, opportunities, breakthroughs, victories.

But we are living in a day where the standards are being lowered, it’s acceptable to compromise, not have integrity, take the easy way out. If we’re not careful, we’ll adapt to our environment, become like everybody else. But there’s nothing special about common, nothing significant about ordinary;

God wants you to stand out. When people look at us, they should say, “there’s something different about them. They’re a cut above; excellent, trustworthy, committed, loyal, happy.” What they’re really saying is, “they’re uncommon.”

Paul said:

Romans 12:2..2 Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image.

There’s a constant pressure trying to squeeze us into being common. People at work may slack off, waste time playing around, do a halfhearted job; don’t be squeezed into that mold, let that thinking rub off on you.

If they want to be mediocre, common, that’s their choice, but that’s not who you are. You are uncommon; stand out in the crowd, do the right thing when the boss is not around. Don’t sink down to their level; set a new standard.

People around you may be giving into temptation, doing things you know are not the best. Thoughts will tell you, “it’s ok, not hurting anything, you only live once”; that’s the enemy trying to deceive you into being common. He knows, if you’re like everyone else, if there’s nothing different about you, then you won’t become all you were created to be. Don’t fall into that trap; be uncommon, different, live by a higher standard.

But bro Melwyn, “everyone is doing it, partying, slacking off, negative.” Here’s the key, you’re not everyone; you’re the exception. The scripture says:

Deuteronomy 14:2 (NLT)..2 You have been set apart as holy to the Lord your God, and he has chosen you from all the nations of the earth to be his own special treasure.

That’s saying, you’re not common, like everyone else, you’ve been hand-picked by the most high God; He chose you, set you apart, made you uncommon.

  • Could it be, the reason you’re not seeing favor is you’re being common?
  • The reason you’re not going to the next level is you’ve let society squeeze you into its mold, and now there’s nothing different about you, you’re like everyone else?

 It’s time to break out of that mold; that is not who you are. You may be surrounded by people that are lazy, indifferent, not going anywhere; don’t be squeezed into that mold, let that keep you from your destiny. You’ve been set apart, you’re not common; now do your part, and don’t live common.

Illustration: this is what Daniel did in the scripture. He was a Hebrew teenager that was brought out of Judah into Babylon to be trained to serve the king. But the Babylonians had all these customs that didn’t agree with the Jewish faith; they worshiped many different gods, and they wanted Daniel to fit in and worship their gods. The first thing they did was change his name from Daniel, which means “God is my judge,” to Belteshazzar, which means, “worshipper of Baal”; they wanted him to forget about the God of Israel and start worshiping their idol. Daniel could have accepted it, and thought, “this is what everybody is doing, I’m in their nation, surrounded by people that worship idols, i’ll just fit in, go with the flow.” But Daniel understood this principle; he didn’t let them squeeze him into their mold. He knew he had been set apart, wasn’t supposed to be common. They put all this pressure on Daniel to change, but the scripture says:

Daniel 1:8 (NLT)..8 But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king.

He was saying in effect, “everyone around me may be compromising, taking the easy way out, but I am not going to lower my standards, fit in and become common, I’m going to live by a higher standard.”

When the person in charge saw how determined he was:

Daniel 1:12-15 (NLT)..12 “Please test us for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water,” Daniel said. 13 “At the end of the ten days, see how we look compared to the other young men who are eating the king’s food. Then make your decision in light of what you see.” 14 The attendant agreed to Daniel’s suggestion and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king.

When you refuse to compromise, be squeezed into society’s mold, God will show you favor, cause you to stand out above the rest.

Being common doesn’t get God’s attention; being like everyone else, not being different. But when you dig your heels in, and say like Daniel, “I’m not going to be pressured into compromising, live like everyone else, complaining, gossiping, giving up on dreams. I’m going to be uncommon, go against the ground, take the high road, be a person of excellence,”

When you make this choice to be uncommon, like Daniel, you will see uncommon favor; God will make things happen that you couldn’t make happen.

But it takes courage to be different, not compromise; people will try to make you feel weak because you’re not going with the majority, don’t party with everyone, gossip, play politics. The truth is, you’re not weak, you’re strong; it doesn’t take much effort to do what everyone else is doing,

Illustration:  a dead fish can float downstream, it takes a live one to swim upstream.

It’s easy to be common; the pressure comes when you decide to be uncommon, when everybody around you is compromising, but you rise up and say, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Neighbors will say, “you’re going to church today, on Sunday, your day off? Why would you waste time doing that?” It’s because you’re uncommon, live by a higher standard, honor God with your life. Uncommon obedience produces uncommon blessings, favor, destiny. You’ll go where you couldn’t go on your own.

But there is pressure right now trying to squeeze you into being common, thoughts trying to deceive you into not breaking out of the mold. Don’t believe those lies; be a Daniel. All that pressure trying to get you to conform is a sign that God has something amazing in front of you. You have to do like him, and purpose in your heart, “I will not defile myself by giving in to this temptation, letting these outside pressures convince me into lowering my standards.”

The person in charge was so impressed with Daniel, he took him to see the king. The scripture says:

Daniel 1:18-20 (NLT)..18 When the training period ordered by the king was completed, the chief of staff brought all the young men to King Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and no one impressed him as much as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they entered the royal service. 20 Whenever the king consulted them in any matter requiring wisdom and balanced judgment, he found them ten times more capable than any of the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom.

That wasn’t a coincidence.

When you make this choice to be uncommon, God will shine His favor on you: you will have wisdom beyond your years, creativity, ideas, ability. God rewards uncommon.

The king put Daniel in charge of all of Babylon; he went from being a slave to being the leader of the whole country.

But I wonder what would have happened if Daniel would have chosen to be common, worshiped their idols, lived by their standards, been squeezed into their mold. I don’t think we would be talking about him today; another ordinary life would have faded off into the sunset.

Years after you’re gone, God wants somebody to be reading about you: your faith, courage, victories, can inspire others to believe for the fullness of their destinies. “not with me, I don’t have the experience, influence, training, education.” Daniel was a slave, a teenager in a foreign land, all the odds were against him, but he made this decision to be uncommon, stand out, honor God with his life. When you honor God, God will always honor you; God opened doors for Daniel he never dreamed would open.

You may not see it yet, but God has something amazing in front of you, has destined you to leave your mark in this generation. You’re not supposed to live and die and nobody knew you were here; God has opportunities, resources, people, wisdom, that’s going to catapult you further than you thought possible. But one requirement is, you can’t be common; you have to be willing to do what others won’t do, make sacrifices that others won’t make, resist temptation when others are giving in. The good news is, nothing you’re facing is too much for you to handle.

Every temptation, struggle, difficulty, God has given you the grace to overcome. You have the power to be uncommon. Yes, it takes discipline, it’s uncomfortable, your flesh will tell you to give in, do what everyone else is doing; no, your destiny is at stake. Don’t let a temporary period of being uncomfortable keep you from a permanent blessing.

It wasn’t easy for Daniel to go against the grain. I’m sure people made fun of him, thought, “this new guy, this teenager, he’s strange; he brought his own food, worships his own God, he’s too good to hang out with us.”

Daniel could have given into the pressure, been intimidated, not wanted to stand out, but he was willing to take the heat for being different. He was secure enough in who he was, confident enough in Who his God was, that he didn’t let the opposition, ridicule, people trying to discredit him, to squeeze him into their mold. He knew that, when you’re uncommon, there will be seasons of difficulties where it’s not fair, seems like others are getting the best of you, having to swim upstream, but God sees what’s happening. Your time is coming. Like with Daniel, at some point, God will suddenly turn it around, promote, vindicate you.

When the people saw the favor on Daniel’s life, they became jealous; this Hebrew slave that they’ve been making fun of, trying to discredit, was now their boss; he was over all of them. When you’re being uncommon, taking the high road, don’t be distracted by the negative people and people trying to discredit you; they’re making fun of you now, but you don’t know, like with Daniel, one day they may be working for you. These people knew that Daniel wouldn’t compromise, how committed and faithful he was, so they came up with a plan to try to trap him; they went to the king and said:

Daniel 6:6-7 (NLT)..6 So the administrators and high officers went to the king and said, “Long live King Darius! 7 We are all in agreement—we administrators, officials, high officers, advisers, and governors—that the king should make a law that will be strictly enforced. Give orders that for the next thirty days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human—except to you, Your Majesty—will be thrown into the den of lions.

The King was so flattered, his ego was so inflated, he thought that was a good idea.

Be careful when people flatter you and then ask you for something; when they do, just cancel out everything they said first, because even if it’s true, most likely they said it with the wrong motives.

Flattery is a tool; if you’re not secure in who you are, and you need that to feel good about yourself, you’ll make decisions that you may regret later on.

The king loved Daniel; he didn’t realize they were doing this to trap him. When Daniel heard about the new law, it didn’t stop him; the scripture says:

Daniel 6:10 (NLT)..10 But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.

Now he’s in charge, and he’s still not being squeezed into their mold.

NOTE: sometimes, when people get to where they were trying to go, God blesses them and opens a door, they forget what got them there. It was the fact that they were uncommon,

But too often, once they reach a goal, they start becoming common.

Daniel didn’t do this; he had made it to the top, he had everything to lose, if there was ever a time he should have fit in, did what the king asked, it was now, but Daniel stayed on the high road, didn’t let the pressure cause him to compromise.

They ran back and told the king:

Daniel 6:13-18 (NLT)..13 Then they told the king, “That man Daniel, one of the captives from Judah, is ignoring you and your law. He still prays to his God three times a day.”… 16 So at last the king gave orders for Daniel to be arrested and thrown into the den of lions… 18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night fasting. He refused his usual entertainment and couldn’t sleep at all that night.

Daniel 6:19-24 (NLT)..19 Very early the next morning, the king got up and hurried out to the lions’ den. 20 When he got there, he called out in anguish, “Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?” 21 Daniel answered, “Long live the king! 22 My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me… 23 The king was overjoyed and ordered that Daniel be lifted from the den. Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God. 24 Then the king gave orders to arrest the men who had maliciously accused Daniel. He had them thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. The lions leaped on them and tore them apart before they even hit the floor of the den.

Daniel 6:25-27 (NLT)..25 Then King Darius sent this message… 26 “I decree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel.
For he is the living God, and he will endure forever… 27 He rescues and saves his people; he performs miraculous signs and wonders

NOTE: when you’re uncommon, refuse to compromise, don’t take the easy way out, God will do the uncommon; close the mouths of lions. When you study the Heroes of Faith, people like Daniel, you’ll find one common ingredient is, they were uncommon.

Illustration: a lady in the scripture named Naomi had two sons that both died early; their wives were Ruth and Orpah. Naomi was going to move back home to Bethlehem; she told both daughters-in-law that they should go back to their country and start a new life. Ruth said:

Ruth 1:16 (NLT)..16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.

It was in the fields of Bethlehem, picking up wheat every morning, barely surviving, that God caused Boaz, the owner of those fields, to notice Ruth. He was the wealthiest man in that area; they ended up falling in love, and were married. Ruth no longer had to work in the fields; now she owned the fields.

What am I saying: uncommon commitment brought uncommon favor;

Ruth was willing to do what Orpah wouldn’t do. Orpah took the easy way out, but Ruth did the right thing when it was hard; she took care of someone when she had every right to walk away.

Nothing against Orpah, she may have lived a good life, but you don’t read anything more in the scripture about her; you don’t read much about common people.

Not only did God bless Ruth with a husband and a son, but she became the great-grandmother of David; God put her in the family line of Jesus. It wouldn’t have happened if she was common.

Are there areas that you’re being common in, doing what everybody else is doing, taking the easy way out?

Why don’t you be a Ruth, a Daniel? God has uncommon favor, opportunities, relationships, in your future, but you have to do your part and be uncommon.

Illustration: in Acts 16, Paul and Silas were out helping people, when they were falsely accused of trying to start a riot; they hadn’t committed any crime, but they were beaten with rods and put in prison. They could’ve been complaining, bitter, “God why did You let this happen?” That would have been common, but they were uncommon:

Acts 16:25-26 (NIV)..25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.

The other prisoners could hear them; I’m sure they thought, “what’s wrong with these guys? They’ve been beaten, falsely accused, and now they’re thanking God; that’s not normal.”

An uncommon attitude led to an uncommon breakthrough.

Instead of complaining about the people that have done you wrong, being sour over the disappointment, why don’t you do like them, and be uncommon;

Uncommon people say,  “God I don’t understand why this has happened, but I know You’re still on the throne. I want to thank You that You have beauty for these ashes. What was meant for harm, You’ll turn it to my advantage.” That’s what brings uncommon turnarounds, breakthroughs, favor.

Illustration: this is what happened with David. He was a teenager, out taking care of his father’s sheep. He didn’t come from an influential family; they were shepherds. Nobody saw anything special in David; he looked ordinary, like everyone else. But David made this decision to be uncommon; he was willing to do what others wouldn’t do. Nobody had the courage to face Goliath; they thought he was too big, strong, experienced. The whole army was afraid and intimidated. But when David heard Goliath taunting the Israelites, he said:

1 Samuel 17:26 (NIV)..26 … Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

When others were shrinking back in fear, David rose up in faith; he told King Saul that he wanted to fight Goliath. His brothers, the other people in the army, said, “who are you? You don’t have a chance; you’re a kid, and a small one at that.” They were common, and they were trying to convince him into being common.

David ignored them, and he emerged victorious.

When you go against the grain, take these steps of faith, don’t be surprised if common people tell you how it’s not going to happen: “you can’t get well, you’ll never break that addiction, you can’t start your business, you don’t have the experience.”

Don’t believe those lies. You have something on you that they cannot see; there is a favor, blessing, anointing, ability, that is not ordinary.

Average people would be stuck, ordinary people would settle, common people would say, “the giant is too big.” The good news is, you are uncommon;

God breathed His life into you, crowned you with favor. You have seeds of greatness on the inside.

Like David, you’re going to defeat giants that looked bigger, overcome obstacles that looked stronger, accomplish dreams that seemed impossible. The forces that are for you are greater than the forces that are against you.

God has not only chosen you, He has set you apart, made you uncommon;

More Illustrations Of Uncommon Blessings With Uncommon Behaviour :

  • Shunamite woman, when she gave to Elisha in a uncommon way, she received a child as a uncommon blessing … 2 Kgs. 4:8-11…14-17.
  • Widow of Zarepheth, when she had to feed Elijah even when she had a last bread in famine and received bread throughout the famine- 1Kgs. 17:8-16.
  • Hannah, when she was insulted did a uncommon response , received a blessing of a child as a uncommon blessing – 1 Sam. 1:13-17..20
  • Naaman, the leper, dipped himself seven times in the river Jordan which was unclean received healing…2 Kgs5:1, 9-14

Now, I’m asking you to do your part, and live uncommon.

  • When others shrink back, have uncommon faith.
  • When others slack off, have uncommon commitment.
  • When others take the easy way out, have uncommon excellence.

If you’ll do this, I believe and declare, you’re going to see uncommon favor, breakthroughs, increase, victories in jesus’name.

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This entry was posted on June 5, 2018 by in SUNDAY SERMONS, SUNDAY TEACHINGS and tagged , , , , , , .
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