7 "G" Forces To Overcome For Victorious Living

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A couple of weeks back we taught “7 Threats To Your Success” on one of our Rich Thoughts for Breakfast calls.

The fourth threat in the teaching is:  “Ghosts, gorillas, gremlins and goblins from your past.”

From the moment the words came out of my spirit and onto the Word document. . .I knew it should be a SUNDAY NITE LIVE teaching.

I didn’t try to overanalyze . . . I just wrote down the seven G’s that we have to overcome to walk in victory. . .over our past.

# 1       Ghosts. . .something from the  past (sin or otherwise) which you feel is real though it isn’t  visible to you or anyone else.

Popular culture is filled with talk of ghosts. . .even television programs like Ghost Whisperer and movies like Ghostbusters.

Let’s just look at what the scripture has to say about ghosts.  And for the record, there are a lot of Christians who faithfully attend church and believe in God. . .who also believe in ghosts.

Matthew 14:25-27 in the New International Version says:

“Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."

Jesus did not believe in ghosts; He knew the truth, but His superstitious apostles had evidently bought into that folk tale.

When they encountered something they couldn't understand, they immediately assumed it was a ghost.

Luke 24:37-39 in the New International Version says:

“They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."

While this is a bit off subject. . .I feel led to deal with some myths and questions people ask about ghosts.

Can the dead haunt houses?

Job 7:9-10 in the New King James Version says:

“As the cloud disappears and vanishes away, so he who goes down to the grave does not come up. He shall never return to his house, Nor shall his place know him anymore."

Can the dead come back and communicate with the living?

Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 in the New King James Version says:

“For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, For the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun.”

If people die without closure or unfinished business. . .do they become ghosts and hang around haunt the places and people they knew in life?

Psalm 146:4 in the English Standard Version says:

"When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.”

The only ghost that’s real...is the Holy Ghost.

Matthew 28:18 says:

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”                                         

Matthew 10:1 says:

“And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.”        

Luke 10:19 says:

“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

Acts 1:8 says:

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

Acts 2:38 says:

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Acts 19:6 says:

“And when Paul had laid [his] hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”

The only Ghost you need to concern yourself with is. . .the Holy Ghost. . .and He’s erased your past and is awaiting your future.

# 2       Gorillas. . .big problems. . .that may even grunt, snarl, beat their chests in an “I’m in charge here” bravado.

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines “800 pound gorilla” as:

"one that is dominating or uncontrollable because of great size or power.”

Like it or not, the 800-pound gorilla usually sets the standard. 

A habit. . .a tendency to do something wrong because you’ve been unwilling or unable to take dominion over the 800 gorilla.

Psalm 34:17 in the English Standard Version says:

“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.”

One of the biggest problems some Christians face is in believing that they can handle whatever scary problem they’re facing. . .by themselves.

 Psalm 107:6 in the English Standard Version says:

“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.”

It’s often been said that what you tolerate you accept. . .if you tolerate the existence of any sin in your life. . .if you give any place to it. . .it will become the 800 pound gorilla you have to live with. . .until you decided enough is enough.

Romans 6:14-19 in The Living Bible says:

“Sin need never again be your master, for now you are no longer tied to the law where sin enslaves you, but you are free under God’s favor and mercy. 15 Does this mean that now we can go ahead and sin and not worry about it? (For our salvation does not depend on keeping the law but on receiving God’s grace!) Of course not!

16 Don’t you realize that you can choose your own master? You can choose sin (with death) or else obedience (with acquittal). The one to whom you offer yourself—he will take you and be your master, and you will be his slave. 17 Thank God that though you once chose to be slaves of sin, now you have obeyed with all your heart the teaching to which God has committed you. 18 And now you are free from your old master, sin; and you have become slaves to your new master, righteousness.”

# 3       Gremlins. . .a problem from the past which troubles your future.

The Random House Dictionary defines gremlins as:

“a mischievous invisible being, said by airplane pilots in World War II to cause engine trouble and mechanical difficulties; any cause of trouble, difficulties, etc.”

Spiritual gremlins want to cause confusion in every area of your life.

Where you find sin. . .you find confusion.

2 Chronicles 15:5 in the Contemporary English Version says:

“There was so much confusion in those days that it wasn't safe to go anywhere in Israel.”

James 3:16 says:

“For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”

The enemy will remind you of your past in hopes he can create confusion and concern in your future.

By definition. . .a gremlin is “a mischievous invisible being”. . .does that sound like the enemy who would love nothing better than to create chaos in your thought processes.

When we rehearse our hurts. . .we allow the gremlins of the past to gain a foothold in our future.

God can and will lift you out of confusion. . .by establishing order in your life.

Psalm 18:16 in the Message Bible says:

“But me he caught—reached all the way from sky to sea; he pulled me out Of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos, the void in which I was drowning. They hit me when I was down, but God stuck by me. He stood me up on a wide-open field; I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!”

If you liked that verse, you’ll get even more excited when you read Psalm 51:7 in the Message Bible:

“Soak me in your laundry and I'll come out clean, scrub me and I'll have a snow-white life. Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken bones to dancing. Don't look too close for blemishes, give me a clean bill of health. God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don't throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails! Give me a job teaching rebels your ways so the lost can find their way home. Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God, and I'll sing anthems to your life-giving ways. Unbutton my lips, dear God; I'll let loose with your praise.”

The past is just that. . .past.

# 4       Goblins. . .always blaming the devil for everything including the things your flesh prompts you to indulge in.

The Random House Dictionary defines goblins as:

“a small grotesque supernatural creature, regarded as malevolent towards human beings”

That’s how I imagine the devil and his demon horde “small grotesque…creatures.”

We need to fully understand themain tactic of the devil is deception.  The more you understand about his strategy, the easier it will be for you to protect yourself and not play into his hands. 

2 Corinthians 2:11 tells us we can know his tricks or devices:

“…we are not ignorant of his devices.”

Satan does not have all power……

You have no reason to fear Satan’s power.

Jesus took away his ability when Hetriumphed over him in His resurrection from the dead.  The devil now operates primarily in only three areas. He has the ability to deceive, the ability to accuse, and the ability to tempt.

When you fear Satan’s abilities, you open the door to him.  He loves someone who doesn’t know their rights or doesn’t take advantage of him by using them

Job tells us he lost his family and fortune because of the fear he allowed to enter his mind.

Job 3:25 says:

“…the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.”

If the enemy can transfer fear into your mind, he immediately has the ability to take advantage over you.

However, he cannot cause fear to remain in your mind because you can easily cast it down by the power you have in the name of Jesus.  It’s an edge that you and you alone can give him or you can take away from him. 

Satan has abilities . . . but you have power from on highThe only absolute power left on this earth is the power of God which now dwells in you.

# 5       Grinch’s. . .there are those who want you to be happy and succeed just as long as it’s not more than they do.

According to dictionary.com Grinch is defined as:

“a person or thing that spoils or dampens the pleasure of others.”

Every year in December. . .one or more television networks will show the movie, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas.”

This may come as a surprise to you. . .but there are grinches alive today. . .not the green and ugly kind imagined by Dr. Seuss and created by Hollywood.

The Grinchs. . .I’m talking about work at the same place you do. . .attend the same church you do. . .sometimes grew up in or live in the same house you do.

Jealously causes people to do some crazy things.  Most people want you to succeed in life. . .as long as it’s not more successful than they are.

Too many believers have allowed others to plant things in their subconscious response mechanism that makes them condemn, reject and/or be prejudiced against people who have succeeded where they have failed.

God does not take kindly to those who do.

Proverbs 17:5 in the New Living Translation says:

“Those who mock the poor insult their Maker; those who rejoice at the misfortune of others will be punished.”

In my experience . . .I find people who are spiritually grounded are always blessed and motivated by the successful testimony of others knowing it won’t be long before they’ll be joining them.

Romans 12:15 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others' joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others' grief].”

When we get as excited about somebody else’s success as we are our own. . .we can watch out because success is about to overtake us.

# 6       Goons. . .people who always look for and expect the worst things instead of the best.

Whatever you expect. . .is exactly what you will manifest in your life…positive or negative…good or bad.

If you expect bad news…if you live with a Worst Case Scenario mentality…that’s exactly what you’re going to get.

Wow, it’s a downer to even allow my mind to briefly entertain the words that I’ve just said…so ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

Malcolm Forbes of Forbes magazine once said:

“If you expect nothing, you're apt to be surprised. You'll get it.”

If anybody in the world should have reasons for optimism about the future, it’s the born-again, blood-washed, Spirit-filled, tongue-talking, Word quoting, Bible thumping children of God.

Yes, you may be going through “stuff” at the moment but at least you’re going “through it” and will soon be on the other side of your mountain of adversity.

God is not surprised by what’s going on in the world or in your life.

Now only that. . .as my fine wife Bev says:

God is not sitting in heaven wringing his hands over what you’re going through wondering what to do next.

That’s just not how God rolls.

God is not surprised by what’s going on in my life.  He fully expects me to use the power of His Word to overcome. That is exactly why He gave it to me.

Deuteronomy 8:2 in the New International Version says:

“Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.”

But here’s the question.  When trouble comes to visit your home. . .what is your response. . .do you pull closer to Him. . .or revert to the escapism of television or other addictive habits.

As I was reading, studying, meditating and praying about this teaching. . .God lead me to four scriptures to share with you.

2 Samuel 22:17 (MSG) says:

“But me he caught—reached all the way from sky to sea; he pulled me out Of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos, the void in which I was drowning. They hit me when I was down, but God stuck by me. He stood me up on a wide-open field; I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!”

If you’ve felt like you’ve been hit when you were already down. . .behind on mortgage payments due to slow downs. . .layoffs. . .sickness … then be encouraged by the Word, the God of heaven and earth will stick with you.

Be encouraged by Job 5:8 (MSG) and meditate on the words that I’ve underlined and placed in bold print.  Go over and over them again and again until you get them deep into your spirit.
“[ What a Blessing When God Corrects You! ] "If I were in your shoes, I'd go straight to God, I'd throw myself on the mercy of God. After all, he's famous for great and unexpected acts; there's no end to his surprises. He gives rain, for instance, across the wide earth, sends water to irrigate the fields. He raises up the down-and-out, gives firm footing to those sinking in grief. He aborts the schemes of conniving crooks, so that none of their plots come to term. He catches the know-it-alls in their conspiracies— all that intricate intrigue swept out with the trash! Suddenly they're disoriented, plunged into darkness; they can't see to put one foot in front of the other. But the downtrodden are saved by God, saved from the murderous plots, saved from the iron fist. And so the poor continue to hope, while injustice is bound and gagged.”

This scripture in Job tells us seven things we should do if we’re hit by a surprise enemy attack.

1.  Go straight to God.

2.  Ask for His mercy.

3.  Expect Him to supply every need.

4.  Remember, God lifts up those who are down.

5.  Remember, He does not tolerate financial foolishness and cheats.

6.  Know God will save you when all seems lost.

7.  Expect He will surprise you with His goodness.

Fast forward four chapters to Job 9:1 (MSG) and you’ll read something that should encourage and fill you with anticipation and expectation.

We'll never comprehend all the great things he does; his miracle-surprises can't be counted.”

# 7       Groundhogs. . .are so lazy. . .they need somebody else to tell them whether or not they can see their shadow.

In 1993, there was a movie entitled “Groundhog Day” starring Bill Murray and Andie McDowell.  In the movie, Murray is a rather arrogant television reporter who thinks covering whether or not the Punxsutawney Phil. . .the name of the Groundhog sees his shadow. . .which supposedly determines whether or not. . .there’s another six weeks of winter.

The television crew is snowed in. . .when Murray wakes up the next morning. . .he begins to live the day. . .all over again. . .and again. . .and again.

Some believers can relate to this story because they have a tendency to do the same thing over and over again because it’s what we’ve always done.

We get up at the same time each morning. . .get ready the same way. . .eat the same thing for breakfast. . .drive to work along the same route. . .listen to the same radio station. . .arrive at work at the same time. . .do the same thing on our job. . .take a break at the same time. . .sit with the same people. . .go to lunch at the same time. . .talk about the same things with co-workers. . .get off work at the same time. . .arrive home at the same time. . .do the same things before and after dinner. . .watch the same television programs. . .go to bed at the same time. . .so we can do all the same things again tomorrow.

Don’t get me wrong. . .there are certain things you have to do, but where do you create time for God to do a new thing. . .to get out of the routine or do you wait for someone else to declare whether or not. . .you can see your shadow. . .or whether or not you will be victorious in life.

Before concluding this teaching. . .let me just share a couple of scriptures on how to deal with things from your past.

Luke 9:62 in the New Century Version says:
“Jesus said, "Anyone who begins to plow a field but keeps looking back is of no use in the kingdom of God."

Isaiah 43:25 in the Amplified Bible says:

“I, even I, am He Who blots out and cancels your transgressions, for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”

The Message Bible translation of Isaiah 43:25 says:

“But I, yes I, am the one who takes care of your sins—that's what I do. I don't keep a list of your sins.”

How can God bring up your past sins. . .if He does remember them or even keep a list of them?

God will not bring up your past. . .but the enemy will.  But he can only get away with it if you let him.  That’s why you have to forget the past and move forward.

Philippians 3:13-15 in the New King James Version says:

“. . .forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

It may be easier to engage in doubt than get off the couch. . .but don’t. . .you will never fully experience the victories or success God has in mind for you.