Me and Abby attended the 10am service at Victory Fort with Tita Cheryl, who is going back to the States the following day. Pastor Joey Bonifacio was back from overseas work/travel and the service focused on declarations. He defined declarations as a loud and clear communication and conviction. What we say can affect our lives (Proverbs 18:21a) and it can stir us either in the right or wrong direction, like a ship that’s controlled by a rudder (James 3:4-5a).
He then talked about success, which pertains to the attainment of goals. Our ultimate goal is to be Christ-like, not make more money, have the latest gadget, etc. So what’s stopping us to have success?
1. Wrong goals and decisions
2. Just life!
3. Having the right goals.
He shared the story of Joe Onosai, a Samoan tribal prince who once became a top draft pick of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. An injury made him leave football but he joined the World’s Strongest Man competition. He’s currently a Pastor in Hawaii for Every Nation and asked what shaped him was three declarations from three ordinary people:
1. A policeman who told him to “stop following the crowd and start leading them.”
2. A teacher told him ”quitting is not an option.” when he was struggling with school.
3. A football coach who told him “I’d rather see you play consistently good rather than be occasionally great.”
In the Bible, Nehemiah wanted to rebuild the city and he believes right off the bat that God will give him success (1st declaration — Nehemiah 2:20). The people however gave him doubt (counter-declaration, Nehemiah 2:19a). He did not fight them nor let himself be swayed, for he trusts the Lord to fight for him (2nd declaration — Nehemiah 4:20).
His 3rd declaration can be found in Nehemiah 8:10b — “Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
♥ “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures.” — Psalm 16:11 ESV
♥ “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain.” — Psalm 51:12 NIV]
The service ended with: we must keep “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2 NIV)
Now I understood more why they tell us to be careful what we wish for. :3