Survival Principles #25

Getting Beyond Survival

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Lion’s Den Survival Principles is a series designed to help Christians thrive in the often hostile world of media and entertainment. The principles from Scripture, however, can apply to every situation where you find yourself in the midst of lions!


Dr. Larry Poland Twitter

Getting Beyond Survival

A Confession. I gave this blog series the wrong name. Really.

I used the word “survival” in the title, and this never should have been done. I do not believe for one nanosecond that God ever intended for us—the members of His royal family—merely to survive. Conquest was all He ever had in mind for Kingdom citizens. If survival were God’s goal, we would be worshipping the God of the Mediocre. We are not. We are worshipping the King of all Kings and the Lord of all Lords.

But, I left the title as it is, because I’ve observed that in order to conquer you first have to survive . . . and most people I meet are struggling somewhere slightly above the survival line. I heard about a guy whose family had chiseled on his tombstone, “He came here, he stayed here, and he left.” Then, there was the poem I saw written in graffiti once on a college campus:

I serve one purpose in this school on which no man can frown.
I quietly go to class each day and keep the
average down.

Friend, get beyond the survival stage in your life. Become the enemy of the mediocre and the average in your life.
“Easy for you to say,” you say. “You don’t have my [fill in the blank] job, spouse, neighbor, health issues, financial problems, or . . ..” True, I don’t. And my challenges are unique to me as well. But, if you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, then we share the same infinite power to deal with our struggles.

I like saying, “I just realized that—between Bill Gates and me—we are worth more than fifty billion dollars.” It reminds me that—between my Heavenly Father and me—we have enough resources to handle anything. So do you.
Years ago, I was a guest at a fabulous five star hotel in Cuernavaca Mexico. Trust me, staying there was not martyrdom. The hotel restaurant had global recognition for its cuisine, the rooms were lavishly decorated and spacious, and the formal gardens were suited to a palace. Touring the grounds the first day I arrived, I saw a wall with a wrought iron gate, and peered through it to discover an incredibly beautiful swimming pool surrounded by statuary and more lovely gardens. There were just a handful of people lounging around the pool, and I envied them a bit. I tried the handle on the gate, but it was locked.
In the days that I stayed there—enjoying the generosity of my hosts—I peered more than once through that wrought iron gate to enjoy the beauty of the pool and gardens. The crystal clear water in the pool looked so inviting in the muggy, tropical heat. But, no, it was locked.

At the day and time for checkout, I gathered my bags and surrendered them to the bellhop. On my way through the gardens to the lobby, I took one more look through that iron gate, fingering my room keys as I did. Did I say “keys”? Yes, there was a second, smaller key on the ring, one I had assumed was for the in-room mini-bar or something.
Looking at the gate, then the key, I had a burst of insight. Could it be? I placed that key in the lock, and it turned the tumblers. That lovely garden and pool were reserved for hotel guests. It was locked to keep non-paying visitors out. That entire stay, I had had the key to that fabulous area, and, now, in moments, I would have to give it back to the hotel without ever enjoying a special privilege reserved for me.

Amid the pressure, conflict, heartache, and hostility of life, God has prepared for us, His children, a lovely garden of the soul filled with the Water of Life and surrounded by the lush flora of the Spirit. Those who are not adoptees into the Royal Family are locked out. No key they possess will fit the lock.

Unfortunately, most of us have never tried the key . . . by never internalizing the timeless principles for both survival and conquest that have given men and women of faith over the millennia power to live as victors amid the warfare of life.

So, I leave you with one more principle:

Conquest Principle: Deploy all the resources of God at your disposal through full and constant surrender to Him, and a little bit of heaven will be yours long before you reach the real place.