Are you settling for too little?

Don't Aim Too Low

by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.

Summary: Too often Christians "settle" for a walk with the Lord that is well below what He makes available to His people. There is joy, health, forgiveness, victory, and much more in the great salvation that Jesus has provided for us. Don't aim too low!

2 Corinthians 13:9, 11  ...our prayer is for your perfection.... [11b] Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal...

•• Years ago, when I pastored a church in New York, I preached a sermon based on this Scripture. Amazingly, two ladies left the church in protest over my preaching the Scripture that we should "aim for perfection" — which is precisely what the apostle Paul, writing under divine inspiration, charged us to do!
 
•• “Aim for perfection” don’t aim too low!
2 Corinthians 11:2  tells us that God wants us to be presented “as a chaste virgin to Christ”. Aim high!
 
Ephesians 5:27  declares that Jesus Christ desires “to present [the church] to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless”. Don’t settle for a so-so level of holiness.
 
• In Matthew 5:48 Jesus called us to ... “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” That's a high target to aim for! And Jesus tells us to strive for that.
 
• One stated purpose of the “fivefold” ministry is to help the saints “[attain] to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13). Don’t be content with a partial measure.

Philippians 3:12-15a  Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. [13] Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, [14] I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. [15] All of us who are mature should take such a view of things.

KJV:  [14] “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

•• “The high calling of God”
• A call to holiness. Don’t settle for less!
 
• A call to God-inspired gifts and ministries. Don’t aim too low!
 
• A call to be ambassadors for Christ. Don’t let this call languish.
 
• A call to be God’s son or daughter! Aim to be a good one!
 
• A call to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Don’t aim too low!

Philippians 4:12-13  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. [13] I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

KJV, 13  “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

•• Are you “in need”? “hungry”? “in want”? struggling with a habit, a problem, an obstacle?
 
•• You can do all things through Jesus Christ, who strengthens you. Don’t aim too low!
• Struggling with a habit? Jesus will give you strength; you can overcome.
 
• Struggling in relationships? Jesus will give you strength and make you a restorer.
 
• Struggling with depression or despair? Don’t accept it! His joy will be your strength.
 
• Struggling with financial, emotional, or spiritual obstacles? Don’t settle for getting by! You can make it, you can do it, with Jesus’ help.
 
• Don’t settle!
 
• Don’t take the low road, the passive road, the path of least resistance. God has better for you.
 
• Don’t become a pessimist. God’s plans for you are plans for good, to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
 
• Don’t aim too low in life!
 
You can do all things through Christ your strength.

1 John 2:14  I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

•• You are a devil-defeater!
• Don’t settle for a truce with the devil. He won't honor it!
 
• Don’t be content with a tie.
 
• Don’t hope he’ll just leave you alone.
• Don’t aim too low!
•• Aim to be what God has enabled you to be — an overcomer! A “devil whupper”, as a pastor friend of mine used to say it.
“You are strong — Satan was defeated at Calvary.
 
“You have overcome him” — Christ’s victory is your victory. Don’t accept less.

Psalms 60:11-12  Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless. [12] With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.

•• “With God we will gain the victory — Don’t expect less than the fulfillment of God's faithful promises.
• Expect victory, not defeat.
 
• Expect health, not sickness.
 
• Expect answered prayer, not continual disappointment.
 
• Expect blessings, not curses.
 
• Expect to be able to live a godly life, not to live in constant failure.
• Expect to defeat the devil, not to be defeated.
 
• Expect to overcome depression, hopelessness, and bad habits — that is, to become a victor in Christ.
•• With God we will gain the victory — so don’t aim too low!

Related sermons by Pastor Jim Feeney include Aim Higher. Take Dead Aim at a Higher Walk and Take Aim at the Right Targets.

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©2004, James H. Feeney. Copyright statement.