Despite the predictability of mornings in my household, there are some days when my heart flutters with anticipation. I pack lunches, rinse the breakfast dishes, and kiss my boys goodbye before grabbing my helmet and lowering my bike from the hooks where it hangs in our garage. A few minutes later, I’m at the trailhead greeting my best mountain biking partner with a hug while she exclaims: “Can you believe this day? Can you believe we’re out here?” Both of us are giddy with excitement. Nothing compares with being out on the trail soaking in the beauty of God’s creation, connecting in meaningful conversation and feeling the burn of a good workout.
I come home from those morning rides feeling powerful and energized. It’s like I’m carrying this secret inside of me that makes me smile to myself even as I wait in line at the grocery store, drive the carpool or scan through e-mails. I may be playing the part of an average mom, but in my mind, I’m still that rider conquering steep hills and navigating rocky terrain as my heart thumps in my chest.
Priscilla Shirer shares a similar comparison in the closing video of One in a Million as she describes a Nike ad depicting a female runner: An athletic woman with a sleek ponytail runs through a neighborhood in the early morning light wearing Nike apparel. For a moment, all we hear is the runner’s rhythmic breathing while music from the classic movie Chariots of Fire plays softly. Finally, a male narrator’s voice speaks with authority: “There’s an athlete among us. She’s disguised as a wife and a mother…. Just do it.”
Priscilla uses this commercial to inspire us in our spiritual journeys to the Promised Land. She explains that while we may be wives, mothers, teachers, principals, nurses, lawyers or accountants, these things are just what we do—not who we are. She reminds us that those labels are merely disguises for what we really are: ones in whom the Spirit of God lives. Priscilla emphasizes that God can’t wait to operate in and through us so that the world can see Him. We get to carry the Promised Land mindset with us wherever we go. It gives us the quiet confidence to smile to ourselves as we go about our days. Living with this perspective allows us to recognize where God is at work and inviting us to join Him. It enables us to be peaceful in difficult circumstances because we know God is working them out for our good and His glory. Each of us has the opportunity to be “one in a million” and to let our joy and fulfillment inspire others.
Although it’s the end of our study, it’s the beginning of marching into Promised Land living. Priscilla says in the final video: “God is ready to launch you into new dimensions with Him.” If this sounds inspiring but difficult, be reminded that we can’t live this way on our own strength. Jesus made this perfectly clear:
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5, NIV)
In order to maintain the discipline of the Promised Land mindset, we must abide with Jesus daily. Priscilla says we must “press into Him,” and not try to live this way on our own strength.
As we wrap up our study, I encourage you to review the list of characteristics of a believer experiencing abundant Promised Land living through Christ. Print the one below or make a copy of it from the last page of the One in a Million workbook. Pray over it often and use it as reminder when you need a fresh infusion of the Holy Spirit.
Below the list, you’ll find a link to an old Nike ad. Although I was unable to locate the one Priscilla describes in her video, I found another that shows a runner imagining himself in the movie “Chariots of Fire.” As the video progresses, it’s clear he’s drawing power from his imagination, despite less than ideal surroundings. I hope it inspires you and gives you a good visual for keeping your focus on Jesus regardless of your circumstances.
The Characteristics of a Believer Experiencing Promised Land Living:
-Senses and acknowledges God’s continual presence (Psalm 139:7-10)
-Is led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14)
-Recognizes and tears down strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4)
-Separates physical and spiritual abundance (Luke 12:15)
-Lives free from a lifestyle of sin (Galatians 5:1, 1 Peter 2:24)
-Shows evidence of conformity to Christ’s image (Romans 8:29)
-Has confidence in his/her standing of righteousness before the Father (Romans 8:1, 2 Corinthians 5:18-19)
-Casts anxiety and worry on God (1 Peter 5:7)
-Gives thanks in spite of difficult circumstances (Philippians 4:6)
-Counts suffering for Christ as a blessing (1 Peter 2:19-21)
-Displays divine power in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:10)
-Senses God’s comfort and hope (2 Thessalonians 2:16)
-Has confidence to draw near to God (Hebrews 7:25 & 10:19)
-Lives as an alien and stranger in this world (1 Peter 2:11)
-Hears the voice of God (John 10:27)
-Discerns the guidance of God’s Spirit (John 16:13)
-Believes God can supply every need (Philippians 4:13)
-Is open to receiving the gifts given by God’s Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)
-Recognizes and utilizes spiritual gifts for the edification of Christ’s body (1 Peter 4:10, 1 Corinthians 4:7)
-Displays the fruit of God’s Spirit in daily living (Galatians 5:22-23)
-Experiences consistent joy and peace (John 15:11, Philippians 4:7)
-Recognizes and utilizes God’s spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-18)
-Desires to know and do God’s will (Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 2:10)
-Expects that God is able to do more than we can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20, 1 Corinthians 2:9)
-Anticipates seeing the miracles of God (Galatians 3:5)
-Is content with what he/she has (Philippians 4:12, Hebrews 13:5)
-Confesses sins and believes they are forgiven (1 John 1:9)
-Values connection with the body of Christ (Acts 2:46, Hebrews 10:25)
-Pursues unity in the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:2-6, Romans 14:19)
-Forgives when wronged (Matthew 18:21-22, Colossians 3:13)
(from One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land p. 160)
Click here to see the Nike “Chariots of Fire” advertisement:
Click here to be inspired by Matt Redman’s “Never Once”
Shirer, Priscilla; One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land; Lifeway Press; 2009, 2014)