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Extraordinary. Just hearing this amazing word arouses the desire to surpass the norm, to break away from the status quo. Its definition is “beyond what is usual, exceptional, exceeding the common measure.” One-word synonyms include remarkable, amazing, marvelous, and unimaginable. To better understand the full meaning of this inspiring word, consider its antonyms: common, normal, and usual.

Ponder this a moment: the opposite of extraordinary is normal! If we’re honest, I think we all want our lives to mean more or be more than what we’ve known and seen. Unless it’s suppressed, there is an innate desire in each of us to rise above commonness. We yearn for the extraordinary.

The truth is, God not only desires you to live extraordinarily but also has equipped you to do so. Don’t ever forget these words. Etch them on the tablet of your heart. A remarkable, amazing, extraordinary life is not restricted to certain individuals or professions. It doesn’t matter who you are or how you serve in life. If you’re a schoolteacher, businessperson, government leader, stay-at-home mom, athlete, factory worker, hairstylist, student, pastor (the list is endless), it doesn’t matter, because you were created for extraordinary achievements in that role. The power to accomplish remarkable feats and live an exceptional life is not tied to an occupation but to a disposition of the heart. This is not only God’s will but also His great pleasure.

Hollywood, religious people, and our culture had painted for me a warped and limited image of God’s people. Why did I have this distortion? God, you, and I have a common enemy named Satan, who is called “the ruler of this world,” “the prince of the power of the air,” and “the god of this world.” He controls the world’s systems and influences the minds of those who do not belong to God. He has billions of fallen angels and demons to carry out his grand strategy.

The sad fact is that too often the church has limited Satan’s chief strategy to certain behaviors, like trying to get people to drink alcohol or watch dirty sex scenes in movies. He’s much more crafty than that and uses a wide variety of snares and diversions. We’ve missed his primary purpose. Because what he fears most is Christians discovering who God’s made them to be—extraordinary people with abilities to carry out remarkable and unusual feats. This should be the image society has of Christians.

In contrast to the present reputation of Christians, one of the great struggles the early church encountered was convincing people that believers were not superheroes or gods. Cornelius, an officer in the most powerful army in the world, bowed down to worship Peter and his companions. Stunned, Peter immediately replied, “Stand up; I myself am also a man” (Acts 10:26).

In a city named Lystra, the mob “went wild, calling out in their Lyconian dialect, ‘The gods have come down! These men are gods!’” Paul sharply corrected them: “What do you think you’re doing! We’re not gods!” (Acts 14:11, 14 MSG). When Paul was on Malta collecting firewood, a poisonous snake bit him. He shook it off, and the inhabitants anticipated his death. “But when it was obvious he wasn’t going to, they jumped to the conclusion that he was a god!” (28:6 MSG)

Unbelievers said of the early church, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too” (17:6). Christians were held in high esteem by their society. It’s recorded the entire city of Jerusalem’s attitude toward the church was that “everyone had high regard for them” (5:13,NLT). In our generation may we each live in such a way to recover that kind of respect for the church.


Source: Extraordinary by John Bevere.
Excerpt permission granted by Messenger International

Author Biography

John Bevere
Web site: Messenger International
 
Over 30 years ago, John and Lisa Bevere met in college. John was a tennis-playing engineering student, and Lisa was a sorority girl. On their very first date, John shared the gospel with Lisa and she gave her life to Christ. Soon after, they got married, and they've been happily married ever since.
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