” Champions are born in obscurity, forged in the furnace of affliction and emerge out of the fire as over comers.”
Now faith is [a]assurance of things hoped for, a [b]conviction of things not seen. 2 For therein the elders had witness borne to them. 3 By faith we understand that the [c]worlds have been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen hath not been made out of things which appear.
- By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family
- By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
- And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Sampson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful n battle and routed foreign armies.
They did not even receive the things promised, but welcomed them from a distance. How much more should we be diligent in our pursuit to run with endurance the race set out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.
Throughout many generations there have been forerunners who have gone before us to champion the cause of Christ as a token of what would come to pass. The prior generation known as the “Latter Rain Movement” was a charismatic event that heralded the operation in the Holy Spirit and divine gifts of healing. As God’s presence increased Gordon Lindsay gave birth to a periodical called, “The Voice of Healing,” preserving the cause of revival, highlighting ministries such as; William Branham, A.A. Allen, T.L. Osborne and many more. Gordon carried the promise of what had been spoken in scripture could be seen in his time and was compelled to promote the gospel to the nations. One day in 1973, Gordon Lindsay sitting on the platform at Christ for the Nations slumped down in his chair and died. In that same year, Roe vs Wade was enacted and set in to law as a culture of death permeated the land. It is an interesting parallel that the same year Gordon Lyndsay, the father of the healing movement died; soon after the Charismatic movement waned and eventually went into a premature termination of a promise.
A Champion is born
In the book, “Books of Destiny,” by Paul Keith Davis there is an excerpt in the book about a great champion named, “Secretariat.”
In 1973 Secretariat rose out of obscurity to become recognized as one of the greatest racing horses in history. At that time interest in horse racing was at an all-time low in the United States, but this exceptional horse changed all that. Because of Secretariat’s prior history, no one thought he had much of a chance at the Kentucky Derby. Experts believed that the race’s distance or field offered little chance for a record-setting performance. Yet, to the surprise of everyone, Secretariat ran the first quarter-mile of this prestigious race in slightly more than twenty-five seconds, setting a new world-record pace. But could such a large and broad-shouldered horse maintain that stride and pace for another mile? Everyone wondered.
Surprisingly, Secretariat did better than just sustain that pace. He increased it with each quarter of the race, finishing the one-and-a-quarter mile distance in less than two minutes—an achievement unmatched before or since.
Suddenly a media frenzy began to flourish around this beautiful red horse. Observers described him as “truly magnificent.” He graced the covers of Time, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated. A champion had been born!
Excitement began to build as the Preakness, the second race in the coveted Triple Crown, approached. The nation’s attention was turned to this beautiful horse, about whose attributes commentators struggled to find appropriate adjectives. One announcer claimed that in human vernacular Secretariat would be a Heisman Trophy winner, a Rhodes Scholar, and Miss America all in one stunning, awe-inspiring being.
In a unique way Secretariat’s performance at the Preakness was even more brilliant than his victory at the Kentucky Derby. Secretariat was in last position out of the starting gate but still did something unprecedented in this historic race: He sprinted full-bore around the first bend, and by the time he turned onto the back side, he was racing to the lead. Now, the turns on this track are tight, and horse-racing aficionados considered it suicidal to take the first bend too fast. Nevertheless, Secretariat did the extraordinary in his second of three monumental races. Veteran racing experts were awestruck, declaring, “Horses don’t do what he did here today. They just don’t do that!”
As he had at the Kentucky Derby, Secretariat won the Preakness by two-and-a-half lengths. Many believe the pace of this race was also record-setting, but because of a controversy over the time clock, the speed was never verified.
With two victories under his belt, all that stood between Secretariat and the Triple Crown was the Belmont Stakes. One journalist said that if Secretariat were to lose the Belmont, “the country may turn sullen and mutinous.” World attention was focused on this single race, which some would later describe as “the greatest race ever run.”
The Greatest Race
On the morning of the Belmont Stakes Secretariat awoke with a seemingly mystical determination. His trainers later told reporters that he was “rearing and bucking, flaring his nostrils and rolling his eyes.” He was somehow filled with anticipation for the race. Reportedly “he burst from the barn like a studhorse going to the breeding shed and walked around the outdoor ring on his hind legs, pawing at the sky in a magical, unforgettable instant, now frozen in time.”
Secretariat totally intimidated his competition approaching the starting gate; a supernatural atmosphere appeared to surround him. He did not merely walk to the gate—he romped to his position.
The Belmont was the longest of the three races. After the starter’s gun had sounded, initially a horse named Sham gave Secretariat a formidable challenge. The first six furlongs were run in a staggering seventy seconds, with Sham incredibly keeping abreast of Secretariat. However, the pace proved more than Sham could sustain, and the challenger injured himself in the last race he would ever run.
Meanwhile, Secretariat continued to command the lead during the second half of the race. As one commentator put it, “It was as though he were running on the wind.” Midway through the race it was clear Secretariat would win the Belmont and become the first new Triple Crown winner in twenty-five years. Yet, even more astonishingly, instead of coasting to a safe victory, Secretariat maintained the same record-setting pace; he did not merely want to win—he intended to run the greatest race ever.
Certain no horse could maintain this pace for so long, many observers and journalists felt jockey Ron Turcotte was foolish to continue to push Secretariat at this tempo and risk collapse and the loss of the Triple Crown victory. But the jockey had little to do with it: Secretariat was running at his own pleasure. This was a day of destiny. Turcotte later commented that Secretariat had a mind of his own for this race, and he (Turcotte) simply held on and enjoyed the ride.
As the last quarter of the race lay before Secretariat, every fan, journalist, and observer grew mesmerized by the fortitude and sheer talent of this amazing horse, whose victory turned out to be one of the greatest events in sports history. His Triple Crown performance is unmatched in U.S. horse-racing history. It was the greatest single performance he had ever witnessed in a sporting event, recalls legendary golf champion Jack Nicklaus. When this mythic race was over, Secretariat had defeated his closest competition by thirty-one lengths and set an all-time record of 2:24, a feat previously considered impossible.
The Secret of Secretariat’s Success
What a great champion God created for us to learn from! Secretariat had a secret, which was only discovered at his death. During an autopsy, medical examiners found that Secretariat had a perfectly healthy heart that was almost two-and-a-half times larger than an average horse’s heart. Secretariat’s heart weighed a staggering twenty-two pounds, whereas an average horse’s heart weighs about eight-and-a-half pounds.
Secretariat had been given a supernatural heart. Almighty God, the Creator, had given this horse a special endowment and greater capacity than any other race-horse in recorded history.
When I asked the Lord why He gave Secretariat such a large heart, He replied quickly and concisely: “Because it pleased Me to do so.” No matter what veterinarians’ conjecture or animal-biologists’ suppositions might attest, God had simply decided to create a great champion. As Isaiah 42:5-6 declares:
Thus says God the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and its offspring, Who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it, “I am the LORD, I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, and I will appoint You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations…”
So in this generation of prophetic destiny, at a unique time in human history, the Lord Jesus will demonstrate divine power and Kingdom virtue through obscure champions with “supernatural hearts.” These champions’ hearts will be enlarged with passion and desire for the Redeemer and with Heaven’s compassion, which they will be able to transmit to a needy generation. Many, like Secretariat, will arise from obscurity to run some of the greatest races ever run.
In a prophetically symbolic way, Secretariat’s twenty-two pound heart could represent the generation soon to emerge with a commissioning from Isaiah 22:22:
Then I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder, when he opens no one will shut, when he shuts no one will open.
The key to the house of David signifies a governmental people who, like King David, will be anointed as both worshipers and warriors. David is regarded in Scripture as a man after God’s own heart. He possessed a special capacity in his heart for God and His Kingdom revelation. So shall the emerging generation of radical worshippers and warriors, who in a day unprecedented in history will champion fresh standards of excellence and victory.
David’s heart prophetically portrays the nature of the champions of the Lord’s army. They are dreaded by the forces of darkness, who will recognize Christ’s victory that they convey. (End of Excerpt)
Defeating the Giants
David killed the lion and the bear, preparing him for a future battle to slay the giant and become the next king of Israel. David was a man after God’s own heart who had confident assurance that God would be faithful to His covenant as He had been in the past. The conflict that David faced was no his ability to destroy the enemy from without, but to first overcome the giants within. His strong belief in the covenant he had with God Almighty produced complete trust that His God would back up that contract and show himself mighty in battle.
It says, “for forty days the Philistine defied the armies of Israel every morning and evening taking his stand.” Twice a day the Philistines would recount all their many conquests intimidating Saul’s army, confirming their defeat. When David heard this he was provoked and enraged. His response was, “Is there not a cause?”
The battle is not the jeering taunts of the giants that are intent in taking our inheritance and destroying our reputation. The greatest enemy we face is unbelief and disobedience. The Israelites did not enter into the promised land due to these two giants. We must remove the giants out of the ground of our hearts and in turn the giants in the land will have to bow. It took forty days (testing, trial) to deal with the giant, but one man who believed God and his covenant, employing his trust in God’s faithfulness took out the whole Philistine army in one moment in time.
I am convinced that we are in the season of this test. To determine who will be the sons of God we must pass this test and come through the other side with a new identity.
What if the Lord is stirring up and arousing His people to warfare with the words they have been given for forty days? The number forty means; testing, trial or probation. The obstacle to us breaking through is not the enemy without, but the enemy within. We cannot see before we believe, but must believe before we see. We have a confident assurance in the Truth, not a truth, but The Truth. He is the Way, The Truth and the Life… The truth is a person, not an ideology. Because Jesus knew who He was, He would not compromise the truth and relinquish His destiny.
* We decree who He is and our covenant with Him.
* We decree who we are as heirs of the inheritance
* We decree His promises
* We decree our history with God (His faithfulness)
* We worship
We must have a confident assurance in the word that God has given to us and persistently bombard the strongman of unbelief that defies the God of angel armies, pursuing the enemy until he is destroyed!
Let’s dare to believe God’s promises and fight the good fight of faith, taking up the cause of Christ as a new breed of champions arise!
Written by Shannon LaFreniere