Welcome and thanks for participating in day 4 of the ARISE fast and devotional blog. If you haven’t read the previous days, please go back and read them before reading todays as these thoughts will build off of one another. 

 If you or I were blown like a seed into a different field, God could still create a Jesus community out of both of us. – Alan Hirsch

 RockyBalboa is a pop culture American Icon. He is the story of a nobody who became a somebody. Somebody who made up for his talent with raw determination and grit. He’s the underdog who reminded us that it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog that matters most. 

 Every boy growing up in the 70’s and 80’s sang “Eye of the Tiger” as they punched the inflatable, bounce back punching bag, they got for Christmas. You remember?… The one that lasted 1 hour before it started deflating and you put tape on it to cover the holes… 

 Who can forget Rocky hanging in the ring with the great Apollo Creed, or telling Mr. T. “You ain’t so bad!” (something I would never be brave enough to say to Mr. T!), or knocking out the steroid injecting Russian Ivan Drago and singlehandedly winning the Cold War.

 Between 1976 and 2018, there have been 8 Rocky movies (including the new Creed movies) that have grossed over 1.4 billion dollars… Billion…with a  B… as in more than some small countries gross in a year… of which at least a few dollars of it came from my 1st grade metal lunchbox… 

 In the 2006 Rocky Balboa movie, Rocky is talking to his brother in law Paulie about why he, at his old age, wants to get back in the ring for one last fight. Motioning to his heart, Rocky says “There’s still some stuff in the basement.” To which Paulie laughs and says “what basement?” Rocky, serious and emotionally replies “In here” motioning to his heart again…

 If we are to view ourselves as ministers of the movement we call Christianity, we will need to realize, like Rocky, that there is some “stuff in the basement.” Or to put it another way, there is more potential within us that we realize… There more we can do before fading into the sunset.

 The Church is called “The Body of Christ.” And as we know, the church is not a building, it’s you and me.  Inside your human body are trillions of remarkable cells. Each of these cells carries your full DNA code, which amounts to the full blueprint of your physical makeup… You’re really pretty wonderful. 

 Even though one specific cell may only refer to a small portion of the genetic code within it – the portion it needs for its specific purpose – it still has your entire DNA code locked within it. It’s really remarkable! The entire person can be reproduced from the blueprint within one cell’s DNA. 

 In other words, your cells have “stuff in the basement” they haven’t unpacked yet.

 Likewise, I think we all have some stuff in our basements. There is more potential in us than God is getting out of us. The primary way we discover the greatness that’s in us is through adversity. When hard times come, we find that we are far more capable than we realized.

 Rocky didn’t know what he was capable of until he got in the ring and had opposition… and neither will we.

 Could it be that the persecution of the early church sparked the potential within these early believers? Could it also be that the prosperity of the modern church has caused our potential to lie dormant, leaving us to assume that what we’re experiencing is all that there is?

 But… As a believer, I think you know there’s more “stuff in the basement.” I think the Holy Spirit won’t let you dismiss the idea that there’s more in you than you realize. In fact, that’s why you’re reading this… That’s why you’re fasting… That’s why when you see a missionary share their testimony, something in you thinks “I might could be a missionary if God called me to.” That’s why you get that instant thrill of awe and wonder when you share your testimony with a coworker. 

 In moments when you are used by God in unusual ways, it touches something that’s dormant within you. A gift that’s there, but not being used.

 Like the DNA in your cell, everything the church needs to survive is within you. While you may not be called to it right now, you have the ability to be an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher. If push come to shove, and it was required of you, I bet you know that you could fulfill these roles. Think about this: If all the Christians on the planet were suddenly gone, the seed that could re-establish the entire church is lying dormant within you. It’s just waiting to be initiated… in the basement.

 Our lack of necessity has allowed these gives to grow dormant. But make no mistake, the church needs you to have one of these 5 gifts ready and in operation right now. Many, if not most who are reading this have never thought of yourself of an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher. But in order for the body to Christ (Church…us) to function fully as the movement it was created to be, each member needs to be operating within their calling and gifting. 

 What’s your place at the table?

 Remember, ministry is not a theater where everyone watches and is impressed. Ministry is a table where everyone participates. You may have never considered your place at this table until now, but it’s time to look deep and see what you may have in the basement.

 There’s greatness in you… He’s called The Holy Spirit… It’s time to let Him out and see what He can do through you. This explosion of potential is a spark to the movement God has called us to be.

 JOIN THE MOVEMENT by releasing the greatness within you. 

 Esse Quam Videri, 

 Pastor Brent

 Meditate and reflect on these verses and questions: 

 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12:3-8

1. What do you think are the limits of what God can do through your life? Dream a little.

2. What are some things you think you might have “in the basement”? Dreams and plans God may still have for you?

3. The courage to act is what separates those who create the future and those who have the future created for them. Do you have the courage to act?

Pray:  

 – Pray that God re-awaken dormant dreams, gifts and callings so that He can get all the glory possible from your life. Like squeezing every drop of juice from a lemon, may God get everything out of our lives He desires. 

 – Pray that God gives you the courage to be obedient whenever and wherever He calls you to act. 

 – Pray that you are led by The Holy Spirit throughout this day and throughout this fast.