Has there ever been a day when you wanted to stay in bed and pull the covers up over your head and just….well…. hide?  There have been days I’ve woke up and the first thing I hear upon my eyes opening is, “You think yesterday was bad?  Wait till you see what I have for today.”  If that isn’t enough to make you want to stay in bed, I don’t know what is.  But…..today is a new day, and once I wake up, I realize that wasn’t the Lord speaking to me.  Well, if it wasn’t the Lord, then who was it?  Yep, it was the old liar himself, the devil, or at least, one of his servants.
 I find that who you spend the most time listening to is who you will become like.  If you spend most of your time listening to negative, crabby, critical people, sooner or later you will join their ranks.  It’s one thing to be a negative, crabby, critical kid, because you can say, well, they’re young and learning, so you give them a break.  But nobody likes a negative, crabby, critical geezer.  Why?  because they should know better by now.  So if you’re smart, you won’t waste your time in their company.  They say, “Misery loves company”.  That may be true, because misery is just like fleas waiting in the grass to jump on your dog.  The more dogs, the better, because there’s plenty of fleas to go around.  And there are plenty of devils out there available to whisper in your ear if you’re listening.  You are listening, right?
 There are some who will tell you you’re sick, so you’d better hurry to the doctor.  Another might tell you, Hey, you’re depressed, you’d better take some medicine for that. Yet another might say, HEY YOU!  YEAH YOU…You’re a loser, did you know that?  Your grandpa was a loser, your daddy was a loser, and you’re a loser, and your mommy dresses you funny. You’ll never amount to anything, you might as well just end it all right now and kill yourself. 
 You know, I think I’ve heard all of their lies at some point during my lifetime.  They keep using the same old lies, because they’re too dumb to make up any new ones.  And besides, they don’t need any new ones because the old ones just keep working so well.  One reason we see people in the Middle East fighting among themselves for thousands of years is because they just keep on believing the lie that they can’t get along with their neighbors.  So, if it’s working, why change strategies?
 The Lord Jesus, however, has a better idea.  He says to love our neighbor.  How can we do that when we can’t even seem to love ourselves?  Well, we can, once we realize we are not really losers after all.  But until we are willing to stop listening to the devil’s lies, we will never get past the starting line.  You see, if you can’t see yourself as God sees you, then you’ll fall for the devil’s lies every single time.  Been there, done that.  Take my advice; it’s a dead end road.
 I like to preach on Deuteronomy 28:1-14 a lot. I’m not going to print it out for you, but rather, I would encourage you to read it for yourself today.  It starts out, “And it shall come to pass, IF…… “   Before you let the “IF” discourage you, let me tell you something….you can do it!  The Lord Himself will empower you to make sure you don’t lose, if you really want to be a winner.  Know this however; no matter how hard you try to be a winner on your own power, you’ll never succeed like you will with God’s help.  Our Lord is in the business of succeeding.  Everything the Lord does works with excellence.  He created YOU in His own image.  That means you were created to win, not lose, only you need a little training from Him to become all you can be.  Of course, that also means the devil would like to help somewhat in your training.  And you know what that means, right?
 I’d like to give you an example here.  Suppose you look at your life as an empty glass.  God adds His part, and we will use pure, clear water, as the example.  As long as God is the only one pouring into your life, the water remains pure and clear.  But the devil wants to help too, so he comes along and pours some black ink in your glass.  Depending how much ink you let him pour into your glass will determine how dark the water gets.  Suppose you only let him put a little ink in, the water won’t be too dark, but it will NEVER be clear again, no matter how much pure, clear water the Lord puts in.  It will always be somewhat clouded.  You see, that’s how a lot of people end up.  They want to do right, and deep inside, they’re pretty decent people, good neighbors, and all around honest and of good report.  But they will never have it all together.  They might look ok on the outside, but we know the inside isn’t ok.  Sometimes it’s obvious, and sometimes not.  We’re all pretty good at hiding our hang-ups and hurts to some extent.
 But the one who sees all is God, and He sees we need some serious help.  That’s why He sent Jesus to go on the cross for us.  There is a way to empty the glass of our life, and start over, free from the black ink of sin.  There is a way to make sure what gets poured into our vessel is pure, clean water from above, and stays that way.  It only comes from making Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
 Even then, the devil still comes to add his junk to our vessel.  But once Jesus comes in, we have a Helper, the Holy Spirit, to keep watch over us.  And if we mess up and let the devil pour his junk in us, we can get clean again by repentance.  That doesn’t mean, go get messed up Monday through Saturday, and asking God to cleanse you on Sunday.  No, that’s abusing the grace of God.  You’ll never live a life of victory, being the head and not the tail, above only, and not beneath, the lender and not the borrower, if you’re trying to cheat on God.  You will only be cheating yourself in the process.
 The blood of Jesus will make you clean and keep you clean.  But you have a part to play.  The Holy Spirit will daily renew your heart if you will let Him.  You will never hear the Holy Spirit call you a loser.  If you hear someone telling you that you’re a loser, know that it is the devil speaking to you directly, or through another person, to muddy up your vessel.  Don’t listen.  Turn them off and ignore them.  If you hear that you must put up with sickness and failure in your life, RUN, don’t walk away.  Don’t listen to that trash!  It didn’t come from God, and if it didn’t come from Him, you don’t have any business with it. 
 There is an old saying, “Bad company corrupts good manners”.  Believe it, because it’s true.  Hang out with pigs, and pretty soon you’ll start acting and smelling like them.  Hang out with God, and you’ll start thinking like Him, speaking like Him, and acting like Him.  What will that make you?  A loser?  NO!  It will make you a winner, in every arena of your life.  Want to be a winner?  Spend your time with someone who has never lost in all eternity.  Spend as much time with God as you possibly can.  I remember reading how Moses was on the mountain with God for forty days, and came down glowing from His presence, and he had to hide God’s glory with a veil over his face so the people could look upon him.  Do you think God spent forty days telling Moses how much of a loser he was?  No.  He spent forty days teaching Moses what His purpose was for mankind, and just being in God’s presence for those days left the glory of God all over Moses. 
You are no different from Moses.  You are made of flesh, bone, and blood, just like he was. When Moses hung out with the Israelites, his face did not shine with the glory of God.  But when he spent time alone with God, THEN his face was lit up with God’s glory.  How can you expect any different result?  Hang out with the devil’s lies, and you’ll pay the price.  Spend lots of time alone with God, and everybody will see the difference in you!  Your face may not glow in the dark, but one thing I can assure you, God’s face will light up when He hears your voice!  And that isn’t losing! That’s winning!