Random Thoughts Lead Somewhere…Sometimes
As I walked through my neighborhood today, I was reminded of a stressful event that took place about 15 years ago. On that day, Maureen and I walked a favorite older neighborhood with large yards and no fences. As we walked along, a very large Boxer dog began charging toward us from it’s backyard. Having nothing between us and Kujo was a bit unnerving to say the least.
As I considered my options with the dog bearing down on us, the thought of grabbing rocks appeared to be my best defense, at least until we entered hand-to-jaw combat. Suddenly, with no explanation, the dog slammed on it’s brakes about 10 feet from the sidewalk and glared as it barked. In that moment, I was searching for answers because I wasn’t quite sure we were out of this confrontation yet. Was there an owner who called the dog? Was it on a leash and I just didn’t see it? “No” and “No.”
Then it dawned on me there was some type of electronic fence set up and this dog had learned the safe boundaries it could roam within. Needless to say, I was relieved.
Here I am 15 years later considering that scenario and wondering how it applies to me…to us. It only took a moment to see the metaphor.
So the question is, where are you like that dog 15 years ago? Where have you become conditioned to wireless fences that prevent you from pursuing whatever is over the next horizon.
The thing that’s so effective about wireless fences is they’re unseen. Like our friend above crashing through the window, we can have unobstructed views of whatever is out ahead of us but carry a mindset that we’re unable to move forward due to barriers we’ve played a part in constructing.
Mental strongholds have the same effect as wireless fences in our lives. They’re unseen agreements we’ve made with a lying spirit about specific situations. Here’s an example: you’ve had this desire to play guitar, paint, take up photography, go on a missions trip, start your own business, try out for the worship team, change careers…whatever. But to this point, you’ve taken no action toward these goals, in fact, they’re not even goals…they’re just desires unfulfilled. So why haven’t you pursued them? Not enough time; not enough talent; not smart enough, etc. etc.
The reasons you give may be valid…or, they may be agreements you’ve made over the years, creating wireless fences, pinning you in and keeping your territory of influence small.
I use the term “diamonds-in-the-rough” often when referring to some of my probation clients. Diamonds must be mined…they’re not just sitting on top of the ground all sparkling and clean. Same goes with the talent placed within us. We never start out as a finished product, but instead, we’re always a work-in-progress.
Pursuing greatness will require us to get dirty, do some earth-moving…work for something we may not quite see in the moment. Mining the talents God placed in us must be seen through God’s eyes, not our own. If we rely on our own self-assessment, we’ll probably miss the diamonds within. But be careful to listen, because you may hear God’s opinion coming to you from the strangest places…or worse yet, you may hear it from all-too-familiar places and discredit it. My parents use to compliment me about things and I would always dismiss their opinions by saying, “that’s my parents…they’re suppose to think that way.”
The Prayer of Jabez
In 1 Chronicles 4:10, Jabez cried out to God to bless him and enlarge his territory. The crazy thing is, God granted the request!
What about you? Would you like your territory enlarged? Would you like to have more influence within your company? On your campus? In your circle of friends? Over your family?
Keep in mind, I’m not talking about “power” here. I’m not talking about wanting a job promotion for personal gain. I’m talking about “influence” that can impact those around us in powerful and positive ways.
It is my prayer you will recognize those invisible barriers that keep you pinned in, and that once recognized, you will break free…and take flight.
Isaiah 40:31: “Yet those who hope in the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”