I’m not gonna lie. Getting bigger, thinking beyond, making moves, and challenging norms is painful. My family are somewhat gymnastic and very flexible (all except me, although I am prone to some quite impressive mental gymnastics). Training your muscles and body to stretch and stay flexible and free is sometimes very painful. It would be much easier to sit on your butt and seize up. Let’s face it though, a fat butt and seized up joints are no fun!
I have found it’s the same for the inner man. Staying supple, flexible, and constantly growing into the next circle of influence and income requires a painful stretch.
The thing is, it’s your thinking that limits you. That’s why it’s difficult.
Our mind tends to settle into time-trodden ruts that keep the wheels well and truly charging in one direction. When we venture beyond the norm of our own well-worn thinking the resistance of the furrows we have dug over decades tries to force us back into what we know – even when we know at a deeper level that those thought patterns are keeping us bound to an old existence.
Rolling the Ruts Is A Rotten Way To Live
Here at the outset of a new year I can feel the ruts seeking to restrain my progress.
I’m pushing against them, I see the distant breakthrough glistening over the hilltop, but there’s a stake in the ground that my mind is tied to that wants me to remain at the level I have presently attained.
Paul the apostle spoke of this pressing forward, and the strain to grasp hold of something more, in his letter to the Philippians:
“Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own.” (Philippians 3:12 AMP)
Laying hold of that for which Christ Jesus laid hold of us.
Did He lay hold of you for mediocrity? For resignation to a life half-lived? Did He give and risk all, for you to flounder in fear?
I think not!
The world is so convinced of its own deceptions it no longer knows what is real and what is not. The mass of humanity has bought into a lie and have become so immersed in a two-inch-deep lake of vanity it no longer recognises what’s real.
We live in a generation where courageous men and women of faith are required. Ferocious prayers are the order of the day. Bold declarations need to be heard in the face of so much that wants us to believe otherwise.
No to the devil! No to negative forces!
YES to Jesus and His call to artistic, creative, entrepreneurial arms!
There’s a ballsy (forgive the colloquial) commitment required to press beyond your present experience. Challenging your thinking and the ceiling your imagination has placed on you takes aggressive energy to crack.
Recently, in conversation with friends, we spoke about the value of having a word for the year.
My word, although I could choose many, is “EXPANSION”.
This word resonates with me, although if I’m honest I would prefer to shy away from it. Something much less tangible or measurable would be far more cozy right now. I feel like I have been on the front line of my thought life for the past 12 months already, and part of me wants to just cave in and curl up.
I don’t want to grow. I don’t want to stretch. I don’t want to change.
And at the same time I desperately, fervently, passionately and unequivocably…
…want to grow!
I glory in the stretching and becoming.
I long for radical, lasting, indescribably wild change that freaks me and every else one I know out! I want to step into the “abundantly above all I can as or think” realm.
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…” (Ephesians 3:20 KJV)
There is a “power that worketh in you” to take you there!
That’s the calling. That’s the Voice on the inside that refuses to accept the status quo.
It is also the challenge. On the front line of our present thinking, there’s often an internal battle between the old man and the new. The old way and the way of Christ.
The old man wants to insist on his rights and resists change.
The new man relinquishes control to a higher Intelligence.
The old man wants to control, even at the cost of progress and growth.
The new man yields and embraces the impossible, knowing that he or she is not alone in the adventure that awaits.
I’m calling for the new man. The Christ-infused, world-changing, devil-busting, money-making man to step up to the plate and unashamedly stake his claim.
Looking 2021 in the Eye
Here at the head of 2021 I refuse to back off, back down, cower or even care what others may think or say.
My whole heart is on my arm, my head is on the block, my guts are spilled, and my feet are running forward.
The following sentence is an odd one, but worth reading slowly and thoughtfully.
100% commitment is a requirement for victorious living.
Jesus put it this way:
“If you grasp and cling to life on your terms, you’ll lose it, but if you let that life go, you’ll get life on God’s terms.” (Luke 17:33 MESSAGE)
Will I make mistakes? Many.
Will I trip, fall, and fumble? Inevitably.
Will I scale mountains I thought were impossible? You bet!
Will I expand inwardly and outwardly? YES, YES and YES!
It begins right here declaring it to be so.
Done, done, and done!
I’m done with playing small. Done with over-thinking. Done with second-guessing. Done with half-hearted attempts. Done with merely trying. Done with caring what others will say. Done with getting tangled up in inconsequentials. Done with thinking ‘others’ have something I do not. Done with making excuses. Done with doing busy-work instead of significant work. Done with not doing what I know I need to do. Done with messing around on the peripheral of living. Done with shooting arrows in every direction. Done with living by default not design. Done with not speaking out what’s true for me. Done with lying, dying, and drying out in a desert of doubt. Done with faffing, fearing and floating through life.
And once I’m done with all of that Done-ing, here’s my plan.
Play all out.
Life not driven by protection but expansion.
Pray in such a way that demons need nappies to keep their insides in, and no mountain dares speak against me.
Live life as if I will one day die.
Oh, yes. One day I will die, and so will you.
Better get living right away!
2021 here we come.