Have you ever looked at your life and felt stuck in your circumstances? So many people are living narrow, limited lives, and they don’t even realize it! They think things like, That’s it. That’s all there is. There aren’t any other options for me. They limit themselves to what they can see or what they knew growing up. If no one in their family went to college, they think they can’t either. They let other people define their limits, or they allow their resources to define their limits. But the truth is that with God, there are no limits! If you’ve settled where you are in life, realize that you are not limited by your circumstances, your past, the economy, or what you have been told you can or can’t do. You are the only one who sets the limits for your life, and today you can take the limits off by putting your faith and hope in Almighty God!
In Psalm 3, King David said, “O LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! … but you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head!” When he wrote this scripture, he was in a very difficult situation. He was actually running for his life from his very own son who wanted to kill him and take over the throne. Can you imagine?! David was probably feeling overwhelmed, distraught, heartbroken, betrayed and abandoned. Do any of these feelings sound familiar? But notice that David didn’t just tell the Lord all about his problems. He didn’t just sit and think, Looks like it’s all over for me. I guess there’s no way out. No, David declared his faith when he said, “But You, God, are a shield around me.” David made the choice to take his eyes off his circumstances and set his gaze on what God could do in his life. He was willing to stay open, and when his circumstances didn’t give him any options, he knew there was an option he couldn’t see. He chose to broaden his thinking to include the unseen, supernatural realm. When he did, he took off all the limits, and God miraculously delivered him.
Today, no matter how things look around you, remember, you are not limited! Follow David’s example, and instead of just telling God about what’s happening in the natural, take the limits off by declaring His Word over your life. Circumstances may be tough, but you are not limited because God is working behind the scenes on your behalf. You may have a difficult relationship, but you are not limited because God is your Restorer. You may have an overwhelming need, but you are not limited because God is your Provider! The doctors may have told you that you have an incurable disease, but you are not limited because God is your Healer! Things may look impossible today, but you are not limited because with God, all things are possible! Keep that constant attitude of faith and victory and make room for the limitless God to move mightily on your behalf!
God wants us to be constantly growing, rising to new levels, and reaching higher heights in this life. He wants us to flourish and excel at whatever we set our hand to. But so many people stay right where they are, day in and day out, settling for less than God’s best simply because they’ve grown accustom to their circumstances. In short, they’ve become comfortable. However, if we are going to experience all that God has for us, we can’t just stay where we are; we have to stretch and step out of our comfort zones.
Reaching new levels isn’t always easy—but it wasn’t meant to be easy. If everything were easy all the time, you wouldn’t need to stretch. You wouldn’t stretch your faith, you wouldn’t stretch your capacity to receive, you wouldn’t increase, and you would miss out on discovering so many facets of God’s character. Every time we step out, we learn more about who God is and what He’s deposited on the inside of us. Every time you take a step of faith, every time you stretch, you are tapping into more of what He has placed on the inside of you.
Remember, stretching is good for you! It’s good for your body, it’s good for your mind, and it’s good for your faith! Stretching builds your confidence. Your spiritual life begins by God doing a work in you, and then you begin to work with Him. The more new situations you experience,
the more you will stretch, and the more confidence you will have. Sometimes stretching is uncomfortable, but it prepares you for the challenges that line the road to your destiny.
Today, I encourage you to stay open to what God wants to do in your life. Be open to the people He’s placed around you, people who recognize
“The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” (Proverbs 4:18, NIV)your talents and want to help you discover your inner strengths. It may not be easy, it may not be comfortable, but it will be worth it! Be willing to step out of that comfort zone because there are new levels of greatness in store for you!
There’s a couple I know who have a son, and for many years, he was on the wrong course. He was raised in a great environment, but for some reason, he got involved with the wrong crowd, got into drugs, and ended up in and out of jail. This couple prayed and sought God. They also got him treatment and did everything they knew in the natural. But it seemed like the more they did, the worse he got, and it was taking a huge toll on the family. It didn’t look like he was ever going to change. But instead of complaining about it, every day they would speak God’s Word over their son. They would say things like, “Father, You said as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. You said the seed of the righteous would be mighty in the land, so we thank You that our son will fulfill his destiny. He will do great things for You.”
They didn’t call him what he was, they called him what they wanted him to be. About two years ago, this son went through a total transformation, got back in church, got off the drugs, went back to college and got his degree. Today he has a successful career. In his spare time, he volunteers at the ministry helping other young people who are struggling with addictions. What am I saying? Don’t give up on your family. Don’t give up on your son, daughter or spouse. God never ends on a negative. But as in this case, it may get worse before it gets better. That’s a sign the enemy is taking his best shot. But know this: his best will never be enough. The forces that are for you are greater than the forces that are against you!
Always remember, as believers, we are called to fight the good fight of faith. The reason it’s called the good fight is because we always win! It may not happen on our timetable or the way we had planned out, but God is a faithful God! If you will keep seeking Him, your life will not end on a negative. The very thing the enemy tries to use to destroy you; God can turn it around and use it for your good. He’ll use you to bless other people as you walk in His strength and victory all the days of your life!
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7, NKJV)
When things don’t go as planned, most people automatically try to figure out why. Of course, it’s good to evaluate yourself and look for ways to do better next time, but you have to be careful. It’s easy to get stuck in a cycle of overanalyzing, looking where to place the blame, or getting swallowed up in the “whys.” Not only is this heading in the wrong direction, but it opens the door to fear which will ultimately paralyze you.
It certainly doesn’t take long to slip into the “if only” syndrome … If only I had gone to college, or, If only I had married that person,” or, “If only I had qualified for that new home.” But realize today that you can’t move forward if you’re living your life looking backward. You can’t change the past, so why not look forward to where God is taking you? It may look as though you missed something good, but remember, God always has something better in store.
Years ago when Joel and I first got married, we decided to buy a home. We found one that looked perfect for us! It was located on a beautiful lot in a neighborhood with other young families, and it had a swimming pool—something I always wanted! We made the best offer we could and prayed that the owners would accept it. Day after day went by, but we didn’t hear anything. We kept speaking words of faith, declaring, “This is our house!” No one was living in it at the time, so we would drive over to it in the evening and sit outside studying and dream about it. But, unfortunately the homeowners didn’t accept our offer. The door totally closed, and I was so disappointed. In the moment, I thought for sure that was our house! I found myself tempted to say if only we had offered more money. If only we had prayed harder. If only we had acted sooner, on and on. But instead of mourning over what didn’t work out, I made the choice to let it go and believe that God had something better in store.
Right after we heard the news about the house, I found another property that caught my attention. It was an old, run-down house on a beautiful lot in a really nice neighborhood. It was actually abandoned with broken windows, no landscaping, and it even had a scarecrow in the kitchen to keep the animals out! It didn’t look like much, but deep down I believed it was right for us—not based on what made sense in my head, not based on what I thought I wanted, but based on the supernatural peace I had inside. We put a bid on that house, and sure enough, our offer was accepted.
Truthfully, I wasn’t as excited about this house as I was the first one. It didn’t have a swimming pool like I dreamed of; instead, it had crooked floors! The foundation was cracked, and some of the interior doors wouldn’t close. I had to put blocks under my sofa just to keep it from leaning forward. Friends and family used to make jokes about those crooked floors, but I grew to love that house. I knew God gave us that house, so I wasn’t going to look back and focus on what I didn’t get. That house didn’t look like the “perfect” house, but it was the right place for that season.
We lived in that house for three years, and God blessed us beyond our wildest dreams. We ended up dividing our lot and selling half of it for the same price we originally paid for the entire piece of property! We were able to build a new home for less than what we would have paid for the first house we wanted. God used that crooked-floored house to bring us through a journey of faith. That’s where we learned to trust Him and believed that He always knows what’s best, even when we weren’t getting what we thought we wanted. Even though, in the natural, it looked like we were going backward, that time actually helped us move forward spiritually. Our experience with that house gave us courage to trust God in a new way and equipped us for years down the road when we would take a basketball arena and turn it into a magnificent house of worship!
Today, I’m not living in a house with crooked floors. I’m living in a house more beautiful than I ever dreamed we would own, but I’m convinced that if I would have been unhappy over what didn’t work out, my attitude would have kept me from God’s best. Today, if you’re thinking, Life would have been different if only I had this or if only that had happened, let it go. Trust that God is guiding your steps. It may not make a lot of sense right now, but if you’ll let go of those things that didn’t work out and stay in faith, He will take you exactly where you need to be.
“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13, NLT).