“But the path of the just is like the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18.
If we honestly evaluate our lives today, one of three conditions would likely describe where we are: 1, moving forward; 2, stagnant; or 3, sliding backwards. For some, it may just be a temporary experience but unfortunately for others, it is the permanent situation of their lives. No matter your state, I want you to know that it’s possible to breakout and move forward.
I have seen people stuck in a rut, hemmed in a season of life; either locked up in the prison of their minds, or of their past, or of the devil’s making. Consequently, they live on a treadmill, sometimes appearing to be moving but really going nowhere! It is as if a verdict had been pronounced somewhere that said, ‘thus far you can go and no farther.’ Deep in their hearts, there is a cry, like the Psalmist, “Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name…” (Psalm 142:7 NIV)
There are other lives characterized by the ‘almost syndrome.’ They almost made it but never quite; almost passed the exams; almost got married; almost got the job; almost became rich; almost, almost, always almost! They remind me of the lame man at the Beautiful Gate (Acts 3). He made it to the gate but didn’t get in. He was almost inside. Every day of his life he watched others go in but he always ended up at the gate.
They remind one of Lazarus, who though raised from the dead, was still limited (John 11:43-44). His hands were bound (limited in service); his feet were bound (limited in progress); and a napkin covered his eyes (limited in vision). It was only after Lazarus had been loosed that we find him sitting at the table with Jesus in a place of honour (John 12:2).
WHEN YOU FACE A BARRIER
In Exodus Chapter Fourteen we read about what happened after the children of Israel departed from Egypt. When they got to the Red Sea, they met a barrier. The people wanted to move backwards but behind them was the mightiest army of that era. Moses’ admonition to them was to “stand still” but God’s instruction was:“And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.” (Ex 14:15). God wanted them to move forward notwithstanding the obstacle that was before them. But already, God had provided the instrument with which they were to part the sea and that was Moses’ rod.
Often in life, we are made to believe that what will bring about our breakthrough is outside of us but it is not always so. As John Maxwell has observed, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” The pertinent question you need to ask yourself is: “What has God put in my hand that I can use to break the ceiling over my life?
I have observed that in life, nothing changes until a person is dissatisfied with the status quo. There’s no way you can help a man who has the illusion that everything is alright with him. Sadly, people often settle for a life far less than what God intended for them.
If you want to swim upstream, you require force greater than the forces opposing you. For instance, if the force against you is 60 and you are swimming at 30, you will be moving backwards; if you’re doing 60 then the net effect is zero, so you’ll be stagnant. If the force against you is 60 then you need to exceed that force in order to have a breakthrough. Those who are moving forward are exerting greater force than the forces arrayed against them. Any time a person goes from one level to a higher and better level in life, we call that a breakthrough!
THE RACE OF LIFE
Most people have something they are running from. The way a person runs, indeed, the speed at which he runs, depends on what is pursuing him. If he’s being chased by a mere fowl, well, he can afford to take a stroll; if it’s a dog, then he’ll probably need to run; but if it’s a lion, he’ll run beyond his usual ability and scale any wall before him. It’s quite unfortunate that there are people being pursued by spiritual lions but they have chosen to take a casual walk!
BREAKDOWN OR BREAKTHROUGH
When you get to a wall in the journey of life you have to make a critical decision: do I get stuck and have a breakdown or press on to have a breakthrough? But you must understand what is resisting you in order to know how to effectively break through the wall. Whatever the case, you must know that there is nothing that is up against you that you cannot overcome through Christ in you. Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13)
I have no doubt that God’s will and plan for each one of us is that we move forward, not only in life but also in our calling. May that be the cry and aspiration of our hearts; may we not settle for anything less than God’s best for our lives.