Before we begin focusing on our purpose, who we are, and our destiny but, before we do all of that, I believe we have to recognize and address our weaknesses, past hurts that we are hanging on to and dig up root issues that have taken over our heart space. When we find healing, we find our true identity! Amen?
Have you heard the saying “Chasing the proverbial carrot”? I remember seeing cartoons on TV where an animal or someone was chasing a carrot dangling on a string, tied to a stick and someone was running with it. It was always out of reach and the chaser could never catch it. There was a time in my life where I chased such a carrot. My carrot was a red jacket, then a car and recognition, etc. Anyone else? I sold Mary Kay for several years and excelled. I never could balance the God first family second and then the Mary Kay idea they sold me on. I could never catch that carrot. I was always just on the edge of the next big level of breakthrough. After chasing the elusive target (or carrot if you will), I realized that I was living my life conditionally on something just out of reach. I think all of us have lived this in some way shape or form. If only….
If only my husband would break this habit then our marriage would work. If only my child would beat their addiction, then we could finally quit worrying and enjoy life again. If only I had my degree then I would get a great job, get noticed and get a promotion. If only, If only…. (you fill in the blanks) What is your “If only”?
If only…. What happens if we get our “if only?” Sometimes we feel lost, less than excited and motivated. Then, we find something else to make the pivot point for our contentment, forward progress or spiritual growth. Like the man at the pool of Bethesda, we wait on someone else to help us get what we want. We become dependent on the other people, uncontrollable events and different circumstances because we feel powerless. We remain paralyzed and watch as others experience the joy that comes from attaining what we so desperately wish we had. We choose to remain paralyzed.
How many times have you accomplished a goal or fulfilled a dream only to experience incredible disappointment? If you do not pursue God, you will always be disappointed. We have to run our race of faith, God focused, no matter how significant our achievement or how devastating our loss. In 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
it says “run in such a way to get the prize, everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever!” I believe that too often we remain dependent on “If Only” and “what if” in our lives. We come up with reasons why we cannot experience the full, abundant life Jesus told us He came to bring (John 10:10… The thief comes to kill steal and destroy, I have come to give you life abundant, to the full.)
We wait on someone else to help us, while feeling sorry for ourselves. On one extreme we make excuses for taking ourselves out of life’s races, while on the other we chase after our gold medals and then wonder why they do not satisfy us. Good news! There is a solution in breaking the cycle of dependency in our lives and taking responsibility for doing what God tells us to do. The man at the pool had a painful condition that had become the center of his identity. Before we can truly know our identity, which is in Christ, we have to be willing to look at what we are holding on to that holds us back, captive from knowing who we are and all that God has for us!
What deficit have you allowed to define you? What limp, injury, disease or past experience do you carry in your soul? How do you answer Jesus when He asks “Do you want to get well?” What will you do to be healed? Will you pick up your mat and walk? Or will you continue waiting on someone else to carry you to your miracle?
In all areas of our lives, we have to be willing to let go of the labels we have allowed to define us. We must move beyond the barriers we allow to limit us from day to day. We must choose to stop seeing ourselves as victims of our circumstances and see our circumstances as subject to the authority and healing power of Jesus Christ. Amen?
We have the power, but we do not want to welcome it. Sometimes, when we have our miracle, we don’t know how to move forward after being paralyzed by dependency for so long. We have to realize that healing and miracles might not necessarily be offered on our terms. The man at the pool instantly let go of his excuses, his past and the identity to his condition and stood on his own two feet. He broke the cycle of dependency that had left him lying continually on the edge of a miracle but never in its embrace.
This man assumed he could never do what needed to be done, never attain what he seemingly longed for, so very much. Year after year this man sank deeper and deeper into a mire of emotions: fear, self-pity, hopelessness and despair. When you depend on others more than you depend on God, you will never see the fullness of what God purposed for you; perpetual paralysis will define you. You are on the edge of the miracle that God has for you right now! He has purposed you here for a reason!
A water bottle, probably weighs what… 1 lb? Do you think I could hold this bottle with my arm straight out for 30 seconds without any issue? Ok what about a minute? Probably… what if I held it like that for 1 hour or 24 hours? Would there be any changes? Like… (pain, tiredeness, heaviness etc..) It would hurt me, right?
The thing is, as I hold it for a long time, the weight of the bottle never changes only the length of time I was holding it. See the bottle represents challenges, problems, worries, stress, past hurts, past rejections etc… The longer we hold on to them the more damage and harm they cause us. We may not understand it but peace is more important than trying to understand the pain. It’s better to let it go then to let the pain ruin your life.
Let’s not settle for less than God’s best and trust Him for the miracle we need to experience healing. The time has come for change!
Your destiny does not rest in someone else’s hands.
Your future does not rest in someone else’s hands.
Your family does not rest in someone else’s hands.
They all rest in the one who loves you, saves you, redeems you and heals you. Jesus said: “No one will snatch them out of my hand - John 10:28.
He’s got you! It’s time we move beyond our conditional living and break our cycle of dependency to find freedom and our identity in Christ!
I love this saying… “You are only limited by the way you see your circumstances not by the circumstances themselves!”
Call to Action: I want you to think about a hard time or times in your life where you have felt uncomfortable. What strengths have you learned to hide? What strengths or abilities came shining through? What struggles have you overcome and what strengths have helped you along the way? Write these down.
These are your “Diamond Moments!”
You Are Loved!