Take the Limits Off [2]

This is a challenge. To not allow things or thinking to stop us from tapping into the potential God has placed inside each one of us.

Image plays a part.

So does IDEALISM. I would describe this as the pursuit of ones own ideals. That dream, that romantic view of how things should be, the perfect scenario of how God can use me. Extremely idealistic, just not very realistic.

Maybe the man in Matthew 25 given one talent had an idea of what he could do but as he thought about it more the need for everything to be right before he moved took over and eventually stopped him from doing anything.

You know the problem. Everything has to be ‘just’ right. Everything in its place. If it won’t work out that way, then why bother. Such an idealistic approach will put limits on me.

I think of the rich young ruler who had a perfect idea of what it meant to follow God. Jesus challenged this, made it messy and uncomfortable, maybe a little more chaotic. But that’s okay. To take the limits off may involve a change of thinking from ‘It’s not what I wanted so I couldn’t possibly’ to ‘It’s what God wants so I couldn’t possibly not’.

I need to be less idealistic and more realistic, let go of my need for things to be perfect and be intentional about doing SOMETHING and TRUSTING God for how it might turn out. I just need a VISION, an IDEA and to then start to work towards it.

INDECISION. The challenge of what to do & when to do it. That certainly effects my willingness to use all that God has placed inside me. Maybe the man in the story suffered from indecision and then as a last resort just put the talent in a safe place, to return when appropriate.

Indecision is the friend to missed opportunities. It’s fellow team players are doubt, procrastination, hesitation, wavering, uncertainty, ambivalence and dithering. It leads to laying on my death bed wondering what might have been. The thing with indecision is that while I stand still, someone else may possibly step in to take my place.

Esther 4:14
‘For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?’

There is a time to wait.
There are times to pray.
Then there are times just to step up & get involved.

The Apostle Paul uses a great phrase over and over again…

Acts 27:22
But now I urge you to keep your courage

Romans 12:2
Therefore I urge you, in view of God’s mercy to offer you bodies as living sacrifices, holy & pleasing to God…

Romans 15:30
I urge you brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ….to join me in my struggle by praying

1 Corinthians 4:16
I urge you to imitate me

2 Corinthians 2:8
I urge you therefore, to reaffirm your love to him

Ephesians 4:1
I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received

Hebrews 13:19
I urge you to pray

1 Peter 2:11
I urge you as aliens & strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires….

Jude 1:3
I urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to you

Urgency cancels out indecision.
Urgency makes me act before I have too much time to think about what I am doing.
This is not a time for indecision. This is our ONE life & we MUST not let it pass us by.
None of us can afford to be indecisive. After all, Jesus simply says FOLLOW ME. He never said where to, what would be involved or how things would pan out.

Let’s take the limits off. What’s stopping you?

Take the Limits Off

Ever wondered what stopped the individual in Matthew 25 who got given 1 talent from doing anything with it? Don’t know about you but I do not want to be called ‘wicked, lazy, worthless’. Should it concern us that many of us head that way, sometimes without even realising it.

If 3 people are given talents and one of them just buries it then does that mean that 1 out of 3 people are doing NOTHING with what God has deposited within them. Am I just busy doing the wrong things? What reasons do I give that limit by ability to take a hold of every opportunity that comes my way?

Hear what the person says…
I knew you were are hard man
I knew you reaped where you did not sow
I was afraid
I thought to myself
I decided to bury it

‘I’ has a lot to answer for. It begins many sentences with excuses at the other end. As it did for the man stood with one talent, so we often do the same. I decided not to because of…

– the concern with how it will make me look

Culture influences image. TV is full of programmes telling us to look right.The cosmetics industry is worth over £37bn in UK – thats BIG business. It’s little wonder that we get concerned about how doing certain things will make us look.

Maybe for the person with one talent they became concerned with how doing things would make them look, after all, reputations are precious. They are hard to earn but can be easily lost.

There is a danger though for me as a Christian. If I base decisions on image then I put limits on what I can do. If my concern is directed more towards what others might think about me, then perhaps my focus is wrong. Surely my focus should be more on how God sees me. Isn’t acting in faith the better way to go?

Image = me centred
Faith = God-centred
Image = I look okay
Faith = God looks good
Image = concerned with own reputation
Faith = concerned with God’s reputation
Image = can affect our confidence
Faith = confidence is in God

If you look at God’s view on image He was more concerned with what was going on inside a person’s heart rather than how the outside looked. When King Saul acted because of how things were making him look, it cost him his kingship. While David, who was considered unlikely because he didn’t fit the part was described from God’s perspective as ‘a man after God’s own heart’.

Image should not be a reason to stop me but it sometimes it is.
Image can override my ability to trust God.
Image may stop me stepping out of the things I know and am comfy in, into areas where I don’t know everything.

I can’t play not to lose. I need to be more determined to do whatever I can, concerning myself less with how it makes me look and focus more on how it makes God look. That means I MUST exercise my faith in God – after all, he wouldn’t put things in me if he didn’t believe I could handle it.

[What other things can stop us?]