40 DAYS OF ABUNDANT LIVING – BREAKING THE BARRIER OF THE PAST
We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. 6 And after you have become fully obedient, we will punish everyone who remains disobedient. - 2 Corinthians 10:3-6
It is almost difficult to remember that only a few decades ago, track-and-field experts pompously declared that no runner could break the four-minute-mile barrier. A human being couldn't run that far, that fast, for that length of time. "Experts" conducted all sorts of profound studies to show it was impossible to beat the four-minute barrier. And for years, they were right. Nobody ever ran a mile in less than four minutes.
But one day a young man by the name of Roger Bannister came along who didn't believe the experts' opinions. He didn't dwell on the impossibilities. He refused to let all those negative words form a stronghold in his mind. He began to train, believing he was going to break that record. Sure enough, he went out one day and broke the four-minute-mile barrier. He did what the experts said couldn't be done and he made sports history.
Now, here is what so interesting about the Roger Bannister story. Within ten years after he broke that record, 336 other runners had broken the four-minute-mile record as well! Think about that. For hundreds of years, as far back as statisticians kept track-and-field records, nobody ran a mile in less than four minutes; then, within a decade, more than three hundred people from various geographic locations were able to do it. What happened?
Simple, the barrier to running a four-minute mile was in the athletes' minds. For all those years, runners believed what the experts were saying. They were convinced that it was impossible to run a mile in less than four minutes.
You will never go beyond the barriers in your own mind. If you think you can't do something, then you never will. That's what the Bible calls a "stronghold." It's a wrong thinking pattern that keeps us imprisoned in defeat. You must break through those limitations of the past and let your mind dwell on fresh, positive attitudes of faith. Breaking those barriers will change your life and the lives of your children. God has given us mighty weapons for the pulling down of those strongholds and break the barrier of the past.
To break the barrier of the past, you should:
1. Pull down the strongholds
A stronghold is the result of a distorted perspective of who you are, who God is and the assessment of your circumstances. The Bible says, “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” Satan uses lies, deception and fear to paralyze you. You may have experienced a legitimate set back or misfortune but you can overcome it. Regardless of what you may be facing or may have experienced, it's time to move on, to let go of past hurts, pains, or failures. You can use the power of the word of God and the name of Jesus to pull down every stronghold. God said it is by His Spirit that the mountains shall be removed. It's time to believe for bigger things. It's time for increase, time for promotion, time for supernatural favor.
2. Trust God to change your life
God wants to do a new thing in your life. He has great things in store for you. Don't let your past determine your future. He's promised to take all the evil that's come into your life, turn it around, and use it for your good. God wants you to live an overcoming life of victory. He's called El Shaddai, "the God of more than enough." The Bible says, "Enlarge the place of your tent. Let the curtains of your habitation be stretched out. Spare not. Lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes, for soon you will be bursting at the seams."What a powerful picture of God's desire for you! God is saying get ready for more. Make room for increase. Enlarge your tents. God works by faith. You must believe first, and then you'll receive. God will help you break that curse in your family, but it will take perseverance and a willingness to change on your part. Notice the words God uses. He says to "enlarge, lengthen, and stretch out." We ought always to be trusting God for more. You may have all you need, but don't be selfish. Why not stretch your faith and believe God for more so you can help somebody else in need? God is saying, "If you'll make room for more of My blessings, I won't disappoint you. Soon you'll be bursting at the seams."
3. Ask God for the fire of the Holy Spirit
The Angel Gabriel said to Mary, The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Highest will overshadow you.” Make room in your own thinking, and then you'll start experiencing some of His supernatural increase. You must have some determination; ask God to put some fire in your spirit. Begin speaking in terms of victory rather than defeat. Your words have amazing power, so quit talking about what you can't do, and start talking about what God can do in and through you. Keep your mind focused on God's goodness. Stay in an attitude of faith and victory, and you will no longer live under the bondage that's been passed down from previous generations. Take a stand and be the one to make a difference. Go beyond the old barriers of the past. Don't just accept whatever comes your way in life. You were born to win; you were born for greatness; you were created to be a champion in life.
Rev. Obadiah Swen
Application and Prayer for Today
1. Reflect on what past hurt, set back or misfortune is paralyzing you and hindering your progress.
2. What can you do to break the barrier of the past?
3. Pray that God will overshadow you with the power of His Spirit. Read and meditate on Luke 1:35 and Zechariah 4:6