Joseph is a fruitful bough,
A fruitful bough by a well;
run over the wall.
Have you felt limited, hindered, or held back by walls of limitation?
Are you frustrated from being blocked and shut down at every angle?
Have you prayed for the walls to come down? The barriers to be removed?
Though it is true some walls are meant to crumble others are left to conquer.
This word from Genesis 49:22 says, yes, there are walls, but they will not hold you back! You can grow over the walls of limitation. You can outgrow your walls of restriction and breakthrough the barriers. These walls don’t need to come down because the Lord is aiming to take you up and over!
Take this to heart- if you are willing God is able, to enable you to outgrow every wall that has tried to surround and imprison your life. In the process He is using those barriers to cause your roots to grow deep and your faith to grow strong so that you can go higher than your greatest limitation. What you see as a restriction (the walls) God sees as opportunity!
The archers have bitterly grieved him,
Shot at him and hated him.
But his bow remained in strength,
And the arms of his hands were made strong
By the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob
Despite apparent walls that currently surround your life, you are going to prevail and be very fruitful! The hand of your Mighty God will ensure it!
At the beginning of this year, I sensed the Lord leading me to make a significant change in my daily schedule. To go from being someone who woke up and began her day at about 7:00 or 7:30 am to becoming someone who would rise before sunrise. For many, this may not sound like a big deal but I have always been more of a night owl than an early bird. Whenever I would have to get up before the sun would rise I would inwardly grumble feeling robbed of sleep. The script that would play in my mind would often go something like this, “you are not a morning person. You don’t do well when you have to get up before sunrise. You are not going to have an energetic day.” But this year the Lord wanted to flip this script.
Though there were a number of beneficial reasons for why the Lord was asking me to go through this transformation the greatest reason of all was simply to show me that I could. And that the same way this was possible is the same way anything is possible!
In Romans 12:2 it says,
“do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”
According to this passage being transformed is not only a command but a promise!
The word transformed is the Greek word metamorphoō and it means-
It is a word that actually implies we can go from one reality to another. As many of you know it is the word, we use to describe what happens when a caterpillar transforms into a beautiful butterfly. From crawling on its belly and inching its way across the earth to breaking free from its earthbound life, sprouting wings, and flying unshackled and untethered from gravity. It is a beautiful illustration of the power of transformation. The incredible possibility of changing our reality!
However, it is vital to note that transformation happens “by the renewing of your mind.” For me to be transformed into a morning person required changing the way I thought. I had to make a decision that I was no longer going to play the old script but rather adopt a new one. Instead of saying, “I am not a morning person.” I would say aloud to myself “I enjoy rising before the sun to begin my day.” Instead of saying, “You don’t do well when you have to get up before the sun rises.” I would say aloud to myself, “Today is going to be a great day because you were able to rise before the sun came up!” Before I felt it, I said it!
Within two weeks I was not only saying it, but I felt it! I began to look forward to rising before the sun came up and I had the energy to go with it! My reality went through a metamorphosis and became something new. Several months have now passed and rising before the sun comes up is a new normal for me. Though there are times when I have been tempted to revert to the old way of thinking I am now equipped to recognize it and take the thought captive quickly before it pulls me backward.
I share this because often we are tethered to old patterns of thinking that impose limitations that God has not placed on us. Every good and wonderful thing that God intends for your life can only be apprehended by first renewing your mind. Your better self is on the other side of a metamorphosis. Without question, this is an ongoing process. A life-long journey of discovering the full potential of the treasure contained in these earthen vessels.
My prayer is that today you will look to the Lord and ask Him where you need to adopt a new way of thinking and then commit to the process of transformation. A new set of wings await you!
As I walked into the cardio room at the gym this morning, I was greeted with the overwhelming stench of someone’s sweat! I realize it is a cardio room and people do go there to sweat, but the room is equipped with an enormous air filtering system that usually keeps the odor at a minimum. But not today! As I climbed on my machine, I was able to quickly identify the culprit- a man probably in his mid-fifties, sweating from head to toe and stinking to high heaven. The smell was so pungent and putrid I couldn’t concentrate on anything else. I was consumed with wanting him to go and take his stinky sweat with him. I know it sounds petty, but I actually prayed for him to leave. It took everything in me to resist gagging from the smell. Thankfully to my great relief he made his move within a few minutes after my arrival exiting the cardio room. However, it took an additional fifteen minutes before the smell finally cleared and I am pretty sure there were a few people who walked in afterward looking my direction and thinking I was the culprit.
Now there are many who come into that room, work out hard, and get soaked in their own sweat, but it is rare that their smell becomes that offensive and overwhelming. What was different about this guy? Though I can’t be certain my guess is that he probably came in carrying a stench from the previous day. Old sweat is much fouler than new sweat. Maybe he worked hard the day before and decided to wait for a shower until after his morning workout. Bad idea! An in-between shower could have made a world of difference.
I happened to be reading through Matthew 10 while all this was transpiring, and it made me think twice about Jesus’ words in verse 4.
“ And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.”
Though I understand the significance of “shaking the dust from your feet” as an open warning, I also think it carries an even greater significance for our own sake and the sake of those to whom we are called to serve in the future.
If I allow the dust from a bad experience today to settle on me and travel with me into tomorrow, it can potentially taint my future ministry to others with the stench of yesterday.
I’ve discovered that when I carry the dirt of an offense, disappointment, frustration, or wound from yesterday into today, it has the power to spoil and corrupt the present work of Christ through me. I wind up believing for less and complaining more. Instead of the sweet fragrance of Christ, there’s the foul smell of flesh.
So what is the remedy? A good spiritual bath-DAILY!
Come into the presence of God with all the garbage of your day, so He can wash you clean with His living water. Don’t allow your wounds and disappointments to fester but instead choose to let His love cleanse, heal, and restore you. Take time to pour out your heart before Him then allow Him to pour out the water of His word over you. If you need to shed some tears, then shed some tears but then allow him to dust off your feet so you can walk into tomorrow smelling fresh and clean.