of encouragement>>breaking through limitations
God is encouraging us not to limit ourselves, and this
is what I would like to share with you today.
When I took this photograph, God was telling me to “break
through my limitations”. The black netting here represents our limitations…
whatever is holding us back. The yellow Allamanda flower is breaking through
the netting, and is in full bloom. The Allamanda flower is realising her
I did a painting of this photograph as it was so inspirational
to me. In May 2005, I attended the Worship Conference hosted by the Caribbean
Worship Institute in Curacao. My Pastor asked me to give one of my paintings
as a gift to Richard Jansen who was one of the organisers of this Conference,
and I sensed that God wanted me to give him this particular painting.
In my mind, I thought that the message of this painting
was for the recipient. But I soon realised that God was working on ME!
Limitation within myself
As I looked deep within my heart, I was struggling with
the idea of even travelling to Curacao with our Church for this Conference.
In the past, I had processed some missions experiences negatively, and
this had hindered me greatly from going on another missions trip with
I had done a 7 week missions trip years ago to Surinam.
During that trip we had two interior mission trips – one by boat
(canoe) and the other by truck to the interior. I had found them “stretching”,
to say the least, with excessive heat, cramped quarters, mosquitoes, and
a lack of bathroom facilities.
Looking back on it now, I do not regret my experiences,
as I saw different living conditions in which other people had to live.
To them, this was NORMAL.
I can look back now… and actually think of some
good memories. But during that time, I saw the negative more than I saw
the positive of what God was doing in me.
I think that this is one of the key things to learn about
travelling to different countries, and that is to UNDERSTAND that other
people live in different conditions, and have different customs than what
we are used to.
When it comes to travelling with the Church on a mission
trip, you have to learn to be FLEXIBLE and adapt to whatever situation
you find yourself in, and make the best of it. And you have to go with
an OPEN MIND and a GOOD ATTITUDE.
I said all this to say, that when I was going to Curacao
I had to prepare myself mentally, emotionally and spiritually –
that I could be stepping into any kind of situation…
that it was a different culture…
that we could have internal stuggles on our team (as I had experienced
that due to the nature of the Conference, we would be going into a spiritual
warfare zone which would bring added pressures…
However, God had specifically spoken to me to go to Curacao,
and I submitted this time to God to do as He would choose… and I
decided that I would go with a GOOD ATTITUDE!
And God really made it a wonderful experience for me!
I went to a home of a warm, loving family. I have never experienced a
family so warm and hospitable in my life! They took their 2 children into
their own bedroom so they could host 4 people in their home!
I had a good experience with Cheryl Ann as my roommate.
Cheryl Ann was involved in the dance ministry from our Church. We had
time to share, and to pray together as God would lead us.
The Conference had some really good speakers, and I really
enjoyed experiencing another culture, and all of the Spanish music! There
were dancers from other nations, such as Aruba and Venezuela. So there
were many different costumes, which was such a pleasure to see. On the
final night, all the dancers were part of this wonderful dance that used
all the aisles in the auditorium – and it was great! I totally enjoyed
the cultural experience in worship on this trip.
Look at what I would have missed, if I had limited myself,
and not gone forward to experience all that God had for me!
How does this apply to our lives? What causes us to limit
1. Negative experiences not processed properly. We must
re-visit these experiences and ask God to show us ALL the positive things
that we have learned from them.
“And we know that in all things God
works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according
to his purpose.” Rom. 8:28 NIV
2. Fear. Fear of the unknown, or the future. Fear of rejection
by others. Fear of failure. Fear of ridicule. I saw a book title recently
that read: “If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of
the boat!” I thought that was such a wonderful statement. Many of
us would like to accomplish much in our lives, but we allow fear to hold
us back. Fear is the opposite of FAITH! Faith needs to arise in our hearts!
God is not going to let us down. We may have some challenges, but God
is going to bring us through!
“For God did not give us a spirit of
timidity (fear), but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”
2 Tim. 1:7 NIV
3. A Mindset of Unbelief – “It’s impossible”.
We know that God is telling us to do something, but deep within ourselves,
we are saying “It’s impossible.” God says that ALL THINGS
are possible through Him. We need to say that we can do all things through
Christ who strengthens us!
“I can do everything through him who
gives me strength.” Phil. 4:13 NIV
4. Expectations – or lack of them.
“Now faith is being sure of what we
hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Heb. 11:1 NIV
Sometimes God wants to do more than we expect, but do
we allow Him? Sometimes our thinking is too small. For example, the house
God gave me is much bigger and nicer than I ever imagined I could have!
If I had not listened to what God was saying to me, and had listened to
my mind and bank account, I would not have such a nice house to live in
Sometimes we are the ones who hold ourselves back. For
example, we pray for a new or better job – but are we willing to
get any job training to get the better job? God is willing and able to
give us the better job, but we need to be prepared for it.
As I began to think about this subject of limiting God,
I was left with some soul-searching questions, which I will share with
Am I expecting good things from God?
Am I limiting the way God wants to move in my life?
If I am limiting God, in what way? And what can I do to
I hope that you will search your heart too. I would like
you to step out into all that God has for you… and to see God, as
the God of limitless potential!