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Joy Bollinger

When we lived in Florida, our next-door neighbor had a very tall Doberman that he kept in his yard behind a four-foot, chain-link fence. One day, my husband asked him, “What’s preventing Duke from jumping the fence? He clearly has the ability.” With a grin, he answered, “Because he doesn’t know he can.”

How many of us have missed opportunities, because we only saw an obstacle and believed it to be greater than our ability to circumvent it? I know that in my life there were times when I was deterred by a “fence.”

Has God ever asked you to do something that you believed was beyond your abilities? All you could see were potential barriers, that were bolstered by negative, lying tapes being played in your head: “It’s too difficult.” “You’re not talented enough, smart enough, trained enough, or educated enough.” “You failed before, so why should this work?” “Why try? You probably won’t succeed?” “What if you make a fool of yourself?” For years those negative tapes played in my head until one day, I rejected the lies and accepted the truth that those in Christ are a new creation. The old life with its past failures, mistakes and sins are gone; all things have been made new (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Alexander Graham Bell was an overcomer. When asked, “As an inventor you suffered many failures before attaining your many successes. What advice do you have for those who have met failure?” Bell answered, “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” In his long career, failure never became a “fence” that prevented him from exploring new ideas.

Jesus said, “[Satan] was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). No matter the age, any negative thoughts or doubts that we might have about ourselves are lies meant to destroy and abort God’s intended destiny for us.

God placed within every individual unique abilities and talents to be used in accomplishing His will on earth. Unfortunately, we have a tendency to believe the enemy’s lies that tell us we can’t do something; we shouldn’t do something; or if we were to do something, our efforts would have little meaningful affect or value.

Jesus explained to His disciples what He was about to accomplish according to God’s will. He would go to Jerusalem where He would suffer, be killed, and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to You!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns” (Matthew 16:20-24). Jesus was addressing the lie that Satan had spoken into Peter’s heart.

Remember that Satan is not only the father of lies but he is a clever manipulator. He was able to lead one-third of Heaven’s angels into a rebellion against God. If he was able to deceive angels who are smarter than humans, then we need to be mindful of his tactics and not be caught unawares.

Satan is so arrogant and full of himself that he even tried to deceive the very Son of God who was fasting in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights. Satan came to Him with three lies, and with each lie, Jesus spoke the Word. Satan left and angels came and ministered to the Lord (Matthew 4:1-11).

Speaking God’s Word in faith has great power. Jesus sent forth His Word and healed them and delivered them from their destruction (Psalm 107:20). The Word spoke all things into existence (Genesis 1). For the Word of God is living and active. It discerns the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). When self-defeating or incriminating words knock at the door of our minds, we should answer with God’s Word.

Each day is a new beginning. We must not believe the enemy’s lies that tell us that we cannot do what God has placed within us to achieve. For it is not by our own power or might that we accomplish great things. It is through God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 15:57).

If God places in our hearts a talent or desire, it is not to be wasted. It is to be used to benefit His kingdom. Most assuredly, He also placed within us everything we need to accomplish that goal. However, we must believe that we can do all things through Him who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13). It may seem impossible, but with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Most limitations are first birthed in the mind. With God, there are no limitations, because we have been made overcomers, capable of far more than what we could ever think or imagine.

When I was a child, I heard constant negative voices speaking into my life. Eventually, I believed those lies. However, over the years, I have learned not to entertain negative thoughts or words, because I know who I am in Christ. Negative words, if harbored, will morph into a self-fulfilling prophecy, which falsely defines the truth. Thus, that false belief becomes a new false reality.

We must release those negative thoughts so that we can move forward with God and fulfill our ordained destiny, knowing that we have been made more than conquerors through Christ (Romans 8:37). God has given us everything we need to overcome adversity and life’s challenges.

Life is full of trials and risks; nothing comes easy. Everything that is worth having requires faith in God, prayer, integrity, diligence, dedication, perseverance, tenacity, and commitment. In fact, we are told to consider it all joy when we are faced with “fences,” because it is a testing of our faith, which then produces perseverance to finish the work in us, so that there is nothing lacking (James 1:2-4).

LORD, I long to see Your plan fulfilled in my life. Give me ears to hear Your voice as it speaks and instructs my spirit. In everything I do, help me to use the gifts You have given me, so that I may work heartily for You and not for myself or for man (Colossians 3:23-24). For I believe Your Word that promises that in everything I do, if I put You first, You will direct my steps and crown my efforts with success (Proverbs 3:6). In Jesus name, amen.

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