Do not limit God AND Yourself!
You are at your best when you are authentic to your core and you have to be what you are, not what people call you.
Pastor Steve Furtick, in (Soar) book interview with Bishop T.D Jakes asks him, “No matter what title someone would put with the name T.D Jakes, they would have to put a slash after it. You are a Pastor, Author – New York Times bestselling multiple number one for 793 weeks, Producer, Record Label Executive, Philanthropist, Father, Husband…At the heart of that nickname though is a lot of admiration. I wonder, when did you decide not to be limited by one title or one function?”
In his response, Bishop T.D Jakes states, “I never knew that the way people described you would become a prison until they did it. When I met me, I was not a preacher. So, I didn’t know that they would incarcerate me with the title.”
Some examples from the Bible?
Bishop T.D Jakes continues, "Sometimes people will call you a name, and you start living up to the name and it limits you from what else God wants to do in your life. I get a lot of credit for inventing this but the credit is really misplaced. When you think of the Apostle Paul, he was:
- A writer,
- A thinker respected by the thinkers of his age at a time when there were profound thinkers in Paul's time,
- Known for his ability to be progressive intellectually.
- A speaker,
- A tentmaker, that’s how he was able to influence Aquila and Priscilla. Not because of his preaching, but because of his tentmaking business. They shared the same business and out of that business influence and affluence a relationship emerged that affected the Kingdom of God.
When you also look at Jesus who was a carpenter's son and later, they called him a carpenter? That was not the main reason Jesus was on earth at that time. His job was to save mankind and not carpentry. He also did miracles, healed the sick, cast out demons...
What happens in life as you evolve as a person, you cannot allow yourself to be incarcerated by anything that people would describe you with because you will limit what the Holy Spirit can do in your life."
Don't be Limited
You should have an appreciation for the value of life and a refusal to allow anybody to take away the great privilege of being alive, think for yourself. You should purpose to move in your own direction. People will always want to say whatever they want to say about it, but you have to be YOU.
Don't put a period because you did one thing that you can't do or be something else. Learn how to evolve as an individual that you can explore other idioms of thoughts.
In my younger years, I knew of a Pastor who started selling cars on weekdays and run Church sermons on Sundays. I remember being offended because I felt they were diluting their pastoral call. Later, I came to understand that fixing and selling cars was actually something he was passionate about and had done for many years prior to the preaching call. Have you ever judged people you know for not-limiting themselves? Have you ever being judged by people for not-limiting yourself?
We should not judge ourselves or others for exploring the gifts and talents God has put in them. The only true Judge is God. He will measure each one of us based on the seed He has deposited in us. And as stated earlier, we ALL have these seeds in one form or another. Some people have become successful because they gave themselves permission to explore and others live and die poor (not in just money but in unexploited potential) because they deny themselves this permission to dream and to become!
Get out of your Comfort Zone
BRING A HUNDRED FOLD BACK TO THE MASTER
We sometimes spend so much time trying to decide what we can or cannot do, convincing ourselves that we don't know yet, that we haven't tried yet, and that we are not sure yet. So, how do you know if you are staying in your comfort zone?
In terms of success, you will be measured on the basis of God’s investment in terms of contribution. In the parable of the talents, the Master gave one man one talent, another man two talents and another man five talents. He didn't expect the man with one talent to produce ten - but at least give me two. The man who had two talents came back with four and the man with five talents came back with ten. Those are the same things. That's a hundredfold or a hundred percent. But the man with one came back with nothing and that’s why he got in trouble with the Master.
DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF WITH YOUR NEIGHBOUR
Now the Apostle Paul says that when we compare ourselves with one another, in so doing it is not wise because we don't have the same starting Point. This means that your success cannot be based on what your neighbour has – it would only be fair if you started with what your neighbour started with.
Life is so complex and each one of us has his/her own combinations of these complexities. No matter the circumstances in your life, there will always be a uniqueness that only you has experienced and can understand. Knowing that God has all that factored in, should give us confidence and permission to explore.
YOU ARE NOT CLEAR ON WHAT TALENT YOU HAVE?
God has given each one of us a calling. You could be wondering, in the parable of the talents, do you have one talent or five?
The only place you can get this answer is by connecting with God. The very first command God says to Adam is to be fruitful. You can only be fruitful if you are seed-full. Identifying your seed is what causes you to be fruitful. The first revelation of seeds should happen in your family - you should have parents who are looking at their kids looking for seeds. This should start early at home. So if you are a parent, start looking for the seeds in your children and fan them to get the fruit. If you did not receive this privilege in your childhood yourself, you can start now.
Start by identifying what seed God put in you – we all have it in different areas and strengths of life. When you get it, start to fin ds ways to sharpen it by advancing in skills – we talked about some of the free online learning resources. You can also attach yourself to someone who is ahead of you in the advancement of that skill. Then start doing it. The Bible says blessed is the doer not the hearer. You have to put your hands to the plough (King James language for start working!).
There are so many people who have dormant seeds laying inside of them that if they get in the right atmosphere, they would do things we have never seen before. You might not have had the benefit of parents who could see it or had time to see it or knew how to see it - but even as an adult, the seed is still there.
Permission Granted to Dream!
Stay True to You
In our ever changing environment, there's increased pressure to become what other people and the society wants us to be. While it's important to adapt with change, the core of who you are and the purposes God has for you should not change. The only being that should define who you should be must be God. You can only get this from a good investment of time spent with Him.
Your gifts and talents will remain and they have no repentance i.e they can never be taken away. The expression of those gifts and talents can change over time due to external developments of civilizations, technologies and environments.
Do not be conformed to the standards of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind through the Word of God.
Over to you!