Identifying the sources of negative spiritual gravity in our lives is the first step to breaking free. When we see what is holding us back, those things begin to lose some power in the light of that exposure, but knowing gravity exists will not give us the power to overcome its pull. We need to take active steps to move upward. Here are five steps that can build the momentum we need.
Dream God-Sized Dreams
Do you remember your imagination? You probably used it a lot when you were younger, but in the course of maturity, we become more conservative in our vision and we constrain our dreams. God dreams big dreams, and you are created in God’s image. You were made to pursue grand visions, not to settle for what is common, or easy. The first step toward breaking free from the sources of negative spiritual gravity is to give our imaginations permission to dream big again.
What would you do if you had nothing holding you back? What captivates your heart? What is burning within you, crying to be free? These are the questions to ask, and ponder. Take the shackles off of your dreams, and embrace the Biblical promise that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Remember, we have a God who can do, “exceedingly, abundantly beyond all we can ask or imagine through his power that is at work within you.” (Ephesians 3:20)
Take Hold of the Vision
Dreams remain dreams until we embrace them, then they become a vision. Keep dreaming, but as you begin to resonate with your dreams, let them become visions that draw you forward. To use the rocket illustration of the past two days, launches do not happen by accident, nor are they just to see the rocket go up. There is a clear vision of the rocket’s purpose, direction, and destination. Dreams must be distilled into a vision. Even if all of the details are not clear, the next step is to own the vision that is growing within you. Once you take hold of it, the clarity will begin to come, and you will be on your way. God reminded the prophet Habakkuk, “The vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end – it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” (Habakkuk 2:3)
Fill Your Tank with Faith
You cannot create energy without fuel, and that fuel is faith. Breaking free will involve building our faith, and increasing the capacity for faith in our lives. Start with what you have. If your faith is low, then use what you have to accomplish small victories. A series of small steps accomplishes the same thing as a giant leap, and with each step completed, your faith will grow.
It is also important to feed on inspiration. Read Scripture, pray, and spend time in fellowship with others who dream God-sized dreams. Read books by people with vision and faith. Savor the stories of faith-filled people, both past and present. It is very easy to find stories of defeat and discouragement. Make the effort to fill yourself with things that strengthen your faith and deepen your dreams.
As hard as it is to hear, it may be necessary to remove yourself from voices that speak negativity and defeat. It is very hard to build faith when others are holding you back. I am not suggesting our relationships with people are merely expendable, but embracing the dream God plants in your life may require limiting the impact some people have on your life and energy. Instead, surround yourself with people who will share their faith and help you fill your tank.
Keep Your Eyes on Jesus
Breaking free from what holds us back involves playing one of the greatest, and most significant, games of follow the leader. Just as driving requires keeping our eyes on where we want to go, so moving forward into our destiny demands that we keep our eyes on the One who is leading us into it.
You might remember the story of the Apostle Peter. He was in a boat with the other disciples when they saw a figure walking on the waves. At first they are afraid, but then they realize that it is Jesus. Peter calls out to Jesus with a burst of faith and says, “Tell me to come out to you.” Jesus makes that invitation and Peter responds. Eyes on Jesus he begins to walk upon the same waves, out to where Jesus is. Somewhere along the way, he moves his attention from the One who called him to the waves surrounding him. With that simple shift of his gaze, he begins to sink into the water, causing Jesus to come to his rescue.
When our eyes are on Jesus, we can do amazing things. When we look away, we begin to sink. Keep your eyes on Jesus.
Don’t Look Back
Jesus said, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62) Again, this is not a condemnation, merely a statement of fact. If we keep longingly looking back toward what held us captive, our fitness level is not ready for the demands of the race before us. Imagine an Olympic runner trying to win a race while looking back at the starting line. It simply doesn’t work. While God was surely with us in that place in the past, God is with us now calling us into our future. Remembering where we came from and what we did is fine, but our gaze must remain forward to run a fit race.
With these steps in mind we can trust Jesus to lead the way and the Holy Spirit to empower us to achieve the destiny God is calling us to embrace. I would love to say it is easy, but that is simply not true. Great things require great effort, and our calling is a great calling. However, if we remain faithful and disciplined; if we will persevere with passion, we will break free from the strongholds holding us back and soar into our future with Christ.
We will wrap up this theme looking at the wonder and beauty that is found soaring with Christ. Until then, let the Spirit build your faith, and keep your eyes on Jesus.