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Sea of Galilee | Why do we have limiting beliefs when we have a limitless God?

Why do we have limiting beliefs when we have a limitless God? Our God is a God of the impossible!

Sea of Galilee | Why do we have limiting beliefs, when we have a limitless God?

People keep asking me what my favorite part of my trip to Israel was, and it's hard to pinpoint just one thing.  I experienced so much in all of the places we visited - but there's something about water that has always brought a calmness to my spirit.  I love the sound of the rain.  The waves crashing on the shore of the ocean bring me such peace.  I could sit on the banks of a stream all day.  So it was no surprise that my heart felt at home on the Sea of Galilee.  It's true, Israel in and of itself felt like home (and I'll share more about that in another post), but the Sea of Galilee really sat with a beautiful peace over me.  I could have spent much more time there, just sitting on the banks and reflecting. It solidified God's peace in my spirit.  This spirit of peace He's been increasing this year and growing roots in my heart and mind - but this is the moment I felt it really take hold and settle in even the hardest to reach places. 
It's honestly really hard to describe this feeling of peace that I have experienced since our trip.  Things that mattered before, just don't anymore.  Other things that have been moving in my life, are more vibrant to me now.  This peace is something I have been searching for my entire life, and now it resides within.  I no longer have to search for it.  God has slowly but definitively made me whole in this area of my life.
The Sea itself is more like a big lake that is surrounded by mountains.  Mountains in Israeli standards are much smaller than what we would call a mountain in America, but it is what it is.  The waters are so very calm - but in between these mountains that surround the sea, are valleys - and it's in these valleys that large gusts of wind will flow through and create turbulence on the water.  They are called squalls.  They come on suddenly and often pass quickly.  We didn't experience this, but it is written about in the Bible.
In the book of Mark, there is a story about Jesus calming the storm and then following is a story about where Jesus restores a demon possessed man.  In both stories, God speaks and brings order to the chaos. He speaks and calms the sea. He speaks and the demons flee from the man's body. He speaks and it is done.
Both of these stories are set on the Sea of Galilee.
It got me thinking about just how amazing our God is. How just His words can have such a powerful effect. He makes us new.  He restores us.  He brings a peace that settles us. His power has no limits.
But yet, why do we still have limiting beliefs - strongholds - when we have a limitless God? 
I think, this is a battle of the enemy.  The enemy is actually quite content with us acknowledging God, as long as we keep our lesser Gods in our life around us.  He knows as long as we have those lesser Gods, that he can have a foothold - which can create strongholds - in our life.  This is how he can hold us down and limit the potential that God has for our life. 
When the pressure of life hits, when stress hits, what do you turn to?
Real talk: This is something I have struggled with for many years.  My life, for as long as I can remember, was one big ball of stress.  I turned to everything BUT God.  Social media. TV.  Alcohol. Worry. Anxiety.  I could keep listing things, but you get the idea.  I would literally do anything I could to numb the thoughts in my mind, even if just for a moment, over and over and over again.  This behavior got me nowhere but deeper into those strongholds - and I was stuck. I was stuck in anxiety. I was stuck in creativity. I was stuck in my daily energy. I felt very stuck in life overall. I often wondered, is this really all life has to offer?
These things, thoughts, they don't happen overnight.  In fact, they happen so slowly we often don't even notice them.  Strongholds are really just multiple concessions of little footholds that the enemy sneaks in.  I imagine it something like trying to close a door, and his toe gets in the way, then half his foot, then his whole foot, then a leg ... and so on, and so on ... and before we know it, he's standing right in front of us, binding us up with shackles and chains ... and the crazy thing is, we allowed him to do it. We allowed him in.
Then we continue to make concessions. 
We keep making compromises. 
The chains get thicker and stronger, and all of a sudden, we are stuck in a storm of strongholds and can't see our way out. 
I think this may be one of my favorite things to say. 
God speaks, and all of it can be broken. 
God steps in, and it can all change.
It can...but so often, not.
Why is it when we accept Christ, that we don't actually believe that He has made us new and the old gone? 
Why is there a gap between the word of God and the work of God in our lives? 
I think this is another enemy tactic. We get so excited about accepting Jesus on Sunday, and then we go back to work on Monday. It's the same life. It's the same people we had in our lives. It's the same job. It's the same stressors. It's the same marital problems. Same, same, same. Nothing changes, and we are right. This is another tactic of the enemy. You thought God you would get 'saved' and everything would change? Ha ha, let me show you ... and we walk right into his lies again and again and again. But friends, nothing changes, if nothing changes.
We have this incredible privilege to brought into a relationship with God, and yet, we let the enemy shackle our minds and limit our potential.
We continue to let the enemy dig in, and limit us so big that it continues to shift our identity. An identity that's not rooted in truth. He will quite literally fight us all the way down on our identity level because this is where impact happens. When we try to find our identity in anything outside of Jesus, the final destination is an undelivered promise. Not so fun fact, the enemy can not tell truth. Everything he says is a lie. It often manifests in guilt, discouragement, fear, obsession, worry, chaos, compromise, confusion. When this becomes our root system, the gap between God's word and works in our lives get bigger and bigger.
Can I tell you something? God's promises always deliver.
This gap between the word of God and the work of God in our lives ... it's all about our obedience. Obedience is how we transform with Him.  We have to move towards the heart of God, choose to orient our lives around God, strive to be a little more like Him each day ... and all so often, we don't.
This is why obedience becomes our pivot point. God calls us to be obedient. Hearing the word of God and acting on it. Aligning our will to God's will; doing what God has asked us to do. Completely surrender to His authority and base our decisions and our actions on His Word. Obedience in prayer. Obedience in studying His word. Obedience in protecting our minds and our hearts against any foothold. Focus first on your relationship with Jesus and get yourself out of the center of your Christianity. When you feel overwhelmed with all of the old, start becoming overwhelmed by the love of Jesus and see how that breaks the chains.
For me, this obedience is quite literally acting before the feeling. Much like forgiveness, you have to forgive even before you feel like it. You have to be obedient in what God says, put that first in your life - not only on the days you feel like it, but on the days you don't. Especially on the days you don't. Walk when you're not ready. Believe when you don't have that feeling of belief. Pray when you'd rather numb with anything else. Read His word when you'd rather catch up on the next series on Netflix. Surround yourself with other people who are obedient in Christ. Turn on worship music and praise when you'd rather pour that 2nd or 3rd drink after work. Reset your default system. Intentionally move yourself in obedience towards God. Then with His supernatural power, the gap begins to close and we start to see the work of God in our lives. We start to see transformation. When we continue to move towards Him, He will close the gap.
...and this, this starts to recenter our identity around Christ. We begin to believe the fact that we are sons/daughters of Christ - and soon, you will KNOW that you are. You are loved and chosen by God. You are purposed and destined for impact. You are created on purpose, for a purpose. You are eternally valuable. You are irreplaceably significant. You are unconditionally accepted and loved.
When your identity is secure in Christ, you are not a slave any longer. You will have unmerited favor and grace in your life. It will to change the way that we move, and how you interact with others. It will change your life, one act of obedience at a time.
When God breathes life into your new identity it is the sweetest experience.
It will bring order to chaos.
It will convict, but love.
It will encourage and reassure.
It will lead and guide.
It will bring comfort.
It will bring clarity and confirmation.
It will bring Christ closer.
It will calm the storms in your life.
It will make you whole again.
...and this my friends, is the greatest gift you will ever receive.