Summary: The sermon seeks to challenge believers to break out of their shells by becoming more Christ-centred and focus on the Kingdom. It is an attempt to try to correct the imbalance in seeking God's kingdom benefits only without wanting to do the right things.
When there is a need for expansion (enlargement, explosion, increment, prosperity, moving to the next level, promotion, advancement, progress, uplifting, success, magnification, addition, augmentation, amplification, elevation and excellence) but constriction is a challenge, then its time to break out. It may sound like a simple concept but the principle of “Breaking Out” is excitingly daunting. It takes possessing some unique qualities to live this principle out on a daily basis.
Let me try and put a definition on 'Breaking Out'. What exactly do we mean when speak of breaking out? Simply put, to break out means to overcome your limitations, the barriers that are set to limit you, the challenges; the odds staked against you and succeed in spite of those impediments and hindrances.
May I humbly propose that one of the best way to illustrate this principle is by seeing it an ESCAPE! To 'break out' therefore, is to escape from the barriers; the overwhelming odds that should have defeated you and, instead of being incarcerated or confined by those challenges you overcame them and instead of you being stopped from flourishing or blossoming with the talents and giftings God has endowed you with you, you became a conqueror – an overcomer, a success!
Let's look briefly at the scriptures in the book of first Corinthians verse thirteen we read –
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as in common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a WAY of ESCAPE that you may be able to bear it”.
Now, its interesting to see that the first thing about challenges, worldly struggles, (I mean the trials and tribulations that confronts us daily as we try to make sense of living a godly life in a world so consumed with secularism and liberalism), is that they are common. Its pretty safe then to aver that one of the things that unites humanity is our collective travails and troubles. No wonder our Lord assures us that we should “be of good cheer because in this world it is certain that we shall have tribulations, because HE has overcome the world”. But then, I find something intriguing in that verse that I would like to share with you friends, look at it there in the first four words – God warns us about temptation – the dangers of it. Now, temptation is not something you associate with trials and tribulations. its something you associate with pleasures. Temptation is something you associate with pleasure so is God saying that challenges and tribulations and trials and adversities are pleasurable? The answer is YES!
To some, they glory in and celebrate their failures. But what does the word says in second Corinthians chapter four from verse eight:
8 “We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed-- 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death is working in us, but life in you. 13 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I believed and therefore I spoke," we also believe and therefore speak,14 knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.16Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.17For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal”.
So, why is God or the scriptures being antithetical, since temptation is mutually incompatible with suffering?. I wondered. But then the Holy Spirit quickened my understanding and I was challenged by the revelation that one of the secrets that can help us break out of limitations is to embrace escape as the only option. Because we are of a different SPIRIT. The bible declares that:
“we have received NOT the spirit of the world, but the SPIRIT which is of God, so that we might know (knowledge, very crucial) the things that are freely given to us by God” ( 1 Cor. 2:12).