Summary: In order for each of us to move toward becoming the person God created us to be and fulfill the purpose He created us to fulfill, we must pull some stakes and refuse to let limitations define us.

Taking Up Stakes

Living without limits for God’s glory

ILL- Elephant Intro

I tried to look brave, but inside, I was shaking in my sneakers as we stood within five feet of a six-ton elephant tethered outside the circus tent. I had seen elephants at the zoo before, behind iron bars, but this was different. My third grade mind didn’t understand the laws of physics, but somehow I knew that the short red and white stake "Jumbo" was chained to was no match for his strength. I can still see him in my mind, rocking back and forth and tugging against the stake, but never pulling it up.

My friends dad saw that we were scared so he assured us, "Do you know why such a little stake can hold a big elephant? When the elephant was little, he was chained to a stake just like that baby over there. When the elephant was a baby he pulled and pulled, over and over again, but it wouldn’t budge. Then one day he gave up. He decided it was no use; he was just not strong enough. And an elephant never forgets.

Even today, I find it fascinating that only one thing limits that six-ton elephant from getting where he wants to go- and it’s not a two foot stake. It’s a thought.

That elephant reminds me of myself. I think I often live within limits that come nowhere close to my full potential. Some are self-imposed- I try something, I fail, and I decide to avoid doing that again in the future- and some I’ve allowed other people to impose on me. A few people have tried to tie me down by saying, "You can’t do that!" or "I can’t see you in that role." And I’m sad to confess, some of those people succeeded. Staking me to the ground like an elephant.

In order for each of us to move toward becoming the person God created us to be and fulfill the purpose He created us to fulfill, we must pull some stakes and refuse to let limitations define us.

Think about this: I’m not what people think I am. I’m not what I think I am. I’m not even what I think others think I am. I am who Christ says I am.

Thomas Edison said "If we did all we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves."

I believe God wants us to live "stake free" lives.

Look at what Jesus says to believers (take a few moments and write out the two verses on your outline)

John 14:12 Jesus said "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father."

Luke 18:27 Jesus said "What is impossible with men is possible with God." (salvation is impossible without God’s help...specifically without Jesus’ death and resurrection)

Ques: What areas in your life are you putting a limit on God because you’ve put a limit on yourself?

Charles Schultz once said "Life is like a ten speed bike. Most of us have gears we never use."

Here’s a few more quotes related to living without limitations

"He that is over-cautious will accomplish little" Johann Von Schiller, German poet

"The poor man is not he who is without a cent, but he who is without a dream." Harry Kemp

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." Helen Keller

"What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?" Vincent Van Gogh

If you and want to start living life without limits for God’s glory, we must go back to the basics of the Christian life....Why are we here? What’s our purpose?

I’m not a huge fan of bumper stickers, but I like reading them. Have you ever seen the bumper sticker that says "Remember, the MAIN THING is to keep the main thing the main thing."

Business consultants have made this idea the cornerstone for how to build and manage a successful company. First, you figure out what the main thing is for your organization- why it exists. Next, you spell it out in a mission statement. And then you make every big and little decision with the main thing in mind.

Part of the value of a mission statement is that it helps companies distinguish the BEST things from all the GOOD things- especially when it comes to how they invest their time, talent, and treasure.

But the bumper sticker saying also applies to the life of every Christian. God’s Word tells us what the MAIN THING should be in our lives; it’s crucial that we keep it the main thing.

What is the MAIN THING according to Christ?

Turn to Mark 12:28-31

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