I’m reading One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer thanks to a spiritual sister, Leslie. It’s one of those Bible studies that speaks volumes to your soul and you experience the living God at work with every turn of the page. She told a story about baby elephants. It grabbed my attention because, although I enjoy seeing animals at zoos and a circus, there is this other side of me that wants to sneak in after everyone is gone and set them free. Whereas some folks love art and decor with a caged bird, I just find it as a reminder of being “caged” or “in bondage”.
Elephants being trained for the circus, I discovered, are chained up when they’re just babies. Not yet strong enough to pull free of their shackles, they eventually get tired of trying, slowly learning to adapt to a life confined by limitations. So even by the time they’re well capable of snapping the tether and running away, they’ve grown accustomed to a world that stretches no farther than the length of their chain. After months and years of this, all it takes is a slender chain to tie them hopelessly in place–so close to freedom, yet so far away. (Shirer, 2010, p. 15)
Prior to reading this book, God gave me a few words to think about–
Wait, Encounter, and Opportunities
It’s become so interesting to engage in my day-to-day and see how God is using those words over and over again in a variety of ways. Very interesting indeed. Mostly He has used times in which I sought Him–digging into His Word, praying, reading a Bible Study, and listening to sermons online. I also, from time-to-time, will go back and read past posts that others comment on to remind myself of God’s faithfulness. It’s the same thing as picking up your journal and seeing how God has worked over time in your life in situations and circumstances. Just yesterday I read an old post on “A Fresh Encounter”. Priscilla’s book proved no different…
Yes, Priscilla, you can be an instrument through which others encounter Me, but only to the measure that you encounter Me.” (p. 6)
“…But it’s not just a life of Bible knowledge and Sunday school coffee. It’s a life filled with colors and textures and unexpected opportunities. It’s honey–a life enhanced with all the juicy flavors of the Promised Land–deeply satisfying but, oh so sweet.” (p. 10)
“I’ve been waiting to have this time with you since I was ten years old. I think God would like us to know that our wait is over.” (p. 12)
I gotta tell ya’ it was late when I realized the magnitude of the encounter I was having with Jesus and could not wait to get my fingers on the keyboard to share! What is way cool is that God sometimes tells us to “wait in grace”–I’m not ready to move you or change the situation yet; I want to work on your soul–wait. If you are old enough, you can look back and share so many times you waited then God showed up and moved mountains. And, then, you marveled at His work, His faithfulness, and His promises. He keeps His Word–ALWAYS–no matter how long you wait.
So, when I read the wait is over, I knew that big time soul work was going to happen.
Going back to the baby elephants…..
In Galatians 5:1 God tells us that Jesus died for our freedom–“stand firm and do not subject AGAIN to a yoke of slavery.”
God knew we would be like baby elephants– a tendency toward giving up, succumbing to the crowd, giving into the pleasures of the world, settling for status quo. In fact, when God spoke to Moses and the people He delivered from slavery to the land of milk and honey, He warned them:
…be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. Deuteronomy 6:12
We willingly and sometimes ignorantly chain ourselves because as “babies” we just gave up trying–too tired, too angry, and too uncomfortable. It’s too hard.
Man oh man that’s deep. It’s so deep, along about now, your like, forget this post. Too hard.
First, I pray you can purchase her book and take the road trip with us. The wait is over. It’s promotion time. Don’t be chained by the limitations the enemy has spoken into your life! You are not limited. You serve a limitless God!!! A God who wants to place you in wide, open spaces, not a tethered, or caged life.
He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. Psalm 18:19
Second, every human needs to take a long look at what shackles us from the true freedom that Jesus died for–blood, sweat, and so many tears just for you–each of us individually. He wants you to know confidence even when the world has said you’ve failed, how to walk in a sense of self-worth because of your identity in HIM, how to be at peace and in complete joy when chaos is all around you, and to finally break free from the bondage of any generational sin that may exist in your family tree.
If you want to know the Power and supernatural evidence of the Holy Spirit working in your life, you are going to have to have an honest talk with Jesus about the limitations you’ve bought into.
There are places where the enemy rules, and some of them may be places where you continue to hang out. Perhaps you’re involved in a relationship that’s constantly calling forth compromise from your Christian convictions, but you just can’t seem to leave it behind. You’re still watching those same movies and television shows, week after week, still reading those books and magazines that lure your away from the purity of God’s ideals and always leave you a little more discontented with your current conditions in life. Maybe you’re bound by a particular habit that keeps barring your escape from the property lines governed by Satan. (p. 20)
You don’t have to stay where you are! Jesus is cheering you on to break free from the chains that tether you, to encounter Him, and to trust Him that the wait is over!
5 Comments Add yours
Amen amen! Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance, I just wana praise YOU!
I thought of that great song too! YES! and AMEN! Even as we deal with multiple crisis situations today sweet Victoria, we can know he holds each tear, comforts us, and THIS IS NOT OUR HOME!
Makes me want to cry. I think I will buy the book.
Me too Char–that baby elephant picture at the end brings me such passion. If you go to Lifeway to get it, they have her CD on sale for 5.00–“Devotions with Priscilla: An inspirational collection of audio excerpts from the popular studies of Priscilla Shirer” Great deal for a two disc set. I’ve listened to the first devotional 5 times–it’s that good.
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This was an inspiring blog from Anna – the book sounds interesting – think I will buy it!