Do you know how they train elephants for the circus? It’s interesting. When they are “little” babies – 300 pound babies! – a chain is placed around their ankle and attached to a stake in the ground. When the baby elephant realizes he is chained, he tugs and tugs to try and break free from the chain that is holding him. He tugs at the chain hundreds and hundreds of times, trying to free himself. One day, however, his “elephant memory” kicks in as he remembers all his failed attempts and he realizes he will never break free from the chain and the stake in the ground.
By the time he is a full-grown elephant, weighing anywhere from 4 to 6 tons (that’s 8,000-12,000 pounds!), it would take just one slight flick of his powerful foot to snap the chain and be free. But he has given up trying to break away from the fetter holding him, and so remains forever bound.
Have you ever felt that way…bound to the past and unable to break free? Trauma, woundedness, loss, and failure have a way of chaining us to our past and to an identity that has been distorted by painful life experiences. Even after we become Christians, we can continue to live out of the brokenness that marked so much of our lives. We mentally assent to the truth of the Word that “He whom the Son sets free is free indeed,” but we “remember” the pain of the past, allowing it to affect our present. Instead of seeing ourselves as God sees us, our self-perception is distorted through the lens of the past.
We are in a season in the body of Christ where God has been highlighting the critical issue of knowing who we are in Him. It affects every aspect of our life, and ultimately affects the Kingdom. You see, attached to your true identity in Christ is an inheritance in the Kingdom that God has set aside for you. Fully understanding who you are in God, what He is calling you to, and who He wants to be for you, enables you to step into God’s amazing intention over your life.
Herb has shared three words the Lord highlighted to him for 2015: Honor, Accept, Know. The second word, Accept, is about letting go of past insecurities, fears, woundings, and brokenness, and accepting the truth of who God says you are. Certainly, there is a time for the issues of the past to be processed and dealt with. That, too, is a part of growing up into our identity in Christ.
However, we can get “stuck” digging around in the past, chained to what was, instead of embracing what is and what is to come. Isaiah 28:23-25 speaks about the farmer and how he doesn’t “keep plowing all day” nor does he “keep turning his soil and breaking the clods.” There comes a time when he stops plowing and starts planting seed. The seed looks toward the future and the harvest.
Do you know how God sees you? Have you asked Him what He sees when He looks at you? Do you have promises from scripture or prophetic words that have been spoken over your life?
God has planted seed in each of our hearts…promises, prophetic words that speak of our future. A prophetic word is God standing in your future, seeing who you are becoming, and speaking that promise back to you in your present. It’s our responsibility to turn from the past and begin moving toward the future God has for us. Step into who God says you are and begin walking towards that. Get out those prophetic words or promises from scripture, and begin to “war” with them as Paul told his young protégé in 1 Timothy 1:18. Position yourself before God as receiving the fulfillment of the promise He has spoken over you.
I was recently in Oman and while there, was given a word that “The wait is over.” I thought it interesting, and took it as a personal word since that’s how it was given. On my trip home, I was going through Customs at the Newark, NJ, airport. As I moved through the lines towards the Customs Officer, suddenly there was a large sign right in front of me that said: “The wait is over.” I knew in that moment it was not just a personal word, it was a word for the body.
It’s time. The wait is over. The chain has been broken. It’s time to step out, step in, and step up.
Step out of past insecurities and fears.
Step into the truth of who God says you are.
Step up and accept your place in the Kingdom… because no one else can fill the spot God designed for you.
– Diane Fink