Have you heard the saying, “Change is good”?
Do you ever want to throw your hands up in the air and shout, “Not always!”
For me, I have a love/hate relationship with change. On the one hand I love change and I get excited about doing a new thing. I jump at the chance to try out something different. I get set in my ways and so doing something new is good for me.
But, on the other hand, change brings fear. And for some reason my body reacts in crazy ways when change comes. I get anxious, nervous and stressed. Even though there is excitement in doing something new, my mind is thinking about all the many issues that could arise because of this change. And there are times when I have let this fear keep me in the safe zone so I would not be exposed to the those things that will never happen, even though my mind says they could.
On page 36, Mark Batterson writes,
“If you want God to do something new in your life, you can’t do the same old thing. It will involve more sacrifice, but if you are willing to go there, you’ll realize that you didn’t sacrifice anything at all. It will involve more risk, but if you are willing to go there, you’ll realize that you didn’t risk anything at all. Make the sacrifice. Take the risk. Draw the circle.”
And that’s what I want to focus on here. When we pray those bold prayers to the Lord and circle our Jericho, wanting change to happen, we have got to be ready for it. And that requires making a sacrifice, taking a risk, and drawing the circle.
Being in the ministry, I have had to make sacrifices. It’s just part of ministry life. I’ve made little sacrifices and big sacrifices. The big ones have involved moving. The last move we made to where we currently live was because I took a job as the Children’s Ministry Director at a church. We moved an hour and a half north so I could do what I felt God calling me to do. My family sacrificed to move here, too. It was hard for me knowing that no longer was I just making a decision for myself, but this calling God put on me was affecting my husband and two children. However, as I look back, I can see it really wasn’t all that big of a sacrifice because everyone adjusted fine and we love where we live.
Change also involves taking a risk. Whatever it is you are wanting God to change or do in your life, you will for sure be labeled as a risk taker for wanting it. As I said before, fear keeps me from wanting to take that risk as I’m afraid of what may happen that I possibly don’t want to happen.
When I envision taking a risk, I see a track filled with hurdles. I run around the track as I seek the Lord, waiting for my Jericho to be delivered, but I keep running into these huge hurdles I must jump over. Those hurdles are the fears in my life. They want to prevent me from taking the risk and believing God and what He has promised for me if I follow and believe in Him. But, I must keep going and never give up. I must never let go of my Jericho until God has delivered.
Once I decide to make a sacrifice and take a risk, I have got to draw the circle. I must keep praying and never give up. I don’t need to lose hope in the One who has promised to “give me the desires of my heart if I will take delight in Him.” (Psalm 37:4). Giving up is so easy to do, especially when our prayers aren’t answered when we want them to be. But, circling is the key in prayer. Keep going. Don’t stop. Never give up.
Are you willing to accept the change for which you are praying? Are you ready to “go big” for God by sacrificing, risk taking, and circling? I know I am.
- What sacrifices have you made in your life for the Lord?
- What are the hurdles in your life that keep you from stepping out and taking that risk?
- What keeps you from continuing to circle your Jericho? Why have you given up?
- Mark says on page 39, “Stop praying for it and start praising me for it.” Instead of praying for your Jericho, write out a prayer of praise for God delivering Jericho into your hands.
- In what ways will God get the glory in your Jericho?
Father, we give you thanks for all that you have given us. Help us jump over the hurdles that stand between you and I and make the sacrifice, take the risk, and draw the circle. We praise you and we love you. Amen.