“Your greater life doesn’t begin with building your dream house. It begins with burning down your old house.” – Steven Furtick
I have been mesmerized reading Greater by Steven Furtick. It’s the book I’ve dreamed for years that I would write; only he did it first….and way better than I could have. So needless to say, I was so drawn to it, and it is a must read if you aspire to the greater life God has called you to.
For those of you who love the spiritual, self-help, motivational genre of books like I do, you probably wonder sometimes if all that sunshine they spew is for real. Does life really work out like that? Why don’t those happily ever after stories ever happen to me?
In the end, happily ever after comes to all of us who are saved by Jesus – heaven is real and heaven is our home. Keeping our eyes and our mind focused on that will make this world make a whole lot more sense. But while we’re here on this earth, we have a great deal of hurt, pain, and just plain evil to deal with as we fight through in pursuit of our God-given mission.
The day you discover and understand your God-given mission and purpose will be the most incredible day of your life – nothing will ever be the same again. I suspect that some of you know why you’re on this earth and are actively pursuing your mission and living out your purpose. I suspect that some of you know why you’re here but you don’t know what to do about it. And I suspect that some of you have no clue why you’re on this earth or what you were created to do.
This post is for those of you who have heard God’s calling on your life, but you don’t know what to do about it, where to start, or how to do it.
It’s easy to pretend you didn’t hear God or to just ignore Him, but eventually that tug on your heart will become impossible to ignore – God’s pretty persistent. He may have given you a vision for your future; He may have only given you one word. He may have opened a door that was undeniable; He may have closed one just as boldly. Either way, you’ve heard Him and you know – it’s time to make a change. It’s time to break away.
My favorite chapter in Greater is Chapter 4: Burn the Plows. I suppose it resonated with me because I recently “burned my plow” and know what that feels like – awesome! “Burning the plow” was derived from a Biblical story in which Elisha made a decisive break from his old life and livelihood as a oxen farmer by killing his oxen and burning his plow; a decisive break from everything that represents the “stale stability and predictability of his life” to pursue God’s greater purpose for his life. In Chapter 4, Furtick teaches us through Elisha’s story that if we want to have the kind of greater life Elisha had, we have to do what Elisha did. We have to burn our plow.
What is your plow?
Your plow is what chains you to the ordinary. Is it a job that’s not in line with what God has called you to do? Is it a relationship that has just become your comfort zone? Is it an old or small paradigm of thought about what God wants to do in your life? Is it a life that’s a little too safe or a lifestyle that’s a little too comfortable?
Before you can move forward into the life God has for you, you have to set fire to whatever is tying you to your old life. It’s an act of surrender. It’s an act of arson. No matter the cost.
“Some people never get greater because they’re not willing to leave good behind. There is a cost to pay. Whether it’s giving up something from your past or relinquishing control of your future, you will have to make a sacrifice. Yet simply knowing this won’t change your life. You have to do it.” – Steven Furtick
You have to burn your plow.
What is your plow? What is it in your life that you need to set on fire? What is holding you back from the greater life God has called you to?