Raise the Bar

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. ~ Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)

For a couple years of my high school career, I was on the school’s track and field team. My area of competition was the pentathlon, which is five events rolled into one gloriously long day. The five events included for our competition were: long jump, discus, one-mile run, 200 meter run, and the high jump. It was the last one that I should have been pretty good at since I was six feet tall by the time I was a sophomore in high school.

However, the high jump can be a very unnerving event. Why? Because each time you think you’ve accomplished something, someone (the official) comes along and tells you to do it again. Only, this time, they raise the bar higher.

Initially, the bar is placed very low and all the athletes laugh because it’s so easy to jump over it. Yet, as the event goes on, the laughter begins to fade as athletes are eliminated because they can no longer jump high enough to clear the bar. In the end, only the elite athletes remain – young men who can jump to astronomical heights. (And, no, I was not one of them.) OK, that might be a little far-fetched. But, you get the idea.

How were they able to do it? Well, a couple of things come into play. The first is that they are gifted with height and jumping abilities. The second is that they practiced jumping higher and harder heights every day. They pushed themselves to get better. In order to do this, they constantly raise the bar.

In our spiritual walk, we are called to do the same thing: raise the bar. We must stop being OK with the lowly, simple heights, and allow God to show us how high we can soar. However, we aren’t told to hit the gym, we are told to turn to God. It is in His power that we can do things we never imagined. Instead of jumping over a pole, perhaps He calls us to witness to others, serve the poor, help the needy, heal the hurting, pray for the mournful, love the unlovable.

When we trust in God, and not our own abilities, we will fly to heights on behalf of the Kingdom of God that we wouldn’t have thought possible.

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