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Challenge Your Limitations
And Rise from Success to Significance
By Peter Mbada
Partridge AfricaCopyright © 2015 Peter Mbada
All rights reserved.
Take Control of Your Life
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Get on the driving seat
For about seven years I lived with my family in a small diamond-mining town in Botswana called Orapa. One weekend, I had one of those very rare moments when I was requested to meet the President of the country. He was making a brief stopover in our town, change planes, and fly over to his final destination. Being the senior official around town during that Christmas holiday break I had to meet the number one citizen on behalf of the organisation. I therefore made sure I was dressed for the occasion. Unfortunately, I didn't carry my camera because I was not sure whether the men in dark glasses would allow me to capture that rare opportunity of using my camera. I waited on the airport runway with senior security and intelligence officials as the plane taxied to the parking area. To my utter amazement as the plane taxied to a halt, I noticed that the President was in the driving seat. He was flying the plane and the flight captain was the co-pilot. The would-be co-pilot was actually sitting on the passenger seat with a few other government officials. That was an amazing sight! After shutting down the plane, the President disembarked and did the formality greetings of us as we had lined up just outside the plane. I had a few words with him before he proceeded to the helicopter that was taking him to his final destination. Interestingly, in the helicopter he again took the driving seat with the co-pilot, and the other pilot joined the other passengers. The President took charge! There are times in life when we have to take charge. There are many times in life when external factors and circumstances want to take control of our lives, our joys, and our destinies, but we should refuse and deliberately take charge. Do not let external circumstances, weather conditions, the financial crunch, failed relationships, or closed doors dictate the pace. Jump into the driving seat and take charge of your life. If God is for us, who can be against us? (Rom. 8 v 31). It's not going to be easy, but you have to be firmly in control and trust God fully for taking you all the way. They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever (Ps. 125 v 1–2).
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Rather be a wet-water-walker!
I watched the 2010 World Cup final match in which Spain won against The Netherlands. It was an interesting World Cup tournament full of surprises. The unthinkable happened! In all the matches played, it was not always the best teams that won but teams that took their chances. One thing you will learn from the game of soccer is that you will not win against your opponent if your main focus is to defend your goalpost. As much as it is important to defend your goal, winners are attack-minded. They take their chances and take the game to their opponents. There are people in life who are so careful about everything and so concerned about holding onto what they have to the point that they spend their whole lives defending what they have and never take the risk of attacking new opportunities. You must be attack-minded! Success belongs to those who are not just overly concerned about defending their turf but to those who will readily rise up to the occasion and take charge. Peter became a leader among the disciples because he did not hold back: he stepped out of the boat to walk on water, he pulled the dagger to cut one of the soldiers' ear, and he stood up to deliver the first sermon after the Holy Ghost had come upon them in Upper Room! Did he make mistakes in the process? Yes, plenty of them, but he was not discouraged by the mistakes. He would rather have been a wet-water-walker than have been a dry-boat-sitter! What is your strategy for life? A defence strategy will not make you successful but will only maintain the status quo.
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You may not always have it your way, but don't give up
Have you ever been involved in a conflict against opponents more numerous or powerful than you to the extent that you felt like you were the obvious underdog? The kind of feeling David had when he was facing giant Goliath, or the Mount Carmel experience when the lone prophet Elijah was contesting against a contingent of 450 loud, well-trained, motivated, and zealous prophets of Baal. David could have felt small, insignificant, and a nonentity while Elijah could have felt an obviously outnumbered minority. These were battles of principle, battles to prove who the true God was! I have had several such emotionally strenuous contests, fights against the mighty! Battles of principles! In life you can negotiate on anything else but not on matters of principle. Principles define who you are and cannot be shifted at will. Someone said, 'If you don't stand for anything you will fall for anything.' Principles define what you stand for. David and Elijah could have decided to walk away, and at an individual level they would not have lost anything, but they would have done a huge disservice for all the future generations. If you bend your principles because you are under pressure, you may not lose anything at a personal level, but you would have betrayed the calling which is upon your life and done a great disservice to the generations. Even though David and Elijah realised that they were the underdogs, they remembered that some trust in chariots and some in horses, but (they) trust(ed) in the name of the Lord our God (Ps. 20 v 7). They chose to obey God and watch Him confound their enemies. If you feel overwhelmed, pressurised, stressed, manipulated, and unfairly treated, choose to obey God; carry out your responsibilities with integrity and God will wipe your opponents for you. God sees, God hears, and God acts. Whatever the situation, stand for what is right!
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No one can take it away from you
When you experience opposition and fights in your life it doesn't mean that God is not in it! When God blesses you He does not necessarily provide the red carpet as well. When David was anointed king it took him not less than a few years before he could ascend onto the throne. He was the king but he spent a long time as a fugitive running for dear life. It doesn't mean the anointing and the ordination was a fluke. Nothing good happened in the life of Joseph from the time God spoke to him about his greatness! He was thrown in a pit, sold off to strangers, enslaved in Egypt, lied against by his master's wife, thrown in prison with thugs, and what else? That's not what makes up the biography of greatness; it was a story of sorrow and misery, but still God was in it. Rebekah was barren and Isaac prayed. God answered by making Rebekah to conceive twins. And Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. The children struggled together within her, and she said, 'If it is thus, why is this happening to me?' (Gen. 25 v 21–22). The answer to prayer introduced a struggle inside Rebekah; it brought pain and misery to the point that Rebekah had to ask God 'If it is thus, why is this happening to me?' You may be in doubt whether what you have is what you prayed for! Your marriage may be far from perfect, your job full of opposition and fighting, and your children may be wayward. God's blessing does not t1always come on a red carpet. God could very easily had removed the thorn in Paul's flesh in the same way he used Paul to preach the gospel, heal the sick, and raise the dead, but he saw it fit to keep that thorn right there. Don't back off; don't give in and don't doubt. The struggle does not mean God is not in it. If it's God who put you there He will sustain you there; no man can move you. When God has blessed you, no man can separate you from the blessing of the Lord. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder (Mark 10 v 9).
Don't back off, don't doubt, and don't succumb to discouragement; God hears your call!
* * *
God is in control
At one time I went out to attend a family function across the border out in the villages of Matebeleland. The function was out in the village and so I had no access to a mobile-phone network for a good part of the day. Being the head of the mine I was working for, I needed to stay in touch with the operations at all times. I received my first call for the day in the evening, when I was just driving back into town. It was bad news! The guys at work had been trying to call me the whole day but I was out of reach! They wanted to report a serious accident that had taken place that afternoon at the mine. They had frantically tried very hard to get hold of me but all had been in vain, till just that time. I needed to make a decision, but I was so far away. I felt helpless! I wished I had a personal chopper to fly me to the place of the incident immediately but fortunately or unfortunately I do not own one, probably sometime in the future! Besides, by the time they got me it was too late to change anything. Whilst I was still in that state, of getting to terms with what had just happened, I received another call. I thought they were all phoning to update me on the incident now that I was back in the network zone, but lo and behold, aagh, not again! Another serious accident had just happened again at the mine! I felt like I was living in the days of Job, when the servants were queuing to deliver bad news. That almost offset me, but then my wife reassured me that God was in control. That did the trick! I want to tell you the same for your life and your situation: God is in control! It may not make sense why so much is happening to you; you may not see the way out and you may not understand why it has to happen to you, but remember God is in control!
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How do you react?
Sometimes in life bad or difficult things happen to us. As much as we all don't want to receive bad news, but at one point or another in the walk of life you will receive the kind of news that you don't want to receive at the wrong time! Stuff happens! Bad things that happen in your life don't make up your character but they reveal your character. They bring to light who exactly you are. In the society I live in, it is not uncommon to read in the papers or to hear in the news bulletins about somebody having committed suicide or homicide because he had an altercation with his wife or with somebody else. That's cowardice! You might not go to that extent but how do you handle bad news or the rough patches of your life? The news about the bad accidents at the mine which I received in sequence was so bad that it almost spun my head, but I got my handle just in time! Some people throw toys around the room if things don't go their way, some bosses fire employees on the spot when they receive bad news, and some people's blood pressure skyrockets and others lose their heads; how do you handle bad news? In a moment of challenge the wife of Job said, Curse God and die (Job 2: 9) But, Job said to his wife, You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. What? Shall we not receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips. Your character is the sum total of the decisions and choices you make when confronted with situations. True maturity is when you have developed enough reason to know what you can change and what you cannot change in life and to know which wars to fight and which ones to walk away from. The disciples wasted a lot of energy and effort trying to scoop the water from a storm out of the boat with buckets and dishes while Jesus slept at the bottom of the deck. Stop trying to scoop the floods in your life with dishes and buckets because you will never win but call unto Jesus because He is in control. He won't join you in the scooping but He will command the storms around you to cease!
I want to reassure you that He is in control!
* * *
Sometimes the way back is the only way forward
The last thing you ever want to happen to you is to find yourself lost in a metropolitan city without a map. At one time I travelled to Johannesburg, South Africa, for a couple of days to attend some very important meetings. I was feeling clever and smart upstairs and so I didn't do the necessary basics – carry a map book.
My drive from the airport to the hotel was supposed to be less than thirty minutes and so I set my first appointment at about an hour after my arrival at the airport. Believe it or not, three hours after my arrival, I was still stuck up somewhere in centre of Johannesburg driving in the wrong direction without a map. My ego told me that I will find my way without asking. I had the hotel numbers and the hotline numbers for traffic directions but chose not to use them. How many people are stuck up in the maze of life moving in the wrong direction at high speed without a clear road map of where life is taking them to? Are you clear of your life's direction? I was delayed for three hours because of my personal ego. Don't be delayed in your life for many years because of your personal ego. You refuse to admit that you need assistance, that you need somebody to help you with directions for life. It's never too late to get assistance; it will only shorten the time it will take for you to achieve what you were created for. Why reinvent the wheel?CHAPTER 2
Confront Your Mental Blocks
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The amateur painter
When we were preparing for the arrival of our son I spent some time painting some old baby furniture at home, which had been used by my daughter when she was younger. I am not a professional painter but at least the final paintwork was not embarrassing for an amateur. I found the painting quite a lot of fun especially because I have always contemplated buying a piece of canvas, some paint, and artist's brushes and try my hand at art. I would love to express myself in colour, an array of colours – red, blue, yellow, purple, pink, and grey. I would like to paint a bold picture that I will hang on the wall for the world to see. Just for a moment imagine you were an artist and your life is the canvas, a blank canvas. What sort of picture would you paint of your life? A bold, bright, and colourful portrait, a dull grey silhouette, a still photo, or a roaring waterfall? What would you do with your painting, hang it on the wall for the world to see or lock it up in a trunk and be forgotten? You are the artist of your life, and with the choices and decisions you make every day you have the paint and the artist's brushes in your hands! What are you going to make of your life? You can choose to paint dullness, mediocrity, and self-pity, or you can choose to paint a rainbow future, excellence, and contentment.
* * *
Unleash your creative mind
When God put the first people, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden they were naked. He did not build for them skyscrapers and penthouses in the garden or provide them with fancy automobiles for touring the garden. God could easily have placed Adam and Eve in the garden adorned in designer clothing 100 times better than the Dolce & Gabbana apparel and provided them with a Maybach limousine as the garden tour vehicle. No, He didn't do that! That was going to be limiting. That would have been tragic for the human race! The human race would have been too comfortable to be innovative. You may already know that necessity is the mother of all invention. God, in His infinite wisdom, endowed Adam and Eve and the rest of the human race with something a lot better – a multiplication tool – the mind, a mind that thinks and has the capability to be imaginative and innovative! Your mind is one of your greatest possessions! You were blessed with a mind, a creative mind, which has the capability to improve your current circumstances and conditions if only you can set it in motion.
Robots have preprogrammed minds and are wired for a specific predefined purpose, but you have a free unrestricted mind; you are the programmer of your own mind and you are wired for excellence. I have seen many people who sit back and blame everybody else, except themselves, for their predicaments. They blame the system for being unfair, the government for being insensitive, the boss for not promoting them, the parents for not educating them enough, and the weather for being cloudy. The blame game will never take you out of your situation. Don't sit back and complain about unfair play or why somebody else is not promoting you or improving your conditions. Thomas A. Edison who invented the bulb had only an equivalent of three months' 'schooling' his entire life. He did not blame his parents for not sending him to school. He made use of what he had – the mind – to provide the greatest of the human needs – light. Abraham Lincoln had a maximum of eighteen months of formal schooling his entire life. He did not blame the system; he did not blame his poor peasant parents. He took control and embarked on self-education until he became a lawyer. He suffered two failed elections but that did not keep him down until finally he rose up to power to become one of the most effective presidents in the American history. Unleash the power of your creative mind. As a man thinketh, so is he (Prov. 23 v 7).
Excerpted from Challenge Your Limitations by Peter Mbada. Copyright © 2015 Peter Mbada. Excerpted by permission of Partridge Africa.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter One Take Control of Your Life, 1,
Chapter Two Confront Your Mental Blocks, 9,
Chapter Three Confront Your Self-Esteem, 13,
Chapter Four Confront Your Fears, 23,
Chapter Five Confront Your Limitations, 29,
Chapter Six Confront Your Past, 35,
Chapter Seven Confront Your Associations, 47,
Chapter Eight Confront Your Priorities, 61,
Chapter Nine Confront Your Indecisiveness, 67,
Chapter Ten Confront Your Inaction, 73,
Chapter Eleven Confront Your Purposelessness, 87,
Epilogue Heaven or Hell? The choice is yours, 93,