Through human effort and strength, a good high jumper can leap to about seven and a half feet. But the pole vaulter is different. He carries a pole that he fixes into a hole in the ground. He puts all of his trust in that pole not only to hold him, but to lift him higher than he could ever go on his own. In fact, he may go three times as high as the high jumper.
You can leap on your own and do Christian high jumping but you only get so high. However, when you reach out and then lean all your weight on Jesus and his Word, he takes you higher and over things you could never get over in your own strength.
Romans chapter 11 tells the story of Elijah, who got caught high jumping when he should have been pole vaulting. He was depending on his own strength and insights instead of the counsel of God. Paul recounts that Elijah said during a tough time in his ministry, “Lord, they have killed your prophets. They have torn down your altars and I alone am left — and they are seeking my life!” The divine response came, “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed their knee to Baal” (see Romans 11:3-4).
God told Elijah, “You have not accurately defined your situation. It’s not true that you are alone. There are no-nonsense people just as committed as you who do not compromise.” God was telling Elijah, the high jumper, “I know a lot of people who are sold out to me. You are off on your response by six thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine.”
This is what happens when you try to assess situations with fear, anxiety and your own perception. We need to always ask, “What does God have to say about this situation? Is there something in his Word I can hold on to that will get me over this?”
Always seek a response from your heavenly Father and you will never fail to go higher!
Pastor Tim pastored an inner-city congregation in Detroit for thirty years before serving at Brooklyn Tabernacle in NYC for five years. He and his wife Cindy presently pastor in Lafayette, Louisiana.