One of the most quoted and popular statements that I have come to disagree with, "Think outside the box". Yes, I said it!
People say that the box represents limitations. I say the walls of the box are simply to set the boundaries that God wants me to not cross. People believe that being inside a box means you're not growing, you're not creative, you're not living up to your fullest potential. You're normal. You're average. You'll blend in with the crowd and never really stand out and make an impact or a real difference. All I have to say to that is, speak for yourself. I am not average, I am creative, I have grown and am growing still, and any blame for me not living up to my fullest potential at any given time is not because of the box I'm in. Nothing about me blends in with a crowd. I carry a heavy influence, and I do make impact, and a difference in people's lives.
God designed my box specifically for me. My box is for my protection. Its walls are the boundaries that have been set by God for me to keep me on the right path, moving in the right direction. They keep me on track to fulfilling my purpose. My box is my road map to finding and fulfilling purpose. My box tells me where to spend my energy so that my life won't be wasted running wild and accomplishing nothing. The walls of my box tell me what I was not called to do. They tell me where I should not go, where I don't belong. The walls of my box show me the extent of my abilities, talents and gifts. My concern is not what's going on outside of my box, but the absolute freedom I have within my custom made by God box. If I maximize the freedom in my box, I won't come to the end of my life with regret for all of the things that I meant to do, but didn't. Inside my box, nothing is wasted. Inside my box I am able to use all of my gifts, all of my talents. They all come together to support my ulitimate God assigned purpose.
My box tells me that I am a writer, but not a novelist. My box tells me which path God wants to use to get my word, and voice out to the nations. My box allowed me to write and publish books of poetry, but it doesn't allow me to simply write my own bio by which to be introduced. My box allows me to teach, expound, even preach, but mostly, outside the confines of the church walls. My box allows me to sing and write songs but not play any instruments. My box allows me to teach, and explain, but not in the school system as a teacher. My box tells me that I am not a politician. I am not a painter or an architect. Are you beginning to catch my drift?
Our entire lives are lived inside of a box. You can't even properly ship or mail something without using some kind of box or container. When was the last time you saw someone buy toys for their grandchildren in another city and just take them to the post office and send them? You'll never see it! And what if this Christmas, everyone who wanted to send something by whatever mail carrier, decided to send it "outside of a box"? It would be total chaos and mayhem! Nothing would make it to where it's supposed to be. Things would be lost and broken, utterly destroyed even. Boxing items keep things in order. It gives you a place to write the destination. It keeps the carrier out of disarray. If a mail carrier traveled any distance without any of the items and letters packaged, (boxed) whenever they got to where they were going the back of their vehicle would look more like someone dumped trash in it, than looking like it was filled with valuable gifts.
My box also has a very special ability to EXPAND. I can grow as much as I want within that box. I don't have to worry about running out of room because within the will, plan and purpose of God for my life I find that He is limitless. He has all the space I need to use in order to do what He has called me to do. Do we not quote the scripture that the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof? So if I need more room, He simply expands my box to fit my growth, but I never loose sight of the path I'm on. I don't have to worry about being "all over the place". Starting everything, but finishing nothing. Really living a life of confusion for not understanding the great value of living inside my box.
As God was opening this up to me I was sharing it with some ladies. One of them did what most of us love to do. She resorted to a scripture. And I'm sure it's the same one that many of you have been quoting inside your head while reading this. "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me". "You can't limit yourself", she says. But I told her that knowing your place in God does anything but limit you. I can do all things does not mean, I'm supposed to do everything. The truest freedom any of us will ever know will be living within the boundaries God has placed for us. First of all His Word sets boundaries, but that same word contains that scripture. So are we limited or not? I say NO. Not by God anyway. We have boundaries but we are not limited. If we are ever limited it is because we place those limitations on ourselves or allow others to.
I believe that the intent for Christians using this quote is maybe to encourage people to use their creativity. To not allow themselves to be bound up by people's opinions, or to do something they've always wanted to do, but haven't. But we have to be careful about adapting every little phrase that comes into the world. We are in the world but we are not of it. The world is in the shape it's in right now because too many people don't live by rules, regulations, boundaries, or within the correct box. People are doing whatever, simply because it's how they feel at the time. They are running from one relationship to the next, bed to bed, breaking heart after heart, or being heartbroken, making babies and abandoning them or aborting them, walking away from families, hopping from church to church, etc, simply because they could really use a good BOX!
Christians are often criticized for not getting out and "living life" or "experiencing" life because we choose not to be all over the place in our way of life. I will admit that many of us aren't really living full lives. Many of us don't experience a lot of happiness, joy, or excitement. But it's not because of the boundaries our heavenly Father has placed in our lives for our protection and guidance. It is most likely because of the limitations we live under, the chains we place around our own feet, hands and neck because of fear, doubt,unbelief, and insecurity. Those are the things we need to break out of, think outside of.
I submit to you today that the box is not what's killing your dreams and visions. The box God designed for you is not what's keeping you from enjoying your life. Every amount of joy and happiness that you want to experience, God wants it for you more than you do for yourself...more than you'll every imagine!
I challenge you today to change your attitude about the box God has given you to live in. See how BIG you can get Him to expand it to by living up to all of your God-given potential!
If you really want to think outside of something...if you really want to BREAK OUT of something, STEP OUTSIDE of something...try stepping outside of that COMFORT ZONE you've spent your entire life in. It's your comfort zone that has been choking, smothering, committing mass murder of your dreams, visions and goals one by one. Your comfort zone is the graveyard where all of your dreams have died and been buried. It's the mentality of your comfort zone that has tricked you into believing that the box God created for you is a death trap. The comfort zone is the real death trap. Don't think outside the box, STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE!
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