In the most recent article Conquering Your Space we established that there is an area in which you must blossom. This area is a unique space and is directly linked to your purpose in this world. Operating in this space is what is figuratively known as being “in your element or in the zone” However to flourish in this space is not a walk in the park, you need to contend with a number of forces until you establish your dominion. Not everybody celebrates your gifts, victories and breakthroughs. It is naïve to believe that everybody wants you to be successful. There are some people who have a destructive spirit, and they would rather kill your dreams in their infancy. Others will neither sing your songs nor join your feast. There are strongholds, kings, giants and beasts you need to contend with in the fight for your space. In this multi series, I want to share principles of engagement in the warfare for your space. You need a takeover mentality.
One of the greatest challenges to change management is custom and tradition. Tradition can easily become a stronghold. In ancient times a stronghold was a fortified city which was barricaded right round. Nobody could enter or leave. Strongholds are established systems, predominant thoughts and ideas. In organisations this could be policies, structures and established ways of doing things. These strongholds can confine you to a department, level or profession and limit your progress in life.
To establish yourself in life you need to take over strongholds. In business there are marketplace rulers, cabals and cartels. They write the rules by which an industry must operate. They set entry barriers. If God has sent you to particular space it doesn’t matter who is already there. To take a fortified city, you need to lay siege and cut out the supplies. Strongholds are mental blocks. They block you from progress by putting you in a box. In your life, you need to cut out the feeding system that feeds the stronghold. You do this by fortifying your mind with thoughts of possibility, progress and conquest. Deal with strongholds by establishing your own thought pattern and system. Rules are for those who can’t make their own. Everything is subject to change. Even a ‘no’ is subject to change. Rejection or refusal is not final. Resistance is temporary. Persistence will break resistance.
Lessons From Paul
The Apostle Paul was a wise man and one of the greatest change managers who ever graced the earth. He was a blue blood Jew and yet had to deal with strong Jewish strongholds. Jews were quiet an exclusive folk. They could not stand any other race sharing their religion. They believed that as the chosen race, they had exclusive rights to and monopoly of God. However the coming of Christ changed this picture. Paul therefore had to deal with this particular stronghold. He wrote in one of his epistles:
“Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ”
This was a makeover for a takeover. With such powerful talk he took the steam out of the Jewish strongholds and the gospel had free course. He advocated for a new life in Christ – the higher life. Jewish traditions had now become a stronghold which robbed them of the novel, exciting, trendy, victorious, superior and exultant life in Christ. Paul had a better idea.
To deal with strongholds you need to offer a better proposition. Become a change champion in your organisation. Be a thought leader. Seek new ways of doing things. Challenge established order and traditions. Like Paul be a rebel with a cause!
In the next article we will focus on how to deal with Kings, Beasts and Giants.
May God show up and show off in your life. You are a stunning crown in the palm of His hand.