The Soul of Expansion

What if you had the power to rise above every challenge that ever came your way? What if you had the knowledge and the tools to navigate around roadblocks and barriers to your prosperity?

This morning, I woke up to my daily routine. I prayed, I read my Bible and I did my Afrifitness dance cardio workout. As I woke up the children and prepared breakfast, I glanced occasionally at my email. Then, I saw it.

An email from a big client asking for an update that, bottom line – I just wasn’t ready to give because I was working on another priority.

It was still early when I saw another email from another client – more changes to a set of articles I was working on. I found my emotions begin to waver.

I felt anxious to reply and let the client know that I was “on it”, ready to jump to their whims.

I felt worried that I wasn’t performing at the level they needed me to, feeling I needed to do better, to be better, to be perfect.

Have you ever felt this way? Pushing to perform day after day, and as soon as you feel like you’ve gotten to a place of calm, here comes another storm?

How do you maintain your peace? How do you stay focused on your goals? How do you continue to expand and persist towards that greater level of purpose and achievement?

You expand.

Expansion is a necessary process of growth that is required when you are preparing for a new level of performance.

To whom much is given, much will be required. (Luke 12:48)

As you handle more money, you will need to expand your understanding of wealth. As you expand in your physical health, you will need to grow your knowledge of healthy eating and the importance of physical activity.

As you expand in your relationship with God, your mind, emotions and standards are heightened as well.

Also, as you expand, the pressure that you exert on yourself increases. For example, if you are working out, you are burning more calories, increasing your metabolism and therefore increasing your energy.

If you are building multiple streams of income, you are preparing systems and process, increasing activity and input so that you can receive a greater return. Make sense?

Pressure by definition is a continuous physical force exerted on or against an object by something in contact with it.

Pressure produces diamonds. Pressure produces transformation. If you desire value, pressure will need to exerted at a greater level – whether internal or external.

Internal Pressure

Internal pressure can take the form in a positive direction of passion, discipline and focus. It can also take the toxic forms of fear and anxiety. Your internal disposition is the barometer that measures whether you are growing in power and strength or you are growing more unstable and anxious.

Who wants wealth and health if you are too anxious or fearful to enjoy it?

Expansion is more than just increased activity – but it is removing the things that don’t belong, out of your life and making a focused commitment to transformation so that toxic emotions and habits have no place in your life.

So, how do we expand in a positive way?

1.     Be prepared to leave everything behind.

Understand that your current life will not look like your expanded version of you. If you are too committed to your current way of doing things, you can expect to stay the same. You must be deliberate and intentional about cutting the clutter.

Ask yourself: Am I ready to remove habits, foods, routines, relationships, rhythms and the physical clutter out of my life?

If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 

(Matthew 16:25)

Ruth had built an entire life with her husband, so when she lost it all, she didn’t go back to her home town to do things the way she had always done them.

Instead, when she faced a major life change, she made the decision to reinvent herself. She was no longer a wife, but she was a widow. She could’ve focused on being a wife and going to find a husband, but instead, she focused outside of herself and embraced her new season in life.

She found ways to be a blessing to her mother-in-law in a season where she could’ve felt sorry for herself. She took that internal pressure that she felt within – the sorrow, the anxiety of not knowing what would happen next and she focused it in a positive way on loving her mother-in-law. In devoting her passion, love and commitment to her mother-in-law, she was able to find a pathway to a new, abundant life where she would find new love, wealth and a future.

So, what lessons do we take from Ruth? Let go of old expectations and old ways of doing things. Trust God’s way and follow His path. When the opportunity for you to go back to your old ways of doing things arises, stay focused and commit to the new path ahead.

In the moment that I checked my email this morning, I had a choice. I could have been affected my circumstances. I could’ve adopted the anxiety of my clients, but instead I had to make a choice to continue my day with a joyous disposition.

2.     Be comfortable getting uncomfortable.

When I was pregnant, my body expanded by 8 liters of water. As my body was changing, it became difficult to sleep, move and even eating was uncomfortable. But I was birthing a beautiful, amazing new life.

Esther went from being an orphan to being a queen. Her expansion to be ready to go into the King to propose action that would save the entire nation of Israel, required sacrifice and discomfort.

First, Esther went through a six-month process of purification and preparation. Then, when her family learned of the threat against the nation of Israel, she asked her people to join her in fasting for three days and three nights.

She devoted her entire life in order to expand into this position of influence. Esther very well could have settled for simply having the title of queen and not the influence. However, she realized that her influence would impact many people.

Are you willing to go through the uncomfortable process of being shaped and molded for a position of influence?

3.     Never accept the counterfeit.

Having a great title or a beautiful social media profile is not enough. Nowadays, anyone can put on eyelashes and a weave and look the part. Anyone can adjust their filter and make a grand impression. We live in a microwave, get-rich-quick society, but how many of us are willing to do the hard work of REAL transformation?

The counterfeits can be found everywhere. But only the real diamonds have true value.

Before Jesus went into his time of ministry, He fasted for 40 days. In that time, the tempter came to him and offered him all types of counterfeit. He tempted him three times, trying to persuade Jesus to bow down before Him and he would give him influence in the nations.

Jesus could have accepted a shortcut to fulfill His purpose. He could’ve accepted what looked like an easier way out, where He wouldn’t have to die for our sins. But He understood that the counterfeit was not the truth. There was no other way for us to be saved, healed, set free delivered. He conquered death and hell because He died and went to hell. He suffered the punishment of judgment and condemnation so we wouldn’t have to.

Jesus understood that there were no shortcuts. I’m so glad He didn’t accept the counterfeit.

So, as we look at expansion, we’re not looking for quick and easy results. We are looking for a lifetime transformation that impacts every corner of our lives and overflows and influences the people we love.

So what areas in your life do you want to expand in? Leave it in the comments so we can all pray for transformation and expansion in one another’s lives.

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