There are stories about people in life who, despite the difficulties that besieged their paths to destiny, still triumphed and fulfilled their glorious destinies. One such story is that of two young men who were friends from their Secondary School days. They were both brilliant that it was difficult for their School Authority to choose the one to be the Senior Prefect between the two.

Both of them were determined to study Medicine and Surgery. But the cloud of evil befell their brightening sun as one of them lost his both parents to a ghastly accident in a day and the other lost his father in a month’s space. To pursue their dreams, both of them joined the Bricklayers as laborers popularly called “Lebira” to get funds for their SSCE and JAMB.

However, the one who lost only his father soon fell for daily money from Lebira, he ended up becoming a diligent Bricklayer. The other one pursued his dream and after much trouble, he eventually became a medical Doctor. As fate would have it, the Bricklayer fell from a building under construction and was admitted to the same hospital where his friend was a consultant.

He was reunited with his friend but the story did not go down well with his children who repeatedly blamed him for letting his dream fall off his hand. Your glorious dream will not fall off your hands in Jesus’ name. That your dream may not fall off your hands is the more reason for this year’s theme: Above Limitations.

What is a Limitation?

From all the meanings ascribed to the word limitation by dictionaries consulted, the one given by the Thesaurus seems to be more appropriate. It says limitation is “a real or imaginary point beyond which a person or thing cannot go”. What makes it more appropriate is the fact that it reveals that limitation can be “real” or “imaginary”. This simply means that some things being referred to as limitations upon which many people are blaming their lack of progress are nothing but their imaginations.

Some words used to describe limitation further expose its meaning. A few of those words are restriction, curb, restraint, constraint, control, check, clampdown, hindrance, impediment, obstacle, obstruction, bar, barrier, block, deterrent, inhibition, damper, brake, rein, confine, margin, stop, termination, weakness, inability, handicap, freeze, narrowness, hold-down, load-shedding, and quantification. Importing any of the aforementioned words into the world of progress will bring nothing but chaos. In summary, anything that confines you to a spot frustrates your efforts, or makes your life miserable be it in your marital life, academic, health-wise, or even in your career is equal to limitation. That is the reason why the main focus here is to rise above every limitation and begin to operate in the realm of fulfillment. This will be your portion in Jesus’ name.

The Focal Text: Phil.4:13

It was Paul who wrote the Epistle to the Christians in Philippi about 60-61 A.D. Philippi was a leading city of Macedonia, the northern province of Greece about ten miles from the Aegean Sea. It was made a Roman Colony because many Roman Citizens and as well a large number of retired Roman Soldiers were residing there. Philip was the first European City to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it came from Asia through Paul(Acts 16:9-40). Paul wrote the Epistle from Rome while in prison.

The Christians in Philippi sent gifts to him in Rome through Epaphroditus (4:18)who later became ill and nearly died in Rome. Paul eventually sent this man back to them to comfort them and also an Epistle to appreciate their gifts and to encourage them out of their despair because of his imprisonment. That is why the theme of that Epistle is joy or rejoicing (Phil. 1:5,18;2:2;3:1).

In his response to their gifts, he made it known that he has learned to live a victorious life despite whatever comes his way be it wealth or poverty. He did not say it to play down their gesture of love but being an old man, he was using the opportunity to express many things that could have hindered him from fulfilling his purpose of existence but upon which he triumphed to record outstanding and glorious achievements for Christ in the works of the Gospel the more reason why he was able to declare boldly when he said I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

Limitations Against Paul

  • Several obstacles could have hindered Paul from fulfilling his glorious destiny. A few of them would be examined here.
  • He was imprisoned and given house arrest on many occasions. Acts 16: 23-24; 24:27; 28: 16
  • He suffered attacks from wicked men and women. 2 Thess. 3:1-2
  • He suffered injustice on many occasions.2 Cor.11:24-25a
  • He suffered natural disasters on many occasions. 2 Cor. 11:25b
  • He passed through danger on several occasions. 2 Cor. 11:26
  • He carried thorns, messenger of Satan, in his body for several years. 2 Cor. 12: 7

All of these are enough to hinder a man from becoming anything tangible in life. But Paul overcame all of them to become a man of great fulfillment. How?

How Paul Overcame Limitations

There are ways through which Paul overcame his limitations to fulfill his glorious destiny. A few of them are stated as follows:

  • He was in Christ. Phil. 4:13. He had a genuine conversion story.Acts 22:6-10;26:12-16.
  • He was a man of positive and rugged confession. Phil.4:13. No self-pity, not easily discouraged, not easily broken. 2 Cor.11:23-27==Rom. 8:37
  • He was endued with grace. Phil. 4:13. Note: “through Christ who strengthens me”.2 Cor.12:8-9;1 Cor. 15:9-10
  • He was a man of prayer and spiritual warfare. Eph.6:10-12;2 Cor. 10:3-5

Implications for the Contemporary Youths

  • Every youth who is willing to live above limitations must be ready to:
  • Live in Christ and live for Christ.Phil.4:13; Jn.15:5.
  • Be endowed with grace to level every mountain. A graceless person is a useless person. Jn.1:16
  • Demonstrate ruggedness, diligence, and working faith. Phil. 4:13; Ps.27:13
  • Be valiant in prayer and spiritual warfare.Gen.27:40; Eph.6:10.

Conclusion

As a youth, one of the worst things that can happen to you in life is to let your dream fall off your hands. If this happens one is left with nothing and is tending toward an empty life limitation that is strong enough to stop the fulfillment of your destiny, only you can stop “your-own-self’ in the journey of destiny. Therefore, if you will live above limitation like Paul, Christ must indwell you and you must align your purpose with His. Then you can boldly say: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.

Further Bible Search/Study about Limitations

We have discussed the meaning of limitations and other discussions about how the limitations manifest in the lives of people. The following Bible search will still help further in working about the limitations: Limitations of life, limitations of success, accomplishments, achievements, promotions, multiplication, childbearing, good health manifesting in the lives of babies, children, teenagers, youths, fathers, mothers, etc. Take time to study the Bible verses below and you get more resources about limitations.

2 Corinthians 10:13, Job 14:5, Job 11:7, Proverbs 17:27, Proverbs 8:29, Psalm 119:96, Acts 17:26, Psalm 147:5, Ecclesiastes 7:19, Psalm 74:17, Job 38:10, Lamentations 3:21, John 3:34, Isaiah 54:3, Lamentations 3:37, Lamentations 5:10, Ecclesiastes 7:20, Lamentations 3:25, Romans 6:19, Lamentations 4:8, Lamentations 3:22, Exodus 19:23, Micah 2:13, Ephesians 3:19, Lamentations 3:26, Lamentations 3:23, Psalm 78:41, Daniel 2:44, Romans 15:20, 1 Corinthians 8:9, Ecclesiastes 5:2, Job 26:10, Lamentations 5:7, Ezekiel 28:2, Psalm 119: 97, Matthew 18:21, 1 Kings 11:4, 1 Samuel 2:9, Genesis 6:3, Ecclesiastes 11:10, Job 1:12


Prepared by Rev’d Dr. Victor Segun Ogundipe Pastor; United Baptist Church, Olupoyi-Apata, Ibadan+2348032456795. The Text of the Theme Interpretation Prepared and Delivered During the Annual Session of Ibadan Baptist Conference Youths Held@Hebron Center.Idi-Isin on the 22nd…