Have you ever heard of Roger Bannister? He was the British runner who gained fame in 1954 as the first person to break the four-minute mile.
Roger’s story includes some important lessons about taking the limits off of your faith.
You see, before Roger’s accomplishment, some people thought it was impossible for humans to run a mile in under four minutes. And if you believe something is impossible for you, you’re going to be proven right!
But Roger Bannister’s faith wasn’t limited by a four-minute ceiling. He knew he could do it faster than that and he did.
The lesson here shouldn’t really be a surprise. King Solomon had written long ago, “As he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). In other words, whether you think you CAN or think you CAN’T, you will be correct!
Setting the Bar Higher
Something rather stunning happened shortly after Roger Bannister succeeded in breaking the four-minute mile. Just 46 days later, his record was broken by his Australian rival, John Landy. While Roger’s time had been 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds, Landy’s time was 3 minutes and 58.0 seconds.
Do you see why this is so significant? In all of recorded history, there had never been evidence of a person running a mile in under four minutes. But after Roger did it, others realized it was possible and now many runners have continued to meet or surpass his achievement.
Notice the principle illustrated here. After Roger took the limits off of his own expectations, his success spurred the faith of others as well. His breakthrough led to breakthroughs for many others in the decades to come.
Like Roger Bannister, I want to be a pacesetter, don’t you? I want my life to be an example to others, reflecting God’s great power to do the impossible.
Raising Your Expectations
It saddens my heart to see so many believers who are settling for a powerless, unfruitful life. I’m convinced the problem is that we’ve often set our expectations far too low.
Like many of the other runners in Roger Bannister’s day, it’s as if we’ve said, “This is all we can expect. It’s impossible to go any higher than we’ve gone before.”
However, the apostle Paul had something to say about this. He challenged the Ephesians to set their sights higher, and I’m sure he would have the same message for us today:
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20 NLT).
Friend, I want you to apply this verse personally. What are your dreams and aspirations today? How are you expecting the Lord to use your life in the days to come? Paul is saying here that no matter what your expectations may be, God is able to do MORE than you ask or think!
But often we miss the second principle contained in this verse. It would be wonderful enough for Paul just to point out that God can do amazing things – yet the apostle takes it a step further. Not only can God do the impossible in some kind of abstract way, but He wants to do His miracles “through his mighty power at work WITHIN US.”
Let that sink in for a moment. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead now lives in YOU (Romans 8:11), so it’s time to raise your expectations!
Perhaps you’ve gone to church all your life, but never have experienced the miracle-working power of God. It’s not too late! Jesus gave this astounding promise to anyone who would dare to take the limits off their faith:
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12).
Isn’t that an incredible statement?
Perhaps you’re saying to yourself at this point, “I just don’t have faith like that!” If so, I have good news.
Jesus realized that faith often starts small. One example is the man who came to Him and said, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). The Lord could have just sent the man away, telling him to return when his faith was greater. But no, Jesus recognized the man’s honesty and gave him the miracle he sought.
If your faith seems small today, you should be encouraged by Jesus’ words:
“If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from hereto there,” and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).
You see, mustard seeds were among the smallest of all seeds.
Yet Jesus made a promise: “If you sow your tiny mustard seed into the ground, it will GROW” (Matthew 13:31-32).
In the same way, your faith may seem very small today. But if you act upon your faith and trust God with the little that you have, your faith is sure to grow and grow. In fact, Jesus said you will end up with mountain-moving faith, and NOTHING will be impossible for you!
So instead of being despondent about your small amount of faith today, treat it like a mustard seed. Look for ways to exercise your faith; then watch it grow.
Friend, what is the step of faith God is calling you to take today? I can’t wait to hear about the wonderful things He’ll do in your life when you take the limits off your faith!
God bless you,
David Cerullo is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Inspiration Ministries, located in Indian Land, South Carolina – a ministry dedicated to impacting people for Christ worldwide through media. The son of international evangelist Morris Cerullo, David took a less traditional approach to ministry, graduating from Oral Roberts University with a degree in business administration and management. He has authored over 20 books, and operates a global media ministry that powerfully impacts the world for Christ. More from David on Inspiration.org.