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How to go to a new level

I like a challenge. I like to compete. If I'm at one level now, I want to go to the next level, whatever that may be. This presented a problem when I was in high school. You could compete in one of three areas: the academic field, the sports field, or the social field. As it turns out,…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

I like a challenge. I like to compete. If I'm at one level now, I want to go to the next level, whatever that may be.

This presented a problem when I was in high school. You could compete in one of three areas: the academic field, the sports field, or the social field. As it turns out, academic competition was usually about how many facts you could memorize. Sports was about how big and fast you were. And the social scene was dominated by an elite few.

So there I was – I didn't like memorizing facts, and I was small and slow and socially awkward to boot. Yeah, my school years were a bummer. If I couldn't win, I didn't want to compete. So I found friends like me and we were mildly rebellious.

But all the time, I had a super competitive streak in me that was not being tapped. I was stuck and felt like I hadn't even started yet.

Is the level you're at enough for you? Are you comfortable?

If you're comfortable at this level, then there's a good chance Jesus wants to take you to a new level. Jesus is always taking his disciples to new levels. 

Look at how he did it with Peter:

"Put out into the deep water"
"Follow me"
"Who do you say that I am?"
Luke 10 ATL
Walking on water
Mount of Transfiguration
The sword & the ear
The rooster
"Throw your nets"
"Feed my sheep"

The conclusion seems obvious: He is going to allow us to go through new tests. If he did it with Peter, he'll do it with us.

And doesn't that square with your experience? Life always seems to be throwing tests at us. I don't know about you, but usually I miss the fact that God is using those circumstances to help me go to another level. Instead of saying yes to God, I often completely miss what he's doing and complain.

If I could just go back and see those tests for what they were – God calling me up to a new place.

What difficulties are you facing in life? Consider the notion that God may actually be using them as a test, not to frustrate you, but to call out greatness in you.

How do you go to a new level? Just say yes. Why should no be your default answer? Is your comfort really that valuable to you? YES is a good response to the almighty.

Comments (7)

  • Wow, did you ever hit the nail on the head. My youth sounded very familiar to what you described. I want to go to the next level and I am beginning to think that I know where he is leading me. Being honest, I am not quite sure how taking that leap of faith and stepping up to the next level, fits within my life now. I am praying for some clarity, but don’t seem to be hearing the answers just yet. Thanks for stirring it up within me again. I look forward to all of you writings. God bless.

  • I’ve just been invited to a week of mentorship with two women in a ministry, who although I don’t personally know, I know a dear friend who has benefitted from their ministry for the past 15 years. It is very uncomfortable for me on many fronts; especially since I will be in new surroundings and I really don’t understand the purpose of me going, and there are so many unknowns. God has already shown me that I am uncomfortable in receiving. They called me up and offered to buy me an plane ticket for me, and they were so excited!!!??? They said, they felt that I was ready for the “next level.”??? And, I am puzzled, but I am going nonetheless. I was talking to my friend sharing this and called it “a leap of faith.” Reading your article this morning affirmed the place I am finding myself in. OK-so I’ll call it a challenge now. One, I know though, that can only be met by Christ in me. Right now it seems like I am in that space where I’ve jumped off the cliff, and the parachute hasn’t opened yet. Reading this post has given me one more assurance, though, that it will. He is faithful.

  • American culture teaches that life is linear and growing better. It is hard to find that, so when it doesn’t happen that way, there is opportunity for bitterness, angst, and questioning friends. To go out and embrace/seek non-linearity and contraction you are almost certifiable, by the standards of the day. I assume that a component of this is to know the world and Kingdom better.

  • Thank you Seth for the insight, the next level is a fun place to arrive to because there is that amazing sense of accomplishment, it is so reassuring to know our Lord knows us enough to prompt us to a new level. As I coached young people playing soccer I derived great pleasure in watching them achieve new levels of skill, some of those kids didn’t think they could do it, but now some are enjoying scholarships in college because they did go to new levels, it is good when others believe in our potential. That is Jesus example for us.

  • Wow! I like this. I am wondering sometimes am I too content where im at because if that is the case I want the next level. I don’t want to be just content I want to raise the bar, dig and explore to fine the deepest treasures Jesus has for my life. A new adventure if you will thats more wild then any adventure I could find on earth. Thank you Seth for sharing.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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