There is a large, shaggy-haired, lumbering dog—let’s call him Max—who will not leave the yard. A car drives by. Max loves to chase cars. The thought of grabbing one by the bumper and wrestling the beast into submission makes him drool. Max wants to give chase so badly, but he just sits in the yard.
Then two boys start playing catch in the street. The ball rolls right to the edge of Max’s yard. He desperately wants to get the ball and run from the boys. But he doesn’t. One of them teases the dog. “What’s the matter, Max? Afraid of the ball?” Max wants to bite the brat, but his tormentor is just outside the yard.
A cat walks down the street. Max cannot imagine the nerve of this cat. He knows they are evil and that they are on this earth only to do Satan’s work. Max wants to attack, to bring a hailstorm of violence onto this feline’s life. Yet he cannot.
An invisible electric fence lines the perimeter of his yard. This type of fence puts out a little invisible beam, and when an unsuspecting dog crosses the line—zap! He gets a small jolt of electricity.
The first time the dog is confused. He tries to leave the yard again—zap. Another painful little sting. If the dog is stubborn, or just dumb, he might try a third time. After that he’s learned his lesson. He knows he will never be able to leave the yard again.
Max’s owners have an invisible electric fence.
Actually, Max’s owners used to have an electric fence. They bought one, set it up, and turned it on. Max was shocked several times. The fence also zapped a neighbor kid who tried to come into their yard to get a stray frisbee. The kid’s parents complained, and Max’s owners decided to return the electric fence to the store.
Several years have passed since they owned the fence. Even still, Max will not leave the yard. Why? He thinks he can’t. He believes he can’t. In his mind he is a prisoner, missing out on the life he wants to live. He associates life outside the boundaries of his yard with pain. The magical place where cars can be caught, balls can be stolen, and the evil mission of cats can be thwarted is just out of reach. He has no idea that the only thing keeping him constrained is a lie he believes.
You laugh, but is it possible you may be more like Max than you think?
Craig Groeschel Winning the War in Your Mind
We have just released a new Bible Study on the topic Winning the War in Your Mind.
These lessons are available on Amazon, as well as a part of Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.
Each lesson consists of 20 or so ready-to-use questions that get groups talking. Answers are provided in the form of quotes from respected authors such as John Piper, Max Lucado and Beth Moore.
These lessons will save you time as well as provide deep insights from some of the great writers and thinkers from today and generations past. I also include quotes from the same commentaries that your pastor uses in sermon preparation.
Ultimately, the goal is to create conversations that change lives.