Have you ever noticed how the growth of certain plants is stunted when they are under the constant shade of a tree or building? Some plants grow to only become a fraction of what they were created to be. I’ve seen the same effect on people’s lives when they live in the shade of the negative words someone spoke over them, or the fear from a past failure, or the compromises they make because of the friends they keep.
In the Scripture, God chose a young man named Gideon to lead the Israeli army against a vast Midianite army. But Gideon was afraid, hiding in a winepress. An angel came to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you” (Judges 6:12). But Gideon didn’t feel like a mighty hero and responded with all the reasons he couldn’t do it. Gideon was living under the shade of fear and intimidation. The angel was saying, in effect, “Come out from under the shade of insecurity, the defeated mind-set, the can’t-do-it thinking that’s stunting your growth.” This was a destiny moment for Gideon to either stay in the shade of limitations or take a step of faith and believe he was who God said he was. Fortunately, Gideon made the decision to get rid of his poor self-image and low self-esteem. He put away the weak, defeated, limited self and put on the strong, courageous, well able self. When he did, “The Spirit of God clothed Gideon with power” (Judges 6:34). When he got out from under the shade, God breathed on his life in a new way and he rose up to conquer.
I wonder if something is blocking your growth. Are you under the shade of being told what you can’t do or how you’re not that talented. Are you under the shade of intimidation—afraid to step out in faith, thinking of all the things that could go wrong? Or do you have friends who are blocking your growth, causing you to compromise? That shade is limiting your life. What could you become if you got out from under that shade? How high could you go if you made some adjustments? The good news is that the potential is still in you to become who you were created to be. You have the life of Almighty God. He created you to rise higher, to be confident, to be successful. You just have to remove what’s blocking your growth.
God is saying to you, “You are a mighty hero. You are destined to leave your mark.” But you have to make the choice that Gideon made and come out from under the shade. Step into your greatness, step into a new level of your destiny. Stand strong, for the Lord your God is with you.