Bob Biehl, in his book MASTERPLANNING, tells about a conversation he had with a man who trains animals for Hollywood movies. He asked him, “How is it that you can stake down a ten-ton elephant with the same size stake that you use to restrain the baby elephant?” “It’s easy,” said the trainer. “When they are babies, we stake them down. They try to tug away from the stake countless times before they realize that they can’t do it. At that point the great elephant memory takes over. For the remainder of their lives they remain convinced that they can’t get away from that stake.
Like elephants, humans have long memories. Often when we are young, some insensitive person makes a negative comment about us. Statements like these: he has a bad disposition or she is not as smart as her siblings or he has very little leadership ability. Mental stakes are driven into our subconscious. Years later, those stakes may still be holding us back.
When Jesus takes over a life, he declares that it is a new creation. He removes those old stakes, replacing them with this confidence: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)