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Today, you are going to get rid of anything that is holding you back. Anything that doesn't allow you to ascend and transcend is about to cease, including anyone that doesn't encourage you to serve God faithfully. This is because God has a prophetic message for you, and that is, "DO NOT HOLD ME."

Reference: John 20:17 Amplified Bible (AMP) Jesus said to her, "Do not hold Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brothers and tell them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God."'

Have you ever sensed that God is calling you to step forward in your faith, yet you are unable to move, even when its needful to take that step immediately? By all possible means, you're expected to shun and drop anyone and anything holding you at that moment, otherwise the enemy might use them to stop you from ascending to higher heights in God, which He has designed for you. This was exactly Jesus' experience with Mary Magdalene. Jesus didn't waste another minute addressing her with these four words of commanding influence, "Do not hold Me".

I don't always share stories in my articles, but today is different. This story was shared during my young age in Sunday school. A pastor, after preaching a touching sermon in a youth conference, made an altar call, requesting all the young people who were yet to receive Christ as Lord, to come forward to the altar in order to lead them to Christ. They also would make a commitment to be bold and live for Jesus, after being led to Christ and prayed over. A Iad who was touched by the message wanted to answer the altar call, but his girl friend didn't want him to go up there. Why? It wasn't because she wasn't bold enough to follow him there. It wasn't also because the lad didn't need the prayer. And it wasn't because she was shy and didn't want to go to the front with him. The damsel didn't want him to go to the altar, because she was uncomfortable with what was going to happen later.

"What if my boyfriend stops seeing me after the altar call?", She thought. "Who will be there for me and cuddle me, if he gives his life to Christ?" In fear of what could possibly happen later, she held her boy friend back. She was afraid of losing her boyfriend to God, despite the fact that she heard the same message from the altar. The boyfriend was easily won over by her voice and so he couldn't declare like Jesus, "do not hold me". Because of that, the boy missed out on his salvation and died without Christ, few months later. This is the brief story and all I could remember about it.

Beloved, Jesus was wiser. Mary wasn't a negative influence to Jesus. She didn't cut a poor figure in His presence, yet Jesus knew that anyone or anything could hold Him from ascending to His heavenly Father, if He remained casual or unconcerned. Shrewdly, Jesus said to her, "Do not hold Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brothers and tell them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God."' (John 20:17 AMP).

Mary's weeping was enough to delay Jesus and attract His explanation concerning His resurrection, but Jesus was too focused to entertain her at that moment. He had successfully disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities, shamed them publicly by His victory over them on the cross and then, defeated death. If death couldn't stop Him, and the tomb couldn't keep Him, Mary would not be the next to hold Him from ascending to the Father.

Beloved, what is that thing stopping you from fulfilling God's purpose for your life, or walking in His perfect will? What is that pleasure that entices you to the point of refusing to accept Christ as Lord? What is that distraction that tries to bury you in mediocre lifestyle such that you forget about the progress and heights you once planned to attain? Is the enemy trying to sow doubt in your mind, making you question if the big step you want to take is really necessary? Does he subtly use the wrong circle around you to stop you from moving higher. Does he send you thoughts that encourage you to compare yourself with others, thereby keeping you discouraged with the lie that your faith step shouldn't go beyond the fellows around you? Does he try to drag you down and make you ineffective by feeding you with the wrong thoughts, wrong pictures and wrong imaginations? Today, I want you to know that nothing will hold you back; you will not be overwhelmed (Proverbs 4:12 NCV).

Whatever the case is, first, the Bible says, "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life" (Proverbs 4:23 NLT). Second, like Jesus, declare by the power of God, "Do not hold me", and surely, whatever it is, will depart from you. You are designed for greatness; you are programmed to attain heights; you are called to make heaven; you're favoured to blaze a trail with the newest idea from God; you are built to stand strong and overcome. Therefore do not let anything hold you. Shalom!

Scripture Reading - Proverbs 18:21; Philippians 3:13; 1 Peter 5:7; Philippians 4:6.

Guided Prayer: Precious Father, I love you and I know that one thing is needful, which is serving you and living for your purpose. Thank you for showing me the life of Christ and how He excelled by focusing on the interests that were of paramount importance. For this reason, I count my past achievements as stepping-stones to new heights, thereby concentrating all my thoughts and energies on greater things ahead of me and letting go of anyone or anything that attempts to hold me, in Jesus' Name, Amen!


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