Burn the Plows~

“Some people never get greater because they’re not willing to leave good behind. There is a cost to pay. Whether it’s giving up something from your past or relinquishing control of your future, you will have to make a sacrifice.”

“The real risk isn’t in launching out into a new life of greater things. It’s staying in your old life of the ordinary.”

~ Steven Furtick, Greater


Today, rather that give you another assignment, I want you to take some time to reflect. Reflect on the first 4 chapters.  Go back to Wednesday’s post titled Burn It and Move Forward and re-watch the video message I have for you about Burning the Plows, it might make more sense now.

The comments I read on the Burn It and Move Forward post were some of the best I’ve ever read. There was such a raw honesty shared and it was extremely helpful and encouraging to anyone who took a little time to read a few. Instead of a new assignment, if you have time, go back to the Wednesday post, read a few of those comments, and then leave your own.

You are a part of this OBS and your input matters. No one needs to travel alone here, so please share and let us hear your story too.  I learn something from each one of you who shares.

After you’ve read Chapter 4 Burn the Plows, leave a comment on the post Burn It and Move Forward.

And tune in tomorrow to share your favorite Christmas recipes!

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  1. all my psot disapperared again =(

  2. One more time… I wonder if when I listed a link that is the problem?

    Anyway more complacted by at link to my churchs websit (it is reallly only to share the video message not promote anything) cape christian fellowship in cape coral fl
    the series is Beautiful things and it talks about PRIDE being our frequent biggest obstacle. We think WE can control it more than we think GOD WILL control It and do a GREAT job.

    My abridged version of post that disappeared… IT IS so hard to walk in faith. to not have surity .

    I gave notice to my job Wednesday. without the details worked out. Talk about scary. I feel embored and bold and then …like a drunken sailor…what was I thinking???

    I remember saying years ago (when I had vowed to never go to church): “Religion is for weak people who need an excuse for their existence”

    Now I know “GOD (not religion) is for weak people (Thank YOu), not to justify our existence..but to Glorify his!

    To boldly follow the tuggin of your heart is hard work. And it does not always work out for the immediate good. But I do think it does something internally. In the last two years I have written several DEEP letters to people to heal the past. Sometimes small and sometimes big issues but they were burnings in my heart to be the bigger person and try to move forward and at least apologize for any part of mine in the situations. EVERY ONE OF THEM- no response at all.

    I know most people wouldn’t have done the letter in the first place but that was what I thought was the hard part but the real hard part was doing it AGAIN without the fruit of the first.

    It’s hard to walk by faith to do what your heart is being squeezed for…but the more I do it the more I don’t count on the response or desired response to be my reason for doing in the first place. The reason is the change in me, knowing I did what God would want me to do. The other person? not my problem. FAir? Not my problem. Kind? not my problem. When those desired responses, expectedoutcomes are not your motivator it DOES work out cause now it’s HIS plan not yours.
    Rick warrens daily devotion today talks about obedience requires taking a risk.
    Prayers to all struggling with identifying those things and moving forward in faith!

    • Ginny B - OBS leader says:

      I love what you wrote Ann! Especially
      Now I know “GOD (not religion) is for weak people (Thank YOu), not to justify our existence..but to Glorify his!
      Amen girl! Thanks for sharing with us and I will be praying for you!

    • That was amazing.

      • Lauren Beach (OBS Group Leader) says:

        Thank you so much for sharing ~ I needed to hear your words today! I too am feeling so greedy for His Word right now too. All I want to do is bible study, talk with God, walk with God. I can’t focus at work ~ I am praying for God to direct me on my path to take right now and which plow to burn! Blessings Ann!

  3. i’m listing to Joyce meyer “cracking the enemys code”(joyce meyer site) it talks about active choice vs passivity.


  4. Melissa,
    This Greater study is hitting me so hard in areas that I have hidden deep down inside me. I desire to hear and obey, I desire to be all God wants me to me, I deisire to do all the HIS Word tells me… but FEAR has me so gripped in the lie that if I step out in faith as a single mother and obey and I fail to provide for the basic needs of my family or to keep a roof over our heads that I can’t be in the will of God there either. While I read in His Word over and over how God provided a way where there seemed no way… I just can’t seem to step out of the boat as Peter did and believe that he would do that for me. All I see are the numbers on little single pay check, and I see the house payment, the medical bills and all that goes with being a responsible person. If I burn my plow at this point I have no place to live, I turn my sons away in their hour of need, nor will I work because those are the things that hold me back. This book hs stirred such emotions of failure in me in the middle of the hope that it tells that at times I feel over come by the impossible place that I am at this moment… While I work each day I bring Christ to people who are struggling to over come drugs and alcohol and I point them to HIM I tell them all these things I can’t seem to hold on to myself…UNGLUED gave me such hope to take one step at a time.. but now I feel as if I am obeying God in my work life but MY life is such a mess with my ox in a ditch that I seem so over come. But I still get up each day and go to what is put in front of me to help other all the while feeling as if I just need to lay down and quit. As I set here typing this I am over come with hopelessness that I know is not right and I just can’t seem to pick the book back up because I see no way of overcoming the pattern that I am in… yet I know God is working around me daily for the people I serve because I see the fruits and the blessings. I am about to walk out the door to go pick up a mom who cried out last night for help. She has relapsed and has taken her son out of school and DHS is after her she is scared and wants help.Together we will get her back on track and get her help…. I know only God could have brought her my number in the middle of her drug usage and the desire to take her own life. Satan sure did not want her to call.. I see that but why can’t I believe he can help me over come … Why can’t I trust? It is not pride because I don’t have great things… Car is old, house is a family home I am buying after a death of a grandparent. Walmart and Woman’s World clothes… No designer anything… I work 50 to 60 hours a week and try to make sure my grown sons are ok… and have a place to come if they are in trouble. I have no social life, work, church, home and a good book, I am over weight and working on that.. Please pray that I can pick this book back up and see the need for me and not just the giving to others. I want Greater Things and I want to be in God’s Will..it is my desire. Sorry to pour out like this.. I just felt so over come when I read your post and I knew I would stuff again if I did not write this at this moment…Thank you for all you do for people like me..Blessings…

    • Kim Costello says:

      I am in the similar situation and its hard to believe but that’s what we have to do, please pick the book back up, if anything I feel like each chapter I got stronger and stronger. If only for that moment, but keep reading and we have to believe that somehow God is going to provide for us and we will be able to keep our home and pay the bills. And don’t worry about losing weight it will happen, try a short walk and build on that. I have been walking a lot and not Si much for losing weight as for my mental well being. I’m sending you a big hug and praying for you. Keep strong and believe, I do think we deserve Greater!!!

    • I was brought to tears reading your post. I know exactly what you are talking about and the overwhelming fear and hopelessness but I just want to encourage you to keep moving forward. Please continue this study and continue to read God’s word. Remember the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42? God wants us to take the much needed time to sit at His feet and let Him fill us so we can continue to give to others. What a blessing you are to so many people to encounter everyday. Please accept the love and blessings that God wants to give to you. God will provide exactly what you need each day. I know because that is exactly where I am right now. I am so blessed by your openness and vulnerablity and being able to stand with you on God’s promises. Love and Blessings.

    • JL,

      Thank you for reaching out to us here in this OBS. I want you to know that you are so loved and I am praying you will feel that. God sees everything you are going through. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

      Love you!

  5. I loved you first and Ive committed my life to saving you-I am bigger than all of your problems and I want you to plow your old ways of thinking, that allow your heart to deceive you into a life of fear, doubt, worry and anxiety –
    Instead set your mind on who i am and embrace the truth-realize who Your Father says you are -you are greater than you have acknowledged-because of my power-
    You tend to fear time which is nothing to fear-I don’t determine what is possible by your understanding of time – but by my power that controls time and every detail in your life-each time I choose to allow every circumstance of life through my hand-
    Remember I can straighten your crooked path and I can mend the broken pieces w/in your life because Love and power is greater than your sins – COME to me and let go-burn your plow and move forward with me-allow me to hold ALL you have and restore what has been lost-COME and watch what I am going to do- as you focus on what I’ve already done and how Great I Am-
    BecauseI love you-I am willing to mend all of your choices and Broken dreams, pain, burdened heart and paralyzed you into a lessee life than the desires Ive placed in your heart-by shaping and molding the Good and bad into my perfect masterpiece-Framing it with my grace – that enables you to over-c-o-m-e every challenge-mercy that offers as many opportunities needed to stand with me as you step from behind the oxem – burn your plows and move within My power along this path of a greater life-under my wings of love that promise to carry you as high as you are willing to go and experience the greater destiny I have waiting for you-
    My good and faithful servant-glory be to God and peace I’ve given to you -acceptance and approval of every piece of your mess with the assurance of hope through The message of Gods Glory, of your greater life tomorrow while living today happy and joyous – no matter what Storms rage against your today-hold onto My promise and embrace your Greater tomorrow through Christ who lives within you, who makes the impossible things possible and who is The GrEaT I AM <3

  6. Honestly, I am not sure of which plow I am to burn. The one where I plow the fields of work, homework, dinner, laundry etc, for my husband and his children(I am step-mom),while my husband runs around at night gambling away his earnings in one of those so- called cafes, leaving me without a way to contact him for emergencies, or a vehicle and a house full of children. Or, if I’m to burn the plow of stress, worry and grief, and harness up all that heartache to the plow and let it burn for a greater cause. The cause, the children, my husband, my children.. In a way, I feel that’smy greater, or part of it at least. I heard Jesus saying to me this morning, ” Patience…”.. Be strong. I will save him, you will see.. and it will be greater….So even though I lost my cool in the car, on our way to work, I am trying with all that is within me to keep it on a tight leash. God help me do this greater.. help me burn this plow of bitterness, resentment, hurt, grief, pain, anger, disappointment, sorrow, doubt, fear, and turn it into the greater me I need to be. The encourager, the friend, the prayer warrior, the spiritual advisor, the godly wife/mother.. In Jesus name I pray for deliverance for my husband for the strongholds Satan has bound him with using roots planted years ago with a seed or a deed embedded by himself or others. SET HIM FREE!!!

    • “I heard Jesus saying to me this morning, ” Patience…”.. Be strong. I will save him, you will see.. and it will be greater….”

      I’m so sorry for the situation you live in. You keep listening to Jesus. I love what you wrote (above). Keep your faith and keep relying on Jesus. I’m praying with you for deliverance for your husband and peace for you.

  7. Lynn Graham says:

    Melissa, like I had mentioned in the comment space on the news feed under something you had said. and I said I burned Farmville, It was very hard to delete my nice farm that had taken me over a year to do. but I know God is helping me and I’m ready to take that step forward. and to celebrate it. I just made an announcement on facebook on what I had done. so I still feel good about it because I was addicted to farmville. it”s like it had taken over my life. so when I had deactivated it, now I’m doing bible studies instead.

    • Lynn,

      Lettuce rejoice! Turnip the music to dance! That beets all! And I’m not horsing around! (Please don’t have a cow when you read this.)

      Just kidding Lynn! I think what you have done is GREAT!!!! I’m so proud of you and that decision. I know that was hard! I love that you are making changes in your life to please God, changes that impact your everyday life. It may be hard, but God will bless your obedience. You are moving to “Greater.”

      (I just wanted to pepper my reply with some silliness.)

  8. This bible study has really opened up my eyes and has made face certain things in my life that are blocking my walk with God. One plow I need to leave behind is lack of faith in God in intervening in my life . I need to rely a lot less on myself and let God !!! Thanks again for an uplifting bible study and seeing that alot of people struggle with the same uncertainities I struggle with daily.

  9. Michele Caséca Olaniyan says:

    Sure wednesday´s comments blessed me beyond words can say!
    I am going to burn the plows of insecurity and rejection. I´ll become a mom in 10 days, and it scares me to death that these feelings are still in my heart! I don´t know how, but I know that God will make a way for me! I know I`ll feel accepted and loved again, despite of all the circumstances I´ve been through!
    In the precious and powerful name of Jesus,

  10. Wow, loved Chapter 4. “He’s trying to teach you how to walk by faith.” This is and always has been my desire, to walk by faith!!! The area of faith is where I am truly lacking. I am willing to be a plow burner, but I am not sure what plow God is calling me to burn. I do know that a trust journey with God is exactly what I need, as it will draw me closer to Him. It will build my faith, which is something I so desperately need. I don’t have a cd collection to burn and I can’t burn down my house, but I can (with God’s help) take steps in putting the completion of the house on hold, so it doesn’t continue to consume me. The building of our home as been an ongoing project for the past 17 years. Last year I told my husband, no more. No more add-ons, and no more re-do’s/do overs. During the past 17 years of building and making our house a home, we had two unforunate encounters with Rita and Ike. Our home took considerable damage from both hurricanes and there are still some repairs to complete due to the two hurricanes. The major repairs, such as a new roof and replacing an entire room have been completed. I so want to have a life beyond this house and I have tried more times than I can count to get my husband to put down his tools and take a much needed break. This however has been a losing battle. The spark and spontaneity is buried somewhere under the rubble. To top it all off, I am a worrier. I am hoping with this study and God’s grace I can burn a few plows. I do desire to burn the plow of worry and complacency….but most of all I need to plant more seeds of faith in my life

    • Melinda Piper says:


      I agree with your post. I have such a strong internal desire to walk by faith yet I too am struggling with what plow God wants me to burn. I feel like until I burn this unclear plow I will be stuck in this monotony. I will pray for clarity for you to know which plow God is calling you to burn. We were affected by both Ike and Rita too, so I understand your frustrations with that. God bless you!

      • Wow, thank you Melinda…sometimes we think we are the only ones dealing with certain situations and then your post pops up. Please don’t misunderstand, as I am not happy that you too were affected by both Rita and Ike, nor am I happy that you too are struggling concerning the plow burning. It does help however when there is someone I can relate to. I was sitting quietly outside on my porch swing (it’s not actually on the porch…lol) one evening when the phrase “Oh Yea of LITTLE Faith” hit me head on. I capitalize little as my faith is little. It is so easy for me to tell my children to have faith when facing difficulties, but I don’t follow my own advice. I want a mustard seed kind of faith. I will pray for you as well. Thank You for commenting on my post. Many times when I post, I don’t get any replies, so this has meant a lot to me. Thank You again and God Bess…Prayers for both of us going up….

  11. I know this is a few days ‘late’ although that’s one of the coolest things about this OBS…you can sort of move at your own pace, my pace this week was playing catch up from 2 weeks with off/on sickness running through our house. I wanted to ‘reflect’ on the first four chapters of ‘Greater’…I did and I shared it on my blog. Feel free to go read my thoughts and take on what stuck out with me, my take on it. This has been a wonderful study, I’m so thankful it was put in my path.
    God Bless

  12. Rachelle M says:

    I’m a little late too. Chapter 4 , again, caught right in my throat. I have a hard time burning plows; A combination of life experience and fear have frozen my feet to the ground sometimes. I want to keep the plows…just in case this other deal doesn’t work out. I am afraid to trust that, God, my God, will not really provide after I take the leap of faith. I am praying that God will help me to trust.

  13. Catching up again. Just reading Chapter 4 on Tuesday December 11th. Ah well.
    As with many of you, reading this chapter made me cry. It’s so hard, and so sad, to think of all that has gone wrong, all that has held me back, all that I might have missed. It’s fairly easy to say ” move on because that was then and this is now” but it’s much harder to actually let go of the past.

    I was told this once:
    “Leave the past where it belongs and don’t focus on the future. This time, right now, is a gift and that is why it is called the “present.” Especially in this season of gift giving, let’s all give ourselves the gift of living in the “Present.”

    I have a much less lovely way of explaining this that my 10 year old son enjoys. (Spoiler alert – if you do not appreciate the “humor” of 10 year old boys, skip what comes next!) The saying is, “If I keep one foot in the past, and put one foot in the future, I’m peeing all over the present!” A bit graphic to be sure, but rather effective at times!

    I have also been doing as Melissa asked, and looking up each Bible verse that is mentioned as it appears in the book. Imagine my shock when I looked up Mark 10:29-30 and the word in bold print at the beginning was “Divorce.”

    I realized that one of the plows I have to burn is my escape plan. If I spend my time devising how I’m going to live after I’m divorced, I am not giving the here and now a chance. I need to believe that I am exactly where I am supposed to be and that the lessons being presented to me at this very moment are what I need to learn – like it or not. I need to stay put and listen.

    Here’s something I would like to ask for prayers of help on. While I was reading, I realized that burning one of my plows would probably be to start wearing my wedding ring again. This is so hard for me! My pride still tells me this is “giving in” and that my husband will have “won” by being unkind to me and still having a wife who is faithful. I can see that this is the type of radical obedience that I’m supposed to commit to – believing and saying to the world, by an outside expression of wearing my wedding ring- that I am staying married and yet, it’s actually very hard. Pray for me please? Thanks.

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