The Secret to Untying Your 6-Ton Elephant

The Secret to Untying Your 6-Ton Elephant

by Wayne Stiles

A man in an Arizona circus used to train animals for the movies. Somebody asked him: “Hey, how do you tie down that 6-ton elephant with the same sized stake you use for a baby elephant?”

“That’s easy,” the trainer answered.

Photo by SuperJew (CC-BY-SA-3.0), via Wikimedia Commons.
“When they’re babies, we stake them down. They pull and tug thousands of times until they figure out they can’t jerk loose. At that point, the elephant’s great memory kicks in, and they remember for the rest of their lives they can’t pull away. So they quit trying.”

I’ve discovered that you and I think a lot like elephants.

Especially when it comes to sin.

How We Get Staked to a Lie

We’ve all heart it. When we’re young and impressionable, some unthinking, insensitive person does it to us. Maybe it’s a parent or a teacher. Or someone of the opposite sex. Or a preacher.

“You’re stupid! You’ll never amount to anything.”
“Your nose is ugly.”
“You are going to hell for that!”
WHAM! We drive a mental stake into our minds that, like elephants, we carry with us even when we become adults. We never forget it. We never question it. We simply come to believe it.

Even as adults, the words change, but now they’re our own words. And the effect is still the same:

“I’ll never break free from that addiction to alcohol.”
“The desire is so fierce, it has to be God’s will.”
“I cannot control my craving or have victory over sin.”
“I can’t do anything right.”
Got one or two of those stakes stuck in your brain?

Photo by William Scott, via Wikimedia Commons.
Untying Your Elephant (a.k.a. Gaining Victory Over Sin)

An elephant is literally chained to a past memory, but that doesn’t have to be true of you. I urge you to begin thinking more like a Christian and less like an elephant.

Here are a few steps that will help.

First, know the truth about your past. Before you believed in Jesus, when sin said: “Jump!” you jumped. It wasn’t just a matter of hearing lies from others and yourself. You had no choice, because sin was your master. Sure, you may have quit drinking, or smoking, or whatever—but you replaced one master for another. Smoking for unhealthy relationships, for example. But you were still staked down. No permanent victory over sin or compulsions.
Second, believe the truth about you now. Even after you believed in Jesus, sin still says: “Jump!” You tug against that stake and remember the past, so you stay tied. Not because you have to—but because you choose to. You don’t realize you now have a power through the Spirit of God to pull up that stake—to have victory over sin. Scripture says it like this:
“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.” —Romans 6:12-14

Third, meditate on the truth and enjoy your future. The renewal of the mind is the secret to untying your elephant (Romans 8:5-6; 12:1-2). And honestly, sometimes it takes years. Don’t misunderstand that pulling up your stakes is as easy as three steps and a prayer. But victory over sin CAN happen with God’s power. You can have victory over sin.
Retraining Your Elephant Brain

Renewing the mind comes by reading and pondering Scripture, and by believing the truth that you are no longer a slave to sin. You are free from sin’s power to make you sin. Regardless of what lies you hear.

Photo by John Walker (Public domain), via Wikimedia Commons.
I think that many of our stakes are those that (like the adult elephant) we could pull up if we’d try. We would see that through the strength of Jesus we’ve grown, we’re stronger, and the stake is nothing but the shadow of what once was true—but now a lie from the devil—intended to hobble us from having victory over sin, from being effective for God, and from being fulfilled as a person.

Immerse your mind in the truth of the verses quoted above, and with the strength that God provides, start tugging at some of your stakes.

There’s no need to work for peanuts in an Arizona circus.

Question: What lies were you told in the past that staked you down?

About ptl2010

Jesus Christ is coming soon

2 Responses to The Secret to Untying Your 6-Ton Elephant

  1. Every day, usually several times a day, for about 11 years (11-22 years old) I was told that I was an ugly freak; totally evil; that no one would ever want me, so I might as well do the world a favour and kill myself.
    I didn’t believe it was a lie. It was true. I was evil. I was ugly. No one had ever loved me and no one ever would. I considered killing myself. I had a huge pylon picked out that I considered driving into at full speed. I copuld do it when no other traffic was around, so no one else would be hurt – but what if I didn’t die and became a cripple? That would be even worse!

    At 22 years old, 8th June 1958, after a week of being haunted by words I had heard and didn’t understand – “Christ died for your sins / your personal Saviour” – God stepped into my life, showed me the Lord Jesus paying the penalty for MY sin, gave me understanding and faith to believe, and my life changed completely. I was a different person.

    However, that mental abuse received for so many years, still affected me. It was part of my make-up. It was me. I knew I was a much loved, blood-bought child of the living, perfect God, adopted into His own family. I knew His presence and His leading and His power in my life, but I still had problems of self-worth. I still found it extremely hard to meet people or to talk with people.

    But – praise God – in time those chains were broken. They still rattle at times, but my God is an amazing God who delights to undertake for His children and give us the victory.

    What an amazing God!

  2. remso says:

    In a moment of depression recently I said, “I have failed at everything in life.” I know that is not true, but unlike many of the pastors I have had I do not have 1500 dollar suits; I do not even have a suit at this point. But I am keenly aware, that under pressure, I have collapsed and failed when I did not want to; at least I do not think I wanted to.
    I do know that God is bigger than all that junk and in truth I do not believe it matters. I have a love and relationship with Him that is far deeper than most anyone I have met, and I am stunned for there is no secret, I spend time in his word and I become entwined in his embrace. It is an embrace that I fought at first, but now I cannot live without. He loved through the worst of times and I will spend eternity with him.
    No, nothing else on this earth really matters.
    The answer to your question is: I do not know what it is that has defeated so many times, but I know that in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, I will be changed, and healed, and be what I know I was made to be, the son of the King.

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