A Texas man named Ira Yates Jr. began buying cattle and horses and driving them to market in San Antonio when he was about nineteen, buying his first ranch in Crockett County in the early 1900’s. Around 1913 he traded 216 cattle (valued at fifty dollars per head) for a failing dry-goods store in Rankin, Texas. He made this trade despite the advice of friends who warned him against the venture. The store did very well, doing $5,000 worth of business per month by 1915. The success of the store attracted the attention of a rancher and businessman who had a 16,640 acre ranch that he wanted to get rid of–because it was unfenced, known to be plagued by disputed boundaries, frequent droughts, and had “greasy” well water. The disillusioned rancher approached Ira proposing to trade the ‘worthless’ ranch for the thriving store. Again, friends warned Ira against the deal. One of these friends had owned the property at one time and told Ira that “even buffalo know better than to cross the Pecos; that a crow would not fly over it and it was not worth the taxes.” But, in spite of the warnings, Yates followed his intuition and traded his store for the ranch.
Five years later Ira was still struggling to make a profit from ranching, when ‘something’ told him to invite a certain oil company to drill on his place. The company agreed to start drilling on the ranch, despite its bad reputation and wrong location. On October 28, 1926, after the fourth well was drilled, the company struck oil, and Ira Yates became an instant millionaire. The field has produced more than one billion barrels of oil, making it one of the largest in the United States, with estimated recoverable reserves at approximately one billion barrels.
I have to wonder how many potential billionaires had lived in poverty on that place before Ira. How many people lived on top of that treasure thinking it was worthless? But, when you think of it, there is hidden treasure everywhere that is worthless simply because no one knows it is there, or doesn’t know how to tap into it. Tapping into hidden potential may be as simple as learning to listen and follow your heart–just like Ira did. I can’t guarantee that you will become a billionaire by learning to listen to the quiet voice within you; however, I can guarantee that if you learn to listen and follow that inner voice, above all others, you won’t be led in the wrong direction. This is especially true if you are a Christian.
Far too many of us are swayed by what is apparent to the eye, tending to make decisions based on what we can clearly see. And living by sight may be the reason we miss out on opportunities that are sitting right under our noses. For, you see, intuition is very often the voice of God trying to guide us toward the biggest blessing of our lives.
Christians have been given limitless potential for supernatural living. It is not our heritage to be overcome by the pressures of the world, living in fear and anxiety. We are not meant to be enslaved to the devil and falling into constant sin. We shouldn’t be begging like paupers for what we already possess. But we do. Even with this supernatural potential within us there are those among us who exhibit the signs of spiritual poverty. What are the signs? Unloving, lustful, critical, complaining, greedy, envious, frustrated, confused, worried, stressed, discouraged, and aimless.
Why is this the case? Because—even though the Holy Spirit immediately indwells a person at the time of salvation—not everyone fully understands their rights as God’s children. Christians have the ability to make the right decisions because we have the guidance and wisdom of God at our disposal. We have the ability to love unconditionally and to forgive the people who’ve hurt us. We have the power to overcome every hardship because we have the power of God in us. Yet, it is left untapped because the Holy Spirit can’t operate in our lives without our permission.
Did you get that? God needs our permission to work through us. We have to turn the power on. How?
Let go. Let God. The Holy Spirit can’t work through a person who won’t humble himself and submit to whatever God wants. A person who won’t allow Christ’s Spirit to walk and breathe through him will never experience their available blessings. An individual must desire to put Christ in the center of his life and resolve to keep his mind fixed on Jesus. A person must search for ways to please God by his words, thoughts and actions. Additionally, scripture is the spiritual food needed to regenerate the mind and enliven the body. A person who does not eat of this daily bread will not build up the spiritual reserves needed to think logically, endure physically, and remain emotionally stable in the midst of his trials.
It is in the grip of life’s pressures when we can lose the fight against temptation and fall back into sinful and self-destructive habits. If you are relying on your own limited strength to get you through life’s ordeals you won’t make it. Because when your reserves are exhausted you’ll find yourself drawing from raw emotions. And emotions can overpower reason and pull us in the wrong direction. Erratic emotions are noise makers. The still small voice of God can’t be heard when we are in mental turmoil. A Christ-directed, Christ-centered life is the only way to keep on the course God has set for you.
Stop following your feelings and emotions. Stop worrying about pleasing people more than pleasing God.
If you want to succeed in life. If you want to be richly blessed…..be still and listen.