What is it that you have been meaning to do, but haven’t gotten to? What have you been wanting to do but haven’t made a priority of doing? What have you been mulling over in your mind for quite some time, but haven’t acted on? Consider what God is asking you to do. Are you moving ahead to do it?
It is said that if God isn’t telling you what to do next, it may be that you haven’t done what He has already asked you to do. We may have passively refused to follow God’s directions to us by just ignoring them. Or putting them off. Or dismissing the tasks as unrealistic, or too time consuming, or too impractical.
We may have discounted our ability to obey the Holy Spirit’s promptings, or simply put it off. We may intend to get to it when it works out. Seasons and years may pass. But what may we be preventing? What blessing can’t flow outside of our obedience?What prayers will be answered when we do certain things?
Here are three main reasons why we may be stuck, and we may not even know it.
Many of us struggle with fear of the future and what if’s fill our minds.
Self-consciousness, fear of what people think, or fear of failing all can paralyze us and keep us bound where we are. Procrastination is also usually based in fear. We may fear the unknown, or discomfort, or change, or the cost (in time, resources and energy) of what we are putting off.
The remedy to all of this is faith. God will always give us the resources to do what He is asking us to do! (see Philippians 4:19) Like the Israelites, we may need to take risks and face the unknown in order to move into The Promised Land.
If God is calling you to do something, there may, in fact, be discomfort or opposition. Making progress will take effort. It is said that everything that has value has a price. Sometimes we just need to push through. Comfort isn't everything. It can lull us into an unproductive slumber.
Discipline has it’s rewards. We need to face our fears. They have the potential of looming before us and keeping us from our prize. Philippians 4:13 speaks of this; “ I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Pressing requires effort and repositioning. But it moves what's in front of us so that we can move ahead. Passivity gets us nowhere.
Even with our best of intentions, we can be one another’s biggest discouragers.
2. Family and friends may be holding us back. Our loved ones are given to us by God to be our encouragers and cheering squad. This is how He set it up to be. The truth is that we are all human and make mistakes, and even with our best of intentions, we can be one another’s biggest discouragers.
In general, people don’t know what God is calling you to do or be. It is a wonderful thing when we are lifted up and seen with God’s perspective by a brother or sister in Him. Some people have prophetic gifting, and God lets them in on part of what He has for you so that they can encourage us.
I Corinthians 14:3 says, “But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.” This is one reason why prophesy is so important in the church. It helps us along and gives us revelation about our futures. When the world and people around us can get us down, we should be able to depend on one another to pull each other up.
If you are stuck and are waiting for someone to pull you up, it may be time to depend on God to be your Rescuer.
“He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.”
There are other times when people let us down in less obvious ways. They may not actually oppose what we believe God is doing. They may be indifferent or may not take us seriously. The fact is that we limit one another at times because we can’t see one another like God sees us. Our family and friends tend to project who we are now, with our weaknesses and limitations, on our futures.
We limit one another at times because we can’t see one another like God sees us.
Or they may not want the changes in our lives to effect them. It is difficult to understand that sometimes we are held back by those we love, but it can happen. If we aren’t careful, negativity around us can have an impact on us. It’s important that we stay in God’s Word to get our bearings. God is very positive toward us and knows the gifts that He has for us. His resources are unlimited.
When we move ahead in humility, knowing that He holds our futures, we are in the best hands. In Psalm 31:15, David says, “My future is in your hands.” David was no stranger to risk. He was a man of faith. He always moved ahead knowing that God had anointed Him and was faithful in His promises.
Our minds and bodies are interconnected. Fatigue in one area affects the other.
Some of us don’t make enough time to rest and restore our reserves. We stay up too late and get up too early, or ignore the Sabbath, the day that God has given to us to recharge. Others of us rest enough, but then spend a great deal of time in time-stealing endeavors.
An obvious time-stealer is social media time warps where we “check our sites” for hours each day. We man simply spend an unbalanced amount of time on time-stealers. It happens to most of us. Too much of any good thing can steal from other fruitful endeavors. It's a function of when and where we live. Some of us just aren’t aware.
Another time-stealer is doing something that God never asked you to do. We may be running around in ministry, serving God until we drop. God may let us do this. It is not always a bad thing to serve Him on our own. It's just not the best thing for us, if God has not asked us to do it. God is clear on this;
“Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep”
Times and seasons shift, and we may not notice and just keep doing what we were doing.
Sometimes well-known verses lose their power because we no longer hear the words. This is a verse that we should cling to when we feel that we have reached a dead-end and don’t know what to do. We may even reach a point where we truly don't care. This is a sign that we need to seek His healing, rest and restoration. Our part is to cry out to Him. He will respond (see Psalm 61:2).
God is calling you to a higher place. If you are very comfortable where you are, and are happy to stay put, you may be missing out on something better. Don’t sleep, or sit, through what He is prodding you onto right now. You are free to be who God has created you to be.
Ask Him if you should go through an open door, and if you feel His peace and prompting, move ahead into the unknown. Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “ The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” One day you may look back and be amazed that you could have stayed where you were. Instead, through His grace, you found The Promised Land that He had for you! That is the day that you will praise Him that He didn't let anything stop you!