You want to move ahead, but you can’t do it. You’d like to do something great, but you don’t have the courage. You would love to get out of the rut you’re in, but you just don’t know how.
I have the answer, at least in part.
Get past yourself.
Get past yourself and your limitations (actual or self-imposed), your fears (real or imagined), your negative thinking, your worrying, your past. See yourself as God sees you. See the talents He’s given you. See the people He’s put in your life. See how much He loves you. See His plan for you.
What? A plan?
Maybe you’ve never been a regular bible reader and maybe prayer hasn’t been at the top of your to-do list for a long time. Yet, these two actions are the very best ways to find out about that plan. The Lord will speak to you through His Word. He will speak to you when you spend time with Him in prayer. And He will begin to show you things through other people, through circumstances in your life, and through acts of obedience.
Here’s a little story.
I was raised in a Christian home and have been a born-again believer for 45 years. For a good number of those years, I ambled through life with the attitude that my spiritual walk was an option. In other words, I read the bible when I felt like it, prayed when I was in the mood (which wasn’t often), and I gave little thought to figuring out what it was that God actually wanted me to do. I wasn’t that special anyway and I was sure God’s time was better used on those really holy people. My life was good, for the most part.
Then I started learning about the importance of things like studying the Word of God, spending time with Him in real conversation – not just those quickie “bless me” prayers – and allowing Him to become involved in my life. So, I tried it. And things changed. Attitudes changed. I changed. I began to see God’s touch on every area of my life. And for the first time, I actually felt the presence of God with me.
Fast forward to the present. January 2014.
Our pastor has encouraged us, as a church, to devote ourselves to a renewed focus on our relationship with Jesus Christ for personal growth and transformation, ultimately resulting in breakthrough and revival not only in our own church, but in our city and our country.
I took up the challenge.
Reading the Word. Praying. Fasting.
The results for me personally have been immediate. Astounding, even. It’s like God was just waiting for me to say, “Okay, here I am. I’m ready.” He just scooped me up and pointed me in the right direction, with a gentle kick in the pants to get me going. Ideas are pouring out. Areas of my life that I though closed forever have opened up in such brilliant ways. His Word is “alive-er” than ever. Talking with Him is an actual two-way conversation. As it should be.
How did this happen?
I got past myself. My notions. My opinions. My hurts. My failures. My arrogance. My I’m-too-old-and-set-in-my-ways attitude.
And then I simply obeyed.
“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.” Philippians 1:6 (The Message)