After attending a recent conference, I received a survey in my email. You know, those surveys that pop up after you visit a place or buy a new something. They ask, “please take a moment to complete…” I never seem to have a moment to leave comments or complete the survey. However after this trip, I suddenly had the time, so I took a moment. In my mind, I believed I was doing the company a favor with my responses. I would give them my “The event was great but…” kind of feedback.
What happened surprised me.
The first question of the survey asked where I wanted my dream to be in three to five years? Easy question, I described my dream as I imagined in three years. The next question was a little harder to answer. “What is standing in the way of reaching that goal?” Inwardly I laughed and thought, “If they only knew!” Immediately I wanted to start blaming circumstances, people, timing and so much more. I didn’t have the thing I needed or the time I wanted. The truth–it’s me.
I am the reason my dream is stuck.
If I asked where you want the God-given calling on your life, your dream, to be in three to five years, what would your answer be? Where is God telling you to go or what is He telling you to do? And like the survey says, “what is standing in the way of reaching that goal?”
Maybe you understand my blame game. I could make a list of excuses why I have not completed one big step toward reaching my dream. Some of the reasons would be real, and the list is long: raising children, a full-time job and a house and home to keep. But, mostly it’s because I just don’t. I don’t do.
I know what God wants me to do, but I stay stuck believing I don’t have time or ability. The biggest reason–I am afraid to fail. If I don’t take steps to make the dream a reality, I don’t fail. The dream stays stuck.
What if we trusted God to give us all we need?
Jesus’ half-brother, tells the early Christians in James 1:22, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” Scripture tells us that we can do ALL things because Christ gives us strength. Proverbs 3:4-5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” We can trust God to make the way for us to fulfill the dream He has planted in us. Do you believe God’s Word is true? Do you hear but do not do?
The people reading James’ letter had one foot in the world while the other foot was trying to follow Jesus. They both depended on their strength and understanding and also claimed to worship God. I can relate.
When it comes to doing big things, like beginning a ministry, or leading a bible study, or speaking to a neighbor about Jesus, I have been known to attempt the task on my strength. “I got this,” I say to myself. “Just do it.” Or, “I can’t do this.” If I do make an attempt, often I fail or, like my big dream, get stuck in a holding pattern. On the one hand, I profess to depend on God to give me strength and wisdom, but I don’t make a move because I feel like I can’t. Am I a hearer and not a doer?
Are there areas in your life where you try to move yet stay stuck, not moving forward? What are the places that you need God to give you strength and wisdom? Can you surrender those places and plans to God who will give you the desires of your heart?
If God has called you to a task or called you to make a move, don’t wait until the circumstances are ideal. They never will be. The only correct response is, “Yes, Lord.” All you have to do is ask, and God will provide the strength, the ability, the wisdom, and the opportunities to move from stuck to taking steps toward the dream He has planned for you. What are you waiting for?
Dear God, thank you for working in us to will and to act according to your purpose. Please show us areas in our lives where we may be stuck and help us to depend on you for everything we need to step out and do and not just listen to your Word. In Christ’s Name, Amen.
Taking Action: What is one step that you can take today toward making progress in the task that God has called you to do? Is it make a phone call, send an email, or make an appointment? Take that one step today and tomorrow take another step and keep going. You can accomplish what God has call you to do.