We all want to advance and complete the mission for our lives, but many times people get stuck and fail to move forward. God also wants you to move forward and has good plans for your life (Jer. 29:11). It’s not good for anyone to settle for the “reality of life”, which is a term people use to justify complacency. Yet many do just that, they become complacent and assume they have no control over their future. So how do we avoid this and what steps can we take to move forward?
Solutions vs Distractions: People handle problems in one of two ways — either with a solution or a distraction. Solutions are actions to actively solve a problem, while distractions are pursuits that actively avoid problems or ignore their existence. People who are given to actively seeking solutions to matters find great success in life because they are constantly moving forward. It doesn’t mean they won’t face difficult times, but it does mean when they face a challenge they actively work to solve it. The solution based person will often say, “let’s figure this out and move on.” They will learn new skills if required or work diligently to conquer the problem. They tend to know that God is working with them and habitually practice their faith in each new situation because they believe — if I made it over the last hurdle, then I can also make it over the next one as well. If God be for us, who can be against us? In contrast, the person given to dealing with challenges through distractions will often complain that situations are outside of their control or try to ignore them. These type of people will say, “I just can’t even deal with this right now” or go on Facebook to complain or call someone so they can vent. The distraction in this case would be to ignore the problem or seek sympathy, not work to solve the issue. No one is immune to choosing distractions over solutions, but you don’t want to create a habit of choosing distractions as your method to cope with problems. For example, if your finances are a mess — it’s best to learn what you don’t know and get them in order. If you feel called to missions and you are afraid to take the next step — it’s best to commit to a short-term mission and go. If you are at odds with a friend — it’s best to face the issue and get to the root of the problem. The sooner you work on a solution, the sooner you will conquer your challenges and move forward in life. For the most part problems are built up a lot worse in your mind than they are in reality. Face your fears and move forward by solving your problems. God is with you to help you and guide you. Life is too short to waste on the wheel of distraction.
Unworthiness: One of the pitfalls in the modern church, and what holds people back from moving forward, is banging the drum of unworthiness. Many times, certain believers will tell others that they are “a vessel of weakness” or “flawed and being refined in the refiners fire” or “waiting on the Lord” or some other nice sounding phrase that displays how humble and imperfect they are. This sounds good, but people who tend to proclaim this constantly, more often than not, enjoy wallowing in a state of unworthiness and never move forward. This basking in religious cliches always seems to devolve into seeking pity from others, or is offered as an excuse not to act on their faith. If you constantly tell yourself that you are an unworthy sinner, and only focus on that, you will not recognize the strength God has given you. That’s sad, and not the victorious Christian life that the Lord wants us to live. Yes, we are sinners saved by grace, but we are also now sons and daughters of the Most High. We are living temples of the Holy Spirit and born again to a new life. “Strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.” — Colossians 1:11
We must remember that the old things have passed away and behold new things have come. So let us live in the victory of the Lord and conquer all challenges in faith. Let us grab hold of the strength in Him and move forward towards the upward call. Read these scriptures and know that the power of the Lord is with you. Don’t let the thoughts of unworthiness hold you back from moving forward.
“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” — Psalms 27:1
“...Let the weak say, I am strong.” — Joel 3:10
“Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” — Ephesians 6:10
“How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, In whose heart are the highways to Zion! Passing through the valley of Baca (*Valley of Baca means valley of weeping) they make it a spring; The early rain also covers it with blessings. They go from strength to strength, Every one of them appears before God in Zion.” — Psalms 84:5-7
“...But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 3:13-14
Action is the Way: In a world that is increasingly confused and more distracted than ever, taking action is the simple formula to moving forward. If you want to move forward you need to stop stalling and start acting. When you act, you begin to take on the challenges in life and enter the arena. You might stumble at first and even face some tough times, but you’ll learn, and you’ll eventually get better. The best part is, you’ll have the Almighty standing with you always. The Lord will support you, guide you and protect you, but you are the one who must awake and venture out. When you take action, you go from strength to strength. So what are you waiting for? Move Forward in power of the Lord, for He has good plans for you!