Let's Get Real, Part Two
In the last blog post, I sketched a picture of a barren wilderness and promised to share some steps God has revealed for me to take in order to move forward. I’ve learned that God isn’t after us to “get over” things, but He is after forward movement, progress in the faith. Stagnation is not our portion as the people of God. So, if you’re ready to stop camping out by whatever mountain’s been blocking you, join me and start with these first steps.
1. Stop grieving for Saul: In 1 Samuel 16, God told the distraught prophet Samuel that it was time to stop grieving King Saul’s failure, fill his horn with oil, and go anoint David as the new king. We can’t move forward into the plans of God with the fresh oil of His presence unless we let go of what didn’t work out. This isn’t about giving up but releasing yourself from an obligation to grieve forever about what can’t be changed. Receive permission from God to move on!
2. Isolate what’s holding you back: What are those pesky walls you keep running into? What frustrations can you just not get past? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what’s really at the root of all this struggle; this will help you with step three.
3. Replace the lies you’ve been believing: Once you know what’s holding you back, it’ll be easier to spot the lies you’ve been believing about yourself, God, and others. Write them out; say them out loud. They sound even worse when they’re not buried in your subconscious, right? But now, write down the Truth the Spirit reveals in answer to each one. These answers should be rooted in God’s Word. Keep them close.
4. Take a step of faith: Yeah, that one. Whether it’s something you’ve been hiding from or something God just revealed to you, obey what He’s prompting, even if it seems small. Obedience has a cumulative effect.
5. Return to the Rhema: Revisit old words God spoke over you. Those words that make your heart bleed because they haven’t come to pass. Release your own ideas about their fulfillment and recommit to receive God’s peace that passes understanding.
6. Find a Tribe: It’s important to spend time with people on the same journey. Reassess your relationships and even your entertainment choices, and make sure it’s all working to lead you in the direction God wants you to go.
7. Don’t Settle: When you’re waiting for promised fulfillment, it can be tempting to settle for “Ishmael” when God promised “Isaac”. Remember what God said and wait on Him!
8. Get Desperate: Don’t be afraid of desperate moments, but don’t drown in them either. When you just can’t wait any longer, turn that desperation into passionate prayers, like Jacob who wrestled with God for his blessing or Hannah who poured out her complaint before the Lord (Genesis 32; 1 Samuel 1).
9. Give God your panic: When God starts answering your prayers, inevitably you’ll experience panic. Am I really ready for this? Bring that to God too, remembering that you truly can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Phil. 4:13).
10. Celebrate Answers: Watch for any and every victory, and worship God for them. Make an altar out of every experience, choosing to see God’s hand at work again. At first, you may have to squint, but things will become clearer, if you’re willing to keep looking.
Remember the decision we talked about in Part One? The daily decision to plant ourselves in God’s faithfulness and believe in the good future He has for us. That’s really all He requires of us. Every step with that mentality will be a step forward in line with the Spirit, and He will be the empowerment and comfort every step of the way.