The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. –Proverbs 12:15
Ever have one of those I-hope-no-one-actually-saw-me-do-that kind of moments? Let’s say, for example, you are trying to leave a store and no matter how hard you push, the door won’t open. You push and push with all your might and just when you think you must be locked in, you realize you’re pushing on the entrance–only door. You know, the one with the big red sign on it that says “Do Not Enter”? Oops. (Of course, this has never happened to me personally…I’ve only heard about other people doing this).
Life can feel like that sometimes. There are times in life when we feel we have pushed and pushed to achieve something, and no matter how hard we try, it never seems to come to pass. When we come to that point where we are ready to give up, we often face a tough question. Is this God trying to tell me to let this thing go, or is this the enemy trying to get me to give up because he knows my breakthrough is close? It can be tough to discern, and regardless of the answer, the enemy certainly likes to take advantage of our situation by causing confusion so that our ability to discern God’s direction is impaired. Here are a few important things for us to keep in mind when we feel stuck:
- When I originally set off towards this goal, did God direct me to do so, or was this something I started pursuing on my own? Many times we have the best of intentions when we set off to start a ministry, do a good deed or achieve a personal goal. But when it doesn’t seem to be happening for us, we must stop and be really honest with ourselves. Was this clearly a God-directed thing or did we take off and run with a good idea without seeking confirmation from God? If we know we had clear direction from God at the start, we must persevere. If not, we may need to give the situation to God and ask Him to either close the door or point us in the right direction. This is also a good time to seek wise advice from a few Godly people you trust; just be sure to take that advice back to God so you hear His voice for yourself.
- If I know I am on the right path, is there anything I need to do differently to keep moving forward? Once we know we are on the path God directed us to be on, it may be helpful to go to God and ask Him to show us any area where we might be holding up the process without realizing it. Is there anything I’m doing or not doing that is keeping this door from opening? Is there a piece I’m missing that would help me break through? In situations where we feel stuck, humility will get us a lot farther than pride. Pride says, “I’m strong enough to make this thing happen on my own.” Humility says, “I’m too weak to make this thing happen, but God is strong enough and I need His help.”
- Sometimes there is nothing else to do but pray and stand in faith. If we know we are on the right path and doing the right things to get to our destination, then we must choose to stand firm, trust and believe in God’s ability to make it happen on His schedule. Perhaps there is a lesson in this for us. Perhaps it’s building our endurance. Perhaps pieces are falling into place behind the scenes that we can’t see. Regardless, we must not get discouraged and give up when we are convinced that we are on a God-ordained mission. No matter what the circumstances may look like, God will cause it all to come to pass at just the right time. That door will open, often suddenly and when we least expect it.