Last year when we were moving, Ray borrowed a friend’s flat-bed trailer to load and haul our heavy appliances like the stove, fridge, and washer. Moving the appliances from our front door step to the flat bed trailer was a feat in itself, but the real fun began when Ray tried to pull out into our two-acre yard.
It had been raining recently in Missouri, but we’d had several sunny, dry days. But the rain had saturated our grass, and as soon as Ray tried to drive forward, the trailer wheels sank in the mud, and he was stuck. After several frustrating attempts to get out, he finally called a friend who had a big truck and a strong chain. Then his friend got stuck!
Eventually the friend and Ray did get out of the mud, although their zealous efforts left some interesting doughnut shapes and other strange markings in our front yard. Ray commented that it looked as if aliens had visited our neighborhood, leaving crop circles. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crop_circle
Sometimes we feel like we can’t go forward and we don’t know why. If you have dreams in your heart, and you feel stuck, here may be some reasons why, and some Biblical tips to get you out:
I believe the primary reason we don’t see fulfillment of our dreams is that we don’t know our true identity in Christ. When Hadassah had to go to the king’s palace for the king to find a new wife and queen in the place of Queen Vashti, Mordecai who had raised her instructed her to not yet reveal her identity and to change her name to “Esther.” Her identity was very important, and she never forgot who she really was. God used Esther in a powerful way to intercede and to save herself and her own people.
We as believers must know who we are in Christ ~ a royal priesthood and a holy nation, sons and daughters of the King of the Universe (1 Peter 2: 9). If we do not recognize that God sees us as his children and has called us to fulfill His great commission on earth, we will always live below our potential and never see our purpose, dreams, and destiny come to pass.
False perceptions about ourselves that we learn from family members, teachers, friends, bosses, co-workers, even pastors and leaders, can cause our vision to be distorted and us to not understand the truth of who we really are.
The way we come to know our true identity is first to obtain salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ by faith in His redemptive work on the Cross for our sins (Acts 4: 11-12), and secondly to spend time daily in His Word and in His presence in prayer. God will speak to us great and mighty things, and show us how He views us as we seek Him. (Jeremiah 28: 3)
Over the last several years, Ray and I have gone through very hard, stressful times, so for a season I laid down writing and speaking. Since last summer, things have improved and I have begun to slowly dip my little toe back into the water. For several months now, I have realized that fear also had been holding me back. Fear of rejection, fear of man, and fear of failure had me stuck.
Like the woman with the issue of blood pushing past the crowed and every obstacle, I know that if I just touch Jesus, He will help me – and His power and virtue will flow from Him into me. But God does not want me or you afraid, because fear trips us up. Jesus said, “Do not fear, little flock, for it is Your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12: 32)
As we spend time reading the Bible each day, worshipping God, and praying, God will remove our fears by penetrating our hearts with the truth of His word and His agape love for us. His perfect love removes all our fears. (1 John 4: 18)
3. Not knowing or using our gifts
Wouldn’t it be silly for your husband or your favorite girlfriend to give you a wonderful gift for your birthday, and you never opened it, but put it in the back of your closet to open in a few years? Yet that is what we do with our spiritual gifts that God has given us. If we do not know what our spiritual gifts are or do not use them, they are useless.
The gifts are for God’s glory and the Body of Christ’s edification, encouragement, and ministry. They also are a sign and a wonder to the lost, and draw them to Jesus. A listing of the spiritual gifts can be found in Ephesians 4: 11-12 (five-fold ministry gifts), 1 Corinthians 12: 4-11 (manifestation gifts), and 1 Corinthians 12: 28.
If you are not plugged into a local church or fellowship, I encourage you to find a Bible-teaching church near you that encourages its members to know and to use their spiritual gifts regularly. There are tests that you can take to find out what your spiritual gifts are and how they function, in Spirit-filled churches and on online sites. Get unstuck; tap into your gifts and talents! Use your gifts for God to further His kingdom and to bless His name!
Talking about the spiritual gifts would not be complete without also mentioning God’s timing. Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 says there is a time for everything – even our gifts to be used and our dreams to come true. We need wisdom to know the right timing for something. We don’t want to do anything prematurely; we don’t want to run ahead of God. We also don’t want to lag behind, but walk with Him day by day as Enoch did, until we are no more (Genesis 5: 24).
Sometimes we need to be patient. It seems as if God is always teaching me about patience (and I never pray for it!). I often feel as if God acts and moves really slow. One year for a present, I bought my husband a little gift, a ceramic turtle. I wrote him a note and told him that this was a symbol of his and God’s pace in my life. He laughed.
I am like a race horse, behind the gate, rarin’ to go. But sometimes God wants us to wait on His perfect timing before things can happen. He is still orchestrating all the tiny, marvelous details to perfection. James 5: 7 (NKJV) says, “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.” We need to be patient and wait on God’s timing.
5. Lack of resources
Sometimes we are spiritually stuck because we do not have the right resources. That is why networking, education, and training are so important. At the Glorieta Writers’ Conference in New Mexico, my small group leader was Vicki Caruana, teacher, Christian speaker, and author of Apples and Chalkdust. http://www.vickicaruana.blogspot.com/. One of the things that Vicki said that really impacted me was, “Don’t ever stop learning. Continue with your education and training for life.”
The internet is a wealth of information at our fingertips, as well as libraries, the radio, magazines, books, support groups and other groups related to our passions. Talk to your spouse, children, in-laws, friends, boss, co-workers, pastor, neighbors, whoever you can about your dreams and any obstacles you may be facing in getting ahead.
God owns all the resources in the world, and sometimes help comes from the unlikeliest of places. That is why not burning any bridges is so important; you never know who’s going to show up again in your life, and you don’t want it to be an unpleasant experience.
Tap into resources everywhere; be alert, on the look-out for what you need after you define your needs and write them down for clarity and goals. Be open-minded to where your help may come from; don’t be so rigid that you can’t accept other creative ideas, things that might help you even more in the long run. Learn from experts in your field, those who are a success already. Emulate them.
I feel that right now my web site and my blog do not accurately reflect me; they are not my personal taste. I have gone on other women’s websites and blogs, and admired them so much – that’s what I want! But I do not have the web site design or technology knowledge necessary to make them look the way I want to, and have had frustrating attempts trying to do things myself.
I am still swimming through the uncertain waters of creating a web site and blogging ~ what should I blog about, do I put Adsense on my blogs, is Blogsvertise a good thing or will it repel readers, what on earth am I doing, am I doing anything right? This is where studying other bloggers and those with professional web sites comes in…I am striving to learn from the best so I, too, can excel.
The things that I want done are also beyond my husband’s expertise (he is good on computers, but not a programmer.) We also do not have the $450 or much more that is needed to pay a professional web site designer. So I am getting the word out to family and friends that I need help.
Most of all, I am praying for God to send the right person who does have the knowledge and expertise necessary to help me. and for the monetary provision to do these things. If the reason you are stuck is because of resources (knowledge, education, money, etc.), pray to God for those resources and He will supply your needs! God is faithful. He is the one who put those dreams into your heart, and He will bring them to pass for His glory! Just believe!
We may have big dreams in our hearts, but if we are entertaining sin in our lives, God will not honor that. We must be quick to hear God’s voice, slow to speak, slow to anger (James 1: 19). We can’t hold onto unforgiveness, but must forgive others as God has forgiven us (Mark 11: 25-26).
Sin will keep us stuck. David thanked God for delivering him out of a horrible pit and the miry clay. That means David was stuck in the mud, folks! He knew both the dangers and the terrible, sometimes permanent, consequences, of sin. Most of all, David did not want to lose fellowship with God because he loved Him. If we love God, we will obey Him. (1 John 3: 6)
We cannot blame other people for our sins, but must acknowledge our own responsiblity to God. God will take care of others who hurt or who oppose us. But I don’t want my own sin to stop my destiny. I desire to obey the Lord, and to please Him. Every day I ask God to show me any area of my heart that is not totally surrendered to Him, to change me, and to empower me with His grace to obey Him.
I stay on my face, and ask God to reveal any unforgiveness or bitterness, any hidden area of sin, anything that keeps me out of fellowship with Him – for God is a holy God, and we His people are to have clean hands and pure hearts. Personal sin can keep me from seeing my dreams coming true, and it puts a barrier between me and my Lord, which I do not want. Sin also affects our testimony for Christ. The tablets of our hearts are to be a written epistle to others of the love of God.
If you are feeling stuck spiritually, review this list and follow these tips. While you’re learning to get out from that familiar place of being stuck for so long, initially mud might go flying like it did at our house, but you will get free, to become all that you were meant to be, with God’s help!