Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us… Ephesians 3:20 (ESV)
As I look forward to another birthday, the longing for God to do great things in and through me is overwhelming. My prayer each day is, Jesus, please tell me there’s more to this life than what I see around me. I find myself asking Jesus to calm my heart and show me what more He wants from me. It seems crazy to ask Him to use me more... most days I feel inadequate just doing what I think I know how to do. But there is a longing in my heart, so deep that at times it is more than I can bear.
Have you ever wondered why it often takes a milestone event, a birthday or even New Year’s Eve before we stop and examine the “why” in what we do? Are we really doing what God created us to do? Do you have a feeling of emptiness that you cannot shake? Do you find yourself wrestling between feeling you want to accomplish more with feeling you don’t have time to get anything accomplished?
What dream follows you and stays lodged in your heart? What is keeping you from stepping out wholeheartedly to do the thing you are so passionate about? Committing to your dream is key, if you are not wholeheartedly committed, you will start and stop until you finally stop trying. However, when someone is wholeheartedly pursuing a dream they tend to do whatever it takes to accomplish that goal.
For me personally, there is a huge difference between the things I would “like” to do and the things I “wholeheartedly” want to do. It is much easier to allow something to stop me from doing the things I like to do but I try to never allow myself to get distracted from something I believe in wholeheartedly.
I have been reading The Secret Things of God by Dr. Henry Cloud. He writes about this very subject and listed a few obstacles that can keep us from trusting God to use us to do great things. As you read this list of obstacles, be honest and ask yourself if any of these obstacles are keeping you from experiencing God’s best.
1. Fear of failing. You want to win, but you’re afraid you might fail, so you hold back.
2. Past hurt that blocks passion. You carry around old pain, and you cannot feel your energy to pursue something new.
3. Discouragement from the past. You’ve been put down or lost before, and you feel beaten before you start, so your whole heart is not available to you.
4. Mixed motives. You want the goal, but you want it for another reason besides the goal itself, so your heart is not really in the pursuit, but into it for the money, acclaim, status, or something else that is not pure.
5. Conflict over the goal itself. You want it, but you want something else too, or you want it and don’t want it at the same time.
6. Shackled by someone else’s control. You want your goal, but you are pulled away because someone else has control over your time and energy too.
7. Feelings of inadequacy. Your lack of confidence in yourself causes so much doubt that you cannot move forward wholeheartedly.
8. Incompatible wishes. You want two things at the same time that are incompatible-e.g.you want to be married and have a family, and you want ultimate freedom and control over your time and life.
9. Undefined passions. You have never found your real passion that would cause you to do whatever you need to do to accomplish your goal.
If one or more of these obstacles is standing in your way and causing you not to trust God, it is time to repent and tell God you are willing to trust Him for the “more” you long for.
Years ago, I was about to make one of the worst decisions of my life when a pastor asked me this question, “Do you want to look back on your life and wonder what God would have done had you only obeyed Him”? If I had not stopped long enough to answer that question I would not be teaching God’s truth and I would not have my wonderful family. Yes, it is easy to get discouraged!
But let me encourage you a bit. At the end of each day I ask myself this question, if I died in my sleep and found myself looking into the face of God, what would I hear Him say? Would He say “I wanted to do more in your life but you wouldn’t trust me” or “Welcome home Sugar! You fought the good fight and you kept the faith. Well done good and faithful child!” Give your dreams and your obstacles to God. With Him there is nothing more you need!
Philippians 2:3-11; 2 Corinthians 10:15; Philemon 21