Do we only do what God has called us to do when it’s easy and doesn’t cost us anything? When it costs us something that we’re not willing to pay, that is? It’s so easy in the beginning when God first calls us to something, because it’s new and exciting and you’re anticipating it to go smoothly because, after all, God called you to it, so it HAS to be easy, right?! But when the excitement wears off and the difficult times come do we fight or flight? Do we fight for that thing God called us to, or do we throw in the towel – mentally or physically- and run from it?
I believe we can check out mentally long before we give up physically. There’s a reason the Bible says to take our thoughts captive: “…casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” (2 Cor. 10:5) Here’s why: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts You.” (Is. 26:3) If we’re ready to throw in the towel on God’s call, then that means we’ve stepped out of His peace and according to Isaiah 26, that means we haven’t kept our mind on Him.
When those thoughts come, immediately take them to Jesus: ‘Lord, I’m tired. I need you to help me!’ instead of dwelling on those thoughts where eventually they’ll become, ‘Lord, I’m exhausted. I can’t do this anymore.’ Our thoughts eventually become our words and our words create our future.
Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. Jesus tells us, “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Mt 12:36) Are your words (which used to be your thoughts) condemning you or justifying you? “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable In Your sight.” (Ps. 19:14) Are your words and thoughts acceptable to the Father? Are they acceptable to the call He’s placed on your life?
What If you’ve mentally begun checking out on what God called you to do? Now what?
1. Repent! Repent of entertaining the enemies thoughts of giving up on what God called you to. Turn from that and turn towards God and His thoughts on what He says about you. “For thus says the Lord God, ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.'” Is. 30:15. We will find our strength and confidence to do what God says when we return to Him.
2. Lower your expectations of how YOU think God’s call will look for your life. God calls us to do something and we immediately get this grandiose picture in our mind, and of course everything Is rainbows and roses and goes smoothly. I would venture to say that 100% of the time it will NOT look like we thought it would look and it will NOT happen like we thought it would happen. Lower your expectations of how you think it should happen and raise your expectations of God equipping you for His purposes. Expect and anticipate Him to come through. “Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.” Ps. 5:3
3. Know that God wants you to succeed! I don’t believe He sets us up for failure, so don’t let failure be an option. “The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Ex. 14:13. “What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” Rom. 8:31. You are not a failure! Your thoughts and doubts and misgivings don’t change the fact that YOU are MORE THAN a conqueror. Whatever He has called you to testifies to the fact that you are NOT a failure. The very fact that He called you to it is proof that you are able…with Him!
4. Surround yourself with people who will fight for you when you can’t fight for yourself. There’s a reason God refers to himself as our Father…because He LOVES family! We need one another. The people around you are there for a reason. “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Pr. 27:17. “Therefore encourage and comfort one another and build up one another…” 1 Thess. 5:11. Don’t let pride or fear stop you from reaching out to the people God has put in your life. “And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6. We need God’s grace to do the things God calls us to. Stay humble.
Be encouraged! Whatever it is, if God has called you to do it then know, YOU CAN DO IT! Don’t believe the lies and the doubts, they are put there by an enemy seeking to devour that thing inside of you that has the ability to transform you and those around you. Turn from those doubts and lies and return to a faithful Father who believes in you and believes in the call He’s put Inside of you.
By Jamie Tennant
This article was written by Jamie Tennant