Jesus commissioned every believer to, in his or her own way, to spread the gospel. Each of us is different, no two of us are exactly alike even if we are one of identical twins, so the expression of God’s love and as I said in a recent sermon our individual lights look different. Nevertheless, we all play an especially significant role.
The teacher who prays over his or her students and treats them with God’s love is fulfilling the mission. The business owner who gives a portion of his profit to outreach is a part of the Great Commission. The caretaker who takes care of their clients with love acts as the hands and feet of Jesus. The advocate who fights for social justice with grace and God’s truth is fulfilling the mission.
Unfortunately, we all face trials, difficulties, and insecurities that keep us from living out our potential. Even in light of these difficulties, trials, impediments put in our paths by the enemy, and the fact that we live in a fallen world we must press forward to accomplish the mission.
I want to share six things that I believe are stopping us from accomplishing God’s purpose for our lives.
The enemy uses fear to silence and hinder us. Many times, when God has called us to do something extraordinary, we start to wonder if things will really work out. Fear of the “what if’s” can paralyze us from making a step of faith. Fortunately, we can look in the Word and see the promises that God made to us when we are confronted with fear.
Deuteronomy 31:7-8 NIV Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Psalms 23:4 NIV Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Isaiah 41:10 NIV So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Here are a few ways that fear can sneak up in our lives.
– Fear of rejection
– Fear of success
– Fear of the unknown
– Fear of disappointment
– Fear of failure
1 John 4:18 NIV There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
2. Other People’s Opinions
God didn’t consult anyone when He saved you and commissioned you. In fact as we see with Jeremiah, He made the decision to save you before you were born.
Jeremiah 1:5 NIV “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Psalms 139:16 NIV Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
So often, we forget that God doesn’t need permission to use someone for a great work. Your past, social status, or looks don’t disqualify them.
The opinion of others is not important. God’s opinion is especially important. There will always be those who doubt who God has called you to do anything. Yet, God’s word over you is what matters.
John 3:16 NKJV For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Romans 5:8-11 NKJV But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Sometimes we are our own greatest enemy. Procrastination is one way we can remain stuck for years. Procrastination can be masked under the veil of “waiting on God” or needing to pray about it more. However, if we are honest, we may struggle with laziness, a lack of motivation, or being afraid to start and fail. Sometimes we are too busy involved in things that we need to let go! We find ourselves putting off what God has called us to do because our attention is focused on the wrong thing.
Stop procrastinating. Without goals working to accomplish them, we will live our lives full of regret.
Psalms 90:12 NKJV So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.
4. Lack of Integrity
Integrity matters. Integrity means to be honorable, even when no one is looking. A person of integrity follows through with their words and behaves in a way that is moral. Those with integrity are seen as fully functioning, productive, and authentic people. People with integrity can be trusted to do what is being asked of them.
The following are signs you may struggle with integrity:
– Manipulating others for your gain
– Habit of missing deadlines
– Backstabbing to get ahead
– Being sneaky
The bottom line is that if you want to walk in the fullness of God’s blessings you have to be a person of great character. Don’t miss what God has called you to do because you failed to take a self-assessment on areas of improvement.
Proverbs 21:3 NKJV To do righteousness and justice Is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
Sometimes, we can be so worried about every detail we convince ourselves to not complete the mission at hand. Our fear of the unknown, or wanting to be perfect, keeps us stuck in “planning mode” versus action. In doing so, we may find ourselves struggling with severe anxiety over every decision.
If we are not careful what God has called us to do will just become a part of our list of regrets because we will be too afraid to act. No matter what the case may be, we have to reach the point where we can run to God for the details and trust that His plan will work out. When we overthink and worry it is because we have become too self-reliant.
Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
6. Lack of Prayer
If we fail to consult God, we will operate in our own strength. If you have found yourself struggling with what God has purposed for you to do, call out to Him. Certainly, He will answer and show you not only who you are but remind you of His great ability to get you to where He’s called you to be!
Philippians 1:3-6 NKJV I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;