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In life, there are a lot of things that can keep us from being all that God has created us to be.
Sometimes, God can give us dreams that seem absolutely impossible and almost inconceivable.
A few people jump in, and they follow after those dreams regardless of the risks, trusting God in the unknown. A lot of people, though, feel apprehensive because of things that are holding them back from following God without any hindrances.
We need to have a paradigm shift where we recognize that we have a big, powerful Father who loves and champions us and is intricately involved in our lives.
Numerous things will try to hold us back from recognizing our sonship and fulfilling our destiny, but here are a few that I've seen in my life and others'.
This is one of the most common things that I see stopping people from being who they truly are and stepping out in boldness and confidence.
Insignificance is a killer of destiny, self-esteem, and relationships. This negative self-image says, 'I'm not good enough' or 'I don't have what it takes'.
Someone who struggles with insignificance always thinks that they're second-best or someone's second choice to do a job, and they struggle with doubt in themselves and in God.
How to Say 'NO!' to Insignificance
One of the best ways I've found to combat insignificance is to start with small steps by doing things that challenge you to take initiative.
The only way to see that you are able to do what God has asked you to do is to just do them. The truth is that we don't have the natural ability to do what God has asked us to, but if He has called us to do something, He will give us the supernatural ability to do it. Surround yourself with people who will champion and support you in the dreams that God has given you.
Another thing to understand is that it's okay to ask for help. A way that insignificance can rear its ugly head is to show itself as arrogance.
When we DO take something on, we want to prove that we can do it ourselves without any help because 'we have what it takes'. In this inside-out, upside-down Kingdom we live in, sometimes we can realize our greatest strengths when we take a step back in humility. Plus, working as a team is always better than doing it alone.
'But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are.'
(1 Corinthians 1:27-28)
Fear is proven to be extremely successful at stopping us in our tracks in regards to our future.
If we give fear permission to rule in one area, it can paralyze us in other areas, too. Fear is not our inheritance: love, peace, and joy are. Fear says, 'That's too scary', 'I might get hurt', 'It's too dangerous/unfamiliar/etc', or 'I'm too (weird/loud/shy/different/etc)'. Fear and wisdom are too very different things.
If you're a Christian going to a Muslim nation, some wisdom and direction from God is required to survive, but just because it's dangerous, that doesn't mean that it's impossible or shouldn't be done.
Fear shows itself in many different ways. I, personally, struggle with fear in the area of fear of rejection and I constantly have to say, 'No. I'm loved, I'm accepted, and it's okay if I'm different.' Especially when I start to feel misunderstood or judged wrongly.
Fear of the unknown is another one that is prevalent. People don't know or don't understand so they just ignore it or they reject it completely.
How to Say 'NO!' to Fear
Fear is a difficult one to combat, but this is where 'renewing of the mind' (Romans 12:2) and 'taking captive of your thoughts' (2 Corinthians 10:4-6) is so important.
Like I mentioned before, I struggle with fear of rejection, but it's getting easier. I have to train my mind to think differently than I did before. Before God brought this issue to my attention, I would let my thoughts run with terrible thoughts like, 'I'll never fit in' or 'I'm just too different to them.' I would let these thoughts take over until the fear was unbearable and I would either isolate myself to avoid rejection or I would be the one to reject first.
Now when these thoughts try to take over, I'm able to recognize that it's not the truth and to shut the thought down before it's able to start to wreaking havoc on my heart. I'll then think the opposite and recite the truth in my mind. This sounds trivial, but pretty soon my ability to think the truth instead of the lie becomes easier and the fearful thoughts have no hold anymore.
Reminding ourselves of the truth of what God says about us is key to growing our courage, boldness, and confidence in the face of scary situations. These are 2 verses that stick out to me regarding fear:
'For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.'
(2 Timothy 1:7)
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.'
This is one that really hits home for me. Typically, as a missionary, the issue of finances is something that you are constantly thinking about.
This can be one of the biggest hang-ups with going after your destiny, especially if it involves travel and/or volunteer work. Living as a volunteer overseas is quite the faith journey as, most of the time, you can't work (because it's illegal), so you depend on friends and family who support you financially to literally help you keep living.
I hear people say, 'Oh, I wish I could go to (insert country name here), but it's too expensive' or 'I would love to go on this mission trip, but I don't have enough money.'
Here's a sobering thought for you… On average, I make about $25/day as a missionary, though it fluctuates greatly. Obviously, this is WAY under minimum wage. Somehow, I went to EIGHT countries last year. The math doesn't make any sense. I also pay rent, phone bill, and staff fees, I buy my own food, and I support other missionaries. Somehow, I have never gone hungry or been unable to pay my rent.
It is only because of God that I am able to do what I do, and I do it because I know He wants me to. He is faithful! You don't have enough money? Sure you don't, but God does! He owns it all!
How to Say 'NO!' to Finances Holding You Back
I think this is one of the reasons why Jesus says you cannot serve God and mammon, which also means wealth (Matthew 6:24). When we put our money or material wealth before God's direction, we're making it an idol.
God is fully in control of our finances, along with everything else. We won't take our money with us into eternity, but the treasures that will be stored up in heaven for us when we follow Jesus to the ends of the earth will be worth far more in the end.
Don't let the paper that the world has put value in be worth more than the future that GOD has written for you. Step out. Trust Him.
'Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.'
4. Orphan Mentality and Earthly Perspective
These two are kind of all-encompassing issues that really do hold us back from our destiny.
In this fallen, brutal world, it can be easy to feel alone and like everything is just downright hard. When we look around us, it is so easy to fall into a panic and uncertainty about our future. It can seem like things are falling apart on many different levels.
We all go through these times, but some people walk in these mentalities often. When we struggle with these two things, or even one of them, we can tend have a horizontal view, instead of a vertical one. We can look at this world and our lives with a defeatist attitude, where we have to fight for everything or fight for nothing.
Orphans have to battle, grasp, and scrounge for everything. They live in a 'survival of the fittest' world and sometimes, even as followers of Jesus, we act like that, too, even though we have everything we need available to us all the time.
The 'Orphan Mentality' is where we don't fully grasp our adoption (Ephesians 1:5) in Jesus Christ. The Orphan Mentality holds us back from our destiny because we do everything from a place of striving.
With an Earthly Perspective, it can feel like we're subject to the boundaries of this world in regards to the things that we are able to do with our lives. It's easy to see the clamour for more and more and MORE success and to want to climb that ladder, as well, especially in North American society.
We all know that the pursuit of happiness is short-lived and eventually futile.
How to Say 'NO!' to an Orphan Mentality and an Earthly Perspective
The key to saying no to an Orphan Mentality and an Earthly Perspective is to read the Word of God. It seems like a simple answer, but God loves to talk about who He's created us to be in the Bible.
This is another one of those things, like fear, where it comes down to a renewing of our minds which only comes with spending time with the Father and reading and listening to what He has to say about us (which is always good).
If you ever want to know how God so intricately sees you, read Psalm 139 again. Read it through the eyes of a Father who LOVES His child without measure, but also through the eyes of the King of the universe who has all power, control, dominion, and you in His hands… always.
Because we are adopted in Jesus' family, Ephesians 2:6 says that we are seated with Him in heavenly places. We should have the perspective of heaven, not the perspective of earth because of our position at the right hand of the Father.
In conclusion, we all have things that we struggle with, and some things may seem worse than others, but the reality is that we need to remember that we serve a faithful God who wants to make things right more than we do.
He is the answer to us fulfilling our destinies.
As long as we keep pursuing Him, we're on the right track.
Don't let your shortcomings (we all got 'em) hold you back from your destiny!
~ by Rachelle Butow
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