Just a few weeks ago I had the honor of traveling to Chico with our Stirring team. Nathan led us in a day of reflection and dreaming about life, ministry, and Jesus.
After listening to each other we prayed and spoke words of life and encouragement. When my turn came one of the other staff members said, “Jim, you are not stuck!”
Since that day this sentence has been echoing in my mind and heart. I have taken time to look at my life and my pathways of thinking. I recognize that I have believed the lie that somehow, I might be “stuck.”
This is a frightening lie. It implies that somehow, I am cornered, unmoving and without momentum. It tells me that for one reason or another I have lost the freedom of movement and growth.
It is a lie born out of fear of becoming stale and fear of losing the ability to move forward in life or a fear of being trapped.
This untrue story was developed so that I would panic. Fear has a way of sneaking into a heart and building into bad choices or bad decisions. This fear results in feeling overwhelmed and feeling hopeless.
I don’t make great decisions when I feel hopeless. I don’t lead well when I am under a dark cloud of fear. I don’t love well when I feel powerless and trapped.
I had not realized that this lie had been slowly sneaking its way into my life and actually was causing damage. I did not recognize the path that this lie was carving in my soul and the potential it had to destroy and steal life from me.
After praying into this and doing a fair amount of prayer journaling I became convinced that in God’s great grace He spoke clearly through my friend to warn me and awaken me to the plan of the enemy. With this word of warning I was rescued and saved from stress, from bad leadership decisions, and from any number of potential downfalls.
In our roles as leaders and servants of the Church we are constantly under the scrutiny of the enemy. Our very real battle is to wage war on the messages the enemy is sending our way.
When a lie is given time and place to grow we are not only giving permission for our hearts to come under bondage but we are also giving him opportunity to bring destruction to our families and our Churches.
Today I would exhort you as fellow servants of Christ to be vigilant. Guard your hearts and guard your minds. Look closely at what you believe and what impact those beliefs are having on your emotions and leadership decisions!
Your calling to lead, serve, and love comes with responsibility to fight back against the untruths that seek to pull down the great work of God.
Cultivate those friendships where truth is spoken. Listen closely to those who have eyes on your life. Lean in to those whom God has given a place in your life to give you perspective and offer discernment!
May you be full of God’s truth, and may He uphold you as you give yourself fully to the work in front of you!