“I’m not doing this anymore.”
“I’ll just take a break and get back to it later.”
“This is too difficult. I’m better off doing something else.”
Have you ever found yourself on the verge of throwing up your hands and giving up? Throwing in the towel? Waving the white flag?
Have you ever felt so stressed, overwhelmed and beat down by life that you seriously considered just opting out of everything? I have. I call it “going out west.” It’s when I just want to grab my car keys and drive far away from stress, responsibilities, difficult situations, and basically anyone that expects anything from me and start over. With a new name and a new identity.
Sometimes, it’s one big catastrophic thing that gets me to that place, but usually it’s a bunch of small, seemingly minor annoyances and difficulties that pile on top of one another that leave me feeling drained, burned out, distracted and wanting to go to a place where no one knows my name.
Although I’ve given it serious consideration on several occasions, I’ve never made it “out west.” Sooner or later, I realize that though I might be able to change my physical location, no matter where I go, God will know my name. He knows me. And He knows you, too.
Through Christ, He’s given you and I an identity that can’t be shaken. And with it, He has carved out specific tasks He wants us to do for Him. The Bible calls them “good works.”
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10
So the circumstances that we experience in life — the ups, the downs and everything in between — are not by happenstance. They are all being orchestrated together to result in good works that bring glory to the Father.
The life you are living is not by mistake. It’s all on purpose. His purpose.
If you walk away, if you get in the car and “go west” when the going gets tough, you will forfeit the plans God has and everything He wants to accomplish through you.
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” – James 1:12
“Don’t let critics take your calling. Don’t let someone or even a handful of someones steal the calling that Almighty God has placed on your life. They cannot have it. Cling tightly to the mission … God has given you.” – Leading and Loving It 11 Day Devotion, leadingandlovingit.com
Allow nothing (nothing!) to distract you from God’s calling on your life. Not a bad day, a bad year or a bad relationship. Not a distressing phone call, an overly critical family member, or a backbiting co-worker.
“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one” – Ephesians 6:16
In Ephesians 6, we find the well known passage about the Armor of God. Verse 16 tells us to use our faith as a shield to snuff out the enemy’s flaming darts.
During the time in which this passage was written, flaming darts were a commonly used weapon in an enemy’s arsenal. But they weren’t used to kill — their main purpose was to distract. An enemy would shoot flaming darts in hopes of getting its foe to focus on the nuisance of the fire rather than the real battle at hand.
Guess what? We have an enemy, and his tactics are quite similar. He is wishing and hoping that the fiery darts he launches in the form of stress and difficulties will distract you and I from what God has called us to do and render us unfocused, afraid and wavering in our faith in God.
The enemy’s deepest desire is to lead you “out west,” far away from God’s vision for your life and all the blessings that go along with it.
We must not let this happen. We cannot. We will not.
Luckily, the Scriptures teach us what to do: Hold up your shield. Exercise your faith.
Feel like giving up? Don’t do it. Hold up your shield of faith.
Feeling overwhelmed? God’s got you. Hold up your shield of faith.
Feeling unsure of your gifts, talents or abilities? Trust that through Christ, God has deposited specific capabilities within you that He will empower you to use for His glory. Do not doubt. Hold up your shield of faith.
Do not wait for anyone’s permission to live out God’s purposes for your life. It’s high time for you and I to come out of obscurity. No more running and retreating from the battle. It’s won’t be easy, but with God on our side, our victory is sure.
“We are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” – Romans 8:37
Rise up. Do what God has called you to do and be who He has called you to be.
I have much more to share on this subject! Join me on May 20 at our live event, The Gathering: A Time of Worship for Women, as I share more about biblical tools to develop a winner’s mindset and resiliency in my message titled “The Comeback.”
Is there an area of your life where you are thinking about giving up? What can you do to get back on track?