“Consistency and faithfulness are not synonymous with boring and sameness.”
Stuck in a rut. In a weird funk. At a stand still. Too often we feel this way. Especially myself. I have noticed an attitude I’ve developed of not being “satisfied” or “content” with where my life is headed, or more so — where it’s not headed.
I could get up every morning and accomplish 1,000 tasks yet mentally feel like a failure. On the outside, my physical body may work hard, yet on the inside, I may feel defeated. Sometimes the mind can be too powerful and if fed too many negative thoughts, will begin to harm the whole body. A toxic thought life will produce a life that reflects on those negative thoughts. If you think negatively about your job, it will not be a place where you flourish. If you harbor hostility in your relationships, they will not succeed. You may physically still go to work and interact with others, yet you are dragged down mentally. This can be a very unhealthy habit and affects our potential to be used by God as well.
If only we could wake up and start fresh, right? Go back to the beginning of that situation, decision, relationships and restart with a different perspective. I wish this many a times and I immediately get down on myself. I’ve noticed though how two thought processes stop myself and maybe you from restarting.
1. “Things are fine the way they are.”
“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: The people are saying, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.”
Then the Lord sent this message through the prophet Haggai: “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Look at what’s happening to you! You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes!
“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Look at what’s happening to you! Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild my house. Then I will take pleasure in it and be honored, says the Lord.
This passage in Haggai 1:2-8 talks of the Israelites coming back from captivity where God gave them a specific plan and mission they were to fulfill. Yet when Haggai came they obviously had forgotten what God had asked of them. They were too busy attending to their own needs — living, eating, drinking, clothing — that they assumed they had everything under control. He reminds them that they are focused on the wrong things. God would be honored if they brought themselves back to Him.
In reality, we really aren’t as fine as we think we are. God wants to help us see past ourselves to see what He wants us to do. We do that by praying to Him to be used by His Spirit. I need to pray more that God would help me to see and notice opportunities where I can be used for His glory.
2. “Change is uncomfortable and we should avoid it.”
Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’
“Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’
“Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ Luke 14:16-20
How often do we make up excuses? I know I say, “Well, I’ll get around to serving you in that way tomorrow, God.” Or, “I’m just not spiritually mature enough to handle that now, God.” With this attitude, nothing will get done. If we can’t sacrifice a little chunk of our lives to being used by God now, when will we? I pray that my life would not be predictable. My comfort zone should be something I’m willing to risk for Christ’s sake.
New, incredible things happen when we choose to restart, our day, thoughts, mornings, attitudes, lives with God through His Holy Sprit. As we come to Him first, asking for guidance, learning what it means to daily walk with Him we see:
- Personal habits change. I often think “Nothing I can do will ever allow me to overcome that.” Everyone has different struggles (lust, anger, lies, jealousy, worldly desires) the list goes on and I deal with things everyday. These things can feel so heavy and impossible at times we see no hope. But change happens over time.
Start to deal with those things that come to mind and don’t give up. We must deal with them slowly but surely they will produce fruit. Fruits in Galatians 5:22 love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. These are not fruits of trying hard at church. It’s spending time with God. When you obey him, he empowers you. I believe that when conviction comes (to change or move forward) God is preparing us for a new season of life.
2. That comfort zone disappears! Having faith to step into the unknown. Instead of just dreaming about what we can do for God, we get out of bed and ask God to directly use us amidst any fears that we may have. When we are on a mission we end up avoiding the rut of life (apathy and complacency).
I realize that this was a long blog post and if you’ve read it all, I thank you for sticking with me! I think it’s important to voice what God puts on our hearts and I hope this can encourage someone today who feels “stuck in a rut.” You can restart. God can transform your day, life, attitude, thought process. Don’t give up.