"I just feel stuck right now."
I hear this phrase a lot and I know we've all felt that way at times. Whether it's stuck at a particular body weight, plateau in your training, or place in life, no one likes being there. You know, that place where nothing seems to be changing and you seem to be doing all the right things. You do all the good things you know to do yet nothing is budging. We feel stuck at a job, in a place in our relationships, or in our walk with God. Feeling stuck sucks. There's no sugar coating it and if you're a doer like me it's downright miserable. Life is about so much more than merely existing. God didn't create you so you would live a go through the motions, ho hum, boxed in life. He came and died so you could LIVE and live to the FULLEST.
So what do we do when we are seemingly stuck and want to go to the next level, chase that dream, or hit a new goal but we can't quite seem to get there?
We throw some weight around. Or off rather.
Check out what Hebrews 12: 1-2 has to say.
"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
After reading this verse, I want to draw your attention to a couple of things. First, there are two things that need to be laid aside in your life if you want to get unstuck: weights and sins. Now, a weight is something that may not necessarily be a sin but it's keeping you loaded down. Or, it maybe something good that's keeping you from great. Of course this is specific to you to your life but in my experience three things are usually the culprit of weighing us down.
People, Places, and Things.
Let's talk about the three and how they can become weights.
People- Who in your life is a negative influence? Maybe it's a friend that is always complaining and gossiping. Maybe it's someone who is constantly making fun of you or tearing down your dreams. We are who we associate with and we become like the five most people we are around. If there are relationships in your life that are abusive or life sucking then it may be time to love them from a distance and but some boundaries in place. Get around people that challenge you and that are going where you want to go. Learn from them and be O.K. with being the least smart person in the room. Forgive who you need to forgive. Let it go. Let God heal you how ever hard and long it takes.
Places- Our environments shape us. If you live or work in atmosphere of absolute chaos and complacency it's very difficult not to be affected by it. If you can't leave the environment then do your best to change it by becoming aware of your internal state. Make it a point to leak out on to everyone in a positive way be simply being who God has called you to be. Don't shrink back or be afraid. Be responsive instead of reactive and set the tone when you walk into the room. Also, if you are regularly finding yourself in a place that is becoming unhealthy or exposing you to darkness it's time to get a new spot. For example, you may love a particular coffee shop or sports bar but you've noticed the atmosphere shift to a different place. It may be time to try the park or a new place to hang out in. Or maybe you've been in the same bible study or church group for 10 years and it's grown stagnant and routine. It's time to move on.
Things- Always assess what you are watching, reading, and listening to. Maybe it's a T.V. show you know isn't doing anything but numbing your mind. Maybe it's the gossip magazines or social media obsession. What music are you filling yourself with? Check the condition of your soul and assess whether or not it's time for a cleansing.
Radical change and breakthrough calls for radical obedience.Weights may not be sin but they keep us stuck and make our walks so much harder. Imagine trying to walk up a steep hill with two 40lbs sandbags on each shoulder. It's time to drop the sandbags and run!
Next, address the sin in your life with ZERO tolerance. What we tolerate we give permission to exist. Look at the sin in your life that you easily fall into and put some accountability structures in place. In today's culture, we do a really good job at trying to diagnose our sin and excuse with it personality disorders, hormones imbalances, and victim mentalities when what we really need to do is repent, own up, and cut the head off that anaconda before it squeezes the life out of everything.
Lastly, look to Jesus. You can not do in the flesh what he created you to do in the spirit. Your breakthrough comes through surrender and dependence on him and living by the power of The Holy Spirit that's been put in you. The best way to tell if you're trying to do things in the flesh is a lack of joy and rest. When you move through your life connected to the power of the Holy Spirit joy and rest are always present.
None of this is easy. Not easy at all. It's why we look to Jesus and his example at the cross. We are to be like him in all things and assess are life with the premise that he endured so we could have victory eternally. It is not easy but the breakthrough is coming! The victory is coming! This is what endurance looks like. Throw off the weight and the sin and admit you can do nothing without him every second. Then get up and keep walking up that hill through the might of his power inside you.