Have you ever taken a look around and witnessed everyone around you moving while you stay stagnant? Picture a small bud in the middle of beautiful flowers. It’s stunted. It won’t grow. Connected to the same vine, yet for whatever reason, it is unable to burst forth with rich color. Have you ever felt like that? Many of us do. We are told the the cliche lines:
“Don’t compare yourself to other people.”
“Don’t worry you will hit your stride one day.”
“Oh, they cut corners, you are just going about things the right way.”
While there may be some truth to those comments, I think there is another dimension to us not reaching our goals we try not to look at.
Plainly, we don’t grow because we don’t go.
We talk about it. We pray about it. We read books about it. We make plans about it. But we don’t do anything about it.
I’m reminded of a story in Acts about the Day of Pentecost. The awesome time where these once scared and weak-willed rejects became bold witnesses of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus which resulted in God adding 3,000 people into the family of Christianity.
Maybe you’ve heard about the main character of the story, Peter--this dude was an epic failure. He talked a good game about standing for Christ even ‘til death. Then when death was presented, this guy ran like a pack of gazelles when the cheetahs show up!
He was a failure. But by the time of Pentecost, Peter boldly proclaimed JESUS to thousands of people, many of whom crucified JESUS.
What made this bud turn into a bold, rich in color, vibrant proclaimer of soli deo gloria? What can we learn about how to move from inaction to action? What encouragement do we get to help us reach our goals for the glory of God (because any other striving is vanity)?
- Do the last thing God told you to do. And if He didn’t tell you to do anything, then ask what He will have you do. Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came. So they went to Jerusalem and stayed in Jerusalem.
- Wait actively. They didn’t just sit there with their feet up complaining about society watching Fox News. They were actively waiting and praying and hoping and planning for the work ahead--for this new thing God was about to do.
- Jump on the opportunity once God opens it up. This is unfortunately where it falls apart for most of us. We can be obedient and wait. We can even plan out everything down to the T or the last penny. But when the gun goes off, we stay at the starting line frozen in fear.
How do I know? Because I have done this time and time again (and again and again).
Look at the end of the story...
When the Holy Spirit fell, the Apostles and friends began speaking in foreign tongues and people thought they were drunk. Just then, pitiful Peter, with all boldness and power, got up and preached his heart out! People were convicted and God called people from death to life! Boom. New life, new ministry, God’s glory!
So why does everyone else seem to be progressing and reaching their goals in life and you’re not? Maybe, just maybe, it's not because you’re not qualified. Maybe it’s not because they are more connected than you are.
Maybe it’s because you’ve been slow to the punch.
It could be fear, laziness, doubt-- whatever it is, it’s paralyzing you. IT has to go! If not, kiss the sunshine goodbye because every dream you have will die.
So, you have two choices: continue to watch others live the life you’ve always dreamed of or live it yourself.