3 Steps You Can Take to Get Unstuck by Sarah Wehrli
During the Spring of 2020, we all encountered a pandemic that halted life as we knew it. Suddenly, all plans evaporated, and many people were stuck physically.
As a leader, I see parallels of how being stuck in the natural can also lead to spiritual stagnation. You may have felt stuck in the natural, isolated, or overwhelmed with all that is going on in our world, but I want to encourage you that you don’t have to live stuck in your heart and mind, even if you’ve been stuck in the natural. You can still advance in your walk with God and in the purpose that He has for your life! You can live unstuck and move forward in faith.
In Deuteronomy 1:6-8, the Bible tells of a time when God’s chosen people were moving toward their promised land, but they got stuck. They had just come out of Egypt, out of bondage, and they were free, but they were still wandering in the wilderness.
The Lord spoke to them through the leader Moses and said, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Break camp and advance… Go in and take possession of the land…” (Deuteronomy 1: 6-7a, 8 NIV).
Here is the big picture of this story: they had been set free, but they were still wandering and stuck at a mountain, which was keeping them from their promised land. They turned an 11-day journey into a 40-year journey! They were not moving forward. Isn’t this true for us sometimes? We can get stuck in our minds and hearts because of our own mountains.
Have you ever been there? You want to move forward, but don’t know how? I have. I’ve been there and felt like I was circling a mountain. I’ve had to make a choice with every mountain I faced if I was going to get stuck or move forward.
Twenty-one years ago, I wondered how I would get over a broken heart after having to break off my engagement one week before my wedding.
Thirteen years ago, I wondered how I would get over the mountain of fear when God spoke to my husband and I about starting a non-profit and moving overseas with our two babies.
Twelve years ago, I faced a mountain of fear when my son got very ill, and I was standing in faith for his life.
Eleven years ago when my dad died, I wondered how I would get past that mountain of grief and questions about the future.
Ten years ago, I wondered how God would provide for the dream in my heart to build children’s homes around the world.
Every one of us faces mountains at different times in our lives. For you, it could be the mountain of fear, lack, sickness, grief, rejection, bitterness, shame, or disappointment.
The good news is that there are greater things ahead than anything you leave behind! God’s plans for you are good, and He will give you the grace to move forward in whatever area you might feel stuck. Here are some steps we can take as leaders in order to advance.
First, we must let go of something. In Deuteronomy 1:7 (NIV) it says, “it’s time to break camp,” which can be translated as “to break free from.” We all have to let go of something in order to take hold of the new things God has for us.
In the natural, this is something we do all the time. For example, I remember when my family was preparing for a big move overseas, I realized I had accumulated a lot of unnecessary stuff (junk). Our garage was so full of stuff we had to sort through and get rid of so many useless things. In fact, when we finally moved, we condensed all of our possessions into only eight suitcases! I realized there were a lot of things that were unnecessary for us to take to our new place, and instead of dragging old things around, we believed for new things.
Spiritually speaking it is the same way. Many times, we try to hold on to old things – old habits and old mindsets – but those things will only slow us down. We have to let go of things that are not working and keeping us stuck. We have to make room in our hearts for God to bring the new things He has for us.
Think about the things you might need to let go of so you can move forward in God’s purpose for your life.
The second way we advance is to magnify God. To magnify means to focus on something or zoom in. Just as you would use a magnifying glass to zoom in on something, when we are facing a mountain, we must zoom in on the greatness of God. Whatever you focus on becomes big in your eyes. When we magnify fear, it can overwhelm us; when we magnify God and what His word says, faith rises up in our lives! Our perspective changes when we begin to focus on the greatness of God and meditate on His faithfulness.
I challenge you to think about what you have been magnifying. Now, make a list of all the good things God has done for you in the past to build your faith for the future. Then, thank Him out loud for all He has done. Psalm 34:3 (NKJV) says, “Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together!” As you remember God’s faithfulness from the past, magnify Him, and then pray His word over that situation, things change. You may not see it change immediately, but you can trust that He is working.
The third way we advance is to take action. For the children of Israel, they had to take steps of faith toward the promised land God had given them. They took ground and territory for the kingdom of God. You may be wondering how you can take action and step out in faith, but part of taking action is choosing to set aside time in your day to renew your mind with the Word—with who God is and what His Word says about you. We win the battle on the inside before we see the victory on the outside.
At some point, we have to say, “I’m not going to stay at this mountain of fear, hurt, complaining, excuses, or bitterness—I’m moving forward in God! I trust You, and You love me, and Your plans for me are good. I believe that You are working!” As you move forward into the new things God has, you’ll receive fresh vision, fresh strength, fresh strategy, and fresh faith.
Now, it’s your time to ADVANCE!
Lord, give me the grace to let go of those things that are holding me back, magnify You and Your promises, and take action in the things You show me. Thank you, God, that You’ve promised me freedom and I pray that I experience the freedom and victory You have provided for me. Please bring peace over my heart and mind in Jesus’ name. Amen.
(This excerpt was taken from the book, ADVANCE: Living Unstuck and Moving Forward in Faith, by Sarah Wehrli).
This article was extracted from issue 2 of Thrive Today! Magazine (Summer 2021). Learn how to get your copy of Thrive Magazine by visiting us here.