But Lots wife looked back and she became a pillar of salt. Genesis 19:26 (NIV, 1984)
What are you leaving behind in 2013? Are you excited about the things that God is going to do through you in 2014? I pray that you are. Letting go of something that is familiar can be pretty hard. Some people experienced big changes in their lives on many levels last year. Loved ones were lost and some people walk into the New Year not feeling completely whole. Many people lost their jobs and are asking themselves what they should do now. Things use to be so familiar and comfortable.
One of the hardest things I'm letting go of is comfort. You may be thinking that comfort does not necessarily sound like a bad thing. Well in my case it is. I am addicted to comfort.
The problem that I am having is in order to follow my dreams and walk in the calling I believe God has for me in this season of my life I have to step out and get a little uncomfortable. You see the Lord is calling me to a higher purpose. At one point I was struggling to get there because I was caught up in fear. I have always been a dreamer but I was always reluctant to take actions on my dreams.
One of my biggest dreams includes having my own business. I whispered a prayer to God when I was still working at my old job and when I got laid off He allowed it to come to pass. I don't even remember the day that I realized that I was actually walking in my dream but when I did for some reason it scared me to death.
I started looking for my comfort zone. God knows me so well that I am sure that he blocked all of my efforts to go back. He did this with Lots wife also. All she knew was destroyed so she would never be able to go back. He commanded her and all that were with her not to look back but she did and the result was she was turned to a pillar of salt.
I thank God that the Lord did not turn me into a pillar of salt but He did understand where I was then so He used the situation as a teaching moment. He knew that if things got difficult I would look for the easier route. I would try to go back to what was familiar.
I am not sure if I was afraid of success or more afraid of failure but I might have well have been turned into a pillar of salt because like Lot's wife I was becoming paralyzed by own fear, doubt and insecurity. I stopped moving forward.
How did I know that God was trying to teach me something in this situation? Before I lost my job at the end of 2012 and I whispered the prayer to have my own business to God employers were calling often. I had gone on several interviews and all of a sudden it all stopped.
I started working my business directly after I left my old position but then when I started getting clients fear and doubt set in. I allowed the voices of doubt to become louder in my mind than the Lord's voice. I traded in truth like, God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind for lies like, "you're not smart enough to do this so give it up now before your clients find out that you are not competent."
Like Lots' wife I began to look for what I knew. I remembered that when I worked corporate it was the supervisor's responsibility if someone had a complaint. I always knew how much my check was going to be based on a 40 hour work week. My employer provided work for me, now I have to go out and look for work myself. What if I messed up so bad that I lost all of my clients? What if I failed?
But the Lord has blessed me to know that my reluctance to chase after my calling was not just about not wanting to get out of my comfort zone but it was more so about fear and a lack of trust in God and His love for me. It was like saying that I thought the Lord would give me gifts but not give me what I needed to operate in them.
For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Romans 11:29 (NKJV)
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. I John 4:18 (NKJV)
My fears and doubts were tormenting me and keeping me from the blessings that God had for me.
So going into 2014 I can't look back. I am leaving behind fear, past failures, doubt and anything else that keeps me from following my dreams and operating in my gifts. I pray that you will join me.
Father, we thank you so much that you have not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. Help us to walk in the power that you have given us. Help us to depend on your love that will help us keep a sound mind when things become challenging as we pursue our callings. We will not run away from our gifts but we will work toward them giving you glory in everything we do. In Jesus Name, Amen.
So what about you? What are you leaving behind in 2013? What dreams and purpose has the Lord given you to focus on in 2014? Say a prayer asking God for direction for your purpose and the courage to pursue them. I would love to hear what dreams the Lord has placed in your heart for 2014 or if you have already realized your dream you can leave a comment to encourage others. You can also join the conversation on Facebook.
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Ephesians 4:1 (NLT)