What Holds You Back

Life is filled with questions. Questions about the future, questions about what I should do and whom I should spend my time with. The list goes on and on, but when we face those questions, something often holds us back. It looks different for each of us, but one thing keeps us from pressing forward. You may be trying to think about what the one thing that all of us relate to when it comes to being held back, and the answer is simple. You are the one who is holding yourself back. Over the first week of Daystar’s 21 days of prayer and fasting I have been thinking a lot about this idea, what is the thing that holds me back, and my answer was me. I hold myself back from accomplishing what God has for me. It’s so easy for me to find myself in a state of complacency, I don’t push myself because I fear the reaction that may occur. New places and different faces cause me to get anxious, so I decided to ask God why that feeling of anxiety is filling me when I try to move forward. The conclusion that I came to was that I have not been keeping God in the right place. Yes, I know you may think I’m some mysterious perfect person, but that’s not true for me or any of you reading. Yes, you. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We all screw up, we all have the days where we don’t feel like turning to God when life gets tough. What happens then is we start putting things in Gods place, good or bad, we take God out of our thoughts. The thing that holds us back, is the failure to press into an authentic relationship with Christ.

So how do we break out of the trap? Well a few things need to happen. Pray about what you’re placing in front of God, once you figure this out, then you can step into freedom. This can come in any size or shape. It could be a love of money, or it could even be your ministry. That’s mine, I find myself putting the ministry I do above my relationship with God. In my mind, I get worked up into the idea that if I am not directly in ministry, I have accomplished nothing. The enemy steps in and causes me to start believing this lie, so I focus on my ministry more than my God. I forget the reason I love doing ministry in the first place, because God radically changed my life and I want to help others experience that same relationship. It became an idol, so even something that can be used for good, could have been my downfall. Pray and think about what could be preventing you from your relationship with God. No seriously, do it right away, I’ll still be here. Now that you’ve prayed and thought about it, I want to spend the next few paragraphs on how we move from there. There is hope, you and I were made for bigger and better things, so press into your purpose.

Know that you are royalty.

God didn’t create us to be people enslaved to our selfish and worldly desires, he created us to be heirs. This idea comes from Galatians 4:6-7 which says, “Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” God says that not only are we not slaves, but that you are a child of the highest king. He designed you to be exactly who you are, we are all unique and all have a great purpose for our lives, yet we choose to be slaves of this world. This is such a backwards idea, an heir to an empire would not live in the pit, but would live like royalty. We should live like we are a part of the royal family, because we are! Realize that what you have been making an idol of in your life, is keeping you from living into royalty. Live like an heir to the kingdom.

In our weakness, we are strong.

It’s important to understand that when we choose to put God first and live in royalty, we can’t do that all on our own. I’ve been reading through many of the books in the bible that Paul wrote and I have been amazed at how strong he was, even when he went through the hardest struggles many of us will never experience. One theme that keeps coming up over and over is this, even though we are weak God makes us strong in our weakness. That is an incredible testament to how much we need God. Paul says it best in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” The moments where we find ourselves walking away from what we should do or let our fears hold us back, remember that in any time of weakness, when we rely on God, he makes us strong. Once we start trusting God, not even our human weaknesses can prevent us from achieving the purpose for our lives.

Run after wisdom.

This is the final part to breaking that mental wall that holds you back from your greater purpose. I actually have started memorizing a verse that we are using in Daystar Kids, and it is incredible how applicable it is for every part of my life. Proverbs 8:10-11 says, “Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” Where does this wisdom come from? Well many places, but the number one is through reading the word. I can’t express enough how important this is, just try it and you’ll be amazed at how your life will radically change. The second is looking towards those who have gone before you, the people that you look up to. Talk with them, learn from them, and most importantly, listen. Wisdom can be found easily as long as you look towards life giving people and scripture. Running after wisdom will cause your fears to fall away and help you live in freedom.

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It’s hard coming face to face with what we actually put our trust in, because often we don’t want to lose what’s working. What we forget is while we are just existing, we are holding ourselves back from what could be, and what could be is a bigger purpose for your life that we can’t possibly comprehend. We don’t know the outcomes of life, and often this scares us. It causes us to not step out and take a chance on what God has for you. I don’t know what’s in store for my life, and to be honest, I don’t think I would want to know. All I know is that I am making a commitment to pursue Christ first in every area of my life, recognizing that I am an heir to the kingdom, that in my weakness God makes me strong, and to run after wisdom that gives life. When I step into this way of living, I have become free, I no longer will be held back by my own fears because I know that God holds me in the palms of his hands. We become free in our dependence on Christ. No lie from the enemy can stop me, and no words from those around me will ever make me compromise what the word of God says. We are all unique, we have a greater purpose, and we need to choose to stand with God. When we make this decision, nothing can ever again hold us back.

Choose to trust in Christ alone.

-Joshua Thomas

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