I have dreams.
I have goals.
I have desires.
I have aspirations.
I have wishes just like the everyone else.
Some of them are HUGE.
In fact, they're so HUGE, that I find them very hard to believe. And, I question whether or not they are my dreams or God's dreams for me.
These dreams are exciting and terrifying at the same time. It's the terrifying part that shows me that God is in it. The only way these dreams could possibly come to pass would only be through Him.
My tendency, and you know this if you've been here long enough, is to just quit dreaming. It's easy and not terrifying at all. It's actually VERY comfortable.
Gosh. Even just talking about it draws me in that direction.
Quit dreaming. Quit wishing. Quit hoping.
Quit it all! Quit your job! Quit doing ministry in any form!
Quit trying to be something you can't possibly be! Quit running! Quit blogging for sure!
During the seasons of "giving up" and "quitting" and "throwing in the towel" and "someone else can do this WAY better than I can" ... yada, yada, yada ... THAT'S when I have to start to encourage myself.
Don't get me wrong. I have some really good, actually incredible, cheerleaders, who ALWAYS are by my side, telling me not to give up, keep going, and how much I can do it!! I don't know where I'd be without them. They have literally stopped me from laying down everything.
But, what do you do when your cheerleaders are nowhere to be found, you're alone, and you've been hit right in the gut again? You start to feel inadequate and those old feelings of fear and failure start to come to the surface.
Well ... this is what I do ... and I encourage you to do it too.
Take that nay-saying voice, that's either been in your head for years or has been put their recently by new haters and nay-sayers, and shut it up with the promises of God.
Don't even give that voice an ounce of your attention. Immediately cast it down and meditate on the Lord and the promises He's given to you.
David did this. When his own men wanted to stone him, he "found strength in the Lord" and the Bible says, "David encouraged himself in the Lord his God." (I Samuel 30:6)
David didn't just say, "Hey dude, listen, you're doing a good job," to himself. No. It says he "encouraged himself in the Lord."
What does that even mean?
He remembered the faithfulness of God and put his focus on the big picture.
It's not about us, even about how we feel, but about God.
And, sometimes it's really hard to get the focus off of ourselves and our feelings, brush off hurts and digs, set aside challenges, and move on. It's hard. I know. I've been there.
But, ultimately, we answer to God.
When He asks me what I did with the gifts He gave me, I don't want to be the one that says I quit because it was too hard.
So, like David, I have to encourage myself in the Lord.
Lately, I've been meditating on Psalm 91. The entire chapter is a picture of the faithfulness of God.
The Bible is full of the promises of God.
When you want to quit on the things that you know God has given you, don't. Go to the Word. Encourage yourself.
And, email me. I'll encourage you. ;)