“If God can use a man without arms and legs to be His hands and feet, He will certainly use any heart that is willing!” Nick Vujicic
There may be different moments in our lives where we feel stuck. Generally, it’s a feeling of impotence, of not knowing how we’re supposed to change even though we really want to. I want to share with you a few principles that have helped me in moments like these, and I know they will help you too if you put them into practice.
When feeling “stuck”, the first thing you need to do is realize you’re the one who needs to change. Sometimes we think that if others change, or if the circumstances would change, then everything would be different. The surest thing is that the secret to grow in that specific area is for you to give the first step, and it all starts with prayer.
Nehemiah was King Artaxerxes’ cupbearer, he had a very important role, and one of great responsibility. Even though he had great influence and it appears he had everything he needed, he heard the news about Jerusalem, his parents’ city that lay in ruins with the walls destroyed. When he received the news, he sat down, prayed, and fasted for a few days to receive direction from God. When we face a situation in which we feel impotent, the first thing we need to do is pray.
After praying, we need to ask ourselves why we stopped growing and what is it that stopped us from moving forward. There is an undeniable truth which is that we all want to grow. There is not one person in the world who desires to be stuck in the same place. There are many reasons for why one could get stuck, but I want to mention the five most common reasons of which all the others branch out from.
1. We lose our purpose
We forget the why.
Why we do things is a fundamental aspect of our leadership and overall lives. Purpose speaks to us of the motivation to do what we do. Vision is what allows us to grow. We need to continually ask ourselves, “Why do I do what I do?”. If you are constantly remembering why you do it, no matter the effort it takes to do it, it will be worth it.
2. We lose our focus in our priorities
If a leader loses focus in his priorities, he affects the whole team. One person who aspires to be a leader is a person who knows their priorities are in order. Here in MCI Church Miami, we repeat the following phrase very frequently, it’s is our first value statement: Jesus is first in my life; all my priorities are in order.
3. We lose our passion
When passion is lost, you begin to function in what I call autopilot. Things happen because of a routine, but there is no innovation or desire to learn and grow. The leader’s responsibility is to always give his best with passion.
4. Lack of progress
This happens because goals are not met or goals are set that don’t produce change. Maybe there is a list of goals, but they are not structured properly which makes it feel like there is no progress, or like we’re always aiming towards the same goal. I have found that in this case, goals based on habits and not results are much more effective.
Lack of connection with people.
If you’re not building people up, you’re going to feel stuck. Are your relationships in order? Maybe there’s someone you need to forgive. You need to ask yourself, “Am I helping those around me?”.
Nehemiah prayed for an opportunity to restore what had fallen. Today can be the day you pray for an opportunity to restore what lies in ruins. Many times we pray for a miracle, but there are occasions where God wants us to pray for an opportunity. Nehemiah’s opportunity came when King Artaxerxes asked him what he wanted to do, and in prayer Nehemiah conceived a plan. It was simple but effective just like we read in Nehemiah 2:4-8:
“Then the king said to me, “What do you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.” Then the king said to me (the queen also sitting beside him), “How long will your journey be? And when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. Furthermore I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given to me for the governors of the region beyond the River, that they must permit me to pass through till I come to Judah, and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he must give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel which pertains to the temple, for the city wall, and for the house that I will occupy.” And the king granted them to me according to the good hand of my God upon me.” (NKJV)
This is your moment to pray for an opportunity. Ask God to help you also with a specific plan for the area you desire to see growth, I’m sure you will see a change.