Do you feel called to step out of your comfort zone? Have you been met with resistance edging on burnout? Lately, I’ve been confused as to what God is doing in my life. There have been walls up where doors have usually been open. There has been stillness where there has usually been flow. It feels like I’ve been running up against closed doors and dryness is all around me, no matter how hard I try, believe, pray and declare.
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I finally realized God was making things so uncomfortable to push me out of what He’d allowed to be comfortable and into what He really wants me to focus on. On one hand, that realization is exhilarating and I welcomed it with a fresh hustle. But, more often I have felt incredibly overwhelmed, like I’m drowning and am fighting the waves to look for the evidence of Jesus. Pregnancy hormones make my fuse shorter and I have a much lower capacity to handle stress. I wonder, did I hear God right? Have I done something wrong?
If you are feeling overwhelmed or like you are in a storm right now, the first thing I encourage you to do is ask God to expose your weaknesses. The enemy prowls around like a roaring lion waiting for someone to devour and he gets the ones who are vulnerable and off guard.
For example, mine are:
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Those are my open doors to the enemy if I am not girded up in the truth.
Then ask God what the remedies are to your open doors. Mine were: schedule in two hours of margin time every day, schedule one hour of uninterrupted, sincere time with God and the phrase “slow and steady wins the race.”
I want to urge a word of caution and say that when you start doing what God tells you to do, you might not experience relief right away. As a matter of fact, things might get worse. That is what happened for me and found myself confused. I couldn’t discern whether it was the enemy coming against me or God trying to teach me or block me from something I thought He’d told me.
Ultimately, when you step out and begin doing what the Lord has called you to do…get ready. It can often feel like a storm on the sea where you can’t see through the wind.
It’s one thing to go through the storm and to know what God is teaching you, but it’s another to go through it blindly. That’s when our faith is deepened. Is God’s word and simply believing He loves us really enough? How will we act in the storm? What questions will we ask?
Here are two ways to avoid burnout when stepping out of your comfort zone:
Through the winds and waves, I have fought to stay just above water to see the fingerprints of God. Although it felt like plans were falling through and there was resistance all around me, I had to try and focus on where the sweetness of God was. I saw Him in giving me parking spots right in front of my appointments or auditions. Sprint gave me a free pair of headphones to replace the ones stolen from my car. Remember the signs He gave you when He made it evident you were supposed to step out. Even when you’re in a mess, His mercies, however seemingly small are there and enough to sustain us to keep going. We just have to look for them and cling onto them until the storm settles.
2. Proactive Resistance
We are in a war. There is a spiritual battle waging for your eyes, your focus and your despair. A very real enemy wants to take you down and will take any chance he gets, so don’t give it to him! The good news is Jesus has already won and you are in Him. All spiritual powers and authorities are under his authority and you are a co-heir with Christ. You have everything it takes to win, but your victory is dependent on whether you act on the power you have in Him or not. One of your best weapons is the sword of truth, which is the word of God.
Create a battle a plan for the areas of your life in which you are struggling. A battle plan is a list of verses that speak to you and combat what you are going through. They speak promise and life over doubt and fear. I created a plan for the three areas I am weak. I try to let those be the first things my eyes see in the morning, I pray on them and meditate on them to worship music. Do this before you pick up your phone.
I don’t want you to burnout because then the enemy wins. You’ve got this princess warrior. Put on your spiritual armor and stand firm. Imagine that you are a wall. You get a report that there are weak stones in your wall or even some cracks or openings. Place a guard and watchman at the low points to be on your defense to any attack.
That’s what Nehemiah did when he was building the wall:
They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat. Nehemiah 4:8-9 .
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