Stop . . . or . . . go
When you think about your dreams or goals, what obstacles do you see? At what point do you think you’ll be stopped?
**The woman’s tattoo in says, “Army of Shadows”**
Last week, a couple of friends and I were dreaming out loud and encouraging one another. I was listening and chiming in here and there, but one thought kept repeating in my head, “Why don’t y’all just do it?” So, finally I asked, “What could stop us?” The answer from my friends was someone at the end with money and positional power to say no to their idea/project, after all the work had been done. And my answer would be the same, some mysterious gatekeeper that I’ve never met, that I had given power to say no to stop me.
In that moment I could see the lie in that thought so clearly. And I’m sure there’s lies in many of our thoughts to why this/that won’t work/happen. To know the answer to who/what could stop us, we first have to do the work to get there to be stopped.
But even the thought that someone/something could block us near the realization of our dream is enough to delay us from truly beginning or continuing. Why start, if you can’t finish? Procrastination is easier, when you’re battling an imaginary eventual no.
I’m not saying there won’t obstacles. If it takes ten steps to get to your goal, you’ll be challenged at every step, something (circumstance) or someone (yourself, family, enemy, etc.) may try to stop. Now, if we eliminate the lying discouraging thoughts of, “I can’t, it’s too hard, and I’m not (smart, talented, connected, rich, etc.) enough, from the list of reasons of why not. . . what’s left to stop you? Nothing and no one, just shadows. It’s you, God, and the work…so…get to work.
“Look! He has placed the land in front of you. Go and occupy it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has promised you. Don’t be afraid! Don’t be discouraged!” – Deuteronomy 1:21
“Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.” – Psalms 146:3
“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
“But if you are careful to obey him, following all my instructions, then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and I will oppose those who oppose you.” – Exodus 23:22
“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us.” – Romans 8:31
“The Lord told Gideon, “With these 300 men I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites. Send all the others home.” – Judges 7:7
“When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” – Proverbs 16:7
“When you go out to fight your enemies and you face horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid. The Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you!” – Deuteronomy 20:1
“The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion out there! If I go outside, I might be killed!” – Proverbs 22:13
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” – Matthew 6:34
“This was their report to Moses: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak! . . . But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!” But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” – Numbers 13:27,28, 30, 31