Are there obstacles that are holding you back from pursuing your purpose or the calling or dream you have sensed God has placed on your heart? The good news is that these obstacles do not have to stop you.
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As Christian women, it’s easy for obstacles to get in the way of the purpose or calling God has for our lives. These obstacles can seem very REAL, but oftentimes they are mostly fake… in other words, they are often the excuses or lies we tell ourselves that keep us from moving forward.
In this episode, I’m going to share 5 obstacles that might keep you from pursuing your purpose. Along with each obstacle, I’m going to share what I believe is true and how the obstacle does not have to prevent you from stepping forward.
Obstacle #1: The timing isn’t right to step into this purpose
You might have sensed God calling you to do something, but you’ve got a lot of reasons why NOW is not the right time.
Maybe you need to wait until you aren’t working full-time. Maybe you need to wait until your kids are in school. Perhaps you need to wait until your husband finishes his degree or until you get through this busy season.
With each of these obstacles, there’s always going to be an element of truth.
It’s possible that there are some very real time challenges standing in your way.
And with timing, I believe that it IS important to use wisdom and NOT move forward on something if God is making it clear.
Sometimes it really does not make sense to step into something because you have recognized your priorities have to be something else. We have talked about that in one of our previous episodes about the issue of balance and choosing your priorities for a particular season.
But in MANY cases, we use the timing issue as an excuse rather than it being a legitimate reason.
Timing can be a way to postpone something we know we are supposed to do. We might say we don’t have enough time, but the truth is we’re just scared to move forward, or we’re unclear about exactly what it is God is asking us to step into.
Truth: There is never a perfect time to step out into the great unknown.
But your job is to be obedient to God, regardless of whether YOU think the timing is right.
Obstacle #2: I don’t have enough support from family/friends
It is hard to step out and do something new or different if your friends or family do not support you. But Scripture shows us that following Jesus does not always guarantee the support of our family and friends. (Matthew 10:35-39)
We can see that following Jesus actually requires sacrifice. And sometimes, if God calls you to something specific, it may mean losing relationships. However, that does not mean it’s not worth it!
Truth: you don’t have to have the complete support from your friends and family to step out and obey God.
Side note: I do want to mention that if you are married or have kids, it’s important to make sure that what you are doing will not negatively impact your family. So make sure you are in alignment, specifically with your spouse, about these kids of decisions. If you are unsure about this, continue seeking God and perhaps seek out some wise counsel as well.
Obstacle #3: I don’t have the funds to pursue my dreams
This is definitely a big concern for a lot of people. Perhaps you have an idea or a dream of something that God has given you to do, but you simply do not have the money to make it happen!
Sometimes this obstacle can cause us to decide to just put the dream on the shelf and stop trying to move it forward. But again, if you truly know that it is God asking you to do something, then it’s time to get creative about this problem.
Truth: If God has put this on your heart, and you put in the effort, He will provide what is needed.
Here’s a few possible ways that can happen:
- You might need to continue working to fund your dream.
- You might need to DIY certain things until you can pay others to do them.
- You may need to raise the funds.
- Misty Phillip’s dream to start the Spark Christian Podcast Conference. She shares about the dream and how it came together in this Devoted Dreamers Podcast episode.
Obstacle #4: If I’m confident or pursue my dreams, it might intimidate others.
This obstacle says that if you go after your calling and pursue what God has put in your heart, or if you display confidence in what you are doing or who God has made you to be, that you may intimidate others.
I’ve seen this one stop a few people, and if I’m honest, I can tell you that I’ve been tempted by this myth, too.
Once again, there is a sliver of truth there. Because there are times when relationships DO change as a result of someone pursuing a calling.
Truth: if someone is truly your friend and they love you, then your success or calling should not impact your relationship.
Hopefully you have friends who love you no matter what. And if not, make sure you jump into the Purposeful Leadership FB group where we have a group of incredibly supportive women.
So friend, don’t hold back on what God has asked you to do out of fear for how others may feel about what you’re doing.
Obstacle #5: It’s selfish to pursue a dream or calling – shouldn’t I just be content where I am?
Sometimes I hear the sentiment that we should just be content to be wherever we are, and that we shouldn’t be trying to do “big” or “extraordinary” things.
And I get where this is coming from. I believe it’s coming from an honest place of accepting that God can and does use us in the “small” things and in the “big” things. We don’t have to do some big crazy dream in order to serve God.
Oftentimes, God does call us to serve in normal, everyday ways that may not feel important, but actually are vital.
I 100% agree with that. But, I don’t agree that it’s wrong or selfish to pursue a big dream if that is what God is calling you to do.
We have to get away from comparing our callings and our gifts. One is not better than another. One is not more important than another. And one is not more spiritual than another.
The danger, I believe, is when we elevate one dream or calling above another. But to pursue the calling or gift or dream that God has placed on your life is not selfish. In fact, it’s selfish to hold that gift or dream back from the world!!
So friend, the truth about this myth is two-fold:
Truth 1: You do need to be content wherever God has placed you.
Truth 2: It’s important to listen to God’s voice and his calling and be obedient.
If God is asking you to take that step of faith to something new or different, it’s not selfish. It’s obedient.
How do You Know What God is Calling You to Do?
All of this leads us to the questions:
How do you know what God is calling you to?
How do you know what is truly from God vs. what is your own ideas or desires?
First of all, it’s vitally important to stay grounded in Scripture and a relationship with God.
To answer these questions, you can start by answering the following questions:
- Does your idea line up with the truth of God’s word and the overall message of Scripture (not just bits and pieces that you pull out but the overarching message)?
- Is it about you or is it about serving God and others?
Holly and I discussed this way back in episode 12 when we talked about the pitfalls of purpose. We noted that our purpose is not about us just being fulfilled and doing the things that we love or enjoy. Ultimately, our calling as Christians is to love God, love others, and to make disciples. No matter our job or our role, this is our ultimate purpose.
But the beautiful thing is that when we do this, we often also find the most fulfillment and joy. In our conversation, Holly said this: “It comes down to the very mystery of God and the gospel: the very act of laying down your life gives you an abundant life on the other side.”
How to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone and Into Your Calling
If you are listening in real time around the very end of March 2020 or beginning of April 2020, I want to make sure you know that my new course, Confident Leader Catalyst, is going to dive deep into these issues and help you be able to step out of your comfort zone and into your calling with confidence, clarity, and courage.
So head over to confidentleadercatalyst.com to either get on the waitlist so you can access the early bird bonus OR if the doors are open, you can find all the details there about the program.Get on the Wait List for Confident Leader Catalyst
Episodes & Links Mentioned:
- Purpose Series (Episodes 9-13)
- Episode 83 & Episode 84 with Tembi Secrist
- Episode 36
- Episode 88 with Kelsy Schmidt
- Episode 41 with Christa Hutchins
- Episode 60 with Kadi Cole
- Blog Post about staying
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