This is why you're struggling.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths."
- Proverbs 3:5-6 (New King James Version)
I got a question about last week's devotional that I wanted to address in this week's newsletter because I'm guessing you or someone you know might be wondering about this too.
She basically commented about how she understood what I was saying about us not having to struggle but she was conflicted because she's also heard that not everything comes easy and sometimes we have to fight through some things.
I prayed about how to respond to this and God actually gave me a really dope illustration that I think will help. In short, He showed me that, yes, struggle happens in the life of a believer, BUT it looks differently and serves different purposes depending on WHERE you are on the path of life He's called you to. Then He showed me 5 paths:
Path #1: Stuck
This is where a lot of us start out on our entrepreneurial journey or going toward any dream God has given us. We know what we desire but we're letting fear keep us from moving forward. We use the excuse that "we don't have clarity" or we're "waiting on God" for something before we can make a move, when really we need to move in trust that He's gonna guide us.
Our struggle here is with our own flesh, mindset & at the root of it all, our faith. If you're here on the path, your #1 priority should be building your relationship with God so that you can develop the faith to pull yourself out and get moving toward your dreams.
Path #2: Trial & Error
Many of us get here after we've believed God got us and we've made a move. Maybe we're still not crystal clear on what God's will is, but we're out here working our talents the best we know how to do. In the process, God is teaching us & guiding us. It may seem like we're all over the place, but eventually God is going to connect the dots.
Our struggle here is to continue to listen for God's voice & leading in us and just keep doing whatever He's leading us to do. However random it may seem, we just have to believe that He's working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phil 2:13) and that eventually, things will start to make sense.
Path #3: Straight Up Lost
We all end up lost at some point on the path (and more than once). We've been trying some things and we're at a point where we need some dots to connect before we make another move. This is where it's time to stop, get quiet and seek God for some clearer direction. Frfr, this shouldn't take longer than 1 week's worth of focused, consecrated prayer because God👏🏾 answers 👏🏾 His 👏🏾 children (Matthew 7:11, James 1:5, Matthew 7:7, Proverbs 3:5-6)
If we're not hearing the answer, it's not because He's not sending it, it's because we're not hearing it. And that's a sign that you're struggling with a relationship / faith problem and just need to get in His word, get into prayer & build your faith up.
Path #4: Disobedience
Awww yea, that's right. This is definitely a path. I've been on it and it stinks. Nothing you're doing is working, all hell seems to be breaking loose, everything that was flowing has dried up, you name it. This is where God gave you direction, you actually know what it is and everything, but for whatever reason you're doing something else He didn't actually ask you to do.
Now He has to "help" you get back on the right track, and that "help" can feel like struggle DOT COM because He can't let you succeed in going that direction; He needs you over here doing "x". So it might seem like doors are being shut left and right but the reality is He's helping you dodge hella bullets. If you're here, it's time to go back to whatever original word He gave you and DO IT, no matter the cost.
Path #5: Flow
This is the ideal path and we're all weaving in and out of it at various times. But it's where we know our mission and we're actively walking in obedience towards it. In last week's email, this is the path I was referring to when I said there should be an ease to it. Yes, challenges still come up on this path, yes all hell can seem to break loose, yes things still happen that we don't understand, yes we still have to struggle through our own flesh, mindset & faith issues, yes opposition comes up to try to derail us from staying on this path, and yes we have to fight through it all.
The difference though is that God gives us a grace and an ease on this path, peace that passes all understanding, a table prepared for us in the presence of our enemies, victory & favor that doesn't make sense, in the midst of it all.
So where are you on the path?
Reply back and let me know. I'd love to pray with you, hear if you have a different perspective on this or answer any additional questions you have.
No matter what though, remember that while you're working to build out your purpose, God is working on building you. That's why at whatever stage you're in on the path, the answer is always to acknowledge Him in all your ways (read: decisions, storms, questions, trials, mess, etc) and trust that He'll direct your path.
It's in the seeking, receiving, acting & seeing the fruit of those actions that our relationship with our Heavenly Father grows. And that's HIS purpose.
Still hungry? Eat more //
I recorded a video teaching where I walk you through this "path" concept a little more in depth. Check it out if you could use greater insight & encouragement in this area.
Also, I'm going to be diving deeper into this all February long so if you still have questions, definitely reply back with them and I'll be sure to pray and hopefully answer them in the midst of this month's newsletters. Don't be shy and reach out!