Stakeholders in discouragement, which aid in spiritual frustration, due to incomplete or un-attempted God-given assignments emanate in many forms. With a primary mission to cease the fulfillment of our callings, surely we can detect the devious purpose poisoning in our lives. As we differ, what discourages one person may encourage another, or be irrelevant in their decision to take action for God. For the purposes of this blog, I will focus on the aspects of discouragement that I have witnessed halt even the most determined believers.
The fallacy that God’s work must be executed perfectly by an imperfect man or woman is great fertilizer for discouragement to take root. Perfectionism, personally, has been a major hindrance to progress. When I am tempted to fall into the pattern of striving to be superhuman, as there are not any perfect humans, I consider the people that God used. Who was perfect, or even close, besides Jesus, that was used by God? We are to operate with the power and authority that we have been endowed with from Jesus. It is imperative that we understand that God is not expecting us to operate in perfection, but rather divine influence to accomplish greatness for His kingdom. So if God does not require blameless, flawless, super beings, to carry out His will on earth, why am I putting so much pressure on myself?
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10
Disclaimer: My previous statement does not negate the fact that God wants our best (Colossians 3:23-24); however, He will never require us to do what only He can do. Who is feeding me the lie that I am too imperfect to carry out God’s will? I will not give Satan too much credit, there are a few cognitive distortions that lie dormant within me. The kind that only sees black or white, finished or incomplete, perfection or failure. Generously, Satan reinforces these distorted thoughts with lies, fabrications, and fallacies. For instance, when I began writing my manuscript, I quickly became discouraged as it was not “perfect” or a “best-seller.” God gently instructed that my obedience is more value to Him than how many people view, review, or like my book. The discouragement I experienced felt like I failed which kept me unproductive for months, a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. Who benefits when I stop pursuing my purpose? Who gets the glory?
My familiar friend lack once discouraged me to the point of purpose paralysis. I believed that I did not have enough resources, income, or support to do the will of God. Upon further research, Jesus sent His disciples out with no resources; they were to rely on God’s grace and the kindness of others.
“and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: ‘Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.’ So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.” Luke 9:2-6
How can I be discouraged because my bank account is euphemistically low when the disciples were instructed to go proclaim the gospel without any resources besides God. The aforementioned scripture illustrates the importance of our dependence on God. Their departure may have appeared fortuitous to the natural eye but in the spirit realm, it is clear that God’s perfect design was for His chosen ones to experience lack and total dependency on Him. We are no different. I can recall not being able to afford business cards or a personal web page, but God provided. There have been times when necessities were scarce, but God provided. Operating in ministry with lack has many benefits, such as:
- Keeping us humble
- Keeping us focused (prayerfully)
- Demonstrating our dependence on God
- Demonstrating God’s love and care for His people
- Teaching us to value what we do have
- Teaching us how to empathize with others
Lack is a beautiful asset!
To triumph over Discouragement, we must acknowledge God’s perspective and make it our own. God does not require perfection or expect us to have all resources available before we begin His work. I started blogging because I did not have money, but I had a story to tell the world about what Jesus is doing in my life. I did not have to get a bunch of materials to get started. Unbeknownst to me the ability and needed resources were right under my nose. Discouragement was the only weapon Satan could easily access to get me to stop, but he remains defeated!
In the name Jesus, I will celebrate my imperfections and excavate my surroundings for what resources I have to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ throughout the entire world. What has you discouraged? Can you find the lie in the feeling?
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