Day 6: Purpose – What’s Holding You Back?

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Day 6 pic

In today’s America, we are surrounded by options.

Most of these options we don’t even think about.  We absent mindedly pick out a shirt for the day, quickly decide which flavor of cereal we want for breakfast, and flippantly choose pumpkin spice creamer over hazelnut, for our coffee.

These decisions, all made before we dive into the day, take little thought and hardly any time at all.  We take for granted and even come to expect the options that are available to us.

I mean, what would life be like if we didn’t have 32 different pizza places to choose from for lunch, or 5 purses to go with each day of the week, or three new iPhones to choose from every six months?  I can hardly imagine!

In all seriousness, though, there are many decisions we must make in life that when confronted with, present almost too many various options to choose from.

Who should I marry?  How should I try to meet this person?  Which house should I buy?  What career best suits me?  Do I want to have children?  How many would I like?  Should I go back to school?  What school should I choose?  What school should I send my kids to? 

And so on and so forth…

We want so desperately to make the right decisions.  We research and pray and seek out counsel until our heads become dizzy from the noise of all the many voices that so confidently prescribe just how we should be living our life.

Too many options can paralyze our decision making.

I would know.  I have suffered the insecurity and self doubt that comes when facing an array of seriously, impactful decisions many a time.  The pressure to make the right choice and the fear of picking the wrong one can be overwhelming.

So what do we often do?


We wait.

And wait.

And wait.

We wait for a feeling, a confirmation from someone, a sign in the sky, a word from God, anything that will remove the pressure of the decision making from us.

And what is the result?

Our lives end up passing us by with no decisions being made.

No purpose.  No direction.  No fruit being harvested from our daily toil.


Because of fear. 

Fear of making the wrong decision.  Fear of disappointing God or being outside His will.  Fear of going outside our comfort zones.

And with the entitled attitude that is so typical of our American life of ease, we insist on constant fulfillment being the result of each decision that we make.  If that decision won’t make us 100% happy, than we must not make it.

This is our culture today.  This is why we lack the ability to be satisfied in our lives.

We are so bent on making sure that we live life to the fullest, that we aren’t actually living at all.

Kevin DeYoung, in his book, Just Do something, offers wisdom on how to glorify God in our decision making without having all the answers.

“Obsessing over the future is not how God wants us to live, because showing us the future is not God’s way.  His way is to speak to us in the Scriptures and transform us by the renewing of our minds.  His way in not a crystal ball.  His way is wisdom.  We should stop looking for God to reveal the future to us and remove all risk from our lives.  We should start looking to God – His character and His promises – and thereby have confidence to take risks for His name’s sake.

God is all-knowing and all-powerful.  He has planned out and works out every detail of our lives – the joyous days and the difficult- all for our good (Ecclesiastes 7:14).  Because we have confidence in God’s will of decree, we can radically commit ourselves to His will of desire, without fretting over a hidden will of direction.

In other words, God doesn’t take risks, so we can.”

If we are to live lives of purpose that glorify Christ, we have to be willing to take some risks.  This means that we will not always have all the answers to the decisions that God is calling us to make, but with Him we can make these decisions in confidence.  This is a confidence that is not based on empty human wisdom, but on the wisdom that comes from the Spirit who lives inside of us.

1 Corinthians 2:9-10 says,

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God”

Just as the Spirit enables us to walk in obedience, He also leads us in the direction we should move forward with and reveals wisdom to know the will of God.

You see, God has a sovereign plan and purpose for our lives.  Nothing is outside of His control!  What God has planned for us, He will make happen!  There’s nothing we can do to thwart His plans.

The Spirit leads us to the people and experiences that God desires to make a part of our story.   So while God is ultimately in control of all things, He wants to respond in faith by making decisions about these people and experiences that glorify Him.  We may not have all the answers regarding those decisions, but we can put our confidence in two things: First, that God has a plan and He will eventually reveal it to us.  And second, that He primarily confirms these things are His will does by speaking to us through His Word.

In other words, we are not left to blindly discover our life.

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

I love how Kevin DeYoung said in the quote above, “Because we have confidence in God’s will of decree, we can radically commit ourselves to His will of desire, without fretting over a hidden will of direction.”

We saw in the previous post, that God’s ultimate purpose for our lives is to bring Him glory!  So when we are faced with making specific decisions about personal things in our lives, we must simply remember His general calling for us: To glorify Him.

Yes, there are always various factors that we must consider when confronting our options, however at the end of the day, the best way we can determine if something is God’s will or not is to go back to His word. What does the Bible say about this topic?  Would this decision grieve or glorify God?

Sometimes, because we are only human, we will inevitably make the wrong decision.  However, we do not have to fear these moments because God in His grace restores us and leads us back to the path that He has for us!  We must always remember who we are in Him and what He says about us!  No effort of our own, can achieve constant satisfaction or perfection.  Our motivation and goals for this life must always flow out of a heart of love and gratitude for who God is and for the new identity that Christ has given us.

So what are you holding back from today?  What is God calling you to that you feel paralyzed to move forward with?

Let this encourage and motivate you:

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much or suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory or defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt

So let’s truly live this life and embrace whatever path God has for us!  Triumphs, failures, suffering and all.

A little risk, brings so much reward.

Reflect and Respond

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

Have you ever felt paralyzed by fear to make the important decisions in your life?  Is there something that God is calling you to that you are resisting either because of fear or selfishness?  Don’t just say them, write these things down.  Seeing them on paper makes them more of a reality.

Now that you understand who you are in Christ and how he has a specific purpose for your life, how does that make a difference with the way you are currently living?  Does this change the way you see yourself and your direction?  Does your heart long to be a part of the adventure that He has for you?  Journal through these questions.

This post is the fifth post in a 31 Day Series titled, Discovering How God Makes a Difference.  To read the rest of the posts in this series click here.  

Or if you would like to have them mailed directly to your inbox, please subscribe here.

Want to get the most out of this series?  Try journaling through the challenge questions and daily verses!  Pray and ask the Lord to open your eyes to the ways He is seeking to transform your life. 

Feel like sharing how God is making a difference in your life today?  Let us know in the comments!  We can all learn from and be inspired by each other!

6 thoughts on “Day 6: Purpose – What’s Holding You Back?

  1. First of all, I love how your dad reads your blog and replies! Go dad!

    My husband (Sr. Pastor at our church) is doing an “In Him” series right now and your post goes right along with it. So glad I read this today. It makes me think of the verse in Psalms 37:23, “The steps of a righteous man are ordered of the Lord . . ”

    Thanks for sharing at the Pretty Pintastic Party.

    1. Haha! I do have an awesome dad, Alli! I’m glad you noticed! lol Thank you for stopping by! I love that verse and have actually thought of it several times while writing these posts!

  2. God’s perfect timing as I read this. We are in the middle of a job decision for me that feels complicated. I went to bed last night exhausted from pondering AND praying about it. I just need to move ahead. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Oh Im so glad it reached you at the right time, Danette! I love it when God does stuff like that, dont you?!? ; ) And Ill be praying for you job decision! I know how difficult and scary those times can be! I dont know your particular situation, but if you are interested, here a few other articles i wrote that might help you during this time! (Ill be posting them on facebook soon too, but in case you want to read them now, here they are!) Thanks again for stopping by!
      This last one is a post I wrote for a blog I used to contribute to:

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