Have you heard this phrase when you ask someone how their project is going, “Well, it’s 2 steps forward and 1 backward?” This means I am making progress but it is not easy and it is not always going forward.
Sometimes I feel like a faithless man. If you ask me about 2 projects in my life I will say, “Well, it’s 2 steps backward and I am not sure I am going forward at all.” The reality is I am full of faith or I would have stopped!
At the beginning of the year I felt the Lord was leading me to change 2 areas in my life. The first area was my fitness. I felt I was to get in better shape and lose about 30 pounds. The second area was in the area of my family. I knew I needed to work on some areas to bring increased peace and remove chaos.
6 months into the year, when I look at my fitness and my family I often think I have taken 2 steps backward with none forward.
Why? I am exercising 2-4 times a week, cut out all obvious sugar, and reduced my carbohydrate intake by 1/2. The result? I do feel stronger but I have gained 7 pounds! Not at all what I was expecting.
In regards to my family, I guess some progress has been made but it is surely hard to see from my vantage point. This month I attended the annual MorningStar Fellowship of Ministers retreat and 2 different people at 2 different times told me I was a man of peace. As I was receiving the word I thought to myself, “Are you kidding? Have you been to my house?”
After much thinking about what is happening, here are my thoughts. I share this with you in case you feel you are going backward in doing God’s will even when you are trying.
1. The amount of protest noise mirrors the importance of what you are doing. Whenever you do God’s will it means something of you or the enemy’s kingdom is shrinking. Neither you or the enemy wants to get smaller. The screaming – i.e. yourself/circumstances/people – not liking what you are doing is because something is dying and nothing likes death.
2. The amount of protest noise mirrors how deep the problem is In your life. It is not easy to not give in to the incessant chants to quit. My solution is to put in ear plugs. I am not talking about real ear plugs but you can pretend they are! Learn to ignore the chants.
3. You are redefining normality by the Word of God. Many times we are battling against habit patterns and thoughts that are might not be sin but or not for our best. The world, others, your own body yells for you to stop because the normality you have defined for it is being changed. If you have been in a wrong habit for a long time it may take a long time to develop a new one.
4. Learn to encourage yourself. Gaining 7 pounds towards my goal of losing 30 is not fun. I keep doing it because I envision a different person that I want to be.
5. More is being done than you realize. You may not see any thing in the natural but whenever you are doing God’s will something is being done. Something is being sown as seed to change. Eventually, a plant will come forth from the seed.
6. Keep following God’s direction. In the end the power of the Holy Spirit will get you there! Don’t give up.
I guess I need to quit writing so that I can go and cut out the other 1/2 of carbohydrates I am eating. 🙂
Thanks for the words of encouragement. You are absolutely right! Sometimes I do wonder if I am going backwards or moving forward. Like you said though, If I am standing with God, if the Holy Spirit is in control, than I must be doing something right. So I take courage, and continue. Thanks!