When It’s Not Working…

Posted: October 7, 2016 in Thoughts on art ministry and life
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

notworking There are times in our lives when we hit a wall and we just can’t seem to get past it. Something’s just not working and the question is what do you do? Maybe the project is just not succeeding. Maybe the numbers don’t line up and you are approaching the point of realizing you can’t pay your bills. Maybe you just realize there are too many things going against what you’re trying to do. What do you do when it’s just not working?

Well there are a couple of things to consider:

1. Don’t give up too quickly.
Sometimes what you need is a fresh set of eyes, or to try a different approach. We need to be careful not to let discouragement allow us to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Have you tried everything and if not, what haven’t you tried.

2. Pray.
This probably should have been number one, but if you feel called to something it’s best to seek the Caller before throwing in the towel. Maybe He is dealing with something in you, or maybe He is telling you your season is done, you missed what He was really wanting you to do. One important addendum here, you need to pray fervently. There are few times where it is harder to pray than in moments of disappointment. You have to really lean into prayer in those times.

3. What haven’t you tried?
Is there anything that might turn the tide? Is there something that hasn’t been tried yet? Exhausting all possibilities is the only way you will know that this failure is a true failure.

4. Get help.
Is there someone who can help you over this hump? Is there someone who has a skill you’re lacking? Is there someone with a fresh perspective that can help you turn a loss into a win?

5. Get a job or don’t quit your day job.
I’ve seen so many people who feel a call or start a project or ministry and automatically quit their jobs. I see other people who seem to feel that ministry is a call to poverty (I know my Catholic friends will disagree with this). Neither of these is true. There are few things that bring less honor to God than not being able to pay your bills and leaving people stuck with your debts. Any place you go can be a ministry. You simply need to honor God when you’re there. Giving part of your time to a project or ministry so you can put food on the table is not a dishonor. Sometimes you’ve got to do with what you do.

6. Trust that God knows what He is doing.
He that began a good work in you will carry it through to completion in the day of Christ Jesus. Be careful how you look at that. God started it and God will complete it. Your responsibility is to faithfully move the project forward. Sometimes those walls are as far as you can go and He has someone else to take it to the next level. This must be a matter of prayer, but sometimes we play God and try to take responsibility for a level God has not called us to, when God has already moves us on.

7. Give up.
There is a time to realize that it’s just not working and you need to invest your time into something else. Don’t do this lightly. There is a real tendency in the modern church to think that if something is not easy God’s not in it. Jesus and Paul both demonstrate that is not the case. and sometimes we need to press on until we smash through the wall. Other times we’ve missed God, or He has something else for us. It’s okay to give up when God has moved on. Trust Him. Move when He says move and stay when He says stay. If you’re simply not sure, see step 2.

God loves you and wants what’s best for you even in times of discouragement and crushing disappointment. Stick with Him and follow close. He will bring you through.

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