I stand in my dimly-lit dining room and it is finally quiet and that’s when it happens. The fear grows and the tears start.
Despite feeling excited about a few different writing projects.
Despite connecting with a couple of other writers and talking about our projects and what inspires us.
Despite a sense of knowing I am where I am supposed to be.
Doubts rise. Fear creeps in on the silence. Circumstances warp my perception and then my confidence.
I no longer see where I’m going but instead I am mired in where I am and where I’ve been. I see messes and obstacles where just moments ago I saw possibility and adventure. My vision of the future is as cloudy as my allergy-laden senses, seeing things in muted colors and blurred edges.
Of course this is not the first time I’ve wrestled with fear or doubt when it comes to living out my God-given dream and purpose that centers on writing. The names of the enemies I fight in living out this dream of mine may change: fear, comparison, circumstances, doubt, perfection, busyness, failure, criticism, time, discouragement, naysayers, haters, but the opposition is the same.
It’s all Resistance as Steven Pressfield points out in his book, The War of Art.
Because let’s face it, if you have a dream and you have a pulse, you are going to face various forms of Resistance along the way. The path to success, the path of living out your purpose will lead you through valleys that are as deep and dark as the mountain peaks are high and inspiring.
But here’s the thing.
When a dream is a God-given one, success is already yours.
Because God provides the victory as we participate with Him.
He fights the battles, but we have to let Him.
Does that mean we don’t have to exert our own energy and effort?
We participate with God. We follow Him on the path. We heed His whispers of what to do. We trust Him. Just like Joshua did. We follow where God leads and we fight hard alongside Him and we take one battle at a time.
One victory at a time.
That’s a tough one for me. Too easily I fall into the enemy’s trap of wanting to do everything all at once; to succeed right now. But that’s not how it works. That’s not how God works.
Because this is as much about my relationship with God, my dream-maker and dream-giver, as it is about fulfilling the dream He gave me. And each battle provides me opportunity to draw near to Him and trust Him. Sounds fairly simple, but it’s not. At least not for me.
You see, sometimes a God-won victory becomes a me-won victory in my mind. And that quickly translates into me going into the next battle against the enemy, against the Resistance, in my own strength rather than looking to God. And that’s when it happens.
That’s when I find myself standing in my dimly-lit dining room facing fears, facing Resistance, that is bigger than what I can handle. And that’s because I’m not meant to handle them alone or in my strength. In fact, God tells me, Do not be afraid of them, for I have given you victory over them. Not a single one of them will be able to stand up to you. (Joshua 10:8)
All those enemies that slink in on the silence and fill the spaces of your quiet places? They will not stand. And that, my friends, is the good news of living out your God-given dream.
So, with what enemies are you doing battle today? Don’t go it alone. Call on God and also share what Resistance you’re facing today in the comments and I’ll be honored to pray for you.