All Posts /

Acknowledge Your Future and Remove the Shame

Acknowledge Your Future and Remove the Shame

Loss is the uninvited door that extends us an unexpected invitation to unimaginable possibilities. ~ Craig D. Jonesborough

We all have things we need to remove from our lives in order to keep moving forward fulfilling all the plans and purposes God has for our lives. In fact, we need to regularly take inventory, because it’s surprising how quickly the things we once removed can come back and cling to us again.

Take a moment right now to pause and ask yourself,

“What do I need to remove in order to run my race well?”

The list could include any number of things. What about unresolved anger that is hurting your relationships, causing you to say things you later regret? Perhaps you are carrying resentment or selfishness or pride. Or a lack of confidence and a spirit of defeat that hinder your ability to make wise choices. Or a lack of financial planning and discipline that hamper your ability to be generous with your resources, even though you would love to be. Or you may have unresolved issues from the past that are harming your parenting skills. Does insecurity about your abilities or looks cause you to be judgmental and critical of others?

Are you tethered to destructive friends, unhealthy lifestyles, or negative habits? Are you too overly enamored with financial gain, career success, or plentiful leisure time to the point that they hold you back from giving the time and energy necessary to run the race God has called you to run?

  • Whatever it is that holds you back, you can get rid of it by the power of the Holy Spirit.

It may take some time, but don’t let these things hinder you from your dreams and your purpose. Too much is at stake to let them hold you back. You really can live free from your past mistakes, hurts, and misconceptions. I understand that old habits die hard. Breaking our comfortable, familiar patterns takes work. Hard work. But if we don’t break from our past, then we’ll never run toward our new future.

God promises us,

‘For I know the plans I have for you’ — this is the Lord’s declaration — ‘plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.1

Here is the simple truth: we cannot go where we are going without leaving where we have been. So ask yourself, “What must I leave behind in order to run my race and serve God with my whole life?” God is looking for runners who, like Paul, will say:

But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ.2

Imagine the freedom that will come when you are willing to work through whatever it is that you need to work through so you can exchange it all for the surpassing greatness of becoming an unstoppable runner in the work God calls you to do. Anticipate the joy of moving forward into the future He has for you. Make a defining decision of unhindered commitment to Jesus Christ and His cause and step out in faith.

Do you want God to do something new in your life? Has God given you a dream to pursue? Then you will need to take the steps necessary to stop doing the same old thing. Ask God to help you. He’s always for you.

Do you want God to change your circumstances? Then be willing to change even in the face of feeling uncomfortable. To be honest,

change is rarely easy, but when it’s something God wants us to change, it’s always worth it.

One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.3

  1. Jeremiah 29:11.
  2. Philippians 3:7–8.
  3. Philippians 3:13–14 NIV.

Excerpted with permission from Permission to Dream by Christine Caine, copyright Caso Writing, LLC.

* * *

Your Turn

What do you need to remove in order to move forward? What’s holding you back? If you don’t know, ask the Lord. He will tell you! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full