Last week, Christians began the Lenten period with Ash Wednesday. The wearing of ashes on our foreheads is a visible sign to ourselves, to others, and to God that we humbly accept that we are nothing without the Love, Mercy, and saving Grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and that with Him we are everything. It is a sign that we willingly enter a period of prayer and sacrifice to honor the Lord in the hope of attaining the rewards of His eternal life.
Those ashes are a visible, tangible, obvious sign loudly proclaiming what we believe about ourselves and what God is capable of doing with even the tiniest bit we offer Him. They are a sign that, through Jesus Christ, we are powerful enough to defeat even death!
If you know what is possible when you work with God, what holds you back from becoming the person God created you to be? What keeps you from making your dreams become your reality? What prevents you from taking the next right step forward? If you are held back because you have not gotten a clear sign to move ahead, you may need to change your thinking.
Sometimes God Waits for a Sign from You!
Fear and uncertainty cause procrastination, but we often don’t want to admit that even to ourselves. Instead, we make excuses and put blame on God. We delay motion to ask for a sign proving that we will succeed instead of trusting Him with our results. We hem and haw hoping for a perfect sign when we should be taking imperfect action.
Sometimes God gives us the signs we hope for. Sometimes those signs are as clear as the ashen Crosses on our foreheads. Other times, this is not the case. When we do not get a clear sign, we might sit around doing nothing. Worse, we sometimes do very little but make excuses or lie to ourselves about how productive we are. Still other times, we fill our schedules with the wrong thing. We mistake busyness with productivity.
Eventually though, we have to stop wringing our hands and focusing on distractions to face the fact that our hearts long for more. This is where many start wondering what God is doing and why He isn’t giving answers sought. That may not be the best approach though.
A major component of building resilience, optimism, and opportunity is learning to turn thoughts around. In the case of looking for signs from God, we may need to turn around those questions and answer as we do on Ash Wednesday. Instead of seeking a sign from God and wondering why we don’t hear from Him, consider offering God a sign that shows you trust in Him and are ready to take action.
God may be waiting for you to give Him a sign that you are ready to move forward. He may be waiting for you to show that you trust Him. He may be waiting for a sign that shows your self worth is not wrapped up in one outcome and that you will be okay whether you succeed or fail. He may be waiting for you to show Him your motives for wanting what you hope for are virtuous. He may be waiting for you to step from your comfort zone and seek advice from others who can mentor you. He may be waiting for you to show Him that you are ready to accept all the Blessings and responsibilities of what you ask for. He may be waiting for you to draw closer to Him and put Him before all the desires of your heart. God may be waiting for you to give Him a sign.
Moving Ahead Without A Sign
Some people love the adventure and adrenaline rush of not knowing what comes next and never knowing if their missions will succeed or fail, but most prefer clear signs and roadmaps leading them where they want to go. Unfortunately, life and God don’t give us that very often. At some point, all of us will have to decide to move forward in uncertainty or choose to remain stagnant.
That means you must act even when you are uncomfortable. That means you will confront self doubt. That means you may suffer from imposter syndrome. That means you may be refused, rejected, and denied.
All of this is to be expected, but the only way to grow your talents, with or without a sign is to take a risk and move ahead. Be in line with God’s teachings, trust in Him, and take your first step. Once your first move is done, evaluate where you are, and take the next step. Continue the cycle, developing habits and traits that help you become who you want to be and attain what you set out to do. Then evaluate where you are and move again.
Check for signs along the way, but do not let God become your excuse for not moving ahead! He may hoping to catch you fearlessly taking a step forward before He opens a door allowing you to take another step. Fearlessly, trustingly, courageously, humbly, lovingly and faithfully, put one foot in front of the next and move down the path. Give Him a sign that you are ready to embrace the greatness He created you for!
If you are interested in building Resilience, Optimism, and Opportunity to strengthen Body, Mind, and Soul, please join the Made for You Challenge launching this Spring! You can find out more by joining the Facebook group MADE FOR THIS or emailing Kerri@StrahlenGrace.com.