Getting Out of the Rut

“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13).

Knowing how God works in us can lead us to a greater understanding of how to get out from the deep ruts of life. The Bible teaches that God works in us:

“For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).

“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews 13:20-21).

Notice the location of God’s work: in us. When God works in us, He also moves upon our wills to love and serve Him. More and more, we become conformed to His image, a process taking place all throughout life.

But we need to cooperate with what God is doing in our lives. Yes, we need to act because God acts. When God works in us, we need to stir ourselves up to perform that which pleases Him (Hebrews 10:24). In a rut? Climb out of it, trusting God will provide the strength to do so. Move out in obedience to God, refusing to be immobilized by the struggles of life. We need God’s work in us for sure. But then we need to make certain strides to forge ahead regardless of setbacks. When the heart is engaged, the feet will soon follow.

We need to obey God regardless of how we feel. People who wait for the right feeling are still waiting somewhere. Faith leads us to action, sometimes very bold action. We trust that God will provide strength for the day, but then we launch out in faith and courage to face life’s challenges.

Many people succumb to emotional paralysis, and refuse to act unless someone acts for them. But God’s work in us leads us to accept new challenges and to face reality.

Two Final Reminders

1. Keep all matters before God in prayer.
We cannot move ahead in our own strength. Confess to God that you need His strength and power in order to fulfill His will. Confess your sense of weakness before Him. When we are weak, then we are strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).

2. Obey God in all matters.
No one completely obeys God all the time. But remaining true to God with heartfelt obedience protects us in ways we cannot imagine. Sometimes a choice presents itself: obey God and suffer loss, or disobey God and avoid the loss. But that’s fool’s bait. Obeying God always leads us to triumph, remembering we cannot judge success by the world’s standards.

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