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Getting Unstuck-Part 1

How to get unstuck and start growing in your faith.

In the previous post I shared that we all get stuck in the Christian life.  The challenge is sometimes we don’t know how to get unstuck.  In this post I want to share a proven plan to help pull you out and get you growing again.   I know because this same plan helped me get unstuck and lead more effectively than I ever have before. My hope is that you will implement these steps in your life and experience the joy of growing in Jesus.

These steps are adapted from John Kotter’s book, Leading Change.  The more I examined them, the more I appreciated how these steps are rooted in the wisdom of God.  These are the same principles that under-girded Nehemiah’s wall building project in the Old Testament book that bears his name.
The plan to get unstuck . . .

1. Create a Sense of Urgency 
One must really want to change to get unstuck.  You have to come to acknowledge that where you are isn’t good and it isn’t where Jesus wants you to be. It’s that sense of urgency that inspires action.  For Nehemiah, hearing the dreadful news about the ruined walls of Jerusalem created a sense of urgency that moved him to action (Nehemiah 1:1-4a).
2. Stop and Pray
Nehemiah stopped and prayed (Nehemiah 1:4-11).  It should be our first priority as well if we want to succeed in the plan. Like Nehemiah, our prayer may be filled with confession to acknowledge our sin of apathy, indifference, and unfaithfulness.  It may be to ask for guidance on loving Jesus with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength.  In prayer we also acknowledge our dependency on His wisdom to help us move forward (James 1:5).  Maybe we aren’t sure why we are stuck.  In this situation, ask the Lord to reveal it to you (Psalm 139:23-24).

3.  Get Help.
The biggest mistake we can make when trying to change is to try to do it all by ourselves.  Nehemiah understood that repairing the wall of Jerusalem would be a huge undertaking, and he also understood that he could not accomplish it on his own.  He needed help.  He needed the King of Persia, Artaxerxes to grant him permission and resources to complete the projected repairs (Nehemiah 2).
Recently, when I realized I was stuck, I knew I didn’t have the resources within me to fix the problem. I reached out to an experienced Christian counselor for help.  Proverbs commends the wisdom of reaching out to wise counselors to provide valuable discernment and guidance (Prov. 15:22; 24:6). Don’t avoid this important step!  These same counselors will likely be instrumental in assisting you with the next step.

4. Form a Plan 
 Sometime in the days of his prayer and fasting, Nehemiah had developed a plan of action to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem.  We are not told how this came about, but there is no doubt he had devised a plan to execute.  His plan involved asking the King for resources and once arriving in Jerusalem, inspecting the wall first hand.  His plan also included building a coalition of trusted persons who would share in his excitement (Nehemiah 2:17-18).  To get unstuck, develop a plan that is SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely). For example, a SMART plan for someone who wants to get fit and lose weight would be:  I will go to the gym three days a week and complete a 30 minute circuit workout each day.

Now, it’s your turn.
Call to Action:  Start your change right now.  
I included a sample below that will help you implement the first four steps to change in your life.

  1. Create a sense of Urgency. John Doe suffers from a lack of prayer and it’s hurting his relationship with God. He knows how to pray but just has been “too busy to pray.”
  2. Stop and Pray. John prays to God about this deficiency and asks for wisdom to know how to address it.
  3. Get Help. - John asks a close Christian friend who has made prayer a priority to help him.
  4. Make a Plan. With the help of his friend, John develops a plan to pray more consistently which includes the following details:
- Deciding on a time to pray.       
- Deciding on a place to pray.       
- Deciding on an attainable goal for prayer (ex. 5 minutes day)
- Making a prayer cheat sheet.

I hope these first four steps will help you get unstuck and moving forward in your relationship with Jesus. If you are stuck and need help to get unstuck, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.  Reach out to Pastor Tim for help.

1 Comment

Linda Cushman - June 9th, 2021 at 7:05am

Excellent words of wisdom and practical advice!! Thank you for sharing.