1. Matthew 19:26 NIV 2. Philip­pi­ans 4:19 3. 2 Corinthi­ans 9:8 NLT 4. Ro­mans 4:20–21 NLT 5. 2 Chron­i­cles 26:5 6. See Ro­mans 8:28.

Activated - - NEWS - By Natalie Brooks Natalie Brooks is a free­lance writer liv­ing in Texas, USA.

You’ve prob­a­bly heard some of these fa­mil­iar say­ings: • The world is your oys­ter.

• There are no lim­its.

• The word im­pos­si­ble is not in my vo­cab­u­lary.

• Never give up.

• If you can dream it, you can do it.

• The best way to know the fu­ture is to in­vent it.

• Suc­cess is 1% in­spi­ra­tion and 99% per­spi­ra­tion.

Those might be pretty good points, but I end up think­ing, Yeah, right. Then I re­al­ized that God’s Word says a lot of sim­i­lar things:

• Je­sus looked at them and said, “With man this is im­pos­si­ble, but with God all things are pos­si­ble.” 1

• God shall sup­ply all your need ac­cord­ing to His riches in glory by Christ Je­sus. 2

• God will generously pro­vide all you need. Then you will al­ways have ev­ery­thing you need and plenty left over to share with oth­ers. 3

• Abra­ham never wa­vered in be­liev­ing God’s prom­ise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully con­vinced that God is able to do what­ever he prom­ises. 4

• As long as he sought the Lord, God made him pros­per. 5

I have a per­sonal re­la­tion­ship with Je­sus. I know that God loves me, and I have the source of truth in my hands with the Bi­ble and other godly ma­te­ri­als. I be­lieve I have much to of­fer the world, and I should be able to take ad­van­tage of the many op­por­tu­ni­ties around me to serve, give back, find ful­fill­ment, and chart a path that will make my loved ones and Je­sus proud of me.

So why is it that some­times my “re­al­ity” doesn’t work out that way? Some­times I feel small, for­got­ten, lost, or as if I’m drift­ing al­most aim­lessly. I know I’ve been blessed and have knowl­edge, un­der­stand­ing, faith, and valuable spir­i­tual gifts. But some­times I just can’t put it all to­gether to some­how make those gifts work for me.

The longer I feel this way, the worse it be­comes, un­til even­tu­ally I start to won­der if I’ll ever find that path to a bet­ter life, a deeper re­la­tion­ship, a health­ier life­style. When I feel stuck or un­sure or dis­sat­is­fied with where I am to­day, it can be con­fus­ing or frus­trat­ing to try to “fix it” or even to know where to start.

Then I came to a con­clu­sion that was help­ful for me: This is my life. It is what I make it, by God’s grace.

My re­al­iza­tion was that not even God can live my life for me; I have to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for my de­ci­sions.

I made a list of some of the ob­sta­cles that weigh me down and keep me stuck.

In­er­tia. It’s eas­ier to keep do­ing what I’m do­ing than to change. It takes faith, en­ergy, sac­ri­fice, and move­ment to change the tra­jec­tory of my life. With­out fo­cused de­ter­mi­na­tion to change, I know I’ll nat­u­rally stay on my cur­rent path.

Fear. Fear of fail­ure, fear of em­bar­rass­ment, fear of suc­cess, fear of loss, fear of too much hard work. All that fear can be par­a­lyz­ing. I think fear makes us con­vince our­selves that what we have right now is not that bad; it’s not worth the risk of change.

Pro­cras­ti­na­tion. Putting things off un­til to­mor­row is a recipe for stag­na­tion.

The ex­pec­ta­tions of oth­ers. How I think peo­ple see me holds me back from mak­ing changes and ven­tur­ing into un­known ter­ri­tory. But when I stand be­fore God to give ac­count of my life, He won’t go by what oth­ers thought I should do; He’ll look at what I ac­tu­ally ac­com­plished.

Lack of clar­ity. That’s when you sense that you need to change your life, you feel rest­less or un­easy, but you’re not sure what di­rec­tion to go or what to do—so you wait. I’ve done that. But the key is to do some­thing while you’re wait­ing. As we move ahead with what we do know, we’ll find clar­ity for the things we don’t know.

It takes courage to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for your life.

It takes courage to change and to make dif­fer­ent choices. It takes courage to take risks. It takes courage to live life in sync with our high­est as­pi­ra­tions, rather than suc­cumb to medi­ocrity.

It takes courage to go deeper and grow into the peo­ple we want to be, rather than hide be­hind ex­cuses or blame oth­ers.

It takes courage to live the truth and be the truest ex­pres­sion of who God wants us to be.

It takes courage to stay the course and weather the storms that will come once we’ve made a change.

Af­ter we muster up the courage to ac­knowl­edge what needs to change, the next step is to take ac­tion. To­day is all we have, and the ac­tion we take to­day is cre­at­ing our life, our legacy.

So this is the chal­lenge: • Take re­spon­si­bil­ity for my life. • Rec­og­nize the ob­sta­cles that I’m fac­ing or that are keep­ing me stuck. • Have courage. • Take ac­tion.

When we take a good look at our life choices, face what­ever has been stop­ping us, seek God’s will for our lives, and ask Him for the courage to take ac­tion, we can rest as­sured that we are not alone. God is with us. He can’t live my life for me, but if I will take a step in the right di­rec­tion, in ac­cor­dance with His will, He will work on my be­half and cause all things to work to­gether for good for me in His time and His way. 6

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