One of the things that I find most frustrating is not having clear directions. When driving, I hate getting lost because of unclear directions. When working on an assignment, I get frustrated if the directions are unclear. This also applies to following God. He doesn’t seem to like giving me clear directions. And when you feel stuck spiritually, it can be hard to figure out how to get unstuck.
I often meet followers of Jesus who are stuck because they do not know what God wants them to do. If you are struggling with finding clarity regarding God’s will, here are a few suggestions to help you get unstuck in your faith. They will not remove all the uncertainty that you have, but they may help you get “unstuck” so you can take that next step of faith.
1. Realize that God never gives us a detailed road map.
Throughout the Bible, God asks people to follow him without giving them the details of what they will experience in the journey ahead. God asks Abram to leave home and go to a place that God will later show him. God asks Moses to return to Egypt and confront Pharaoh without telling him about the plagues, the Red Sea, the Passover, or the 40 years of wandering.
God doesn’t give us a detailed road map. He leads us using “turn-by-turn” navigation. He might not give us all the details, but he will make the next step clear. When we get off-course, he says, “Rerouting,” and shows us how to get back on course. The problem occurs when we get annoyed at that GPS voice and turn it off. That’s when we get lost and say, “I have no idea where God is leading me.”
2. Focus on the clear things to get unstuck on the unclear things.
We will always have around us some things that are clear and others that are unclear. The problem is when we allow the unclear things in life to cloud out the clear things. Even though we have questions, we need to hold onto the things that we know for sure.
When moving into uncharted territory, we need to hold onto our foundational convictions. You may be confused about your future, but do not be confused about God’s character, power, and love. Don’t let the “fuzzy” things cause you to lose sight of the things that you are confident in.
3. Do the basics well.
When a successful athlete was asked what the secret of his success was, he answered simply, “I do the basics well most of the time.” I think that is the secret to find success in most areas of life. To succeed as a golfer, the basics include driving, chipping, and putting. To succeed as a baseball player, the basics include hitting, fielding, and running. To succeed as a parent, the basics include love, understanding, presence, and intentionality.
And to succeed as a Christian, the basics include loving God, loving people, and making a difference. When you are stuck, just focus on doing the basics well. Then take your next step of faith. I can assure you as you walk with God, he will continue to lead you step by step.
4. Learn to fail fast.
Likely one of the biggest reasons you are stuck is because of your fears. You are afraid of uncertainty, missing out, and mostly, failure. If you want to get unstuck, you can’t be afraid of failure. You’re a sailboat trying to catch the wind. The hardest thing about the journey ahead is pulling up anchor and leaving the harbor. Even if you go in the wrong direction, it is so much easier to change directions than to get started from zero.
Do something today. Just get started. Don’t just sit there and wait for the perfect opportunity or the right choice before you make a decision. If you’re stuck or wandering, you have to understand that your greatest enemy is not failure but inertia. Before you can change the world, you have to escape the gravity of your sofa. Like Keith Green sang, “Oh, Jesus rose from the dead! Come on, get out of your bed!”
If you make a decision and get started today, will you make a bad decision? Maybe. Will you fail? Possibly. But you will have done the most important thing: starting. Your fear of failure is keeping you stuck. My advice is to become comfortable with failing. Learn to fail fast and to course-correct quickly, too. Failure brings clarity. Learn from your failure. Then adjust your direction as you go.
Trust God, learn to listen to his voice, and don’t get caught up in taking the perfect next step. Give that a try and see if it helps you become unstuck.