Moving Forward, Part 1: Throwing Out the Garbage

Many times in our lives we find ourselves ‘stuck’.

We want to Move Forward in a particular area, but find that we are not able to.

For you, it may be a weight-loss goal…for others,  it’s financial progress…for some, it may be a vocational or educational milestone you’re trying to reach.

All of us, at some points, find ourselves ‘stuck’ and making little or no progress.

This realization, although concerning, is also important…because once we realize we’re ‘stuck’, we then wake up to that fact.

What we do next becomes very important.

Will we seek to get used to it as a ‘new normal’, or will we do whatever is necessary to shift into another gear and move forward? It’s up to us–individually–to decide.

Take weight loss.

Over the past 2 years, I’ve lost 26 pounds…mostly due to much more consistent exercise. My diet has not really changed much. I still eat cookies, I still eat chips, etc. (True, I do not eat as many, especially not at any one time, but I do still indulge in these things.)

Here’s the problem: my weight loss has stopped. I still want to lose at least 10 lbs, and my progress has stalled.

Now, it’s up to me: Is this goal important enough to actually change my diet? Will I decide to eat even fewer sweets, chips, etc.? Will I ‘pass’ on the bacon? Will I increase vegetable intake even more?

It’s up to me to decide.

Similarly, many of us make financial progress…we begin to get ‘on top of’ our finances, to the point where we’re not living ‘paycheck to paycheck’ any more…but just barely. There’s wiggle room, so the constant pressure is now off.

That’s good. That’s progress.

However, in order to take the ‘next steps’ and go further to begin to gain actual financial security, and to build wealth, we will need to decide: Am I willing to do more? Am I willing to cut the cable for awhile, stop going out to dinner, etc….in order to build up an ‘Emergency Fund’, and invest in savings?

It’s up to you.

In both cases (and many more), we need to decide: Am I ready to Throw Out the Garbage?

Am I ready to get rid of the excess and begin to actually take charge of this situation?

Am I ready to go beyond ‘losing some weight’, and actually become healthy?

Am I ready to go further than ‘avoiding crises’, to actually become financially secure…and even generous?

If so, we must be willing to ‘throw out the garbage’…to eliminate the distractions and the stuff–which may not be ‘wrong’, per se–but which is definitely holding us back. We must lay aside that extra stuff if we really want to move forward.

The writer of Hebrews wrote, “Let us throw aside every weight, and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

We’ll consider what this means in our spiritual life tomorrow, but for now, consider what it means in your Physical health…your Financial health…your Educational or Vocational life…

What do you need to ‘throw aside’–which may not be ‘sin’, per se, but is definitely holding you back?

Remember, Jesus said that He came to give His followers, ‘Life…to the Full’ (John 10:10).

That means life…the way God means it to be lived…in every area.

That’s right…Jesus even cares about your financial life, your physical health, your vocational life…all of it.

So pray about it!

Have the courage to ask “Lord Jesus, is there something you want me to ‘lay aside’ in order to experience Full Life the way you want me to? If so, show me, Lord!”

It may be that there’s ‘garbage’ in your life that you need to dispose of…and once you do, you’ll take major steps forward!

Are you ready?

Let’s Move Forward!

Published by Pastor Dave Johnson

Follower of Jesus, Husband to Lori, Proud Father to 6 great kids, Co-Pastor of Kalamazoo Community Church. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan.

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