As I sat at my desk preparing to post this week's insight, I read two messages and had a phone call from people who were seemingly at the end of their rope.
Each of them had hit a pivotal point in their careers/ministry and frustration was causing them to come to the same conclusion, although each communicated it in a different manner:
"It seems that my life mimics Job--I just can't seem to get ahead."
"Everyone else is leaving---I'm considering following suit."
"I wanna quit."
As I sat at my desk and prayed for each one of them, I realized that although they were all in different fields, they all had one thing in common. Just before this low point, they had each experienced moments of great success.
I want to clarify success before we begin to focus on material items. True success is when God says that He is pleased with our lives. His pleasure had brought them to points that they might not have ever believed that they would reach.
However, before the dust had settled from their victory, the enemy chose to paint a grim picture and make each one of them believe that this was a perfect time to throw in the towel and call it quits.
It was pressed upon my heart to delay my intended post, and share this message because I am sure those three are not the only three who feel like quitting.
Once a great victory has been won, the enemy often sets ambushes to deter God's people from moving forward. The voices that tell us that we need to stop moving forward may come from our foes, those who mean well, but lack the tact and/or wisdom that is necessary to encourage others, or the voice may come from within.
If you can identify with the messages that I read today, allow me to share three reasons why you can't quit.
This is not the end of your story.
So, you've reached a high point and the enemy would lead you to believe that "this is it." You did not arrive here by your own strength, intellect, or will. You are where you are because this is where God chose you to be right now. He prepared this position and this platform for you before you were known. He orchestrated the course for you to take and even though there may have been detours along the way, you are here. Don't think that this is your final destination! He has great things in store for you, but there are lessons that you must learn at this level before your promotion to the next level. The enemy desires for you to give up here, so that you don't make it there.
Someone needs to hear your testimony.
While you are at this point of frustration, there is someone watching you from afar. They see your success, but they also see your struggle. They are not looking for you to fail or to give up. They are watching to see how you stand so strong under the pressure. They want to know how you keep moving when it looks like the odds are stacked against you. They wonder how you can smile when you should be crying. These people are not your opposition, they are the ones watching you blaze trails. They don't see your weakness as a fault, they see your humanity. They don't hear your private cries, but they watch you calmly handle public crises. They are inspired by you because your life shows them that they can be successful too.
God will use this situation to show His glory.
When we face moments of success as well as moments of frustration, it is easy to take things personally and develop the "I" complex. The "I" complex leads us to make "I-centered" comments. These comments call our attention and the attention of others to our plight, our frustration, or current state. Our focus should shift from I to Him. When we focus on Him, the pressure to perform is removed. God is not judging our proficiencies, productivity, or our performance. He is concerned with our posture (our ability to stand firm in our faith), our position (our ability to remain steadfast in the place that He called us to) and our profession (our ability to live and walk in a manner that pleases Him).
This is not the time to throw in the towel. Hang on, your next days will be your best days!