One night the Lord said to Paul in a vision, “Don’t be afraid. Continue speaking. Don’t be silent. I’m with you and no one who attacks you will harm you, for I have many people in this city.” ~Acts 18:9-10 (CEB)
According to Acts 18, verses 9 and 10 God has given 3 commands and a rationale that He didn’t have to provide. Looking at this verse is very empowering, encouraging, and motivating to do those things God is calling you to do:
1. Do not feel fear, become filled with apprehension
2. Continue to utter the words God has given, communicate, verbalize
3. Do not become silent, mute, or speechless
God’s got your back, and if anyone tries to attack you, they will not harm you because my peeps are here too.
When removing fear, apprehension, hesitation, and doubt from a situation, that situation becomes so much easier to manage. One additional word, we need to identify is procrastination; which is delaying or putting off. We need to add this word because procrastination is often tied to fear, whether it’s fear of doing something for the first time, doing something incorrectly, doing something and not receiving the desired result, or just the preparation or work of doing that thing, they are all tied together. If you do not feed the fear, the apprehension, the procrastination, the hesitation, or the delay, then it will not grow. If you work in reverse, it can be just as big a blessing as going full steam ahead in the correct direction. Remove the fear and feed the dream. Remove the apprehension and plan for the assignment. Remove the hesitation and be determined that today you will start. When you use Philippians 4:8 and feed your dream, your assignment, your project, your this and your that with what is true, holy, just, pure, and lovely, (Philippians 4:8) you can’t go wrong. Feed it with the truth that God’s got your back. Feed it with the holy word that “No weapon formed against you will prosper” (Isaiah 54:17). Feed it with the justification that God who has begun a good work in you, will continue His work until it is complete (Philippians 1:6) Feed it with pure and lovely thoughts and actions and watch God’s peace be with you (Philippians 4:9).
Call To Action: What do you keep putting off for whatever reason? What is it that you know you need to be doing, but you just haven’t started yet? (In black ink) Write down what you keep putting off, think about the excuses you have come up with as to why you keep putting it off, and write those down, but leave blank lines between them. Then think about how you can start feeding it with what is true, holy, just, pure, and lovely and (in a vibrant color ink) write that down underneath the excuses you made.
Now that you are feeding it, let’s talk about creative ways to continuously fuel it. Sometimes in hearing the same tips repeatedly, they become like white noise that we just tune out. However, if you think about how you can intentionally fuel those things that you have now determined are important enough or enough of a priority to stop putting off until never, you will find the simplest things actually do work for forward movement. These are just a couple:
Write It Down. (Habakkuk 2:2) With such amazing technology at our fingertips with apps, notes on our phones, ways to synch files in the cloud from any device, and voice memos, often writing things down is overlooked. The amazing thing about writing things down is that it has been stated repeatedly by various experts that writing things down help improve memory which means it helps it ‘stick’ with you longer and is not as easily forgotten. Question: When was the last time you tested this theory for yourself to see if it was true? I didn’t ask you to take the experts words, I asked you to try it and see if it works for you. I use my notes, but I also write things down and when I write things down and work them out on paper, they stick longer, but don’t take my word for it either, try it for yourself.
Guard Your Time (Psalm 90:12) With so many time stealers and distractions readily available to have you lose an hour hear or 30 minutes there, your time is even more precious to you, but not so much to the enemy. If he can distract you so you are too tired to fuel the vision, the dream, the plan that God gave you, then he has another day that he has deterred you from your purpose. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it is to take at least 5 minutes every day and do something for your dream, your vision, your plan. If you start with 5 minutes a day, or even 2 minutes every day, it will grow from there. Aren’t you and your God-given dream, vision, plan worth it?
No More Excuses (Luke 14:18-20, Esther 4:13-14)
When God is ready to bless His people through you, don’t think for one moment that you will stop God’s plan. If you have prayed that God bless you with greater, allow you to be the vessel to bless His people, know that He will willingly bless you, but if you choose to not be up for the challenge, He has others who will. He gives us free will and allows us to choose, so now that you have decided to move forward, also decide to leave the excuses in the past. Start today! Just Start! Get the party started! Do it now! Why wait?
From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. ~Philippians 4:8 (CEB)