Stuck In A Rut

Im stuck in a Writers Block rut. I sit at my computer hoping to become inspired, but find I have been staring at the blank screen longer than Id like to admit. I have tried everything: getting up to get a drink, taking a short walk, chatting with friends, visualization techniques, listening to music… I have even invented a ridiculous number of uses for paperclips. But still, I have nothing. Its time to admit it: I am STUCK.

The same thing sometimes happens spiritually, too. How do we recognize when were stuck, and how do we become unstuck? Answering this question is critical in keeping alive the transformation process of My One Word rather than giving in to the rising difficulty and resistance.

According to 2 Peter 1:3-10, when were stuck were blind to three things: our identity in Christ, Gods provision for our growth and the transformation process. Verse 3 shows us that we possess everything we need for godliness. Christ himself provides a godly life (Galatians 2:20). The Holy Spirit, living within us, guides us in truth. We simply need to remind ourselves of the promises (v.4) that come through the grace of Christ.

Eventually, those initial changes brought by choosing our One Word fade. Struggles arise and many of us grow frustrated. Resistance sometimes leaves us shell-shocked and, in more devastating cases, we lose hope. We lose heart. By taking out our heart, the enemy immobilizes us.

How do we handle this lack of hope and gain traction and, ultimately, momentum with our One Word? The firstand most criticalstep is to cling to the truth that in Christ we are whole, made alive and set free. This truth changes everything, including our perspective on feeling stuck. We wont depend on ourselves to produce change anymore (Galatians 3:2-3). When we understand that true change only occurs within, well resist the urge to fix the external and allow the Holy Spirit to change our hearts. This is never easy.

If were honest, we want character without being stretched, growth without risk, and lessons without scars. In a way, we become satisfied with being stuck because we love comfort and security. Something in our heart avoids having to admit that the biggest problem we face isnt our circumstances, but the person staring back at us in the mirror.

Thats why Peter says in verse 5 that we must make every effort to add to our faith. We need to believe the real challenge of Christian growth is personal ownership. We need vision to create a path out of our rut. We have to identify our desires and figure out why were stuck in the first place. We combat getting stuck by protecting our hearts (Proverbs 4:23) and transforming our minds (Romans 12:2). Our thoughts shape our words and actions.

We need to become so aware of our flaws that they cant hide anymore. Once we identify them, we need to give them to God. When doing so, we begin breaking patterns that put us in positions to make poor decisions. Instead of pursuing something to fulfill a shortsighted desire, we pursue things that produce the internal change we really need. Prayer shifts our focus from whats directly in front of us onto the actions we need to take for growth to occur.

No matter the struggle, no matter the situation, no matter how stuck weve been, if we know Christ, then theres hope. The hope for us who are stuck is that what God has begun in us He will complete (Philippians 1:6).

  • What situations are you feeling stuck and meeting resistance in living out the qualities of your One Word? What do you believe is keeping you  stuck?
  • How have you dealt with times of discouragement or has it gotten the better of you?
  • Often times in the midst of being stuck we know what the next right steps of faith are, but are unwilling to act.  What do you believe is the next step you need to take in living out your One Word?  What actions or changes do you need to put into place to make this change a reality? How would you measure growth in this area?

Are you looking for a way to keep your word in front of you all year long? Register for a My One Word account! One of the key features of a MOW account is an online Word Journal that allows you to capture your thoughts to reflective questions like you see above. You can go back at any time to read your completed journals to see how God has been moving in your life through your word in 2010.  If you already have an account, the questions from this blog have been posted to your Word Journal — log in to your account to start your Word Journal today!