This is part of a series Dr. Aikens taught on being Stuck in No Change. The next part is entitled “Looking Good, Yet Still Stuck.”
A look at being “Stuck.”
Being stuck is when we have fallen into what we can not get out of by ourselves. Or when we have been made to feel like we are thrust through with something sharply impaling us as does a sword, and in that attaches us to something or someone else to hold or pin us in place, unmovable.
We also experience feeling stuck when a situation or relationship is holding us back or even being held back by overwhelming emotions, sights, and the thought of responsibilities.
Even when stuck, we have a choice!
These things that make us feel stuck can actually seem all too familiar and work on us like heavy unmovable weights or confining bars if we allow them to remain. Let me say that again if we allow them to remain.
Left unchanged or challenged, they will restrict our ability to move on or to believe that we will live a life of peace and freedom ever again. Have you ever experienced this in your life, or maybe you feel that way right now?
If you have or are feeling stuck right now unless you can identify the issue and the places where we are stuck, you will remain in that dark outer court realm of salvation called “No Change.” It is as if we are impotent, without choices. But God!
We are also stuck when no matter what is said or done to encourage or even empower us, we set ourselves to do or remain in what we know. Some call it a “comfort zone,” but that is just a nice way of saying “we are stuck.” It may well be a fruitless place, situation, mindset, or relationship, but we sadly and all too often choose to stay there far too long.
Be it is traditions, bad choices, fears, disappointments, or just plain old wrong perception, any such thing can feel like it actually has the power to bend us over until we cannot look up, get up, much less be obedient. And oh, God! Don’t let us believe that thing has the power to crush the very life out of us.
And if we stay too long, we will become even more stuck as we begin to learn to adjust to it or, even worse, beginning to lean to our own understanding of our comfort zone. We also become more presumptuous by thinking it is all about us.
Big mistake! We’ll really be stuck then!
We can also be stuck even when we set ourselves in an ordered array that declares to everyone watching that we are changed. Standing and staying in our positions, looking as if we are ready for whatever change required to protect that position and all else we look to protect, can be most impressive to everyone but the enemy, or of course, God.
Numbers 13 (Apostle-apharsed)
And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them. And Moses, by the commandment of the Lord, sent them from the wilderness of Paran: all those men were heads of the children of Israel. And these were their names: of the tribe of Reuben, Shammua the son of Zaccur. Of the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat the son of Hori. Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh. Of the tribe of Issachar, Igal the son of Joseph. Of the tribe of Ephraim, Oshea the son of Nun. Of the tribe of Benjamin, Palti the son of Raphu. Of the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel the son of Sodi. Of the tribe of Joseph, namely, of the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi the son of Susi. Of the tribe of Dan, Ammiel the son of Gemalli. Of the tribe of Asher, Sethur the son of Michael. Of the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi the son of Vophsi. Of the tribe of Gad, Geuel the son of Machi. These are the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Oshea the son of Nun Jehoshua. And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain: And see the land, what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many; And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they are that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strongholds; And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the first ripe grapes. So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath. And they ascended by the south and came unto Hebron; where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, were. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) And they came unto the brook of Eshcol and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff, and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs. The place was called the brook Eshcol, because of the cluster of grapes which the children of Israel cut down from thence. And they returned from searching of the land after forty days. And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land. And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey, and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless, the people be strong that dwell in the land and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover, we saw the children of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan. And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
1 Samuel 13:1-14 (Apostle-apharsed)
Saul reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel, Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel; whereof two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in mount Beth–el, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin: and the rest of the people he sent every man to his tent. And Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, Let the Hebrews hear. And all Israel heard say that Saul had smitten a garrison of the Philistines and that Israel also was had in abomination with the Philistines. And the people were called together after Saul to Gilgal. And the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the seashore in multitude: and they came up, and pitched in Michmash, eastward from Beth–aven. When the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait, (for the people were distressed,) then the people did hide in caves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and in high places, and in pits. And some of the Hebrews went over Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was yet in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal, and the people were scattered from him. And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him. And Samuel said, What hast thou has done? And Saul said Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the Lord: I forced myself, therefore, and offered a burnt offering. And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel forever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.
Luke 13:10-13 (Apostle-apharsed)
And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
But for now, remember the story of David and Goliath.
1 Samuel 17:1-7 (Apostle- apharsed)
The Philistines now mustered their army for battle and camped between Socoh in Judah and Azekah in Ephes-dammim. Saul countered with a buildup of forces at Elah Valley which he set in array against the Philistines. So the Philistines and Israelis faced each other on opposite hills … with the valley between them.
Then Goliath … a Philistine champion from Gath, came out of the Philistine ranks to face the forces of Israel. He was a giant of a man, measuring over nine feet tall!
He wore a bronze helmet, a two-hundred-pound coat of mail, bronze leggings, and carried a bronze javelin several inches thick, tipped with a twenty-five-pound iron spearhead, and his armor-bearer walked ahead of him with a huge shield. Our enemy always works to magnify himself, thinking to mesmerize us into gazing at the circumstances he brings. He wants to make them seem even more overwhelming and full of defying, intimidating authority that threatens to change our lives by destroying the peace we once knew. To fill us with the fear that will make us stay stuck right there.
1 Samuel 17:8-11 (Living Bible)
Goliath stood and shouted across … to the Israelis, “Do you need a whole army to settle this? I will represent the Philistines, and you choose someone to represent you, and we will settle this in single combat! If your man can kill me … then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, then you must be our slaves! I defy the armies of Israel! Send me a man who will fight with me!” When Saul and the Israeli army heard this, they were dismayed and frightened.
1 Samuel 17:16
And the Philistine drew near morning and evening and presented himself forty days.
And so for forty days twice a day morning and evening, the Philistine giant strutted before the armies of Israel.
Remember, if we are too dismayed or frightened and not really in agreement to actually change, we get absolutely nowhere. We accomplish no good thing besides looking good or strong.
The truth is, when we remain stuck, no matter how good or capable we might still look in the process, we are still a weak link in that area of life.
You see, when we are stuck, we are easily withstood by circumstances, words, ideas, sights, sounds, and even memories. We will continually be challenged every time we profess readiness and interest in personal ordered change. You know what I am speaking about, the change we have prayed for, believed for, and have or are still waited for.
Being withstood or stuck can actually happen to the strongest of us. If we allow ourselves to become convinced that no matter how much we array ourselves for change, we hear or believe otherwise in our hearts, thinking we have absolutely no recourse or control to think, do or be anything other than stuck.
But when we remain stuck in these places looking good, sounding capable, but having no hope or expectation of change, we are not just stuck; we become chronically and miserably full of excuses and accusations to explain to ourselves why we are still there. That is stuck in no change!
This is part of a series Dr. Aikens taught on being Stuck in No Change. The next part is entitled “Looking Good, Yet Still Stuck.” Coming Soon! Selah!