Have you ever been afraid to put yourself out there? Does your heart burn with a deep desire only to be quenched by the voices in your head that say you’d never be able to do that? You are not alone.
Many of us go to reach for a dream only to be stopped cold by all the reasons why it makes more sense to pull back and stay where we are. Time and time again our hearts are stirred to action only to be halted by the thoughts in our head.
Steven Pressfield calls this battlefield of the mind our war with resistance. It rears its ugly head any time we do something out of our identity as our true selves…as the person God has created us to be. It can manifest itself in many different ways.
Have you ever procrastinated? You’ve faced resistance. Ever get caught up in fear and self-doubt? You’ve faced resistance. Have you found yourself criticizing others when they stepped out with boldness to do the thing that has been stirring in their soul? Or perhaps you feel a twinge of jealousy? Yup, resistance.
Resistance is no joke. It plays for keeps.
“Resistance’s goal is not to wound or disable. Resistance aims to kill. Its target is the epicenter of our being: our genius, our soul, the unique and priceless gift we were put on earth to give and that no one else has but us. Resistance means business. When we fight it, we are in a war to the death.” (Steven Pressfield, The Art of War, 15.)
What Pressfield calls resistance, I would call the enemy. Scripture tells us that “we do not fight against flesh and blood enemies, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world and against evil spirits in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12) Our enemy is deceptive…a liar and one who condemns. He wants to distract, discourage and divide. He will use our vulnerabilities, fears, and insecurities against us and attack us at our greatest place of influence for the Kingdom.
The enemy is no joke. He plays for keeps.
That’s why every time you even THINK about taking a step forward in the security of your true identity…as one belonging to Jesus, fully loved, accepted and valued, you experience an attack.
My Recent Battle
Last month I decided to “put myself out there” and responded to an opportunity for something I feel called to do. As I began the conversation, everything inside me told me why I shouldn’t even begin.
I’m not qualified…I don’t have real experience…who am I to think I could really do that?
Now, all those things are actually true, but you know what? It doesn’t matter. First of all, who did God EVER call that seemed qualified for the journey ahead? I know, I can’t think of anyone either! Secondly, it doesn’t even matter whether or not something comes of it. The victory is that I beat resistance! The enemy was stopped cold. I didn’t let my fears hold me back or my identity become rooted in whether or not this goes the way I hope. I was content to just take a step and then sit back and see what happens…not wrapped up in the outcome but secure because the result doesn’t define me. That day, I beat resistance and that’s all that really mattered. It was extremely freeing!
Your Battle with Resistance
Where are you facing resistance in your life? Where are you procrastinating or getting caught up in fear and self-doubt? What kind of assault happens on the battlefield of your mind as you are pursuing the things of your heart?
Don’t be afraid. Take a risk. Put your self out there. Remember that you are already fully loved, accepted and valued! The outcome doesn’t define you!