“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Author Bruce Wilkinson said, “Your dream is yours to act on. God is waiting for you to value His gift of your dream enough to live it…He will not make it happen for you. You must choose. You must act.”
My usual daily routine consists of caring for my boys, doing homework, and the never-ending task of cleaning the house. This past week I took a break from that routine to meet a professional acquaintance to gain his insights on a specific certification I am interested in obtaining.
As some of you know, I am about to complete a master’s degree in strategic leadership and am also working my way through a coaching certification program. My goal when finished with my current programs is to launch my own coaching business.
Changing out of my usual work-out clothes (which let’s just be honest, I wear for pretty much everything these days!) into half-way professional attire, wiping peanut butter off my face left there from a goodbye kiss from my 2-year-old, I hopped into my mini-van (I mean nothing screams professional like a mini-van filled with carseats and baggies of goldfish!). I headed out to meet my contact at an incredibly modern office in downtown Minneapolis, complete with adult-size beanbag chairs and bright orange furniture.
Just as I was about to merge onto the interstate I began to hear the whispers of Satan and the old familiar voice of self-doubt. I began to ask myself what in the world I was doing. I mean, who did I think I was? I was all too quickly reminded of the reality that I don’t go to trendy offices in downtown to discuss professional certifications. I am a stay-at-home mom. I go to parks. I do laundry. I cook meals (most of which no one wants to eat anyway). And did I mention I clean?
As I wrestled with these thoughts, the Holy Spirit immediately brought to mind one of my favorite verses. Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
In that moment, I knew I had to choose which voice I was going to listen to, the whispers of Satan, the voice of self-doubt, or the words of the Holy Spirit. I believe with great certainty over the past few years the Lord has placed a dream in my heart to help others through coaching; however, the choice to follow will always be mine. Just as the choice to follow God’s leading in your life will always be yours.
As I made my way closer to our meeting location, I knew I made the right decision. A quick survey of Biblical examples shows us that pursuing our God-given destiny will more often than not require strength and courage as well as the ability to overcome fear and discouragement. Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt, Joshua entering the promised land, Nehemiah rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem, Esther approaching King Xerxes, and the disciples leaving everything to follow Jesus. While what this will look like for each of us will be different, no doubt at some point we will need to display these characteristics if we want to step into our calling.
If today you feel overwhelmed, unqualified, afraid, or discouraged in regard to pursuing your dream, your God-given destiny, put aside the whispers of Satan and voice of self-doubt; listen only to the One calling you, the One Who will never leave you or forsake you.
Be strong and courageous, put aside fear and discouragement and pursue your dream. Step into your God-given destiny today.