Faithlife Sermons

Stuck (and how to get out)

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For there to be life, there must be growth. God wants His people to grow to maturity, to a place of ministry.



Hebrews 5:12–14 KJV 1900
12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Hebrews 6:1 KJV 1900
1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Hebrews 5:12–14 (ESV) — 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
Hebrews 6:1 (ESV) — 1 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,


Here in Wisconsin, especially during the winter months, it’s a common occurence for us to see someone off the road, in a ditch, or in a snowbank, completely stuck.
Texas incident at the hotel (example of being able to free yourself)
Sliding off the driveway in Galesville (example of not being able to free yourself)
Life is growth
Growth means change
How we think about things and understand the world around us
How we act on our emotions
How we make decisions
How we respond to circumstances
Change comes by experience (ours or someone else’s)
New employee training
Spoiled brat vs. disciplined child
Someone who has had everything handed to them vs. someone who’s had to work hard for everything
We are the people we are today because of the experiences and circumstances we’ve lived through
The easy times don’t really contribute anything to our character
The hard times mold and forge and shape us into who we are
Ephesians 4:11-14 “11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;”
Ephesians 4:11–14 (ESV) — 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
It’s God’s will that everybody be perfected, or completed, and enter into ministry
God supplies His Church ministers and leaders to make sure that happens
It’s a process. Ministry is to continue to equip, train, build up until maturity is achieved
God’s will for us is that we grow. That we go on unto perfection. That we move from childhood to maturity
Eventually every Christian should grow until they enter into a meaningful, fulfilling ministry
However, for one reason or another, we can find ourselves in a place where we’re not growing like God wants us to. We can find ourselves stuck.
Too many of us are stuck in the past while being blocked from our future. We all have a history. Some experiences bring back memories of joy, hope, love, and innocence. Other memories bring back feelings of cruelty, anger, sorrow, guilt, and resentment.
Our experiences are as unique to us as we are individual. Nothing is perfectly replicated.
With a past that is defined by pure happiness and success, continuing to move forward is simple. Life is wonderful, let’s keep rocking. I’ll take more of the same, please. Life is grand.
Rainbows and butterflies. That’s not reality.
This is the life of the sheltered. As pleasant as it sounds, living a charmed life by no means prepares you for the realities of life.
Entitlement is toxic. Life will never just give. There’s taxation on everything. What you receive must come at a price. Be it your freedom, your integrity, your conscience or your wallet. Life will make you pay the other side of the equation. It is an eternal truth.
If anything too challenging comes along, or our path is somehow modified, we get knocked off course. We are unprepared to withstand the turbulence.
We are too easily defeated with no battle experience. We become irrational and full of anxiety and stress. We are incapable of being present. We cannot function accordingly.
We need to face challenges in our life. We need the struggle and the inescapable resistance that real life presents for us to grow.
Having lived these various challenging experiences, we are directed towards new goals, a new purpose, and our calling.
The longer we stay dormant, continually trying to further reconcile our past, the less likely we are to move forward.
[He goes on to say]
What we need to understand is that your purpose and your contribution won’t directly inspire you.
It is the actual process of beginning to work on your calling, regardless of how makeshift it is, will become the genesis of your inspiration and momentum.
The more we put into it, the more it becomes who we are. It begins to compound. It grows exponentially if you’re willing to make the effort.
Residing in the abyss of the past and fearing your future is akin to being immersed in quicksand. You’re unable to move forward and you’ll sink deeper by staying put.
You must take action and move forward. You deserve to live. — Daryll Waugh, “Stuck in Your Past and Blocked from Your Future”
We see the reality of it, how do we know if we’re stuck ourselves?
Four types of stories that people who are stuck tell themselves
Impossibility Stories
I’m 50 and I know I’d have to take a step back in order to make a change
I can’t afford to change careers or do anything different - I have a mortgage to pay
I haven’t saved enough to have a financial cushion to give me the freedom to do what I want
My boss would never let me try out something new
My company doesn’t allow people to take a sabbatical
I can’t afford to pay for a coach to help me change careers - I’d have to do it alone
The work is killing me, but I can’t stop now!
I’d never earn enough if I made changes
I’m too old to change careers
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks
I thought about X, but it wouldn’t work because Y
I’ll do it in my 60’s
That’s the kind of thing people only do when they retire
People like me don’t do things like that
We convince ourselves that any kind of change is impossible
Blame Stories
Blame Stories about “Them”
My boss is a jerk
They don’t want or value me or my skills
The company culture is wrong for me
This company is trying to run me into the ground
The clients constantly ask for more, but I’ve got nothing more to give
They’re not treating us like humans
They’re just not listening
They just want to to control me
They don’t appreciate anything we do
I always wanted to be X, but my parents...
Blame Stories about “Me”
I’ve lost my mojo
I’ve nothing left to give
I’m not the same…after the divorce, or after the accident, or after the X
I don’t have the skills they want
I don’t fit anymore
I shouldn’t have bought this house / sent the kids to private school / spent X on Y
I can’t give them what they’re asking for
I’m not very good at X anymore
I’m just going through the motions, but my heart’s not in it
Whatever the blame stories are, they keep you stuck in the past. They don’t motivate you, or help you, to make changes, even small ones. They simply keep you stuck
Invalidation Stories
Sometimes we decide that we are wrong, or that they are wrong, or that our feelings are wrong, or that their feelings are wrong.
They shouldn’t…(any words that come after this are invalidation stories)
They shouldn’t treat us this way
They don’t believe I’m the right person for the job
They wouldn’t support me
They’re stupid, cruel, uncaring, dictatorial, authoritarian, selfish, profit-over-people, etc.
I don’t have what it takes
I’m not an entrepreneur
I’m not MD material
I’m not an X personality - it wouldn’t work
I don’t come from an X background - it wouldn’t work
I’m not clever enough
I’m not good enough
I’m not X enough
Zero-Accountability Stories
Choosing to stay in a company, even if the work is deeply unsatisfying (because we need that stable income to pay the mortgage, or the school fees, or the big holidays, etc.)
Thinking we are unable to choose our daily reactions to work situations
Choosing to keep saying “yes” to extra work requests, even though we are drowning
Choosing to stay with a company whose values don’t match ours, long enough to get to our bonus or payout
How to get unstuck
Get a desire to grow
Stop making excuses
Start trusting God and submitting to His process for your growth
Talk with me and allow me to help you get to where God wants you to be


John 10:10 “10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
We can’t allow ourselves to stay where we are. We must continue to grow. To move onward toward completion. Onward toward the ministry He created us to fulfill.
Every service, every time we enter into His presence in prayer, every time we open the Word of God, is an opportunity for us to grow.
Life is growth and growth is change and change comes through experience
The only meaningful circumstances we can experience are those that cause change, bring us closer to perfection
As we continue to gain meaningful experience, we will become different people. We will change. The more we change, the more we grow, and if we are growing, then we are truly alive.
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