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When It’s Time to Quit

“Finish what you start” isn’t always good advice.

Quitting is hard. It puts us in a place of uncertainty and vulnerability. It forces us to trust God. As I look back at the times I’ve quit something good to pursue something great, I realize how these situations forced me to depend on God. Part of being a faithful servant has been trusting God with all of me—my family, our financial provision, and the work he has assigned to my hands. Every time I quit, I realize again that my life and identity are not wrapped up in what I do—my title, job, or income. Rather, my identity comes from my Father who created me and knows what’s best.

Stop Looking Back

Sometimes we’re afraid to quit and move on because we’re focused on what God has done through that ministry or role in the past. But remember the story of Lot’s wife. When God sent angels to rescue Lot and his family from the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah, they only had a responsibility to follow quickly. The angels told Lot’s family that their former ways of living and being were over, and they needed to get moving and prepare for the new thing that lay ahead.

Moving forward, though, proved difficult: “When [Lot] hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hand of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city. . . . and as soon as they had brought them out, one of [the angels] said, ‘Flee for your lives! Don’t look back” (Genesis 19:16–17). But Lot’s wife looked back, and she was turned into a pillar of salt. She quit the future God had for her because she was focused on the past. You see, it’s impossible for us to have a laser focus on the journey ahead when our lives and our identity are tied up in our past. When we follow Christ and his leading, however, he can guide us to a new city, open doors that we never imagined, clarify our vision, and make straight ways for our feet.

Is God calling you to quit? Perhaps a ministry needs to end, or you need to focus more on a single ministry rather than be involved in five. Perhaps your role requires a schedule that’s not healthy for you in this season, or you need to quit your current small group so you can start something new. Pray for discernment and talk with a trusted community of friends. As you gain clarity about what God wants you to do, go forward boldly and never look back.

March14, 2016 at 8:00 AM

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