What is Stagnation?
Before delving into the strategies of overcoming stagnation and delay, let’s look at what stagnation is, its signs, causes and effects. Stagnation is a state of no progress, or no real movement in the right direction, or ‘slow-motion’, or inactivity, or stand-still. According to the dictionary definition stagnation is a state of “not flowing or running, as water, air, etc… Or of being dormant, stale or foul from standing, as a pool of water.”
Signs of Stagnation
It is often difficult to tell if one is experiencing stagnation or not. For example, if one sees a church with just 10 members for 10 years, it is very easy to say that that church is experiencing stagnation, compared to a church with 10,000 members for the same period of 10 years. One can easily say the 10-member church is not growing. But, because of the large number involved in this case, it is hard to see that the 10,000-member church is also not growing. There are some signs one has to look out for to determine if one is encountering stagnation or otherwise.
1. No Progressive Movement
Deuteronomy 1 verses 6 and 7 speak to this effect:
When we were at Mount Sinai, the Lord our God said to us, ‘You have stayed at this mountain long enough. It is time to break camp and move on. Deuteronomy 1: 6,7a. New Living Translation
The children of Israel stayed too long on Mount Horeb but did not realize it because it was a good place, the presence of God was there, they were by a mountain, the weather probably was better than other parts of the wilderness they were travelling in; and after all it was better than a valley. It is also possible that they were very comfortable with this mountain environment and had forgotten that they were supposed to go forward. The wilderness was just a passage; not a home. You will come out today from every wilderness in your life, in Jesus name. But God needed His people to go forward. God loves it when His children make progressive advancements in their lives. That is why He designed our bodies to face forward. You will go forward in Jesus mighty name.
There were blessings waiting for them to take over and many territories to conquer. God’s will for you is for you to go forward in every sphere of your life. Tomorrow is always better than today. There is always a better place, a better situation, a better job or a better level. There is always something better one has to move up to.
Overcoming Stagnation and Delay Involves Moving Forward
The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day. Proverbs 4 vs. 18. New Living Translation
It is also possible that the children of Israel could not move forward for a long time because they were tired out from the journey and harsh weather. Maybe they were waiting for the seasons to change or for conditions to become more favorable before the will advance. Whatever may be the reason that kept them there on that mountain, God was tired of it and He needed them to break their comfort zone and move forward.
You are experiencing stagnation whenever you are not making any real progress or movement in the right direction. Human beings are designed by God to move forward. Almost everything in you in designed to face forward. The things at the back are those you should not really consider. But if you are not truly going forward in any area of your life, then you are stagnant. And today, by the power of the Most High God, that stagnation will be removed in Jesus name. The Lord is always faithful.
2. Lack of Development
Life is stunted without development. Growth is often accompanied with development. Also by design, God created us to grow. We are born as a baby, but we do not remain a baby throughout our lives. We grow up. As we grow, we also develop things like habits, behavior, different features in our bodies, etc.. Imagine a boy born, let’s say 19 years ago and that child is still a baby of about 5 kg. This teenager is still a baby, so you can hardly know what to call him. So is the case when we do not experience productive development. However, overcoming stagnation and delay involves aspiring to develop in all areas of life.
3. Lack of Advancement
Many people suffering from stagnation can identify it simply by checking their rate of advancement in life. Life is in stages. You are supposed to be successful, progressive, fruitful and advancing at different rates at different times. If you are a business man for example and you experience lack of advancement in your business, then you need to deal with stagnation. Stagnation is occasionally subtle. Never compare yourself with those you are better than. It will give you the false notion that all is well for you. The Bible declares in Amos 6 vs. 1:
Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!
Feeling too comfortable in one’s state ( or situation) is not acceptable by God. Your ugly situation can change drastically when you are fed-up with it. In 1 Samuel 1 verse. 1 – 10,
Overcoming Stagnation and Delay in Marriage
1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite: 2 And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. …6 And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb. 9 So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the Lord. 10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore.
Hannah suffered from barrenness (child-bearing stagnation) until she was totally tired of it and prayed her way out of it. You will break out from every form of stagnation in your life, in Jesus’ name.
Types of Stagnation
There are different types of stagnation. Some notable ones, among others, include: financial, marital and spiritual stagnation.
This type of stagnation occurs when one is not experiencing considerable increase or growth financially. First, if you are employed, but never promoted after some time, then you are experiencing financial stagnation. Promotion at work should be accompanied with an increase in financial benefits. Second, if you are a business person and your business is not expanding, nor are the desired goals and benefits realized, then you are also experiencing financial stagnation. One of the benefits of overcoming stagnation and delay is financial increase and stability. The power of God will remove whatever may be causing financial stagnation in your life, in Jesus name.
In the book of Genesis chapter 1 verse 28, God commanded the first married couples to be physically fruitful and give birth to children.
Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”
Marital stagnation occurs when one cannot fulfill God’s command to be fruitful by producing children. The family line of Abraham in the Bible give us clear examples of marital stagnation. Read Genesis 16: 1, 25: 21; 30: 1. But, the good news is that every barren woman in the Bible later gave birth to children. Moreover, if you are having difficulty or prolonged delay getting married, it could be marital stagnation. Keep on praying, if you are experiencing marital stagnation. God will cause you to break through and have your own children or partner, in Jesus mighty name.
You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognise the difference between right and wrong. Hebrews 5 verse 12 – 14 (NLT)
This type of stagnation occurs when a Christian is not growing up spiritually. When a child of God remains in the same spiritual position for a long time, it is spiritual stagnation. If you do not possess the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5: 22-23) nor spiritual gifts (1 Corinthian 11: 1 – 31), after being a Christian for some time, you may be experiencing spiritual stagnation.
Causes of Stagnation
This is the first section of this series. Come back for successive posts on this subject. Visit our prayer points pages: powerful prayer points with Biblical verses and prayer points against stagnation and limitations.