I once heard someone say, “If you’re not moving forward, you’re not standing still.” Yep — read it again. I typed it right. That thought has stuck with me for years (ok, probably DECADES, by now). I find it to be a profound statement, especially in light of what we learned a week ago from Davy, about God having BIG plans for us. There needs to be some forward movement. “Doing nothing” doesn’t default to “nothing happening.” Doing nothing results in backwards movement.
I thought about this again today when Alan delivered his message about being Spirit LED. Being “led” implies movement. And if I’m being SPIRIT led, then for sure it means FORWARD movement. And if I’m NOT being Spirit led…does it mean I’m standing still? No. There’s movement, alright. Alan gave an example of movement in circles. Movement that does not lead toward the Promised Land.
The story is a familiar one. Not only because I have known it for a long time, but as I realized today, it’s one that I find myself in more often than not: the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt to head toward the Promised Land.
Rather than reiterating Alan’s message…let me just share the parallels I saw for myself…
- Israelites were slaves –> I was once a slave to sin (before Christ)
- Israelites were freed –> I accepted Christ as my Savior
- Israelites were led through the wilderness instead of through the land of the Philistines (God knew they were not ready to stand against war) and were tested by the bitter waters of Marah –> as a 13-14 year old just coming to know God, I made choices about where to live so I would be least tempted.
- Israelites were given opportunities to put their faith and trust in the God who was leading them to a land He had promised to them, instead they grumbled (victim mentality!?) –> I have seen times in my life when I have grumbled and lived in the victim mentality…recognizing that I faced struggles and situations as a child and young adult that no one should have to face; it has often been easier to embrace being a victim instead of moving beyond as a victor.
- Israelites were cared for by God, but because of their grumblings time and time again, He kept that generation from seeing the land He had promised…they wandered for 40 years –> HAVE I WANDERED TOO LONG ALREADY? WILL I NOT SEE THE FULFILLMENTS OF HIS PROMISES? That was the thought that slapped me across the face today. While I was being encouraged to “wake up,” I was also frightened of that reality. Have I already grumbled too long for God’s patience with me?
Alan challenged us with identifying for ourselves if we’re stuck in a rut…am I seeing the same scenery, facing the same struggles? Am I wandering with a lack of purpose?
And then…if we’re stuck (and I would say that in many ways, I am), how do we get un-stuck? First…I must realize where I am…ask myself if the CROSS is being applied to my life… TRUST God with the next thing that’s in front of me…and be open to His leading and counsel.
I am going on faith right now to TRUST that I have not grumbled too long. I am open to His leading…and will be seeking His counsel in new and deeper ways.
I’m hoping that we will all be able to take a good look at the scenery around us. If it’s lookin’ a little too familiar, will you join me in earnestly seeking His counsel and leading? God DOES have BIG plans for us. And those plans most likely will not be carried out in isolation. Most likely those plans involve other people. I’m glad to have Crosspoint as a part of my journey…and you among “my peeps.”
Oh…by the way…as Alan reminded us today, the journey is not without its struggles. Sometimes we have to take baby steps toward the BIG PLAN. The first baby step for me is declaring all of this to you……each step after this is unknown. And there are days that I’ll probably be stumbling along with my mumbling. But I do not want to be a disappointment to God. To grieve His heart the way the Israelites did by not being open to His leading. Jeremiah 29:11 says He has a plan to prosper me and to give me a HOPE. It’s upon that promise that I will hang onto for dear life…until I reach it!! 🙂