Thursday, June 28, 2018

These steps won't register on my smartwatch

The instructions to each believer are clear - get out there and walk!  Okay, before you jump off the deep end and tune me out, I am not heading down the path of needing to adopt a physical exercise program! Although most of us need a little more exercise in our day, there are a lot of 'steps' we take that won't 'add up' on our step counter smartwatch!  We do need to be active in our spiritual walk - avoiding the urge to settle in and rest comfortable in the realm of our spiritual growth - something we could do very easily if things are going quite well at the moment. It would make Satan very happy to know that we have decided "we've arrived" and then just settle in and relax in what we have received in Christ without growing any further! The 'urge' to move forward is seldom there when everything is 'going well', but we almost run at full speed when things are going wrong! Why is that? We are desperate for deliverance! Maybe we need to be as 'desperate' for consistent growth as we are for deliverance!

In light of all this, here's what I want you to do. While I'm locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don't want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don't want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.  (Ephesians 4:1-3 MSG)

It is a pretty well-marked road that God has called us to travel - to make strides, some quicker than others, but we are called to make consistent progress toward a goal.  In our spiritual walk, we are always preparing for a journey! We no sooner get to one destination in Christ that we are preparing for our next! It isn't that God doesn't want us to enjoy where we are at - he just knows what he has prepared just beyond that point! Behind the scenes of our life, there are "planners" who are operating under God's guidance with the sole purpose of preparing the course and readying the experiences we will encounter in along the way.  Our part is to be ready, packed and anticipatory of the hour we are to begin the next journey - not being content to just 'settle in' where we are right now.

We ready ourselves in a lot of different ways - some pretty clear such as by exposing ourselves to the Word, allowing it to take root in our lives.  Other preparations may not be as clear - such as those things we 'guard against' much in the same way we pack sunscreen for a trip to the beach, or bug spray for a trip into the woods. All preparation is important, and these are not steps we can skip. As we prepare for the journey ahead, we are laying up "provisions" for our journey - we are prepared in advance for what it is we might come to experience. The path is revealed for us little by little sometimes - rather than in huge chunks that help us to clearly know where we are going.  We can count on his leading to be just the course we need to travel in order to accomplish maximum benefit for our journey. All our courses will include twists and turns we cannot clearly see around, but if we 'hug the road' tightly, remaining consistently on the right side of the 'dividing line', we will be safe in our journey!

We make "fits and starts", but we are warned against these all too common of an occurrence in our lives - the journey needs to be consistently taking us in the forward direction with the key word being 'consistently' here!  We mean well, then "peter" out somewhere along the way.  Remember this - the enjoyment of the journey is in taking it, not in observing it from a position of idleness.  So, today is a new day for each of us.  Are we ready to take some steps forward today?  The journey awaits! Just steppin!