There are some things in our lives that we will never ever forget, a moment spent with a loved one, a date with someone special, our wedding, our children being born, the memory of a lost friend or family. But what about those moments when we heard God tell us what he wanted from us? Do we remember when God spoke so clearly into our lives the plan he had in store for us for goodness and joy (Jeremiah 29:11-14)?
I heard that plan a few years back. It was overly difficult and scary to me. Instead of trusting God's word, I went looking for human confirmation. In my mind, it was "seeking Godly wisdom" but in truth, I was just running away from the idea and hoping someone would talk me out of it. It was much easier and more comfortable to stay in my current situation and experience minimal growth.
The part that bothered me most was that God's plan required obedience, structure, patience, diligence and complete dependence on Jesus to fulfill what I knew he could do but what I feared he would not do because of my own faults. It was in my head that my sins would cause so much friction that God would withhold his blessing because of me. The problem with that scenario is that it is not God's will to hold anything back from me that is good. He loves me so he only wants what is absolutely best for me (Romans 12:2). If I trust Him, repent of my sins and have faith in His promise to be there for me and my family, then I will see the restoration of blessings begin to flow (2 Chronicles 7:14). Those blessings are not just for me to enjoy but for those around me to have their lives enhanced as well.
Look around and see for yourself. Are you stepping out on faith or sitting in the comfy corner chair waiting for life to go by? Is your lack of response to God's word holding up the blessings of others around you? I do not want to be the cause of a delayed blessing for you, me or my family. We need to get about the process of doing God's will, glorifying His name and expanding His kingdom through out daily lives. It's not just in the big, grandiose ideas that we can expand his kingdom. Glorifying God starts in the simplest of daily tasks. It starts with doing what we already know is right according to His word and doing it when we are first called to action.
April 1: Moving On
Deuteronomy 1:1–46; 2 Corinthians 1:1–11; Psalm 31:1–9
“You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Turn now and move on” (Deut 1:6–7).
We have a terrible tendency to stay in one place or keep doing one activity longer than we should. Our meetings run long, we constantly work overtime, or we overstay a welcome. And then there’s the most significant problem of all: we ignore God’s command to leave a place, position, or role.
Change can be refreshing. But the countless decisions and the difficult and frustrating moments that accompany change can often keep us from moving forward. We become comfortable where we are, and we fear the unknown.
Indeed, the majority of people (including Christians) live seemingly meaningless lives. Most American Christians spend more hours per day doing comfortable things, like watching tv, than they do praying, reading their Bibles, or serving others (usually combined). Yet what do the elderly always tell us? “I wish I had taken more risks; if only I wasn’t so afraid.” We’re all on our way to dying. But as Christians, we’re also on our way to eternal life. Why should we limit God’s work with our fear?
In Deuteronomy 1, God called Moses to leave the mountain—a place where he’d grown comfortable. Moses’ new path would be far from easy. He was going to enter the land of the Amorites and Canaanites, who were feared warriors (Deut 1:7). He was about to risk the lives of everyone with him—men, women, and children—in the process of following God’s will. Both young and old would once again be in danger.
But God didn’t intend for Moses to remain in the wilderness; He called Moses to lead His people into the same holy land He had promised to Abraham many years before (Deut 1:8). And despite his fear, that’s what Moses did: “Then we turned and set out toward the wilderness in the direction of the Red Sea, as Yahweh told me, and we went around Mount Seir for many days” (Deut 2:1).
Moses’ confidence was based on one thing: what God had spoken. May your confidence be grounded in the same thing, and may you trust God at His word.
What is God calling you to do now? What comforts is He calling you to leave behind? What have you been ignoring? - John D. Barry
Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.