I overheard a pastor praying for people and promising them that this year they will move forward. For some reason, it got me thinking…. Is it ever possible for us to be ‘stagnant’ with Him? How do we move forward? What does it mean to us to move forward?
It really does boil down to our perspectives and how we look at life and moreover specifically how we look at our life as a believer. Yes life on earth and our life as a Christian shouldn’t be two different things but to many people it is…. The Christian programs – church, bible studies and prayer meetings on the one side… and the rest of life on the other side. When the two merge and become as one, is when we are actually living as believers.
The world centres around work and achievements and the rewards. Promotions, going up the ladder, from smaller assets to bigger ones, from smaller bank balances to treasuries – moving forward. We perceive progress with this measurable yardstick. The more one ‘achieves’ the better. Churches also tend to pick up the same scale. If the church is packed Sunday after Sunday and not enough seats that they build a huge building – then that is a ‘good’ church. If the church had many fixed term deposits then that church is a ‘blessed’ church.
And these mentalities overflow into our spiritual lives and influence our thinking. We then impose this onto God’s Word and filter His word through our coloured lenses and fit God’s Word to prove our points. So we move forward!
I was thinking of the Israelites in the wilderness… They were going through the wilderness for sure, but were they ever ‘stagnant’? Weren’t they always moving forward in direction, heading towards the promised land? Yes, they weren’t depending on the work of their hands in anything yet didn’t God provide them manna and quail? Didn’t their shoes never wear out? Weren’t they being led by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night? Despite this, they were always grumbling thinking of the ‘good’ food they had when they were in Egypt even though they were SLAVES to the Egyptians!
How often do we too look back to our lives when we were in the world, when we were in slavery to the ways of the world, the flesh and when the enemy held us captive? How often do we regret coming out of the ‘flashy’ things of the world for the ‘humble’ ways, which people can’t understand? Many are unable to see this as moving forward but those are the times that God can truly get our attention stripping us of whatever it is that blocks us from being restored to His image!
It is the stepping stone to walk forward in Him, in the plans He has purposed – to deepen our relationship with Him and thus with others and to use us to extend His Kingdom for His glory. When we have been stripped and comforted by God, we are able to extend compassion to others. We are then increasingly able to love others as ourselves. We are also then able to share in their joys and in their sorrows without living in our solitude fortified castles of wealth and fame.
Paul writes to the thieves to stop stealing and start doing honest work with their hands. For what purpose? To share with anyone in need! (Ephesians 4:28). Thieves steal for survival (of course – there are rich thieves too who steal with master mind schemes out of greed and there are those who have psychological compulsive habits that need to be addressed). But nonetheless these very people are told to do honest work to share with anyone in need.
We are blessed to be a blessing.. Are there any areas of your life that you have been blessed but you are holding back instead of being a blessing – Finances, large house, vehicle, time, love, compassion…. Are there any areas that you aren’t sharing? Jesus calls us to love AS OURSELVES.
If we are intimate with the Heavenly Father, can we ever be ‘stagnant’ in our walk with Him? Aren’t we always moving forward in Him? These are things that cannot be seen but that are happening… all in the spiritual realm. If our relationship, our intimacy with the Father isn’t deepening, then of course we need to ask God what is causing the block. Perhaps there is un-forgiveness or bitterness or past experiences or envy or fears….
Forgiving someone means letting go of the hurts from our hearts, not holding grudges or anger towards them – God says forgive others then He will forgive us. However, forgiving others isn’t letting them continue their patterns of inflicting hurt or pain or abuse or bullying. That actually isn’t loving them as it feeds into their sins (not loving others is a sin as we are called to love one another). If we knew our worth and understood our identity in Christ, we won’t be allowing them to do so either (More on “worth” in the next post. In the meantime if you want to read more, there is an older post https://priyanthiv.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/prince-ss/ )
- Why do you seek God? Is it for the blessings and breakthrough or is it to get to know Him deeper?
- How did you view “moving forward”? How will you view it now?
- Are you desiring to view “moving forward” as going in deeper intimacy with Him and search His heart?
- How do you approach earthly treasures?
- How does it make you feel that the earthly treasures perish or can be stolen? At what cost are you seeking earthly treasures and what for? How does your love for God reflect in this?
Given all this, isn’t it incredible that our thought of “moving forward” tends to be based on material earthly things instead of on the spiritual unseen aspects and on our relationships with God and with each other?