I recently had the privilege to speak at the church of a dear friend, Kim, and to hang out with her and two other incredible women – Lori and Lavonda. I was also blessed to meet a host of wonderful women at the women’s event.
The topic for the weekend was Journey of Joy: An unchanging God in an ever-changing world. I prayed, studied, planned, pondered and prepared. And then God dropped in and made a change – I love how He does that.
Ditches were really not a part of the message I’d prepared, but apparently God needed me to share my ditches on my journey – and I have a mess o’ ditches to share. Along with sharing my ditches, I talked about how the Lord directs us to stir clear of those ditches. Move forward with your eyes on Him.
Since that day I’ve thought a good bit about staying out of ditches. Movement, forward movement. And as I’ve pondered this movement, I’ve asked myself where am I? Am I moving forward in my walk with Jesus or am I just happy to hang out here – in this comfortable place.
Comfortable is easy. Comfortable doesn’t require any effort. I don’t have to DO anything. I just maintain….or do I?
As I’ve thought about this I remember what I said about ditches – if you aren’t moving forward you’ll slide off into one. Think about it like this – if you’re riding a bike up a hill and stop pedaling what happens? Do you just maintain or do you roll backwards?
Me? I would roll backwards and slide right off into a ditch. It could be a ditch of comparison (Lord, how come she gets to do that and I only get to do this:?), a ditch of self-doubt (Lord, I’m not good enough, young enough, skinny enough, pretty enough…..to do that), a ditch of judging (Lord, just look at that mess she’s making), or one of the many other ditches – legalism, culturalism, self-condemnation to name a few.
It’s the lack of passion for Jesus that leads me to ditch-living. I want to have a passion for Jesus. I want that passion to be contagious – I want people to see Jesus in me, not my ditches. I want people to see a life transformed, reformed and renewed.
Moving forward – that’s what I’m doing today, moving forward with my eye on Jesus, not the ditches. I’m chasing after Him with a passion. It’s where my heart pulls me – forward. Onward. Upward. To Glory.
Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
Hebrews 12:2-3 (The Message)