The Moment (5)
Updated: Sep 12
Preoccupied and Prayerless Series order #5
*See Order Index post for links to all Series content - https://www.trajectoryministries.com/post/preoccupied-and-prayerless-series
All Videos can be viewed at https://www.trajectoryministries.com/videos or on the Trajectory Ministries Facebook page
And your ear shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21
We began this Series looking at the importance of keeping our eyes on the Master so He is able to guide us where we need to be. Zeus did a great job of making it look easy and effortless in the video, but the truth is it's not always easy to stop what we're doing and look to Jesus - even when we know He's signaling us to STOP.
I never want to mislead anyone into believing that I, or we, have reached a point that we've finally figured this whole thing out, because we haven't. There will always be times we lose our focus. The important thing in this sanctification process is that we become aware of and acknowledge our weaknesses and the sin in our lives, repent, and keep moving toward Jesus.
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27
Just as it took a lot of time and training for Zeus to become sensitive to his master's voice and signals to stop and look to him for direction, it takes time and it takes focusing on our relationship with Jesus to become sensitive to His voice and signals in our own life - and that's only the beginning.
Once we understand when He's signaling us to stop and look to Him, we have to be obedient to actually stop and look to Him. And if stopping isn't challenging enough, we also have to wait for Him to show us what direction to go.
One of the reasons it's so difficult for us to do this is because God's way of doing things flies against everything we are conditioned to believe and do by this world and our non-stop American culture. We're taught that "activity = productivity." We're taught to keep moving, keep working, keep striving if we want to accomplish our goal. And this is precisely why so many of us fail in our attempt to break free from the pattern of living preoccupied and prayerless. It isn't about activity, it's about cultivating a relationship with our Savior - which takes time being still.
Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
God always seems to make what I am teaching, writing or speaking on real in my life in a new way. Let's call it an object lesson or even a refresher course of sorts. And its incredibly eye opening and humbling, because He always allows me to see things from a new perspective.
I've been writing long enough to know that when I don't have a peace about a post or when it's just not coming together for some reason, that is God's signal to stop and look to Him, because I'm either moving in the wrong direction or there is something else He wants me to see. And that's exactly where I found myself last week. I knew the direction Marty and I had planned to go in this series, but after starting, stopping and restarting this second post what seemed like 100 times, He finally got my attention - and I admit, it wasn't very pretty.
The fact that the post wasn't coming together was the first signal I chose to ignore and make excuses for. I kept moving forward. My husband and grandson wanted me to go along with them on a little Saturday morning adventure, but all I could focus on was finding some peace and quiet so I could finish the post. The fact that I didn't want to go should have been a huge clue that something wasn't right, because I LOVE Saturday morning adventures!
Thankfully my grandson didn't give up and asked me to go yet again, with that sad look on his face. Of course I couldn't let him down, even though I knew the morning would be full of dogs and hunting/fishing stores... and all I wanted was time at home, alone, with no distractions... so I could finally finish the post.
I prayed while we drove the backroads of rural North Carolina, acknowledging my confusion about why this post wasn't coming together and asked God to please give me direction and clarity. I have to laugh, because it's amazing how we can pray like God is up there waiting for us to give Him our schedule and explain to Him why His help is so important.
It's almost comical how our prayers and our heart can war against one another - and sadly, I think it becomes even easier to make excuses for leaving God behind when it comes to ministry. I mean, we're doing this FOR HIM, right? People are waiting for... They expect... It has to be done so... It has to be done this way because...
We fail to recognize that just because we've talked ourselves into believing we are "doing this for God," it can begin to be more about serving ourselves or the approval of others. And the scary thing is, if we're not constantly checking our heart, it's easy to become ok with that - if we're garnering man's approval. I mean hey, 2,765 people like it so we must be doing something right!
God's signaling to stop and look to Him and we're busy running in circles trying to keep the circus we've created going and the patrons happy.
“Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 1:2
It didn't occur to me when I was praying that my words and my heart were at war with one another - but God saw my heart. He knew my intentions. I was basically telling Him that He had until I got back home to give me some direction and clarity, because I fully intended to push forward with or without it. I was perfectly capable of doing this on my own.
It was 12:30pm by the time we stopped for lunch. As we sat there in that little country diner waiting for our food, I could feel myself growing more impatient and frustrated as I kept looking at the clock hanging on the wall in front of me. I needed to get back home and finish the post! Why on earth was this taking so long?
It's as though God was up there going, "Hey, just for fun, let's put a clock in front of her and let the food take especially long, even though there's only a handful of people in there and see if she sees the signal this time." (Yes, I truly believe God has an amazing sense of humor!)
I was watching Marty and my grandson sitting across from one another at the table enjoying their conversation, as I sat there frustrated and annoyed. I remember the moment of impact, when I thought, "How can I not be enjoying this?"
That was the moment my eyes were opened to how preoccupied and distracted I had become. Good grief! Could I be that blind? I have to laugh right now, because my spellcheck put blonde instead of blind. But I guess both would work!
I had asked God to give me direction, but I had never stopped and looked to Him. I just kept running. That was the moment I knew I had to let it all go.
I needed to acknowledge all the signals He had been giving me and stop pushing forward on my own.
I needed to look to Him and wait on His direction, surrendering my timeline and expections to Him, trusting that He would show me the direction to go.
"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." Psalm 27:14
Have you missed His signals?
Are you still running - pressing forward without Him?
Is it time to stop, look to Him and wait on His direction?
I have found that if I am prayerfully watching for God to move, His direction is seldom subtle. It always seems to be an, "Oh, I understand now," kind of moment. And that moment happened the very next day...
But that's for the next post.
It is my hope that today, and each day moving forward, we will be intentional to take time to stop, look to our Savior and wait for His direction, unhindered.
Lord, forgive me for being so blind at times and running ahead of You. Help me as I seek to grow more sensitive to your signals and to stop and look to You. Please cultivate in me a heart that desires to listen and obey. Help me to remember that if I keep running on my own, I will inevitably end up running in circles, preoccupied and prayerless. Lord search my heart. Show me the things that I need to surrender to you today. Help me to keep my eyes on you and content in the midst of the wait. In Jesus name, Amen