Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Joy For The Journey

Deuteronomy 31

The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you;  He will never leave nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

We can 'know' a lot of things that we don't do anything about.  We know exercise is good for us but many don't commit to doing it.  We know that water is important for our bodies but many of us don't commit to drinking enough of it.  And we know that a verse like this is filled with promises and exhortations but many of us don't live like we believe it.  Why is that?  Where is that disconnect between our mind and our heart?  Is it possible to overcome it and if so, how?

Let's say you want to go on a roadtrip.  Depending on where you are headed and the time of year you are traveling, you can bump into a number of obstacles that make the journey more challenging.  Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice, snow, mountains, flooding, and excessive temperatures one way or the other can impact your trek, adding time, lessening the experience, and diminishing your resolve to arrive ~ that is unless you have a passion and purpose to get there in the first place.

But what about getting knowledge to travel from your head to your heart?  What of that?

Roadblock #1:  Your eyes.  Shiney objects distract us.  You don't need to have ADHD to have your intentions side-swiped by a fire that needs put out, an opportunity that will expire, or another offer that is less daunting.

Roadblock #2:  Your ears.  One word of doubt or discouragement is enough to derail the fastest train on a non-stop track to your destination.  The moment your motives, intentions, or abilities are called in to question is the moment you will re-direct, re-think, and re-examine why you were doing something in the first place and likely re-route.

Roadblock #3:  Your mouth.  Highly related to roadblock #2, those words do not need to come from someone else.  The way you talk to yourself and about yourself will significantly impact the likelihood of your success rate.

So what do you do?  How do you manage to overcome when you are overwhelmed?

Emergency Preparedness

1.  Visual Correction:  Use the light of God's word to shine on the next step you are supposed to take.  Keep your eyes fixed on the author and perfecter of your faith.  Remind yourself that by focusing on Jesus' promise to go before you and to always be with you means you can stay the course because the same one who made that mountain you are trying to climb is the one who can throw it into the sea.

2.  Audiotory Correction:  Learn what negativity sounds like and immediately put it in with the rest of the trash.  Recycle that garbage with the power of God's word and promises to make it align with His truth not the gospel according to whomever just threw a lie, doubt, or disbelief your way.

3.  Verbal Correction:  Realize that words have power.  I am not going to advocate prideful arrogance.  I will advocate reminding yourself that you are a child of God and with that comes some heavy hitting weapons.  You ARE fearfully and wonderfully made, you ARE created to do things He's prepared for you, you ARE His masterpiece, and what He has begun in you ~ He WILL complete.

Traveling is never an incident free experience.  It requires endurance, perseverance, confidence, and blessed assurance.  We have all of those things inside of us because the Spirit of God lives in us.  We've been given His word as our roadmap to abundant life.  Maybe if we stop relying on Google and Siri for directions, we'll not only arrive at our final destination, but we'll avoid the fatigue and jetlag that often comes with a long trip.

Jesus, sometimes the road just feels daunting.  But if You are leading the way, we have every reason to believe that we're heading the right direction.  Strengthen us in our weakness, renew our minds as needed, and remove the baggage of anxiety that can slow us down.  Thank you for going before us, staying with us, and reminding us that we never have to be afraid.  In Your precious name, Amen.

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