Sunday, May 1, 2016

Go Forward, God Will Be with You

by Clint Byars

No one knows your failures better than you. I bet there are places where you have disappointed yourself more than anyone else. You know your track record. You know your secrets. You know how you’ve wasted time and given up more than you care to admit. You are your own worst critic.

Everyone faces the enemy in the mirror at times when it comes to where we are in life, but it doesn’t have to be as dismal as I’ve just described. You can change. It’s easier than you think.

I call it the Moses syndrome. It goes like this.

We sincerely want to follow God
We tried and failed
People may have gotten hurt, or worse
We run and hide and find a place of complacency
The flame sparks back up again
We remember the last time
We question our ability to trust God
We question God
We say no

It doesn’t have to stop there. You can go forward, burning of a flame that is not limited to your past, your own strength or even your own energy. God showed Moses a picture of grace in the burning bush. The bush was burning but was not consumed. When God was persuading Moses to follow him, he promised he would be with him, he promised to inspire people to walk with him and he showed him how to do it in a way that wouldn’t burn him out. The bush was not burning of its own energy or strength. If it had burned in its own energy, it would have exhausted its stored, potential energy and the fire would have died. God showed Moses what it looks like to yield to grace. Burning with God’s presence rather than his abilities and strength.

Despite their best attempts, no one can teach you how to walk by faith and how to yield to grace from the heart. It’s between you and God. The Holy Spirit is the greatest teacher. But your heart most be willing to move forward before it grows in capacity to perceive and receive the wisdom and grace that God provides as you go.

God Never Withholds

He is not refusing to show you the big picture because you’ll mess it up, you just can’t see it because your mind isn’t renewed and your heart’s capacity hasn’t been influenced to the degree where you can see it. The more steps you take in faith, empowered by grace in God’s leading, the more your heart and mind will think like him and the more you’ll see of his good plans for you.

We get a heart transplant at our new birth but we still have minds that need to develop a new track record. Especially a new track record with ourselves. We’re made new, righteous and holy, hidden in him but we still think like a dead man. We still yield to the emotions of our failures and disappointments because we have not walked into this new life thinking differently. (More on this here)

Dream Big, They Say

Often we have a big dream but it seems unattainable. You may even think that if you believe hard enough it will magically appear and all your problems will be solved. But we live in a paradox. God has given us everything that pertains to life and godliness and all of his promises are yes and amen but we must follow him into the physical establishment of those spiritual truths into our lives. Everything that he wants to establish in our lives happens by grace through faith. Not to qualify or earn, but to bear the fruit.

God has nothing but good plans for us but we still expect the worst because of our past failures. I think it’s because we aren’t taking the little steps and training our minds to feel good about trusting God. We think we’ve stepped out but often it’s in our own effort and not in his grace.

Your problem is not God. Your problem is not the world. Your problem is your lack of confidence in the kind of creature that you have become in Christ and the capacity to live from that reality. Once you know you’re God’s child, and this is the sole reason God created you, you are free to step out without the fear of God’s scrutiny. But take small steps first. Give your mind a chance to catch up by seeing small, attainable goals achieved as you put God first. It’s a process to renew/discipline your mind to think like God and see opportunities like he does. But it happens as you daily embrace your salvation in Christ, affirm God’s promises to you and maturity walk into each moment of grace that God breathes your way.

Living a systematic, disciplined lifestyle is not works if you’re doing it to get your mind in agreement with what’s already true of you spiritually. The connection needs to be made. The connection lies in you overcoming your past disappointments in yourself and being willing to step into each opportunity to change as God’s transformative power arises in your heart.

The next time you face temptation to give up or shy back from your call/dream/opportunity, turn your heart toward him, ask for grace, expect a motivation and energy to rise up, then take the step forward. You will stand on mountains of success if you take those small steps into each moment of grace.


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