An object in motion tends to stay in motion. An object at rest tends to stay at rest. This is the way of physics and it’s the tendency for our lives as well. Especially when it comes to our faith. Often, we are more content to stay put. We are afraid, uncomfortable, or sometimes ignorant of the step right in front of us which leads us to the big and wonderful things our Heavenly Father has in store for us.
When the Holy Spirit had shaken the space where the believers prayed in Acts 4, he then moved them out boldly to proclaim the name of Jesus! The Spirit of God has always been in the habit of moving God’s people from a place of apathy, comfort, or distrust to a place of momentum, action, and trusting obedience. God is a god who shakes his people and moves them to a place where we are required to be strong and courageous. He invites us into the impossible. He invites us into eternal things. God has always and will always be faithful to his promises. Jesus stepped in to accomplish the impossible for us. He paid the penalty for our sin. He gives us eternity. He moves with us and for us in power! So, he invites us to step boldly into his grace and his Kingdom work and to do so courageously in trust.
This coming weekend our White Oak family will be refreshed and encouraged to step out boldly. The series, Courageous, follows the life of Joshua and the people of Israel as they’re invited by God to step across the line into a new land and into the work and blessing of God. The story of Joshua is a story of the past, present, and future. Israel’s past failures, God’s track record of faithfulness, Israel’s chance for obedience, and God’s promises fulfilled. The same God who led them out of Egypt and provided for them through the wilderness has more he desires to do in and through them.
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. -Joshua 1:1-3
Moses is dead. That was God’s first words to Joshua in this passage. Pretty straightforward. In other words: Things are changing. I’m always doing new things. A new season is now upon you. I need you to respond with courage and trust. I’ll give you everything you’ll require… but I need you to move.
Have you ever sensed God telling you something similar? Sometimes we ask God for clarity when we’re making a decision or expect him to tell us exactly what it is he wants us to do. We pray for clarity, but God isn’t often clear in the way we mean it. If God were “clear” in the way we ask he’d simply tell us which job to take, who to marry, when to divorce, how we should respond to someone who hurt us, when they’ll come begging for forgiveness, or when a certain step of faith is the right one for us to take. But he doesn’t do that (not often). That wouldn’t require faith. It would be clear and obvious. We might need some guts to pull it off, but we certainly wouldn’t need to lean hard into the Spirit for strength and courage. Because, after all, God was clear. No guesswork on our part necessary. Whew!
A quote attributed to Mother Teresa goes like this, “I will not pray clarity for you. Clarity is the crutch of the Christian. But I will pray trust for you, that your trust will increase.”
Don’t you see? We don’t need God to be clearer. Often, he has told us what the path of obedience and surrender looks like. We need to trust Him to guide us along with courage and faithfulness.
Here is my prayer for our White Oak family in the coming weeks and for the next year: That we would each take bold steps of trust. God is shaking things up around here. We are in the midst and on the brink of new things! God calls us to move by His Spirit working in our hearts, in our church, in our city, and in places around the world.
I’m inviting you to seek him and to move when he says move. You’ll hardly know the outcome in advance. You’ll rarely clearly see the path ahead. The journey promises to be bumpy. God’s promise to bless you, however, will never go undelivered.
Shaken with you,
Be sure you don’t miss the critical component of community during this journey. Join with others for a 4-week Courageous Life Group beginning next week for the best way to take in the Courageous experience and be transformed by it. Sign up today by clicking here.
White Oak Christian Church