There is a danger in becoming too comfortable with where we are in life. It is one thing to be content and another thing to stagnate. With our spiritual walk with Christ, we must continue to run our race. We will never reach the mountaintop or receive our glorious prize if we lay down in green pastures and never get back up.
Most of us have weathered turbulent storms and the place of rest provided by God has been a welcomed reprieve. But this mercy is meant to be a temporary rest for healing and restoration, not a permanent one. Our home is not in the pasture. No, indeed! Our citizenship is in the city of God and that requires an upward climb. We must be willing to leave our comfort zone.
When first we reach that green pasture and decide to rest by the still waters, we notice everything. The fragrance of the grass, the sound of birds, the clouds moving through the sky, even the dragonfly paused above the water grabs our attention. With time healing comes, our anxiety lifts and strength is once again restored. But if we remain on our backs, beyond our time of necessary healing, we will miss out on many wonderful opportunities to serve God.
Since our Lord knows our frame, He knows that we are but dust. (Psalm 103:14) Therefore, He lovingly restores us in ways that enable us to continue on our path home. God rested from His work on the 7th day and He understands this need. But, God is also about action and service.
To move from a place of comfort and into the unknown is difficult. Our spiritual muscles may have been restored but they were not exercised while we rested by those still waters. So, making up our minds to actually stand up and move ahead, when every forward step is strenuous, takes a strong measure of will and effort. It requires courage, faith, and trust.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NKJV)
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
Although new trials will surely come, God will see us through each and every one. God will never abandon nor forsake us while we pass through new rivers, fires, and floods. Neither will He let the enemy crush us beyond repair. There will, of course, be a chipping away of our old man, but only because God loves us so. Our short-lived season of pain serves to transform us into that vessel of honor God designed us to be.
So without fear or hesitation, and not a moment longer than we need for the regaining of strength, we must leave behind our restorative pasture and move out of our comfortable routines. We must stretch our spiritual muscles of faith and take on new quests, setting aside fear, for God is our shield and exceedingly great reward. With faith in God, we can go and do all things.
Each new death of self-will and every plea for God’s will alone will birth a glorious work inside our heart. For as our desire to please the Creator intensifies, our intimacy with Christ will deepen as well. Becoming more and more of whom He envisioned when we were first knit together by His hand, should be our passion. This passion will ignite if we refuse complacency, laziness, and fear and replace it with perseverance, trust, and faith.
May we all move forward down unseen paths and into new spiritual adventures with confidence. Remember, Jesus is the Victor. We cannot lose our fight for the fight has already been won. We chose our side when we accepted the Son of God as our Lord and master. We are on the side of victory. Victory comes with effort, but it is promised to those who keep the faith and persevere.
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” John 15:16 (NKJV)
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? Matthew 6:25-27 (NKJV)