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« Cover Me | Main | Living Through the Crisis »

You Can't Stay Here 

“Now the LORD had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, From your family and from your father’s house.” Genesis 12:1 

An executive once lamented that when he was a boy out fishing on a lake, he would look up at an airliner flying over and wish he could be in it. Now, as an airline passenger, he looks down at a fishing boat and wishes he could be in it!  Perspectives change, needs change, situations change, we change. The day we quit change or quit moving and learning—- is the day we die. Change is the only sure thing in life.  Things change, we change, only God never changes.  “When you’re through changing, you’re through.”  Whenever you say you’ve arrived, there is nothing left to reach for. 

Every person, every family, every group, every nation in the Bible learned the need of a dynamic relationship with God. God will not be ignored, neglected, abandoned or presumed upon. Whenever we settle down comfortably in our routines, we begin to lose ground. Adam and Even had to move on from their failure in the Garden. Abraham had to leave Ur of the Chaldees, then Haran. Jacob was constantly on the move. Israel was the church in the wilderness, constantly moving. “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Hebrews 11:8-10.  Keep moving. If you sink your roots into the present culture, you will become a part of the culture.  The typical believer passes through four stages in his walk with God. 1) Reach; 2) Rest; 3) Rut; 4) Routine.  

First, you reach out.  It takes a huge effort to get where you are. You muddle through chaos and failure in life. Then you have a powerful encounter with God.  That encounter results in a total upheaval of your life.  Next, you find rest.  You come to peace with God and with yourself. You then bury yourself in a new faith, a new life. You make the hard choices of discipleship. You begin enjoying the benefits of salvation. But, before you know it, you’re in a rut.  Change is always hard if you are in a rut.  You have scaled down your living to that which you can handle comfortably, and you welcome no change—-or challenge—-that would lift you up. Finally, you settle into a routine.  We have love-hate relationship with routines. We love new scenery, new experiences, etc., but we hate to change our habits. Routines are hardwired into our brains and we loathe changing them.  The trouble most people have in their Christian walk is not from the devil, but they cannot or will not change their habits. Once you arrive at a routine, you begin to take your relationship with God for granted.  Jesus said, “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.” Matthew 15:8. 

You need a revival!  Regardless of how much you have accomplished for God, you cannot allow self-satisfaction, smugness or a sense of arrival to overcome you. You have given, but there is more to give. You have served, but there is more to do. You have climbed, but there is yet higher ground. It is time to get moving. Pull up stakes, roll up the tent and move. Say goodbye to comfortable routines, convenient ruts. Leave behind your passionless prayers, empty praises, and mechanical worship. Leave behind your predictable patterns of discipleship, your uneventful devotions.

Revival happens when you plunge into a brand-new relationship with God. Revival happens when you renew your interest in spiritual things. Revival happens when you take a running leap into Amazing Grace all over again. You stay put at your own peril. It is time to move!

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