Dare You To Move…

This post was actually written on March 6th of this year.  As I’ve been posting, I’ve gone back over my notes and given you what I felt lead to write.  This one, however, is special.  The notes for this installment are the last ones before I begin to receive new content.  This one is the one that led me to begin Holy Ghost Bumps.  I hope and pray it inspires you as well…

Day 13-  March 6th, 2011.

It’s been a rough week- spiritually, not literally.  Work has been…well…work…there and always trying.  Thankfully, though, it hasn’t been overwhelming (I’ve actually caught up on my paperwork :D).  I’ve been talking to God as I started to do on Valentine’s Day, but I haven’t “really” been talking to Him.  My thoughts and communications have been detached.  As a result, I’ve felt far away from Him.  Lena and I haven’t been arguing (I think we’ve crossed swords only once since this journey began :D).  The kids are well.  Work is okay…just a lot of it between the two jobs.  Picture a flatline.  It’s not rising and falling with the rhythm of a heartbeat.  It’s just there.  That’s how it’s been in my life lately.

Because of simply maintaining the status quo, Lena and I haven’t grown stronger in our faith.  We haven’t continued to set examples for our children, friends and colleagues that this is how to achieve peace and happiness in your life.  Lena made the comment this morning that I haven’t really been as committed as I was in the beginning.  I explained to  her that I was feeling hypocritical  and was questioning God’s forgiveness and grace.  How can He continue to forgive us where we fail Him?  He’s God…that’s how.  As I’ve struggled this week, I’ve felt as though I wasn’t in a position to be used by Him anymore.  That’s pretty arrogant, now that I think about it.  Who am I to question how He can forgive us?  Who am I to tell Him that I’m not usable by Him?  This attitude has led me to become stagnant.

On my way to work, I was again talking to God.  I asked Him to strengthen my faith that I might get back on track.  When I finished, I played a song on my MP3 player called “Dare You to Move” by Switchfoot.  I’ve listened to the song a ton (it’s a very inspirational song :)), but I’ve never really contemplated the words.  The bridge goes like this…

“Maybe redemption has stories to tell.  Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell.  Where can you run to escape from yourself?  Where you gonna go?  Where you gonna go?  Salvation is here!” -Switchfoot

I stored that away and read my daily planner.  The verse for today comes from James 1:22, “Be doers of the Word and not hearers only.” When I read that verse in my bible, I expanded it a bit to include verses 23 through 25…

“But don’t just listen to God’s word.  You must do what it says.  Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.  For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror.  You see yourself, walk away and forget what you look like.  But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”

Here’s the study guide’s interpretation…

“It is important to listen to what God’s word says, but it is much more important to obey it and to do what it says.  We can measure the effectiveness of our Bible study time by the effect it has on our behavior and attitudes.  Do you put into action what you have studied?”

And…

“It seems paradoxical that a law could give us freedom, but God’s law offers us a true reflection of our sinful condition and gives us the opportunity to ask for God’s forgiveness.  As Christians, we are saved by God’s grace, and salvation frees us from sin’s control.  As believers, we are free to live as God created us to live.  Of course, this does not mean that we are free to do as we please.  We are now free to obey God.”

When I looked up this verse in my bible, it also listed 1 Peter 2:16 in the study guide (By the way, I really recommend my bible to anyone who wants to learn the word of God.  It’s the Life Application Study Bible, New Living Translation, Red Letter Edition by Tyndale.  It puts God’s word into plain English, and the study guide is fantastic).  “For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil.”  Meaning…

“Christians have the freedom in Christ, but the apostles defined freedom more narrowly than the normal use of the word in common language.  Christians use their freedom as a tool for a life of exuberant service.  It’s the foundation that God gives us to reach our highest potential.  Because God gives us freedom from religious rules and eternal guilt, we must not seek to indulge our own desires; instead, we should reach for the best God has for us.  Let your freedom sing of power, joy and love- accountable to God, devoted to others.”

To recap:  I prayed for God to deliver me from the doldrums, and this is what He did.  Lena and I both acknowledged how awesome and amazing God is.

Later that evening, I asked my wife if she got anything out of God’s work today.  She said yes, but she also said she gets more from it when I get it from God and give it to her.  She’s become accustomed to me being the Captain of the ship, leading her the way God is leading me.  Thank you, God, for getting me out of my own way.

I dare you to move for God today!

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