Friday, May 31, 2019

Encounters in Moving Forward

Albert Einstein stated, "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving." People are designed to move forward. Becoming stagnant due to past experiences leads to hopelessness. Having a clear understanding of life's journey towards the fulfillment of one's destiny is crucial. The Scripture is specific on what we need to expect, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28, ESV). Our journey with God produces assorted variables in fulfilling His plans and purposes. 
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What encounters can a believer of Christ expect in moving forward? First, there's the encounter of the unseen. In calling Abraham, the author of Hebrews shared this description," By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going(11:8). Anne Graham Lotz explained, "Abraham wasn't perfect. He failed, made mistakes. But, he would go back, get right with God, and then just keep moving forward. He didn't quit when things got hard. He just kept on going." Abraham, in his encounter of the unseen, responded with complete faith and trust in God's wisdom. 

Next, there's the encounter of the unforeseen. Elisha's servant saw angelic protection after seeing enemies surrounding them: So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2 Kings 6:17, ESV). Elisha reminded his servant in remembering God's power. When things seem to be unclear, we need to remember this adage, "Problems are not reasons to give up, but a challenge to improve ourselves, not an excuse to back out, but an inspiration to move forward” (Author Unknown).

Next, encountering the known. Joshua's experience of fear in accepting his assignment is a great example:

After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, "Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you (Joshua 1:1-3, 5). 

God reminded Joshua of standing on God's abiding presence in moving forward. God called him to look ahead with God on his side. Stephen Covey told many of this saying, "We develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and obstacles." 

Last but not least, it is encountering the unknown. When the disciples received the Great Commission from Jesus, we see the great unknown in play:

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:19-20)

The disciples received their mandate and fulfilled their calling. They did it by never giving up no matter the obstacles along their way. We have Christianity today and tomorrow because of their perseverance.

In the end, we need to remember that in moving forward, Denis Waitley expressed a simple truth, "Don't dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer."

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