Measured steps

A few weeks ago I told you about an incredible experience I had at church when God spoke to me several different times. I’ve written a little about this, but some of what He said I’ve been waiting for the right time to share. Today, I felt like the time was right to tell you about one of those things.

On the night this all happened, I was pacing a lot, praying and listening to praise and worship music being played. I found myself getting stirred up, and at one point I was moving pretty fast, almost like a speed walk. And God spoke to me and said “Measured Steps.” Now someone might try to argue that He was just warning me to slow down so I didn’t fall (which is a deep thought, if you look at it the right way), but I knew in my heart that He was speaking on a different level.

We’re living in a hectic time. At least it feels that way to me. Most of the people I associate with are pushing hard right now, working on multiple projects, putting in a lot of hours on things, and just grinding. Then there’s the spiritual atmosphere, which seems more tense and dangerous for Christians than it’s ever been in America. Being a godly person used to be a celebrated quality in our society, yet these days it seems to be looked at with disdain. Religious freedoms are shrinking while tolerance of sinful and immoral behaviors is being promoted and celebrated. Add onto this the growing number of religious leaders who believe we’re very near the end times and that Jesus’ return is imminent and you’ve got a recipe for a hectic time in life.

With so much going on and with the supposed nearness of Jesus’ return (not positive if I fully agree about that, just to be honest with you, but that’s a subject for a different blog), it’s very natural for us to want to throw caution to the wind and do as much as we possibly can. If time is short, that means we don’t have a lot of daylight left to accomplish things and then when you factor in the dicey times these are for believers it all gets me back to that word. Hectic.

When things are hectic you rush. You run from one job to the next, you sprint to church and sprint to prayer and sprint to the Bible and sprint to help others and sprint to spend time with your family and then you sprint to bed. I have a lot I want to do before Jesus returns. I want to help God save those who are unsaved. Like, I want to play a direct role in it, I want to lead them in the prayer of salvation. I want to teach and guide believers into a deeper faith and a deeper understanding of God. I want to write a book about the Bible. I want to write more fiction novels. I want to go further into the world than I’ve ever gone and see if God has work for me somewhere out there. I want to hang out with my family and friends. I want to play video games and watch movies and TV. I have all of these things, and as the atmosphere around me starts to feel more and more hectic I find my pace picking up. I find myself sprinting.

The word measured steps that God spoke to me lines up with a ton of Bible verses. As I studied it, here are some that jumped out at me.

Psalm 119:133 Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me.

Job 31:4 Does not he see my ways and number all my steps?

Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

From there I moved into a study about being hurried in life and found even more great Bible verses.

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

This is undoubtedly a season in which we need to be hard at work. I can’t comment on the degree of nearness of Jesus’ return, but I can comment on the state of the world around me. We’re needed like never before, and it lines up with a time when we’re wanted less than ever. God didn’t tell me to stop stepping that night, He told me to take measured steps. That means to make plans, to think before we do, to allocate our resources, the most precious of which is time, wisely. It might mean that instead of sprinting between twelve deeds in a day, I need to focus on just a few. It’s a reminder that every once in a while we need to take a breath and remember that He is God, to rest in His goodness and enjoy the things He’s brought into our lives. Take the time to laugh. I’ve come to believe that laughter is among God’s greatest creations. Laughter is magical, and I’d guess that it’s one of God’s favorite things in existence.

Don’t stop moving for God. We can’t stop now, guys, it’s just simply too important of a message we have to share. But remind yourself who establishes your steps, keep in mind that no matter what plans we’ve come up with, the steps we take are His. Sprinting for the Lord is admirable at times, but don’t forget that the Bible tells us that our life is a race.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

If our Christian life is a race that lasts 80 years, how wise is it to sprint? People running a 3 hour marathon don’t sprint, because they know that if they do their body will give out before they reach the finish line. Their steps are measured, planned out so that it will carry them as fast and as efficiently as possible to the finish line. How much more measured and planned out should our steps be as we race across years and years? Stay busy for God, get about as much kingdom business as you can, fight back the darkness, and win souls for Christ, and do it in a manner that won’t burn you out but will keep you in the race to the very end. Measured steps.

PRAYER AND CLOSING

Father God, today I come before you and ask for your guidance to be crystal clear in our lives.  Your word tells us again and again that you are watching our steps, that you’ve counted and established them.  Today I ask that this becomes a tangible part of our lives, that you’ll make known to us what that next step should be.  Time’s short, and I wasted enough years walking my own path.  I want every step to count for your glory now, so please help me to make sure that’s always the case.  Lord, I also ask right now that you give us wisdom on how to run the race.  Help us know the difference between the times to sprint and the times to jog.  For my brothers and sisters in Christ who I know are sprinting, I ask right now that you’d refresh them, Lord.  Give them a new fire, a renewed passion and energy.  And give us all the wisdom needed to run your race properly.  We run for your glory, so right now I turn to you, the ultimate coach, and ask that you guide our steps.  Make this a time of clear and absolute direction for your people.  Measured steps, God, just like you told me, one foot in front of the other, moving with a purpose, for your glory.  Be glorified in my life, Lord, be known when I walk in a room.  Shine so brightly that the darkness is eradicated.  Touch the lives of those who are in pain and confusion, show them the lifechanging power of your love.  Thank you for all that you do in my life, Lord, and for all that is to come.  I know it’s going to be amazing.  In Jesus’ precious name I pray, amen.

I love you guys!  I hope you’ve had a great week and that you have a wonderful weekend.

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