Tuesday, December 11, 2018
   
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Are We In a Rut?

Have we become a slave to the humdrum activities of our life?  When was the last time any of us broke away from our routine and did something unusual, adventuresome or even risky?  Has unbiblical instruction from well meaning people robbed us of enjoying life to its fullest?

I am so happy to report the good news; we don’t have to live this way.  The Lord has a much better lifestyle in mind for His followers.  Jesus said:  “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”--John 10:10.  He wants us to stop existing and start living.  I believe God is calling us all to get out of our ruts and begin living the exhilarating life He has in mind for us.  He wants us to be bold, joyful and godly.  As I approach this stage of my life, I am impressed again with the commands of Solomon in Ecclesiastes 11-12:1 and Caleb’s words in the book of Numbers.  It’s in these passages I see a number of commands and an example that are reflective of the Lord’s heart for us today.  We must not go on as we have lived before.

 

Here are the commands from Ecclesiastes:

A.  Instead of protecting ourselves, our resources, our life and our family, let’s release them to God and His plan.  Eccl. 11:1—“Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.”

B.  We should plan for difficulty by giving and investing in the lives of others.                   v. 2—“Give portions to seven, yes to eight, for you do not know what disaster will come upon the land.”

C.  In place of waiting for ideal circumstances, we should start serving; for God directs a moving servant—Ecc1. 11:3-6.  Solomon says: “Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well”--Eccl. 11:6.  We could elaborate on each of these, but the point is clear.  If we hesitate and insist on waiting for the most favorable conditions prior to acting, we will do very little in this life.  All life has risks and the life God has for us means we must move ahead in faith without knowing all that is before us.

 

Here are Caleb’s Words:

Caleb didn’t hesitate or wait for ideal circumstances.  When it came time to enter the Promised Land, it was Caleb and Joshua who urged the people to go in.  I love Caleb’s words to his people: “...Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said,  ‘We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it’”--Num. 13:30.  We know they lost out to public opinion and fear, but even after 40 years of wandering in the desert, they were still ready for the original challenge.  At approximately 80 years of age Caleb said to Joshua, “Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said”-- Josh. 14:12.  Caleb didn’t fear the giants or the challenge of the mountains.

Let’s apply that spirit.  How do we develop this kind of heart and passion?   Of course the all-inclusive, essential ingredient for this happiness, vision and passion is still a vital relationship with Jesus.  But it’s acting on His behalf and in His strength, where real life is experienced.  The result of this kind of life and faith is anything but boring.  In the words of Eccl. 12:1—“Remember (that is, act decisively in favor of) your creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, ‘I find no pleasure in them.’” Do you hear the call to a rutless and faith-filled life?  Let’s go for it now, before we're old, cranky and troubled!  Give us the mountains!