(Photo courtesy of active.com)
A New Starting Line in the Olympics of Your Life
By Michele Massie
Is school going well for you? Are you satisfied with your community social life? Are you happy with how things have gone in your life up to this point? Or maybe things have gone poorly? Have you blown it in previous years and feel like you’ve been wandering aimlessly in circles of dissatisfaction?
The wilderness experience is a picture of believers who live in unbelief and disobedience. They don’t enter into the rest and riches of their inheritance in Christ, either because they don’t know it’s there or they know and refuse to enter. Do you need a new starting line? A new beginning, perhaps? Well, beloved, take heart because the victorious Christian life is a series of new beginnings.
As you look at your life, do you see yourself wandering in the wilderness or conquering in the Promised Land? In the wilderness Israel kept looking back, yearning for what they had, instead of allowing God to move them forward to the place of blessing and serving one another in community and fellowship with God.
Like a clay potter, God is willing to mold us again even after we resist Him and damage our own lives (Jer. 18:1-5). No failure in our lives need be fatal or final, although we certainly suffer for our sins. We have the ability to receive God’s word or reject it. Unlike the clay on the potter’s wheel, we have the freedom to resist. Jesus promised that if we obey what we know, God will reveal more of His truth to us (John 7:17).
God gave new beginnings to Abraham, Moses, David, Jonah and Peter when they failed, and He can do the same for us today. God uses many different hands to mold our lives, including parents, siblings, teachers, ministers and authors. We can fight against them, but if we do, we are fighting against God.
Trust God, because He sees our hearts and knows whether we are really serious about obeying Him. In Christ, we have all we need for victorious Christian living. Like Israel, we come to a crisis place where we depend upon God to survive, but they refused to obey the Lord and claim His will for their lives. (Numbers 13-14). We must possess our inheritance by faith, one step at a time. To live by faith means to take God at His word and then act upon it, because faith without works is dead (James 2:20).
“How long will you put off going in to take possession of the land, which the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you?” (Josh 18:3, ESV). We can’t control circumstances of life, but we can control how we respond to them. Before God changes our circumstances, He wants to change our hearts. God’s purpose in providence is not to make us comfortable, but to make us conformable, “conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom 8:29, NIV). Christ-like behavior is the divine goal of each of His children.
The wilderness can be an experience of delay, defeat, and spiritual death. Conquering in the “Promise Land” of your purpose in this season of your life allows you to reach your full God intended potential, giving way to life, power, and victory in the community God has placed you in!
As you look at the “spiritual map” of your Christian life, where are you living? Are you wandering in the wilderness or are you conquering in the Promised Land? Do you trust God for your new beginning? Then stop staring at the wall and, by faith, get up and open the door to a brand new tomorrow.
“If any man serve me, him will my father honor.”
– John 12:26
Dear Lord, Make me aware of the many opportunities to serve Christ and my fellow man in my community. Amen.