“When we were at Mount Sinai, the Lord our God said to us, ‘You have stayed at this mountain long enough. It is time to break camp and move on.” Deuteronomy 1:6-8 NLT
Albert Sweitzer said, “It is not so much that a man dies while he lives but what dies in him as he lives.” Has anything died in you this year? Has any part of your life been so challenged by the conditions of quarantine restrictions and the necessary health-conscious limitations on gathering as whole worshipping communities that it also has hindered the possibility of living in God’s purposes? Has your capacity to conjure a God-sized dream, a big hairy audacious vision been extinguished? If so, then I believe you are where the children of Israel find themselves in this text.
Moses and the children of Israel are standing on the border between their yesteryear and their tomorrow. They are standing on the precipice between a willingness to trust God and take a step forward by faith or stay secure in their limited freedom and risk never realizing what life could be like outside their comfort zone.
Moses says to those gathered, “The Lord our God has said to us, ‘You have stayed at this mountain long enough. It is time to break camp and move on.”
Vision entails the desire to go forward. That will often time mean stepping out of our comfort zone. Until you have the desire to go forward, you will always live-in yesterday’s struggles. We are about to enter into Charge Conference season. Charge Conference season is an opportunity to assess where we have been, and equally, if not more important, to think as individuals and as communities where God is calling us to go. To paraphrase a bit, Moses, speaking on behalf of God, says something like this “you have gotten too comfortable on the little bit of real estate I have kept you on during this leg of this wilderness journey. When are you going to decide that it’s time to move and trust me and take a step toward the greater promises that I have made through my covenant with you?”
How do we move forward coming out of these unprecedented times and not fall into the temptation to look back longingly for what used to be?
I had a crape myrtle on my property, and it struggled to grow in its location. Then my wife decided to move that same tree about 30 feet to another section of the yard. She watered and tended to it. Ever since she decided to move the tree forward and not let is stay stuck in that exact location, the tree has grown and produces beautiful purple buds every season. Whereas, in its old place, it struggled and almost died.
It’s time to move forward from where we use to be to where God is calling us to be!
Grace, Peace, & Hope,
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