Remaining Attuned to God from Start to finish and every moment in between

I have a tendency to run ahead of God. I’ll sense a call to action and a surge of His Spirit within, then race ahead, without divine clarity on the how. Do you ever do that? Do you ever assume that first nudge is all you need, only to discover, once you’ve landed in a mess of your own making, that you were missing a few crucial pieces? Details and insight God would’ve provided, had you had the patience, humility, and self-control to wait?

One Sunday, I came to church super frustrated regarding a particularly confusing and exhausting situation. I’d given of myself sacrificially and persistently, for months, only to encounter ugliness in return. Though I knew, intellectually, the treatment I received had little to do with me, it still stung, and in my hurt, I wanted to retreat. To self-protect and give up. To be done with that particular “assignment” and invest my time, energy, and heart elsewhere. 

But then, in the middle of church service, God spoke life and encouragement into my weary and bruised soul and helped me see things more clearly. Through the story of a life changed, He reminded me of the power and persistence of His love and grace. 

He reminded me of the cross. 

As soon as service concluded, I rushed out–and rushed ahead. The result? I fell out of step with God. And I was reminded that it’s not enough to start well, or even to leap forward on the best intentions. If I truly want to honor Christ, to live as His life-giving ambassador, I must allow Him to direct my every step. 

Woman gazing ahead.

That requires patience, a fierce commitment to surrender, and remaining alert to the unceasing battle within. I know I’m not alone in my relentless fight against myself. In this inner tug-of-war that has me pinging between love and compassion and grace one moment and pride and selfishness the next. Because, apart from Christ, nothing good dwells within me.  (Romans 7:18).

Not a drop or a moment. 

My only hope? To remain vitally connected and surrendered to Christ. This means I’ll have to learn to slow down. To do more listening than speaking, more praying than running.

And a whole lot more seeking and receiving than doing. 

In Galatians 5, the apostle Paul phrased it this way: “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (v. 16, NIV). 

I’m reminded of a battle the Israelites faced in Exodus 17. Scripture tells us the Amelekites launched a surprise attack on the nation. In response, Moses sent Joshua and some of their men out to fight while he stood on top of a hill with the “staff of God” in his hands. According to verse 11, “As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amelekites were winning” (v. 11, NIV). Not because his staff held any supernatural power. Rather, through Moses’s raised hands, God was teaching the Israelites an important lesson, one you and I must master as well. Victory comes through our continual, moment by moment, reliance on God. 

The moment we think we’ve got everything figured out, the moment we take our eyes off Him, in essence, lowering our staffs, we fail. We experience victory through our surrender–when we raise our arms and keep them raised, so to speak, toward heaven. 

When is it most challenging for you to remain surrendered to the Holy Spirit? What are some ways ways you can remain more consistently surrendered to Him during those challenging circumstances? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, and connect with Jennifer on Facebook and Instagram.

Not So Divine Detours (Genesis 12:9-29 Faith Over Fear

Sometimes we may look at our circumstances and try to take matters into our own hands, forgetting God’s calling on our lives or His promises for us.  In those moments, we take a detour off of the path, a way that is of our own human understanding instead of in his perfect calling. In those moments, it is important for us to remember that we can never get so far away from God that we can’t come back and, although we might take our eyes off of God, He will never take His eyes off of us. (Scroll down to find the group discussion questions) Find Jodie at: https://www.jodiebailey.com http://whollyloved.com/meet-the-team Find Wholly Loved Ministries at: https://www.WhollyLoved.com Join the private Faith Over Fear Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/442736966614671 Join the Private Wholly Loved Community Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/443325386241769 Link to previous episode, when Abraham is called to leave everything to for the Promised Land. Group Discussion Questions: What resonated with you most in today’s episode? How do you feel when you realize that God never takes His eyes off of you? When is an example of a time you heard God calling you to do something? How did you respond? How does it make you feel to read about Abraham’s mistakes and sins in the book of Genesis then to know that, in Hebrews 11, he is commended for His faith? How can you apply that truth to your life? Who can you talk to and pray with about returning to God when you stray? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  1. Not So Divine Detours (Genesis 12:9-29
  2. Courageously Proclaiming Our Faith (Genesis 12:5-8)
  3. When We Fear We've Blown it (Genesis 13:1-4)
  4. Bravely Embracing the Unknown (Genesis 12:1-4)
  5. Breaking Free from Dysfunction

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