Some say we give our lives to the Lord when we place our faith in Jesus and ask Him to be our Lord. But if the truth be known, if we are truly honest with ourselves, I wonder how many of us truly give Him our lives when we ask Him into our hearts. Let me speak for myself. I didn’t even come close. When I asked Jesus into my heart, when I placed my faith in Him as Lord, I began a journey with the Lord that would take years before I truly gave Him my life. I tucked Jesus into a little corner of my heart, put a blanket over most of Him, gave Him a little kiss, and off I went – right back to the life I had been living. I didn’t take off for a new land. I didn’t rise up and walk. I didn’t get up and go. I continued to live my life the exact way I had been living it. The only way that I knew. My way. Because to be perfectly frank, I didn’t know Jesus. I had only met Him. And I didn’t get to know Jesus. Because I figured I was through. I had made my decision. Now it was time to get back to my life.
Today is a different story. In fact, my story is so altogether different today that it’s hard to recognize who I was. Why? I finally took the time, the love, the care, the investment, the commitment, the dedication, to get to know Jesus – and not only to know Him, but to follow Him. And if you know anything at all about Jesus, He rarely sat still. And He rarely sits still. He’s a get up and go, a rise up and walk, a take off on an adventure, kind of guy. And not only is a guy, He’s Lord. Aside from the times He stopped along His journey to preach, to teach, to heal, and to spend time in prayer with our Father in heaven, He was usually off and running. He was busy about the Father’s business, wasn’t He (Luke 2:49)?
So how about you, and how about me? I don’t know about you, but I can tell you the Lord has been keeping me busy lately. For the past few years, He spent plenty of time healing my heart, resurrecting my life, re-doing my insides, changing my attitude, well, just about everything imaginable in preparation for the big word He would give me not too very long ago. GO. To a new land? Yes, and no. He didn’t tell me to physically move to a new location. He commanded me to rise up and walk to a new land – a new location of the heart. A committed, surrendered, submitted, yielded, I-want-to-truly-live-my-life-for-you-Jesus, changed attitude, filled-up-with-God’s-Word, learning-how-to-walk-in-His-love, I-will-fulfill-the-calling-you-have-for-me kind of an adventure of a journey of a LIFE lived for the Lord. How’s that for a mouthful? If you think that’s a mouthful, imagine my life.
In a million years, I never imagined my life would turn out the way that it has. The Lord has not only told me to GO, He has not only told me to RISE UP AND WALK, He not only is teaching me to walk by faith rather than sight (2 Cor. 5:7), but He surprises me daily with how He is using me in this new land for His glory. Whoever would have thought when I gave up my dreams and committed to live His dreams for my life that I would end up where I am? Doing what I am doing, living how I am living, feeling how I am feeling, thinking the way I am thinking, dedicated the way I am dedicated, committed the way I am committed, on fire for Him the way I am on fire for Him, living the adventure of all adventures, experiencing the journey of all journeys, with one simple match of a word being struck under me daily. GO.
Each morning I wake now, I know the Lord means business. I don’t live my life any longer with a set plan, let alone a set expectation. I have come to find the easiest way to GO is to realize the Lord is in charge of it all – the command to GO, the map, the geography, the equipping, the preparation, the help along the way, the people I will meet along the way, the help I will need when I go off course, the instructions, the invitations, the encouragement, the support, the purpose He has in mind, those with whom I will cross paths, those I am intended to help, those whom will be saved and those who will stay lost – at least for now, the ultimate destination, the anything and everything. He truly does hold the whole world in His hands. The best way to go, I have discovered, is to do exactly what He says in His Word. Rise up and walk. GO.
What will today bring? I wonder. I may drive a few hours to Charleston, SC, to pick up a whole bunch of donated Bibles for the Sweet Dreams Project. I will undoubtedly spend a bunch of time, as usual, taking care of the 17 Walk by Faith Ministry dogs in my care – with extra care for the paralyzed ones. Perhaps I will have the opportunity to pass out a sleeping bag or two to a homeless person I run across. Maybe I will do some more writing for the Lord. I am sure I will pray. One of my favorites. Phone calls. E-mails. The usual. And the not so usual? Sunday I prayed for a little homeless girl with my arms wrapped around her. I never planned to meet her. I did not know she existed until I met her. Sometimes I help someone I didn’t realize needed help until the Lord makes it clear. Who knows what this day will bring. Most importantly, who knows where the Lord will lead me.
I have a choice, you know. You do as well. When the Lord says GO, I can crawl back into bed and pull the covers up over my life. Or, I can sit around debating what He has told me to do. Or, I can take the plunge and say goodbye to my comfort zone. I can rise up and walk. I can be filled with His Holy Spirit, be filled with His Word I study daily, be filled with His love, His mercy, His compassion, and set out upon the course not only of life – but walk the narrow road He has set me upon. And GO.
I ENCOURAGE YOU to take a look at your life today and ask yourself these questions. “Am I doing what the Lord has called me to do?” Are you? Has He called you to rise up and walk? Has He told you to get up and go? Is there somewhere, or to someone, He has called you – but you have refused? Is there somewhere you are hesitating to go, in your heart, or in your life, or both, that you really are resisting?
Is your suitcase packed, or has He asked you to leave it behind? Has He told you to move somewhere new, physically, emotionally, or simply and most importantly in your walk with Him? Are you holding onto your old ways, your old habits, your own dreams? Have you asked Jesus into your heart, but never really given Him your life? Is today the day? If Jesus stood in your living room – your LIVING room – today and said to you, “Rise up and walk,” would you know of what He speaks?
Is there an area, or areas, of your life that you are prone to, or stuck on, sitting cross legged on the floor in order to hold on for dear life and never let go? Is there a change you need to make? Someone He has asked you to help? Has He asked you to go out and forgive, to go out and say “I’m sorry,” to begin to study His Word daily? Oh, the questions go on – and on. But this really isn’t about how the questions go on. It’s about me, and it’s about you, and where we are going – and where we might be refusing to go. For fear. But God doesn’t want us to live in fear. He wants us to walk by faith, doesn’t He? Do you remember what God told Joshua when He told Him to get up and GO? Why not study Joshua 1:1-9 today and ask yourself the questions I have asked you, or better yet – the questions the Lord asks you.
I ENCOURAGE YOU, my friend, when the Lord says so, to get up and GO – with His hand held tightly in yours, your eyes up on His face, your heart upon His Word, and set out on the adventure HE has called you to live – not by yourself, not merely with the ones HE may call you to go with, but above all else WITH HIM, BY HIM, and FOR HIM. Amen.
READING: Joshua 1:1-9
2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.
3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.
5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.
8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lordthy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”