“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
Keep your ears and heart open to the Lord. He spoke to His children long ago. He speaks to His children today. The Good Shepherd the Lord Jesus Christ speaks to His sheep. When we turn away from our sins and believe in Christ as Lord, devoting our lives to Him, are filled with His Spirit and live led by His Spirit, read the Bible and measure what we hear against the Bible because He always speaks in line with the Bible, when we follow Jesus day by day, we can rest assured His Spirit will speak to our hearts through the Bible and in line with the Bible.
We need to take the time to listen to Him. Not to just speak to Him in prayer. Not to just listen to good biblically sound preachers preach. But we need to sit at the feet of Jesus, and seek Jesus, and hear Jesus. And throughout the day and night, even as we go about our days, we need to keep our ears and hearts open to the voice of the Lord speaking to our hearts. So we can faithfully follow our Great Shepherd. I’ve gotten used to the Lord speaking to me. Daily. Often. I love His voice. He teaches me how to walk. In His love. How to devotedly follow Him. Like when He tells me things like this.
“Don’t be swayed. Don’t be moved. Don’t be stopped,” the Spirit of God told me some time ago.
Imagine a marathon runner in a great race. If she is swayed, she moves back and forth, back and forth. This is not the way to go the distance. Merriam-Webster dictionary online includes in its definition of sway, “to swing slowly and rhythmically back and forth from a base or pivot.” No, this is no way to run a marathon! The marathoner needs to go forward, not from side to side.
Imagine a marathoner being moved off course entirely. This is no way to run a marathon either, is it? The marathoner needs to stay on course, not get completely off of it.
Imagine a marathoner stopped right in the middle of the race. Now she can’t stay up to speed. She can’t go forward. She won’t reach her destination. Sure, she can eventually start again. But the ideal way for a marathoner to run is to run forward without being swayed, moved, or stopped, right?
We who follow Jesus need to not be swayed, moved, or stopped. We need to let nothing and nobody not even ourselves keep us from going the distance with God, from going His pace on His course for His glory. Yet sometimes we who believe in Jesus as Lord for the promise of an everlasting relationship with Him find ourselves allowing people, places, things, our flesh, the devil, anything at all, to sway us so we’re unsteady and undisciplined and erratic, to move us so we’re out of the position in and with Christ we need to be in, or to stop us altogether from following the Lord’s leading.
I want to encourage you to not think of turning from your sins and believing in Christ as simply receiving God’s forgiveness and the promise of everlasting life and then being done with it all. Being born again spiritually through repentance and placing our trust in Christ, fully devoting ourselves to God and His ways, marks the beginning of a journey, like a marathon, of walking day by day with God through the course of our lives and forever. We need to be vigilant to faithfully follow Jesus – and to not allow ourselves to be swayed, moved, or stopped.
If you find yourself swayed right now, going back and forth as far as the Lord and the Bible are concerned, or moved off the course you know God wants you on, or stopped altogether from going forward in the will of God, please seek whatever forgiveness you need, return to the Lord, and resolve to stay on course. On course with the Lord!