“Maybe I should go back,” I whined to the Lord.
Go back where? To my dog rescue work. To having a house. To being settled in one place. It wasn’t just that I was missing my dog who had passed away and those who had been adopted out. It was that I was for the umpteenth time in the past four years facing the challenges of being on the road for the Lord full-time with my handicapped ministry dogs and settling into my latest location while researching options for my next one. I was frazzled, disgruntled, exasperated, complaining, moaning, self-pitying, prideful, worried, afraid, exhausted, and discouraged. All sin mind you. I needed to repent. And so I did.
The Israelites fell into pretty much what I had fallen into when the Lord used Moses to deliver them out of bondage in Egypt. They wanted to go back to the familiar because they were afraid God wouldn’t bring them into the promised land. They didn’t like the challenges of leaving behind what they knew and having to travel the distance and all it entailed to get to where God by Moses was leading them. God didn’t bring that generation into the promised land because of all their sin. You can study this in the Bible, but this message isn’t about them. It’s about me and you.
I was tempted to go back to the familiar because it seemed like it would be a lot easier and feel way more secure than continuing forward following Jesus day by day with the challenges that go along with the lifestyle in life and ministry to which the Lord has called me. Most especially the challenge of needing to learn to live by faith in the Lord and to hold on for dear life to Him rather than to live based on my circumstances and holding on for dear life to people, places, and things I can see.
I knew the devil was behind the temptation to go back. And I knew the answer was – and is – to put one’s trust in the Lord and to humbly, lovingly, reverently, faithfully, devotedly believe in and follow Jesus Christ as Lord. Day by day. And forevermore!
God will give us all we need to follow Him, but it is not enough to follow Him physically in our actions. We are to do so in our hearts and with our words as well. With faith, with trust, with joy, with hope, with love, with humility, with thanksgiving, and with the willingness to repent when we fall short in pleasing and honoring Him in the way we follow Him.
There are times God will lead His children back to people, places, and things of the past for His reasons for His purposes for His glory, but we need to seek the Lord with all our hearts to make sure it is God leading us and not us caving in to the temptations of the devil, to the desires of the flesh, and/or to the voices of people whose thoughts and opinions and advice do not line up with the Lord’s will for us.
Wherever we go day by day, it should be by the leading of the Spirit of God who inhabits His followers and in the strength of Christ for the glory of Christ, AMEN!
“NOW THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; BUT IF ANYONE DRAWS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM.”” Hebrews 10:38
“as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,” 2 Peter 1:3