Its no easy walk. Make no mistake brother; its a hard road. That’s why its a choice. Therein lies the beauty of free will. Sure, God could just force everyone to follow His lead, but where’s the freedom in that? The walk must be chosen.
You made that choice. When you decided to walk with Jesus, you probably didn’t fully understand the depth of the decision. God knew that, of course. That’s why he constantly remains within sight. He knew hard days and times of trial would constantly plague you. He knew you’d buckle under the strain of spiritual weight, as you continued to walk His chosen path. He knows your struggles long before you ever encounter them. This is the turning point for so many of us.
When the going gets tough, we want God to erase the discomfort. The difference between a believer and a non-believer can be summed up in five letters: F.A.I.T.H. God tells us to remain faithful in all things, Tuck; the good times and the bad times. We get so bogged down worrying about the condition of our present circumstances, that we forget to faithfully trust in God’s plan for our lives. We take our eyes off the focal point of Christianity. We’re like Peter, walking on the water. Oh yeah…he was all good, as long as he was focused on Jesus. The second he focused on his surroundings, he began to sink. It was then he cried, “Help me Lord!” All he had to do was keep his eye on Jesus, in the first place. Our lives are no different than that particular biblical experience. We’re surrounded by pressures, deadlines, commitments, and schedules at all times. We add to our own misery by placing God behind these very visible distractions. I’ll say it again: We place God behind our distractions. As soon as we become overwhelmed, we turn back toward Him. That’s really not the way we should handle our walk with the Lord. We have to diligently place him first.
I mentioned the existence of the turning point for so many of us. That point comes when we choose to stop believing in God’s promises. The minute our problems become too big for God to handle (in our own minds), we turn away from Him. That’s how you get a pastor caught up in adultery. That’s how you get a bishop arrested for embezzlement. That’s how a man of integrity sells his soul for the promise of riches. That’s how a hard working husband and father gets caught up in unscrupulous behavior. These people made the choice to stop believing in God.
The non-believer can’t follow God. To them, God is a foreign concept created by the weak-minded. The fallen believer knows the truth, but still chooses to walk away from God. The believer is a soldier. Tough times may come and challenges may seem insurmountable, but the believer has faith; real faith. Not that watered-down, touchy-feely stuff that wares off at the first sign of trouble. No man, I’m talking about the kind of faith that says, “you know what Lord? I’m mad at how this all looks! I don’t like feeling boxed in, but I’m gonna praise you and follow your lead anyway! You are good, all the time! Even when I can’t see the outcome, I know you’re with me!”
~ Feel free to insert an Amen right here, Tuck ~
I’ve known you for over 30 years. You’re one of the strongest men I know. Once you chose to side with the Lord, you simply added spiritual armor to your unbreakable spirit. There isn’t a situation created that can hold you back. Ever! You keep your eye focused on Jesus, and he will always provide for you. But you have to continue to grow in him, Tuck. Step outside of your comfort box from time to time, and plead with the Lord if necessary. State your case, brother! He hears, he understands, and he responds to the humble, faithful soldier. Be that soldier. Stay the course, and fight on soldier.