by Pastor Tim Burt
When police pull people over and think that they have been drinking or are under the influence of drugs, they often make them take the simple test of walking a straight line. If I said to you, Take one step forward, you’d do it with no problem. If I said, Take one step backward, you again would do it no problem. Most people know what it means to move forward or go backward, that is, until they have been hurt from real-life problems. Then some people barely seem to ever move forward, and actually spend time letting their life unravel or move backwards.
A few years ago, I sold my riding lawnmower. It was getting older and needed to be replaced. It ran well but knew it would never last the next fifteen years so I wanted to update it. I loved it because it was utterly dependable except for one small problem. It’s right front tire leaked air slowly. It leaked air not because the tire was damaged but because the rim had a slight dent that allowed it to leak air. Every four or five times I used it, I had to re-inflate the tire. I should have simply replaced the wheel a couple of years ago but didn’t—more for reasons of procrastination than anything else which is surprising because I am generally not a procrastinator.
This tire reminds me of many people’s lives. They have had something devastating happen and their life is like one with a slow leak in it. They don’t move forward. They try to maintain and do to a degree, but then slip backwards until they have to fill their life’s tire a bit.
The enemy of your soul hates you. I have written about that many times. His desire it to kill, steal, and destroy. Like Job’s wife, the enemy would love to get you to curse God, give up on Him and die. If you did that, then Satan would have succeeded in deceiving you out of your faith and living your life in apprehension and fear. God has filled His Word with precious promises of His love, His hope, His help & protection, and a future—a meaningful and significant life that would bring you much joy. But, you have to move forward. You have to put the devil and past hurts and fears under your feet and move forward. This is what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote, Philippians 3:14 (NLT) “I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”
Jesus understood heart-ache. His life of faithfulness to His Father filled His heart with heart-ache—yet He always moved forward. The Bible doesn’t reveal a great deal about His relationship with His cousin John the Baptist, but I believe if we knew more, we’d find that they were the very definition of iron sharpening iron. I believe they loved, talked about, and encouraged each other in the Word. When John was beheaded for following God instead of obeying Herod, it hurt Jesus’ heart dearly. We read in Matthew 14:13 (NIV) “When Jesus heard what had happened (regarding his cousin John,) he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. “
Jesus barely had anytime to mourn John’s death. The needs of people around Him were so great that He was back to ministering to them that very day. Jesus could have put His life on hold. People would have understood. He could have backed down from going to the cross. People would have understood. But He didn’t because He knew the Father needed Him. Jesus’ love for mankind was driving Him. He moved forward with His life and we are all blessed for it.
Hurt, disappointment, discouragement, and unforgiveness—so many things could be that slow leak that at best allows our life to maintain for a while but then go backward. That isn’t the plan of God. When the enemy comes against you, you make him pay so that what the devil meant for evil, is turned for good! Trust God so that He can turn it for good. Champions move forward! They do because the love of God and for other people constrains them to! Let that describe you! You are a Champion for Christ!
Romans 8:28 (NKJV) “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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