It’s difficult to not be captured by the thought that there is a life out there somewhere better than the life we’re living right now.
It’s not a stretch to reason that in order to have that life, we have to go to the one who gives it to us. The one who created that future for you, that unshakeable hope, is ready to give it to
When we talked about our spiritual journey and how much it matters, a process was unpacked: identify the road you’re on, prepare for the journey, map out the journey, pack for the journey, and then start.
Lots of people are lost at ‘start’. Maybe you count yourself in the ranks of those who want to, more than anything, find themselves on the right path for the journey God has for them. Maybe you desperately want to learn the unforced rhythms of grace, but you’re not sure how to practice living in them when the rubber meets the road. Maybe you feel a pull in your heart to want to keep company with Jesus, but for some
You’re in good company. Regardless of if you’re starting over today, or you’re choosing to begin for the first time, here’s what it looks like to start:
Acknowledge that you grow tired and weary: We’re all on a spiritual journey, and whether it’s a journey toward God or thus far away from him, we will get tired. We might be wasting energy wandering aimlessly or fighting to the furthest extent of our strength to stay between the lines; the journey will take a toll on us. When was the last time you admitted that you were tired? Not in the way we’re known to do; not alternating between “tired” and “busy” as our new default responses to “how are you?” from friends and coworkers. When was the last time you admitted to God that the journey was exhausting you? That not knowing the answers feels like it’s sucking the life out of you? That you parked in a rest area for “just ten minutes” and haven’t found the will to start the car again in years? Isaiah 40:30-31 says, “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall” - in other words, even people in their prime get worn out and want to quit.
It’s not weak to admit that you’re running low on strength; it’s the first step to becoming strong again.
Plug into the power source - Don’t let yourself believe that God will never give you more than you can handle. God does often give us more than we can handle - and he does it so that we learn to lean on him and not ourselves. Everyone will lose power sooner or later, “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31). In contrast to us, God does not get tired or burnt out. He is the ultimate source of power. Just when we find ours is depleted, we can access God’s. You can have this power source in you by asking Jesus to come into your life and help you to live freely and lightly, acknowledging that you can’t do it on your own because you’ll always fail and tap out in your own strength. The trouble comes, though, once we have Jesus in our hearts but won’t tap into the strength he’s offered us. God can only renew our strength if we plug into his.
Do you read the Bible to know God’s character and promises to you? When you face an obstacle, do you pray and ask God what he would have you do? Do you have people in your life who consistently remind you where your strength comes from?
Maybe you’re not convinced that God cares about you because you don’t see him working in your life. Have you invited him into your heart? Have you asked him to make his presence known to you today? Are you looking for him in the right places?
You matter to God so much that everything he has, he wants to make accessible to you. (Titus 3:7) It’s no good to have an electrical system if we’re spending our nights lighting candles until all the wax inevitably burns away.
Listen to Jesus and do what he says - God wants to guide you towards everything he’s set aside for you (Jeremiah 29:11), towards a future brighter than any you can imagine and a hope for more that never fades or disappoints. He can’t guide you, though, if you won’t let him. In our crisis crossroads where we don’t know which way to go, who do we look to for guidance? Our friends? The internet? Ourselves? These are fickle compared to God, who is saying to you: “I promise you that where I send you is where you should be.” (Isaiah 48:17)
More often than not, we know what the “right thing” to do is because God has told us through his Spirit - and more often than we’d like to admit, we assume that our way is better and ignore his voice in our lives. Every time God says “don’t” to us, he isn’t trying to squelch our fun or lead us down a dirt trail - what he’s saying is “don’t hurt yourself”. Read the Bible and see all the promises he’s made to us; these are just a few from the book of Isaiah:
- “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
- “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:2)
- “Though the mountains
beshaken and the hills beremoved, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.” (Isaiah 54:10)
- “No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.” (Isaiah 54:17)
This sounds like a God that will protect us, love us, stretch us, and grow us - one we can trust to guide our lives. When we do that, we “will soar on wings like eagles... run and not grow weary... walk and not be faint.” If you trust God enough to pursue him and his power on the journey, you will find yourself with the ability to fly.