Saturday, June 22, 2013


Have you ever moved before?  It’s hard work.  There is the sorting, organizing, wrapping, packing, and thorough labeling if you want to find what you packed later… quickly.  I heard it said recently that one of the top qualifications for a minister is FLEXABILITY.  The “called of God” have to be willing to go wherever, whenever, and however God provides.  It is a radical walk of faith.  Sometimes it feels like God shows up at the last minute, but I have learned in retrospect that He is right on time.  Our waiting time is actually His growing time.  While we wait, He tends the garden of our hearts and grows character deep within us.  I’m not saying this is fun, but it is a necessary evil in order to prepare us for the next stage of His journey for our lives.

God has a purpose and a plan for our lives.  We were not an accident.

Psalm 139:13-16 says…
“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
    you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
    I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
    you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day.” (MSG)

God knows us better than anyone else so inevitably He knows what is BEST for us, right?  In the midst of the chaos of our lives, however it’s hard sometimes to remember that.  MOVE!  Just the thought of it can fill me with anxiety at times.  After all of these years and many moves, I have almost become a pro at it.  All those things that were lost, misplaced, or scattered have been found… organized, labeled, and put in their designated resting place.  

After almost twenty years of marriage my husband and I can honestly say we have NOT become hoarders, packrats, or clutter bugs.  We haven’t had the opportunity… we keep moving forcing us to de-clutter our houses as well as our lives.  Less is better!  Watching friends who volunteered to help us move carry in box after box of junk overwhelmed us.  Was it really that precious to us that it took HOW LONG to move it all?  Moving de-clutters our lives and helps us find out what is really important to us.  For us, it’s not “things” but people we care about most.  Priorities have been re-evaluated and our lives adjusted to keep God in the center of our world wherever we go.  We have learned to hold on to the things we have loosely for the better good.

Colossians 3:1-2 says...
“So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.” (MSG)

I have discovered I have a curse on me when it comes to renting houses.  In the past couple years each time we rented a house it went up on the market and sold.  The first house we rented was in the country and needed lots of work.  We lived in it and got a great deal while it was on the market.  It was our way to get moved over to the town we wanted to live in until we found something else.  I really didn’t think it would sell quickly.  It wasn’t entirely livable when we first took possession of it, but after working my magic (and with a little assistance from others of course) it went from a piece of property to a home. 

I have the gift of making a house cozy.  I don’t want to live in a dump, so I try to make our house as homey as possible.  After all it’s where we spend most of our time, so it should be comfortable, right? 

Well, after maybe a year it sold.  My curse was making it too pretty I guess.  We moved short term into a duplex and in October landed an incredible house to rent.  It is amazing… 4 bedroom, 2 ½ bath, large living room/dining room, office area, 2 ½ car garage, above ground pool, fenced yard, and awesome garden area… down the road from a basketball court.  The perfect location and the perfect house…. We loved it!  I worked my magic and made it beautiful inside again… cozy and homey!  In May our landlords decided to put in on the market and in two weeks it SOLD!  Boo!  Uh… the too pretty curse got me again.  We move in less than three weeks now.  Yikes… (I should be packing!)

It may seem like this has all come out of the blue, but God has been involved in the moving process all along.  As I look back at every house we have ever lived in, God set us up.  He put specific people in our lives to cross paths with to reach for Him.  They were quirky pre-teen boys, lost & searching young adults, a woman suffering from an illness similar to mine, single mom’s needing encouragement, elderly people my boys were able to help out, and lonely people looking for friends.  We have had the opportunity to be “Jesus with skin on” to them and it has been amazing!

We are moving again, but this MOVE is ordained by God.  We are beginning a new chapter in our lives.  We are endeavoring to go back into full-time ministry.  We have had to step out for a season because of my health, but now is the time to return.  We don’t know where, when, or what, but we know we are moving toward that end.  God is prompting us! He has forced the move forward through transition with our living arrangements.  Our lives are in His capable hands and we trust Him.  Not to say that I like this moving thing, but when God is in it, it’s a lot easier to move His direction.

Have you ever been there before? …Too comfortable to MOVE.  I’m not talking about that feeling you get after a huge Thanksgiving feast (I think that’s a turkey thing).  I’m talking about moving beyond where you are comfortable spiritually to where God wants YOU to be.  God loves us to be “uncomfortable.”  When we move out of our comfort zone, it releases God to move in and make up the difference.  It forces us to let go and let God move in new ways… have His WAY in our lives.

Moving is hard and takes a lot of work whether we are speaking physically or spiritually.  It’s not fun, but once you get settled in to that new place it’s always worth it!  Moving involves a lot of FAITH!  There are a lot of unknowns in moving… where, when, why, how, the details are not always nailed down, and the plan does not always go as anticipated.  Life can become unpredictable at times.

In those moments of transition and un-comfortableness, secretly God is growing us.  He is the master gardener of our hearts.  His pursuit is godly fruit….deep roots of character that will stand the tests of time.  One character trait that grows best in the midst of adversity, challenging circumstances, the storms of life, the unpredictable, and the impossible is FAITH.  Faith in essence is trusting God with ALL of the details of your life.

Where is your faith level at today?  Is God growing you?  Has He been tending the garden stirring up the soil of your heart?  Is He asking you to MOVE?  When it comes to moving there is a lot of trusting involved, faith is tested, sacrifices are make, and God is magnified in and through our lives.  Are you willing to MOVE?  Are you ready to step out?  I dare you to MOVE in His direction!

What is He asking YOU to do?  Maybe moving for you means stepping out of your comfort zone into a new place… What does that “new place” look like?  It could be a new area of ministry to serve, inviting someone to church, starting a Bible study, praying as a family before meals, spending more quality time with God, setting boundaries in your relationships with the opposite sex, reaching out to the homeless or broken-hearted, finding a mentor, pursuing a new career or chasing a dream. 

Maybe you need to make a MOVE toward God.  Are you stuck in a routine that doesn’t involve God?  A MOVE in that direction for you may require change.  It could be giving up a job, changing churches, letting go of unhealthy relationships, tithing more, or rebuilding your relationship with God.  You may feel far away from Him and a lost cause, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Step out and MOVE toward Him and watch what happens. 

James 4:8 says…
Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” (NLT)

What is it for YOU?  MOVE!  Could it mean a literal “move” answering a call to full-time ministry and taking the steps to fulfill that dream?  It’s scary, but moving CAN be exciting too.  New people to meet, new things to learn, new things to do…  “new” CAN be a good thing (physically and spiritually).  I dare you to MOVE!

Are there dreams in your heart God has planted years ago that are getting dusty?  MOVE!  It’s better to do SOMETHING, than nothing.  Start walking His direction and He will show you which way to go next.

Psalm 37:23 says…
The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
 He delights in every detail of their lives.” (NLT)

I think you are getting the point hopefully.  God wants us to be willing to MOVE and obey Him at a moments notice with no agenda prepared.  He wants us to trust Him with the literal moves and the spiritual ones.  He wants to transform our lives and hearts as we learn to trust Him with all that we hold dear to us.  He is trustworthy!  If you are in a place of uncertainty I encourage you to… MOVE!  Be obedient to God and MOVE toward Him.  It’s a scary place to be, but do we really trust Him with our lives, families, and future?  There is no safer place I would rather be than in the palm of God’s hand.  I relinquish my will and way so HIS may be accomplished in my life.  I trust Him today, do you?

Jeremiah 29:11 says…
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)

God wants to fill you with hope for the future.  Lift your hands up in surrender and trust Him with the details.  He’s got this covered!  I look forward to seeing you on the other side of your comfort zone.  I’m sure your life will never be the same!

Living to leave a legacy,