This past weekend I went up to South Carolina to visit my family. It was a great time to catch up with everyone and to check some items off of my South Carolina bucket list! One of the items on the list was to take a kayak down the Catawba River. (Check!)
While I was on this kayak adventure I reached a point where the rapids were a bit stronger. I decided to flip around and paddle upstream for a few minutes. If you have ever paddled upstream you know how much more difficult it is than paddling downstream! It takes a lot of effort to keep up the momentum that you build.
At first I was fighting the current and paddling as hard as I could; but once I began gaining consistent momentum, I began to slow down. This is where something interesting happens. Although you appear to be still making progress because you are still facing upstream and you see the current passing beneath you, you are actually drifting downstream again. The shift in direction is so subtle that unless you look at the shoreline you still believe that you are moving upstream.
I have found the same to be true in the lives of many Christians. Because we are facing the right direction (Going to church, groups, etc.) and we are seeing things move around us, we think that we are making progress in our lives. But in reality, we are heading downstream with the rest of the world instead of upstream as God has called us to live. Often we are just wearing a “Christian label” (Facing upstream.) but not actually walking with God. (Drifting downstream.)
Related Post: Don’t Trust Autopilot
I want to share 3 main points that we need to avoid in order to truly continue to grow and experience Godly forward motion in our lives.
One main reason that we put down the spiritual paddle in our lives is that we reach a point that we feel we are making steady progress and we are comfortable where we are. We forsake forward motion because we are comfortable and things are “good enough”. This is a very dangerous place to be. I completely believe that if you are not growing, you’re dying. This is true in our walk with God. Allow yourself to be uncomfortable to continue to grow in God. You cannot stay where you are if you desire to grow in Him.
2. Fear of change
When we have a good thing going on in our lives, we tend to avoid doing anything that would “rock the boat”. Change brings us from what we know into the unknown, and that is what many of us fear; the unknown. Just like paddling upstream, you have no idea how strong the current is going to be until you’re in it. As believers, God has called us to a journey of faith in this life. This means deciding to trust God with the unknown, then walking in it. Begin today to overcome your fears by taking small steps, not leaps, of change. You will discover that by taking small steps every day, it develops courage and you will begin to build momentum in your walk with God.
3. Lack of integrity
This is the tricky one! For those of us that are not stuck in a comfortable state of life and are not fearful of our situations changing, we are more likely to fall into this last point. Your opportunities will always have the ability to take you further than your integrity will. Never compromise your integrity for the sake of forward motion. Everything we do must be weighed against the word of God. Don’t be so driving by ‘moving up’ in the Christian walk that you take shortcuts. Getting out of the kayak and walking up the shoreline, then putting it back in the water after the rapids is not equal to going through them. Press on through the trials! As long as you are diligently seeking God, you are experiencing forward motion even if in your physical life you do not notice. Just as someone paddling upstream, it may be slower at times; but you will make it through if you continue to press on.
Forward motion is a necessity in our walk with God. Focus today on getting out of your comfort-zone and not fearing the changes that may come. Keep your heart and actions pure before God. Continue to step into the future that God has planned for you. Never stop, always press on!
Related Post: What lies beyond your finish line?