“I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.”
Revelation 2:19 (NKJV UK)
The people across the road moved away. Come the day, a self-drive van backed into the drive and the contents of their home were loaded. Last of all was the dog, carefully deposited in the cab.
Moving on needs careful planning. The same is true when it comes to moving on religiously, or even maintaining our daily Christian walk. If we don’t proceed carefully, then moving on can leave us vulnerable to all sorts of variables somewhere down the line. We might be derailed by a well-meaning friend who no longer believes; or we might read something which disturbs us.
The trouble with ‘moving on’ in our Christian lives is that for most of us we’re settled and not looking for change. When it happens it can leave us rootless and directionless even years later. I remember a minister many years ago giving a powerful sermon on this subject. When we first come to Christ, we give ourselves heart and soul to our Lord. And we set out to follow what we understood as his will. “But then,” said this minister, “if our Lord comes later and says, ‘You walked this way faithfully, but now I want you to walk a slightly different path’, do we protest and say, ‘But that’s not the way you first told us.’” No, the answer has to be, whatever we first did to follow our Lord, we now follow him the new way, the better way.
Ahh, easy to say, but by no means easy to do. It can involve tearing up much of what we hold dear, what we have followed for many years. It can require wholesale re-potting and re-rooting. It can require moving on without looking back with regrets.
Many Christians live their whole Christian lives without making any changes, despite repentance meaning consistent change, not a one-off, without making any examination of what now might be required of them, what is expected of them as mature Christians.
Moving on, in my experience, usually means ‘downsizing’; just as moving house means discarding accumulated clutter. It becomes much like a spiritual onion, where we can peel off each level one by one, freeing us from what has confined us in our previous walk. Drawing closer to our God.
Jesus’ yoke is intended to be a light one. We may have made it heavier than he intended down the years, but still the process of de-cluttering can be stressful and painful. The result at the end of it, however, is a clearer vision of our Lord and Saviour.
Mighty Father, thank you for our calling. When we gave ourselves to you we meant it. Help us to hear when you are asking us to make changes; help us to be willing to keep following you. In Jesus’ name pray.
Study by John Stettaford
About the Author:
John Stettaford is an Elder in the Reading Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK.
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