Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about movement in the aspect of staying mentally flexible. Jane does my promotional work and I call her a river; every time Facebook blocks her from going one way, she believes for the Lord to show her a different way around. Our “dance with disappointment” is brief. We believe, “God will make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19). He always does.
We weren’t going to give up on reaching people with my writing, but we knew we had to yield to the Holy Spirit, and be open to going in a divergent direction if necessary.
When we feel that we’re on the right track and it’s God’s will, nothing can stop us, but we may have to be a little flexible in our ideas about how it happens. We can’t be making all kinds of our own rules about how we think things should be done. We need to open our hearts to God and let Him direct our steps.
Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.” In other words, we can get to know what’s really in our hearts, what we truly want, but only the Lord can help us get there. If we try to direct our own ways, without asking for the Lord’s guidance, it’s not going to work out as well. The Lord knows the end from the beginning and we don’t. Jesus Christ is the leader; we follow. He is very concerned about each individual’s path.
When we make too many rules for ourselves, we can become too brittle and even break. When something new comes up, we halt and get mad or scared or both. We get even more determined to defend our rigid beliefs, instead of being willing to look at something in a new way. Instead of staying tender-hearted toward God, we get hard hearted and refuse to budge.
That’s what happened to the Pharisees. They knew it was God’s will to heal people but they also knew that The Law of Moses said they weren’t supposed to do any work on the Sabbath. They became overbearingly inflexible about not working on the Sabbath, to the point that when Jesus gave them a new way, and went to heal a man on the Sabbath, they couldn’t take it. They were not going to be flexible about their rules, even when it came to someone who desperately needed help. They wouldn’t even listen to Jesus.
“And he [Jesus] entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.
And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness [blindness] of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him. But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea” (Mark 3:1-7).
I know none of us would want to be as rigid and ridiculous as the Pharisees. We don’t want to lose sight of the bigger picture. When obstacles come up against the traditions and rules we’ve set up, we want to let the Holy Spirit take us around some new bends in the stream and teach us some new things. It may be more thrilling and more satisfying than we ever imagined.
Let’s keep our hearts tender and flexible, open to Lord’s leading, even if it means going in a slightly different direction as the Lord opens new doors.
One very exciting scripture is Isaiah 48: 6 “I have shown thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them.”
Let’s keep moving forward. Let’s be willing to be flexible. Don’t stop.
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