Stop and Go
Last week I saw some kids in the park playing this game called Stop and Go! Do you remember it? You have one kid in charge of yelling out the verbal directions and the rest of the kids are far away, behind a starting line. When the kid in charge yells “GO!” the others run pell-mell to the “finish line.”
The catch is that if the kid in charge says, “Stop!” then you have to stop – immediately or else risk being disqualified. And nobody wants to be DQ’d. You want to win, be the first to cross the finish line!
The Danger Zone
Recently, I was journaling about obedience with the Spirit. I felt like over time and with unwise choices, I had stopped being as receptive to his promptings as I once had been.
Yikes. I didn’t particularly want to acknowledge that revelation since my desire is to always say Yes to Jesus. But it’s the little things that you start to ignore. Like, “Leanna, this show isn’t for you to watch.” Or “Watch out, you are skating close to gossiping right now.”
Oh, but sometimes we like skating close to the edge of danger, it feels reckless. It’s fun, it’s relevant. All our Christian friends are doing it. So why not us, too?
Danger, Will Robinson!
Since when did saying no to the Lord’s still small voice in some areas of my life become my response? Lord have mercy.
I found myself in need of some confession and repentance. To confess is to say, “Yep, I did it. Please forgive me.” To repent is to turn your back and not return to the sin or behavior that is separating you from God’s goodness and commands.
I’m not telling you my story of repentance so that I can seem godly or like I have it figured out. I don’t! 😉 I tell you this so that you, too, can realize that lack of obedience can be a slippery slope. Our heads can be turned by the flashy and exciting culture we live in. Thank the Lord, that our Jesus is filled with grace for us.
Listening Like a Child
To practice, God and I walked through some role play exercises like this:
God: Ok, Leanna, when I say “Stop!” — you…..
Me: Stop right away!
God: First time? Without hesitation?
Me: Yes! Absolutely!
God: Ok, and when I say “Go!” — you …..
Me: Start running right away, and go where you tell me to go.
Retune & Rewire
With His help, I have to retune my ear to hear His voice and rewire my heart to say Yes, Always!
A couple of days after we discussed this, He gave me a dream so I could practice. In the dream I was looking at a tabloid or something. It wasn’t good for my heart, and I knew it. I heard in my spirit, “Leanna, it’s time to put that down now.”
I sensed my own hesitation, I mean what harm could a magazine be? Quick on the heels of that thought was the memory of the confession I had made to say Yes, the first time, and right away. I closed the magazine. Then I woke up.
Gosh, how good of the Lord to give me a chance to practice in my sleep what I will continue to work at throughout my days. It doesn’t matter how harmless and insignificant I think my actions are. If I’m listening to his lead and he says No, then it’s for my benefit.
Guiding Us Into Freedom and Truth
God’s not punitive. His boundaries are drawn with lovingkindness for our health. His counsel keeps us safe. His words help us walk in freedom from bondage to our own will or unmet desires. Psalm 16:6-7 gives us this encouragement:
“The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.”
The good news is that we don’t have to fix ourselves. When He places his finger on something, we look to our Abba Father for wisdom and strategies to say yes to Him. Then we can begin to change with the Spirit’s help.
He is living inside us, guiding us into all truth.
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak…”John 16:13 ESV
How awesome is that? How refreshing and reassuring that when we slide off the rails a bit, He is there to guide us and nudge us back into His Truth! His way!
So, let’s play a rousing game of Stop and Go, my friends. I challenge you to Stop and Go at the Spirit’s command, straight to the end. The stakes are high, but we can help each other cross the finish line together.
Add your email below if you’d like occasional updates and an email reminder when I blog.