Staying in Your Lane

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Obedience

John 15:5 – “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

It’s exciting, you know? When God gives you a vision and ignites a passion for that vision inside of you. It’s like He’s handed you the ball, and the crowd is roaring, your adrenaline is pumping, you can see the goal post, and all you want to do is take the ball and run for it! This big part of you just wants to dive in head first, do the work, and bring that vision to fruition. I’ve been there…a couple of times… and in my well-meaning haste, I stepped out of my lane, moved to fast, moved ahead of God…outside of His perfect will…and delayed the fulfillment of the vision.

I didn’t realize what was happening in the midst of it all. I just kept pushing…trying to make things happen in the way I thought best. It’s only recently that I realized that when our efforts just don’t seem to be bearing any fruit, it’s usually because we have moved ahead of God and are trying to do things in our own power…in our own way.

apartfromhimnothing

The Word tells us that apart from God, we can accomplish nothing (John 15:5). I believe this verse goes beyond referencing our foundational relationship with God and implores us to approach everything with a God-centered focus—our work, our ministry, our relationships…everything. So when God gives us a vision, before we move, we must give it back to God, seeking His wisdom, guidance, favor, and anointing as we move forward; checking in regularly to make sure that we are on the right path; and heeding His correction when we stray in the wrong direction or move ahead of Him. It is then, I believe, that we start to see our efforts begin to bear real fruit.

I’m not saying that there won’t be struggles along the way; but oftentimes, those struggles are a warning sign, letting us know that we have “drifted out of our lane” or “failed to obey the speed limit” and moved ahead of God. Indeed, those moments of difficulty and discomfort may just be God’s way of giving us a course correction; and it’s in our best interest to take heed, receive his guidance, and open ourselves to be led as God nudges us back onto the path towards fulfilling the vision that He has placed on our hearts.

Safe and Untouched

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Isaiah 43:2 – “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

I love this verse. As amazing as it is, life can be difficult sometimes, and this verse reminds us that no matter what we go through—rising waters or burning flames—when God is with us, we are protected; we will make it through…tried, tested, but ultimately unscathed. With God by our side, guiding us, protecting us, giving us strength, we can endure the storms of this life that rail against us with complete confidence that if we hold to our faith, we will not be consumed. There’s such peace and joy to be found in that knowledge.

Yes, of course, it may be better (we often believe) if God just shielded us from any trials and challenges that may come our way, but the reality is that we often emerge from these seasons of adversity stronger, more centered, and better able to stand firm in our faith when next the winds and waves of life beat against us. We can’t always avoid the storms of life, but it’s so amazing to know that we have a God who walks with us, takes our hand, and even carries us through the tough times to ensure we make it to the other side.

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If you’re going through the storm today, feeling beaten and battered by the winds of life, hold on. God is with you. He is your strong tower, standing tall in the gap to keep you safe…protecting you, keeping you…and you WILL make it through.