Monday, February 9, 2015
Red Light, Green Light
Being in the last stages of a new book, I found myself at the point of decision--which book do I work on next? You see, the final stages of my current book are the tedious points of formatting and preparing for publication. Because these are such tedious tasks, I can only work on them for short periods of time lest I go mad! In the stretches of time in between, I thought it best to start on a new project. I was ready to do some writing. Not editing. Not formatting. Writing! But with a long list of book ideas, I had no idea where to begin.
So, I prayed and prayed and prayed some more. I waited for an answer. I searched for God's will. But after nearly two weeks, I still hadn't written a word because I couldn't decide which book God wanted me to write next. I was tired and frustrated and couldn't figure out why the Lord was making this so difficult. After all, I was simply trying to do His will.
As I usually do when faced with a spiritual dilemma, I talked with Jason. I explained my prayers and God's silence on the matters. He followed my outpouring with a few pointed questions, one of which was, "Which one do you want to write next?" After some thought, I told him which one I would most like to write at the present time. "Then go with that one," Jason said. "If the Lord wants you to work on it, then He'll allow you to do it. If not, He'll hinder it. But you need to get moving. It's easier to steer a vessel when it's already in motion." Whoa, when did he get so wise?
Seriously, he had an excellent point. Have you ever tried to steer a car that wasn't moving? It's nearly impossible! But once the car is in motion, it becomes so simple to steer it in any direction. I was so stumped by God's next step for me that I was standing completely still. I wasn't getting anything accomplished.
Now, let me tread carefully here. I am not saying that we shouldn't seek God's direction in matters or that we should just do what we want and leave it up to God to tell us "yay" or "nay." The point that I'm trying to get across is that there is a time to be still and a time to get moving. And just so you'll see that I'm not making this up to suit my own fancy, I'll give you proof.
And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. - Exodus 14:13-16
Did you catch it? Standing there on the banks of the Red Sea, the children of Israel throw up their hands in despair and complain to Moses about their current plight. So Moses tells them, "Don't worry about it. Just stand still and see what God will do." Immediately after Moses' statement, however, the Lord says, "Moses, why are you just standing here talking to me? Tell the children of Israel to get moving." Moses told them to stand still, but God said keep moving. Red light, green light. God needed the people in motion. He had a work to accomplish, and it involved action on the part of the Israelites. And once they were moving, God was able to direct them exactly where they needed to go.
Now, I realize that there are places in the Scriptures where the situation is reversed, and that's fine. It still proves my point. There is a time to be still and wait on God's direction. Then there is a time to start walking in the general direction in which the Lord has already directed and allow Him to guide you from there. Knowing when it's a time to wait and when it's a time to act is between you and the Lord, but I'm certain He'll give you peace one way or another when the time comes.