Monday, December 22, 2008

Where Do I Go From Here?


Have you ever tried to make your way to church but just didn't feel like it or began to pray but just couldn't find the right words to say? Maybe you've been in a position where you felt as though you were at a "spiritual stand still". You know, the point where you don't see yourself growing and you don't see yourself backsliding but you're just...there? We've all been there before at that "spiritual fork in the road" where we don't know if we should go left or right and we're just standing there waiting for a sign from God.

What do you do when you feel this way? Do you alienate yourself and pretend like everything is everything? Do you call your prayer partner or church family for prayer or encouragement? Do you read your bible, pray, and wait patiently for God to speak to you?

These are all questions that I've asked myself at one point or another. I have found myself feeling spiritually stagnant a time or two. It was during these times that I learned to do three things: pray, praise and pay attention. Unfortunately, I've learned the hard way (and am still learning at times) that when things are "quiet" that I need to pray just as often and intensely as I do when things are going haywire. That way, if and when the storm does rise, I've already gotten enough vested so if I can't say anything other than "Jesus" I'm alright. I've learned to praise because the word of God tells us that God inhabits (or lives in) the praises of His people. When I find myself in a jam or immobile, I need some Holy Ghost fire to get me started again. And lastly, I've learned to pay attention because I know when I'm down to nothing that's when God is up to something. He loves to do the impossible.

Lately, I've been feeling a little "sluggish" in areas that I used to be excited about. I've been asking God if I'm somehow **missing** what He's been trying to show me. Of course God doesn't always answer when and as clearly as we would like Him to but I believe I got my answer while I was looking through my old notebook of devotions. There was a lame man in Acts 3 who was "stuck" as well. This man was physically cripple.

One day, while on their way to the temple at the hour of prayer, Peter and John saw a lame man begging outside of the entrance of the temple. Peter told the man that he didn't have any silver or gold but he gave him all that he had. All that he had was Jesus which is more than enough. God used Peter to give the man the ability to walk in the name of Jesus (Acts 3:1-6). The man rose with their assistance. Imagine how much progress others could make if we would learn to help them to stand on their own two feet. His feet and ankles were strengthened and the man leaped up and praised his way into the temple.(Acts 3:7-8)

The people saw him praising God. We must give honor where honor is due to the most high God - our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. God gives us strength daily. He gives us strength to rise, strength to resist temptation, strength to live right, strength to love our enemies, etc. He also gives us strength to strengthen others in His name as Peter did. We must never think that we have it all together and forget about that person that is at a stand still like the lame man. They may be able to walk physically but they could be spiritually lame.

Once the man was strengthened, he leaped and praised God. Nobody forced him to. No one had to ask him to shout 'Hallelujah'. The people saw him praising God. People are always watching. When we're blessed (and we always are), we must be ever so careful to bless the Lord not just when things are good but at all times. We have to bless Him when we can see our way and even more when we can't see our way because we know that just as He made a way for us in the past, He will make a way for us again.

The people saw the once lame man praising God. More importantly God saw him praising God. We are receiving strength right now through His word. We should all follow Christ as the lame man did - into the presence of the Lord praising all the way.

9 comments:

Thy Word Is A Lamp Unto My Feet said...

Shanita-

Such a timing word – you could say I am a ‘stand-still’ situation as well. Now knowing where to turn – Pray – Praise – and Pay attention are the perfect P’s. I like your post more so because the 3rd P is very important. I want to be more alert after praying and praising to see what the Master is up to so I don’t miss anything. Thank you for such encouraging words.

I appreciate your visit and comment on my blog.

From the Heart said...

Very appropriate. Thanks,
AliceE.

Lisa said...

I can relate to what you are saying especially being in constant communication with God--that way we are "vested" so to speak. My grandma taught me to pray without ceasing and there are so many times I hear my mother...she does not know I hear her..... say, "Thank you Jesus" she is always praising Him. Jesus gave me many wonderful gifts, #1 salvation #2 my parents : )and the list goes on and on. My parents rank really high.

HALLELUJAH said...

Sister Shanita,

Stay steadfast in GODS HOLY WORD.

The WORD tells us in the book of 2 Timothy 4:2-3 - Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. - For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

We are constantly watched, the WORD states in the book of Hebrews 12:1 - Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,


Thanks for the comments.


GOD Bless~~~

Debra said...

Shanita,
I was so pleased you visited me and pleased by your comment about The Shack. Then, reading your blog, I had another fine time. More than that-I want to keep coming here. It is so important to pay attention. How many times have I been thinking about lunch when I'm being fed from heaven right in the church pew!!?? I guess it's just brain-laziness. It was a wonderful post-thank you. I'm gonna add you to my list.
Love, Debra

NAVAL LANGA said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS--CLICK HERE FOR THE CARD

Tammy said...

Have a Merry Christmas!

Parkay said...

Hi Shanita, very nice post. I too felt a little stagnant yesterday but my reasons were different from yours. But once I forced myself to get up and have a word of prayer I felt a much better. Instead of feeling the pain of my mom's passing, I began to remember how much she enjoyed Christmas and giving things to her family whether it was store bought or hand made. I realize now that throughout my life she was teaching me to love and to love is to have Christ (in the spiritual sense) and be Christ like because GOD IS LOVE! So as I gave out presents to my family members who still celebrate Christmas, I imagined her smiling down on me simply because I took the time to give and not look for nothing in return. It was at that point I started to feel the joy she must have felt when she did this for us every year and through the years. So instead of crying about her death I celebrated her life and began to thank God for loaning her to me. From this day forth as I celebrate the birth of Christ I will also celebrate the life of my mother and give God praise for simply being who he is. Please continue to pray for my strength in the Lord as I pray for yours. And prayerfully we can both know where to go when when we are at a stand still or not moving in the Lord like we think we should be. His word will bring us back every time. Thank you Sister Shanita, once again you hit the mark! God Bless you - PEACE ;-)

JFS said...

Hmm. It seems like I have been in standstill for quite some time. I will try to do what you have suggested.