The Internet Cafe is thrilled to welcome back Beth Misner!
In high school, I played the flute in the marching band. We had to learn something called "mark time" in order to be able to keep from running into the backends of the stopped horses that might be in the parade in front of us, or to allow one side of the band to move into a cool formation while we waited, marching in place.
I was reminded of this "marking time" this morning when I was taking stock of my spiritual marching from the past week. If you're like me, there can be times where you realize you are marching in place in terms of your relationship with the Lord. Marching in place has the feel of activity; your senses tell you that you are moving, but in reality, there is no forward motion at all.
How does this marching in place manifest itself?
Well, the daily pace is usually quite fast, there might be more on your plate than in other weeks, and your quiet time with God is eroded or washed away completely. You go through each day with your heart and mind in communion with Him, singing praise songs, giving silent thanks for the beauty around you, but you never quite make that space in the day to just sit and converse with your Father and meditate on His word with no other distractions around you.
There are truly moments in life where marking time is all it seems we can do. We are still bound up in this fleshly existence and there is only so much we can do sometimes…the danger comes in letting week after week go by in mark time. I think that without the change of scenery that comes from growth in the Lord, our marching in place becomes weaker and weaker, until we can be simply standing there, an open target for doubt, despair and bitterness, an open target for sin and shame.
The Bible uses another analogy in 1 Corinthians 9:24: “Run in such a way as to get the prize”! (NIV) In Galatians 5:7, Paul says, “You were running a good race; who cut in on you…?” (NIV)
Oh Lord! Give us energy through the power of the Holy Spirit, who strengthens our mortal bodies, to continue pressing forward for the prize. We need Your help to be able to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I pray that we will not be so caught up in our daily to do list that we aren’t moving forward in our relationship with You, which is truly the most important thing in our lives.
I encourage you to take stock in your spiritual relationship with your heavenly Father. Are you moving forward or simply marking time? Learning to become aware of when marking time is all you are doing is important so that you can begin to create space in your life, giving you the room to move forward.
Stop right now and take a look back at the past few weeks… Have you have been marching in God's parade, marking time, or standing completely still? What are those things that tend to cause you to stop the forward march and simply mark time? Is there space in your day that you can open up for deeper communion with the Holy Spirit?
Hebrews 12:1-2 is our encouragement:
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (NIV)
The horses ahead of you are once again on the march; it's time to move out!
My life's purpose is to bring glory and honor and praise to the name of Jesus Christ, the God of Heaven. It is through Him and by Him and for Him that I live and breathe and have my very being. I am student of the Bible and a disciple of Christ, and hold a bachelor of arts degree in theology. I am a prayer leader for Moms in Touch International and have the honor of serving in the body of Christ as the prayer ministry coordinator of my church, Baseline Community Church (www.baselinecc.com). I pray that my life and work will touch your heart and mind and that the Light of Life, Jesus Christ the Lord, will shine upon you.
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