- Jan Walker
A SHORT WALK TO FREEDOM
Early this morning, He woke me up to the fragrance of orange blossoms. Orange blossoms are traditionally the bridal flower. But they don't bloom in the middle of summer, and there's not an orange grove around for miles.
He wanted me to take a walk with Him. The thing is, He only wanted me to walk out to the street and back. I thought, "That's odd... not much of a walk." I wondered if it was even worth putting on sneakers for. But what began as just a short stroll actually turned into quite a spiritual trek. Simple obedience, the willingness to go, and a listening heart -- these were significant steps to arriving at what He wanted to teach me. A small beginning, full of promise.
A small start with Him is more fruitful than a huge effort in my own strength. With Him, I can do anything. No matter how large the mountain is, or how far away the goal appears to be, a step of faith is a step in the right direction. One small step of obedience will produce the fruit that will fuel the rest of the journey ahead.
The fact that He lured me with the fragrance of orange blossoms speaks of bridal identity and who I am in Him… who I am to Him. How could I resist that invitation?
So I combed my hair, put on my sneakers and walked out the front door, noticing the dew, expectant for anything He wanted to show me on my very short hike across the front yard.
When I got to the street, I stood for a moment looking around, wondering what to do next. Isn't it always our human default to wonder what we have to do? I looked down the street, and I wanted to at least walk down to the corner and back. But I felt Holy Spirit telling me that, for today, just doing the small thing He asked me to do was enough.
As I turned back toward the house, I was rewarded with the sight of a pair of graceful cranes flying over. A bridal covenant in the sky. They travel in pairs because they mate for life. Commitment is about choice. Covenant is, by nature, sacrificial.
Our life in Him should revolve around what He has done for us. But in our presumption, we always seem to make it more about what we "do" for Him. It's one of the ways we rob God… tagging our own "good ideas" onto what He has directed us to do.
What would I have proved if I had kept walking? That I was easily capable of doing so? What would I have gained by abandoning His original instruction and heading out on my own? Did I think He would love me more if I put forth more effort and went above and beyond? I really had to stop and think about that.
Walking even one step further than He asked me to walk would have been the same as saying what He asked me to do was too insignificant, or somehow inadequate. Not only is that questioning God, it's determining in our hearts that we know better than He does in a given situation. Let that sink in.
Simple obedience is pure obedience. I was immediately reminded of Psalm 19:9. "The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever."
When we surrender our heart to His wishes, and our mind to His plan, the rest of us will follow with a renewed awareness of purpose and communion.
My casual walk to the street and back this morning was the same as running a marathon in His eyes, because I simply did what He asked me to do. He required nothing more from me, and He allowed me to feel completely comfortable with that.
What is your mountain... what is your motivation? Ask Him to show you your small beginning; and stay true to what he tells you to do, even if you're tempted to run ahead. Let Him take the lead on your journey. I wish you orange blossoms and beautiful birds along the way.
Lord, You know the plans You have for us. They're good and they lead us in hope towards a promising outcome. But in our own pride we try to improve upon Your instructions to us; in our impatience, we try to run ahead of You. In our insecurity we try do more than You've asked us to do, and that leads only to confusion, anxiety, frustration, guilt and burnout. Teach us to truly take You at Your word. Only then can we walk in the Spirit and live in simplicity and freedom. Thank You for your great love and patience toward us as we learn to flow with You.