Following Jesus Takes Grit

Have you ever made a promise to God not knowing what kind of resolve it would take, but you were all in?

In my late twenties, God called me to follow Him into ministry. In yielding to His calling I promised God I would never turn down an opportunity to share with others about the mercy, grace, and redemptive power He granted me. I committed to following Him anywhere, anytime, and at any cost.

Little did I know what kind of grit I would need to keep my commitment.

There have been seasons when I wanted to retract my promise. Seasons that were too hard, too overwhelming, and too painful to forge ahead.

Have you ever wrestled with keeping your promise to God?

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Romanticizing The Past

romanticizing-the-pastHer eyes danced with wonderful memories as she reflected on the good ole days; days full of happiness, fun, adventure, and freedom. I could tell she was reliving some of the fun when her mouth smirked with a grin. She knew that God had led her to where she is today, however, her present hardships left her thinking that maybe the past was not so bad, after all.

Has God ever delivered you from a difficult, painful, or unhealthy situation and yet you find yourself grumbling in your present circumstances?

  • Maybe you are minimizing the pain of a previous marriage because the new one feels hard.
  • Maybe you are minimizing the toxic relationship you were once in because you now feel lonely.
  • Maybe you are minimizing the difficulties of your childhood because being an adult stinks.

When the present feels difficult, we often romanticize the past. 

For a moment, we can forget we were once crying out to God for deliverance, begging Him to rescue us from our darkest time.

The Israelites forgot the bondage from which they had been delivered, and consequently, rejected a Holy God.

Their deliverance:

God heard their cries for help and saw their affliction. He delivered them from bondage, oppression, and great sufferings. As God led them to freedom, they journeyed through the desert and wilderness experiencing His presence, protection, and provision.  In their forty years of traveling, they never once ran out of clothing. Their shoes remained intact. Their feet did not swell, and water and food were provided.

Their rejection:

They felt reprieve as God led them from all their hardships. But something happened that caused them to romanticize their past.

They focused on their provisions instead of their Provider. This is shown throughout the book of Numbers.

We read in Numbers 11:5 how the Israelites recalled the fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic they received in Egypt because their stomachs were tired of eating the manna and quail God had provided for them. They felt so deprived of the luxurious foods that they wished they were still in Egypt. Their time in Egypt was full of traumatic experiences and yet they felt it was better than their current circumstances.

I have a name for them, “Whiney Hineys!”

Let’s not be too quick to judge them, though. Have you been a “whiney hiney” lately? Are you romanticizing your past instead of remembering your deliverance?

When we begin to feel our current circumstances are worse than our past ones, we ought to turn to God. Ask Him why. Ask Him to show us the good in the NOW. Ask Him if our feelings are lying to us. Seek Him in His Word for truth, direction, and wisdom. But, what we should not do, friend, is reject God by romanticizing what He has delivered us from. When we do that, we are saying to God that He is not worthy to follow and that He has made a mistake.

Is that what you really mean to say? I hope your answer is no.

So, let’s stop minimizing what He has brought us from, and start maximizing what He is seeing us through, NOW! He is worthy! He is forgiving! He is in control! He is who you need Him to be right now so, cling to Him like never before and rest in Him. And by the way, God never makes mistakes!

What are you thankful for in your present circumstances? I would love to hear from you. 🙂