Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Stop and Go!


     Moving forward is apart of being "a work in progress", but sometimes stopping helps us get further than if we keep going. Quitting, idling, or shutting down are definite enemies to development, but I have learned over the years that putting on the brakes helps us discern where to go next.

     Whether it is our mouths or our movements we can all use discernment to get to where God knows that we can be.  For a very productive person stopping could seem like defeat.  To a breezy personality one could be threaten by a rally call to get up and go. Thank God that He guides us when to pause or when to press.

     It is interesting how God uses relationships to help us grow in understanding. I have a lot to learn about people.  I frequently find myself asking God how I can better relate to others.  Out of a desire to take a personal relationship to a more excellent level I sought God about what it is on my end that I could improve upon.  This particular relationship is not broken and does not seem to need much attention.  I admitted to God that I did not even know what to pray for regarding what to do or not do.  That is when God began to explain the importance of "Stop and Go!"

     What is discernment?  The definitions can pile high, so God just summarized this for me as knowing when to stop and when to go.  Should I keep talking or shut up?  Is it beneficial to continue a project or pause and do more research?  Do I keep writing or take a rest?  Is it time to take action or continue in prayer?  The interesting thing is when the words "Stop and Go!" came to me I saw them in this punctuation.  Both words were in capital letters, stop came first and "Go!" was with an exclamation.  I believe this was for very good reason.  God never advocates laziness, but He most definitely encourages times when we need to stop doing whatever it is that we are doing. 

     When we yield to the Holy Spirit He will guide us on "Stop and Go!".  God explained it to me this way.  Pausing at the beginning of our day and simply asking God to help us with discernment positions us to hear "Stop and Go!".  The more we do this the better we get at the interchange.

     Developing discernment is kind of like learning to drive a standard automobile.  Growing up in Kansas it is probably of no surprise that some of my first driving experiences were in an old wheat truck.  The stick shift was about as long as I was tall.  Finding the next gear was a workout.  There was definitely no "grace to my neck" as my body jerked back and forth.  I never knew a vehicle could bounce so much while driving on the flat plains of a rural dirt road. Moving from a rusty old farm truck to a modern import standard pick-up I began to develop the skills of switching from first to second and beyond.  The transition became more fluent the more I practiced. 

     Eventually I bought a car that had an automatic transition.  When I would drive someone's standard it took me a little bit to get used to it again.  After driving through a few intersections it was a much smoother ride.

    After God explained the "Stop and Go!" to me I knew that I had gotten away from seeking first His discernment and needed some practice.  I regularly must yield to the Holy Spirit so that my daily interactions are smooth.  When we know when to "Stop and Go!" conversations are more enjoyable, work is productive,  and answers to decisions become clearer.  Slamming on brakes or gunning it can become "exhausting", but knowing ahead of time when to "Stop and Go!"will help us keep moving forward as "A Work in Progress".

"My son, let them not depart from your eyes- Keep sound wisdom and discretion; So they will be life to your soul And grace to your neck"
(Prov. 3:21-22 NKJV)

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