Sunday, 25 September 2016

Our Christian walk - Don’t forget lessons from the past

You can only walk your own journey – everyone’s journey is different and each of us has to seek God for ourselves – the process cannot be shortcut, God will not move on. If we try to carry baggage into the next stage of our walk it will be compromised and we will need to confront it in the end

Recently I was in a conference where the speaker was talking about Moses. The point was that Moses and the children of Israel came to the Red Sea and stopped, wondering what to do. With a bit of poetic licence the speaker suggested that God might have tried to jog Moses’s memory by asking him to remember how he had used his 'stick' (staff) when he came before Pharaoh. He had proved that God was with him with different signs (his stick had turned into a snake and eaten Pharaoh’s snakes and he had used the stick to turn water into blood etc.). This gave Moses a hint of what to do next. Just to be sure God said, ‘Hey use the stick!’ so Moses extended the stick over the sea and back it rolled creating a path for the Israelites to get across.

In this ‘modern’ age we move on very quickly – mobile phones and computers are good examples - usually out of date even before we open the packaging. We very quickly start to look for the next new thing and get bored with the old. At the very least we give the old a new name to make it sound fresh (a trick commonly used by new government ministers when using ideas passed on to them by their predecessors)! While technologies do change, the Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 1:9 that with regard to things that really matter ‘there is no new thing under the sun’ and in 1 Corinthians 10:13; ‘no temptation has taken you but such as is common to man’. To us however things that confront us often appear novel and particularly difficult because we think that they are unique to us (or ‘me’). Because it is ‘me’ (not someone else) we feel that there must be special reasons why this situation or temptation is especially difficult and that there must be excuses or reasons that apply just to ‘me’ that help to justify my actions or let me ‘off the hook’?

We are very good at repackaging the ‘bible way’ and making it easier for ourselves. Instead of seeking God’s face - Hebrews 11:6 ‘he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him’ and Jeremiah 29:13 ‘You shall seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart’ - we invent programmes with new names, distractions and diverting activities. I wonder what would have happened if the disciples response to Jesus’ instruction in Luke 24:49; ‘Wait in Jerusalem until you receive the power from on high’ had been; ‘well it’s pretty dangerous in Jerusalem at the moment and boring to have all these prayer meetings so how can we make this more ‘user friendly’? ‘Let’s move the venue to somewhere more comfortable, take it in turns four at a time, have coffee and cakes every 45 minutes and prepare ten themes for prayer each with their own five sub themes so that there’s something to keep our attention going?’ If this had been the disciple’s approach then would they have all been together and united in purpose on the crucial day of Pentecost?

Thinking about a more recent past in 1996 my wife and I had a significant encounter with God. For me it was not a victory easily won. There was three months of seeking, stripping away preconceptions, sins and pride before He poured out His blessing on my life. I think that this was the nearest I have got to ‘seeking with all my heart’. During that time though we learned a number of other simple but profound lessons which were plain to us and many on similar journeys, but are easily forgotten in the next ‘new thing’. Some examples are:
  • You can only walk your own journey – everyone’s journey is different and each of us has to seek God for ourselves – the process cannot be shortcut, God will not move on. If we try to carry baggage into the next stage of our walk it will be compromised and we will need to confront it in the end. Sometimes we try and compare our path with other people’s journeys or judge their journey or find excuses in our journey because of others. None of this works indeed the opposite is true. The only journey that we can walk with God is our own.
  • Repentance as a way of life – not just for the repenting unbeliever but also for the church. Repentance and confession gives the devil nowhere to go with his accusations and lies. A good place to start is to find a real Christian friend (a God-appointed one is best and it may be someone very unexpected), agree with them that you can say anything to each other without judgement and then meet to share what needs sharing.
  • God is not a corner shop. God doesn’t expect His children to turn up now and again with their needs and supplications and to get their answers and go away ‘fixed’. Although He is very gracious and does answer some of these prayers He really doesn’t want to work that way. It’s not about our needs it’s all about Him and our relationship with Him. He wants us to spend time – real quality time with Him. In our particular experience in 1996 some of this was in people lying on the floor maybe for a few hours with the Lord. This was real time for some conversation with Him – or just listening to Him or receiving from Him.
  • The seeking process is not to satisfy some desire of the Almighty for us to ‘do time’ like a penance but because to know Him deeply we need the process for all kinds of reasons that can be quite individual to us. The result of earnestly seeking God’s face is to enter and deepen our relationship with Him.
We quickly forget these experiences and lessons and replace them with other more ‘up to date’ ways of doing things. This is not to say that the new is bad. We must refresh our walk every day and what is newly revealed is as valid and exciting as older treasures – Matthew 13:52 ‘Therefore…. a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old’. The point perhaps is to ensure that our foundations are right and then to build on them; Ephesians 4:14 ‘then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever that they sound like the truth’.

Let’s bring to mind what God has taught us in the past and build on it whether its general principles like ‘seek my face’ or something specific like ‘going down this path will lead me into temptation and I must avoid it’.

Psalm 27:8 ‘When You said, Seek My face, My heart said to You, Your face, Lord, I will seek’.

Author: Chris Pearson

May God bless and enrich your life

Please feel free to share this article and other articles on this site with friends, family and others


  1. Thank you for this blessing this morning. It reminds us that God desires a relationship with us and He is ready and waiting. All we need to do is come to him, to meet with Him, to glorify Him and to love Him. This is the very least He deserves because He gave everything for us, He gave us Jesus. Praise God

  2. Thank you for Blessing the body of Christ with your time to share your writings. For me this Blog it is part 2 to last weeks. So there is something serious God is telling us and I believe it is that we must all have our own personal relationship with God. For me it is an honour and privilege to get to know God personally.
    All the Glory to God ALWAYS Amen
    Love sister Tina

  3. thank you for this up lifting blog .In the business of the day its hard sometimes to stop and take time to spend with God? I will certainly think more about what distracts me? and ask God to remove from my life anything that is distracting me and weakening my walk with him . Psalm 16 v 11 came to me while reading this article(in his presence is fullness of joy) this has certainly encouraged me to think more seriously about the time I spend with my father God and making this a priority? thank you for this encouragement all Glory to God

  4. Thanks for this amazing words today we have to understand that God ways are higher than our ways it is our relationship with him that release the answer to our prayers God bless Herbie