Mark Affleck

Are You Moving the Dirt on Your Faith Walk?

January 25, 2022
Spiritual Growth

Watching January race to its conclusion for 2022 intensifies my focus on this month’s theme—SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE—and fills my mind with a flurry of messages to sneak in before the calendar flips to February. Today, that message is a short-and-simple reminder of our responsibility to TAKE ACTION and not sit back “hoping” our spiritual maturity will grow.

This idea came to me while I was building our house and watching a huge earthmover devour ruts, trees, and concrete as it roared and rumbled across the property. Associated with that energized scene is a vivid memory of asking the operator how he knew where to begin how to approach the job.

His answer pushed me back a step but immediately inspired my commitment to develop SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE in my faith walk. He told me that it was not until he started “moving the dirt” that he learned about the ground and how to “skin it.”

He kept repeating this line: “You’ve got to move the dirt.”

I quickly followed up by asking him when he would have enough experience to feel confident before he started. His reply came back fast, propelled by a piercing edge: “I’m a cat-skinner with 32 years on this tractor and if I waited to know everything before starting the project, I would never start working.”


I learned a lot from that short exchange under a blistering Southern California sun. It was clear to me that the key to SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE and growing our faith was getting started. To never stop moving. To “begin to begin” no matter how uncertain and menacing the future looks.

Beginning might be developing a daily quiet time in God’s Word and prayer. Trusting God in situations where you have not trusted him before. And taking steps to serve others.

It’s our faith activated over risk and beyond fear. It’s LOVING God and FEARING Nothing in full stride. It increases our trust in God and prompts us to explore (move the dirt) with confident hope in Christ even though we don’t have all the answers.


God wants us to put our trust in him and let him drive us to new levels of SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE and Christ-powered joy. The more “dirt” we move, the more confidence God gives us. Even though there is always danger and risk, God gives us the strength to explore the unknown and uncertain without fear or hesitation.

We’ve got to move the dirt!

My prayer is to never stop exploring new depths of spiritual growth and maturity—MOVING THE DIRT–so I trust God more and more and grow ever closer to emulating HIM.


Are you looking for spiritual shortcuts that increase your GOD KNOWLEDGE but do not put it into action? What spiritual action step do you need to take in the new year to “move the dirt”? C’mon…keep thinking.

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22

“Remember that I have commanded you to be determined and confident! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:19

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