Mark Affleck

I Paid A Heavy Price For Not Stopping To Get Directions

June 11, 2017
Spiritual Growth

Early in my faith walk I never stopped to reflect on my spiritual journey and get God’s direction. And I paid the price by running off the road and stalling too many times to count.
After making a commitment to know Christ and walk with him, I began to see the need to “search for learning” along the road of life. And that’s what I’ve been doing for over 20 years now with countless blessings and much wisdom from God.
Today, there are times in my life when this process is robust and full of rigor. There are also times with it sputters and stalls. But in both cases I diligently maintain the discipline of reflection to assess how my life is intersecting with God and his Word.
The goal is to identify and illuminate the Christ-like model we seek to emulate and make sure it is front and center in our view. Inspiration for the reflection habit comes from God’s direction to ask for examination, as the psalmist wrote:
“Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness. I do not sit with the deceitful, nor do I associate with hypocrites.” Psalm 26:2-4
We just need to stop and get directions.
Trust me, I know it is not easy! But it can be done of course. Here are some of the things that have helped me in this area:
Believe it or not, I have to ask God EVERY DAY for help in stopping the busyness train from running off the rails. This guarantees that I will be able to reflect regularly on my life and relationship with him.
SEEK THE LEARNING…in the trial
Nobody revels in the trials of life and we don’t look forward to troubles and tribulations. It’s the opposite…we seek other, more pleasant things. But when trials do come, we need to be on the look-out for learning what God wants to teach us that will benefit our own spiritual growth and the spiritual growth of those we touch. God uses these experiences to build our faith and to build our trust in him.
MAKE THE ADJUSTMENT… after the trial
After a trial passes we are inclined to “celebrate” and move quickly on with life. But this is when God wants us to pause for the most important reflection in each trial’s cycle—when we are most open to his pruning back the parts of our lives that need to be reshaped for more fruitful growth. Whatever it is, God has a plan in mind to make us better equipped for the future.
Are you carving out time to reflect on your life’s direction and ask for God’s directions?
“Stop listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.” Proverbs 19:27

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