He led me.
This Sunday, Pastor Eli Nelson set the precedent of My City Church in 2023 with this year’s phrase: "Go into the current." Last year, the word for 2022 was "Stand" - we keep getting back up no matter how much we fall or get beaten down. Now, the church is shifting focus to building both willingness and obedience to go into the current.
He leads, but we have to follow.
"He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was trickling from the south side. As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross." Ezekiel 47:2-5 (NIV)
Cold shower obedience
No one likes a cold shower, but it is good for you. Sometimes obedience to God is like this. Even though God is leading, Ezekiel had to follow. Eventually you have to follow, be obedient, and sacrifice a bit along the way. You could be willing and not obedient OR be obedient and not willing. We are not called to a comfortable life. You will be called to do things you may not want to do, but you have to make a choice to not be held back by your comfort.
"If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land." Isaiah 1:19 (NIV)
Many are hungry for the vision and promises of God, but they aren't obedient to the processes of God. In the river, you have very little control - especially when you’re in the current. Stop fighting or drifting - the current is purposeful, and it's the flow of the Holy Spirit. Following God is a daily decision, not a one time decision.
"I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart." Psalm 40:8 (NIV)
Vision only makes sense in hindsight. The goal isn't to be successful. It's to find God. Are you going to to keep going deeper even when you aren't seeing your breakthrough? Are you going to let the Holy Spirit lead you to places you never thought you could reach? It's time to step into the current.
"He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, 'Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.' 5 Simon answered, 'Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.'” Luke 5:2-5 (NIV)
Just like Peter, untangling the net after an unsuccessful season is an example of faith. Whatever God asks of you, will you do it? Even when it doesn't make sense? As we continue through 2023, let’s carry a heart and spirit of outrageous obedience to the Lord. With that, tell yourself:
This year I will be obedient to ______________.
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