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Archive for the ‘Travels’ Category

Stop, Listen & Go

I LOVE to travel. I mean I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. I love being introduced to the new. I love the change of scenery.  I love the instant gratification of arriving at a destination. When it’s long-form travel, I love being able to sit back and allow myself to be carried forward into the next experience and moment. I love the movement of travel and I love the stillness.

But travel doesn’t just speak to a physical sensory awakening, travel speaks to my spirit.

There’s something about the physical act of going from one destination to another that always causes me to sit back and think about where I’m headed in life. My dreams and decisions are birthed in the forced stillness of an airplane covering long distances and crossing timelines…as if I am being carried forward towards dreams that are within reach and closer than I’d imagined…

Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Proverbs 4:25 (NLT)

Sometimes the days are so busy, it’s easy to get caught up in the constant activity and forget to take the time to dream or check-in on my dreams. The daily grind becomes more about reacting to a full schedule or workload. Staying at work late trying to finish projects given around the closing bell (sigh), fitting in time at the gym, coming home late hungry, making dinner, social media socializing, Netflix unwinding, going to sleep late, snoozing 3-4 times the next day and rushing to start another cycle of just trying to make it to the weekend.

And yet God is reminding us in Proverbs to Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Asking you to believe they are within reach and closer than you imagine because His plans for you are greater than your day-to-day and He wants to birth Hope in you to believe and imagine again.

Now, as you know, last year I traveled to Paris and “backpacked” through France & Italy mainly, with some Belgium and Spain thrown in, so I spent lots of time travelling between geographical destinations. Journal in hand, I had hours to sit and listen to God and reflect on next steps as the train rushed by lush landscapes and I saw how accessible the next destination could be. I would dream of lushness in every area of my life and actually see and hear how easy it could be.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NIV)

I’ve decided and I hope you join me too, to bear MUCH fruit EACH day. I’ve decided to bear the fruit that I’m meant to. Yes, God’s Grace and the Fruit of the Holy Spirit allows me to be kind, loving, gentle, peaceful and patient each day, bearing fruit each day, but I also want to fulfill His purpose for me and in that way yield the most of my talents and abilities. So, this is what I’ve done since my sabbatical and what I’m purposing to do as I step into the Greater Unique Calling for which I was created. (Watch this sermon series by Jeremy Pearsons‘ on getting Fit for the Master’s Use, HERE.)

First: Take time daily to STOP.

STOP and DREAM. STOP and ASSESS where I’m at in the dreams God has placed for my life. STOP and PRAY over those dreams and project. STOP and DECLARE God’s Goodness over every part of my life and the glorious future that He’s prepared for me. STOP and write down what He’s showed me and what goals I’m pressing forward to.

Second: LISTEN for His Voice and His Direction. John 15:5 is SUPER IMPORTANT. Apart from Jesus, I can do nothing.

What does remaining in Jesus, practically look like? It’s saying, “Jesus, Help! Holy Spirit, Help!” throughout the day. It’s finding His promises about that situation in the Bible and writing them down to carry with on your person, as a lifeline. It’s spending time in His presence throughout the day, EACH day.

I set apart daily quality time and stay connected during the day as I’m working, eating, commuting, working out…by saying things like, “God, I love you. You are so awesome. You love me so much. I think you’re so kind, so great, so amazing to me. I see how you care for everyone in my family. I see what you’ve done in my life. I trust you. Thank you for your help. Thanks for making me smart. Thanks for making me beautiful. Thanks for setting up this opportunity for me.” (In “thought-seconds”- time spent is like speed of light status)

Third: I GO. I get moving. I take action. I write the blog post. I apply for the job. I make the decision. I go to the gym. I make the coffee date. I take the class. I research the idea. I look up cost-of-living in the new city. I practice the skills I feel I’m losing. I set the money aside for the dream. I read the book. I quit the time-draining activity. Whatever Holy Spirit has told me the Father and Son want me to do, I endeavor to do.

Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” John 5:8 (NLT)

This isn’t always easy. I would say from looking at my life and the conversations I’ve had with friends the hardest part is to GO. Doubt likes to creep in at this step and tell you, you heard wrong. Passivity can saunter in and say, “Not yet, you have time. Status quo looks good.” Fear, (I hate it!), will show you every possible worst-case scenario of you taking action. So, what do I do? I do it anyway. I arm myself with the WORD and if I can’t shake off the what-if, as Joyce Meyer says to do, “I do it afraid,” but I do it.

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!” Exodus 14:15 NLT

Personally, I like the verse above and I use it as an exhortation to myself, when I know that the next step is contingent on me actually getting myself in gear and taking action. By this point I have Stopped to Listen and I know what I have to do but instead of doing it, I’m like God, You need to change my situation, and He’s like, “Ok, Raquel, you know what you have to do. I’m on your side. Your move. Get moving; I’m going with you. I’m going in front of you, I’m watching your back, I’m holding your hand, but you have to take the step, if you want to see all My promises come to pass in your life.”

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 (ESV)

What’s the result of Stop, Listen & Go? A life that promises the presence of Yahweh. Fullness of joy and Pleasures Forevermore.

Kairos Moment: Taking the time to dream with God, lets Him speak into your life the dreams He has for you and the direction you have to take. Staying connected daily means fullness of joy and rest and peace and hope; surely those are a taste of the pleasures and treasures He has set apart for His children who love Him and seek after Him.  
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