We all want to be moving ahead and advancing in our lives, whether it be at our jobs, in our relationships, our fitness level, or—most importantly—in our relationship with the Lord. We press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus, just like Paul told the Philippians (Philippians 3:14). The very way that we were wired is to grow.
I watch as my granddaughters advance from crawlers to walkers and how every week their vocabularies contain more phrases than the previous week. Our elderly population is encouraged to keep learning new things. This advancing is really what keeps us alive and in the game. But what about when the acts and the decisions that it takes to advance don’t come naturally? When the next move in advancement takes courage? Or self-denial?
Getting out of debt is going to take many moments of denying our flesh what it wants. Losing weight, ending a toxic relationship, or setting consistent boundaries for kids is never fun, and yet Jesus tells us that in Him we can find rest for our souls and that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). So how do we stay at peace and rest in our hearts while we are advancing?
We are created with a built-in nature to want to advance and become all that we were created to be. And yet the Lord tells us that it is a finished work. The picture that helps me understand this balance is a gerbil in one of those plastic balls. You know the ones that you buy at the pet store so that your gerbil can get out of his cage and get some exercise without being lost forever under the bed or in my messy closet? We are surrounded by God’s protection, and we can stay in a bubble of total peace while we are advancing. For IN Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). This bubble of peace is promised when our minds are stayed on Him.
Isaiah 26:3—You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Nothing to worry about or fret over as we push forward into all that He has called us to do and become.