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Pulling Up Camp

Over spring break, my family and I loaded up the car and headed east.  As we drove, a funny thing happened.  We ended up farther and farther away from home.   Siri told us so, but we would have figured it out anyway.  Half-way through our trip, hills and then mountains began to appear.  Trees got taller and more dense, forming an archway over our path from time to time.  Finally, prairie grass and red dirt behind us, we knew for sure that we had reached our destination when we hit sandy Virginia Beach.

For seven days, we lived a new reality and were able to put aside the cares and concerns that had weighed so heavily on us back home.  As often happens when I’m on vacation, God cupped my face in his hands and held me calmly until he had my full attention.  We talked about a lot of things that I’d forgotten to tell Him—things He already knew—and He helped me finalize some weighty decisions with peace and confidence.

Once I calmed, He let go and held my gaze.  For the rest of the week, He talked, and I listened.  I was reminded how good it feels to be the daughter of a Father like Him and how free it feels to rest in the fact that He loves me.  It’s such a relief to know that tomorrow is not mine to conquer and all I have to do is trust and obey.

Now that I’m back home, though, I’m struggling to maintain the calm and connection I felt on vacation.  Why?  Well, it’s not because the Father left me.  That’s for sure.  I find that when I force myself to stop worrying, fussing, mulling, and choosing, He’s right there waiting for me to notice Him, ready to remind me of His love and sovereignty.

I’m struggling because, somewhere along the way back home, as the mountains melted into prairie and the trees slipped back into the earth, I picked up the worries and habits I’d left behind like a stack of waiting bills and junk mail and allowed them to overcome me.

That’s what happens when you live in the middle, you see, when you turn your eyes on what is seen rather than what is unseen, when you focus on vain do’s and don’ts and anxious what if’s instead of claiming and living in the victory God has already provided through the blood of Jesus Christ.

The Enemy lives in the middle, and He baits and distracts those who choose to camp along the fence-line between light and darkness, poking, prodding, and wounding those who concentrate on avoiding evil and staying “clean enough” rather than pursuing the Lord with abandon.

Why do you suppose the Father has called us to holiness?  For His sake?  To a certain degree, I suppose.  It does bring Him glory, and He is the King of Kings.  But it’s also for our good, something else for which the Bible says He works all things together.

When you pursue holiness, leaving the temporal, permissible, and disputable behind you, a funny thing happens.  The darkness falls away.  Care by care, worry by worry, fear by fear, it fades until all that is left is beauty, calm, and peace.  That’s what the Father wants for us.  That’s what salvation from sin and self through Jesus offers.

So, where are you today? Are you longing to feel God’s touch and hear the lullaby of His powerful voice once again? Pull up camp and pursue holiness. The Father will help us get there.

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