When will we find Norm? That is the question on our minds. Right? When will my work life get back to normal? When will my children experience normalcy in this school year? When will I be able to sit with thousands of my fellow sports fans to watch my favorite football team again?
My answer to all these questions is, “I don’t know.” There is so much uncertainty, and moving forward is so difficult when we can’t make sense of where we are today. That is why it is crucial for us to have a guide to show us the way.
This past weekend, Lead Pastor Ben Snyder shared that it is critical for us to make God our guide moving forward. After the Israelites left Egypt, they found themselves in the desert. God guided them forward with a pillar of cloud during the day for cover and a pillar of fire at night to provide light.
21 The Lord went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire. This allowed them to travel by day or by night.
The Israelites were also guided by promises given to them by God. Promises that Moses shared with them before they left Egypt.
Exodus 6:6-7a (NIV – emphasis added)
6 “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God.’”
What’s amazing about God’s “I will” statements is that they are not only promises made long ago to the Israelites but also true for us today. Just as God led the Israelites on a journey, he has a journey for each of us as well.
This fantastic journey begins when God brings us out from a life that is enslaved to sin and void of knowing him. Our relationship with God is restored when we accept Jesus as our savior, but it doesn’t stop there. God continues to invite us into a deeper relationship where we know and trust him more each day.
As we know God more, we see that we are freed from our shame and hurt. We no longer have to hide our past or mask our inadequacies from others because we have become a new creation in Christ.
He redeems us by restoring our purpose. God has placed each of us right where we are for a specific reason. He has given each of us a unique personality, passions, and abilities to use for his glory—to serve him as we serve others. Together these help us live out our purpose to glorify God and point others to him.
His final promise is a promise of fulfillment as he takes us as his own. He calls us his children and his church. We are his plan to reach the world, and as we live it out, we make an eternal difference.
This journey is the life that God has for each of us. Here at CedarCreek, we refer to it as the “adventurous life.” As you take steps on this journey and allow God to use you to make a difference, you will go to places you would have never imagined. The journey will lead to moments of accomplishment and excitement. It will not be free of difficulties, but it will lead you to a life full of meaning.
This journey, or adventure, is God’s normal for our lives. He desires for each of us to experience “all the things”: peace, joy, freedom, purpose, fulfillment, and more. As you search for normal, remember to ask God for his version and not your own. Let God’s promises guide you to the normal he desires for you.
John 10:10 (NIV)
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
How would you describe your normal?
Does it include peace, joy, freedom, purpose, and fulfillment—or anxiety, depression, bondage, aimlessness, and dissatisfaction?
Reflect on God’s view of a normal life. Are you using it as a guide to move forward?
Write down your next steps in the areas of:
- Knowing God;
- Finding Freedom;
- Discovering Your Purpose; and
- Making a Difference.
Share your next steps with someone and ask them to join you on this adventure.
21 Days of Prayer: Our Leaders (Day 3):
Dear God, grant our leaders wisdom in this unprecedented time. (Name a few leaders specifically.) Help me to extend grace and confidence to the leaders you have placed over me. Guide and protect the leaders in our government, churches, communities, businesses, schools, and families as they make difficult decisions day in and day out. Thank you for allowing me to be an encouraging voice to the leaders above me. Amen.
This post was written by Ben Bockert. Ben is a proud husband and father of three beautiful daughters. He is honored to serve as the Director of the LivingItOut Bible Study.
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