I was a classic runner when I was a teen. Now before you think that means sports…stop. What I mean is that I was a runaway. If things got intense at home, I ran. It was never for long but it was definitely my initial reaction to stress. Now you can only imagine what that turned into as I went through high school. I ran to relationships, drinking, drugs, entertainment, adventure, etc. Thank God at twenty I ran into God!
I have found that runner in me still has a small voice in my thoughts at times. Thoughts of being harmed by others if I don’t get out of intense situations….right now. Thoughts of being overwhelmed or caught in a situation that I won’t be able to handle (rooted in childhood). I also battle thoughts that bad things will happen to me if I’m alone (also rooted in childhood). I know as a new creation that these are not kingdom thoughts so I take them captive every time they rise. I replace them with God’s truth. I don’t think I’m alone in battling this and it’s not even what I set out to write about, but these are the thoughts that have caused me to run.
My point in writing is that even though I don’t physically run away anymore, I have tended to run to other things. Friends, adventures, shopping, Facebook, conferences, worship services, etc. all the while God is saying “please stay here with Me.” It is so natural for me to run so it takes the supernatural to make me want to STAY. I don’t think I’m alone. However, I have learned to love the STAY.
I’ve learned in this season how to stay. How to stay in uncomfortable situations, how to stay in relationships when they are challenging. I was always one to drop friends if they betray me without thinking twice. I’ve learned how to navigate communication through disagreements and misunderstandings to see a resolve. I’ve learned how to forgive. I’ve learned the great reward that comes from staying.
Christian ministry and missions are always asking who will go. Send me…everyone chants! Answering the question of who will stay is equally as important.
What if what God dreams for you is for you to stay? Stay in that job that drives you crazy. Stay married to someone who is not the same person you married. Stay invested in your kids who disobey, disrespect, and dishonor. Stay in that church where there is no life. Stay in that region that is incredibly dry.
Not staying to die, but staying to bring LIFE into those situations!
Do we truly believe in a God who can do the impossible not just in other countries but right here in our country? in our state? region? family? Do we believe that we carry an atmosphere changing Holy Spirit in us everywhere we go? Do we carry a light that invades darkness? even if that darkness has been in every generation before us? Are we prepared to be the ones who draw the line in the sand and say NO MORE, take a stand, and watch God turn it all around in those areas…all for His glory?
What happens if everyone goes and nobody STAYS? There is a special reward for those who feel led to and choose to STAY.
Sometimes staying is the stepping out of that comfort zone that we are challenged to do instead of taking a missions trip to another country. Sometimes THERE IS POWER IN THE STAY.
I’m not saying everyone who is in these situations are meant to stay in them. Some are most definitely meant to GO, but make sure when you GO it’s NOT because you are running away from something you don’t want to face. The enemy loves to distract us from the things that are on God’s heart. Don’t let him.
The most important STAY is to STAY in His presence. Lock eyes on Jesus, spend time with Him and in the Word. Then you will know if you are meant to STAY or GO.