In his letter to the Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul told the church to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). He encouraged us to be perpetually in a spirit of prayer.
But did you know there are also times when God wants us to stop praying and start moving.
Shortly after Pharaoh let Israel leave Egypt, he hardened his heart one more time and sent his army to bring the Jews back into captivity.
When Moses heard reports the Egyptian army was in pursuit, he cried out to God for deliverance. It is what every sane Christian should do in times of distress.
But suddenly God commands Moses to stop praying and start moving:
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward.’” (Exodus 14:15 NASV)
There comes a time when God wants us to quit praying and start doing. Prayer is absolutely vital for Christians, but sometimes prayer becomes an excuse not to do it. Sometimes prayer is just another way to procrastinate, to put off what God has called you to do.
Prayer sounds so spiritual, but it can be a cover up for our fears.
We need to start moving and when you do God prepares the way for you.
As Israel journeyed to the Promised Land, there were going to be challenges, giants, resistance, even moments of failure, but God promised Israel:
28 And I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite from before you. (Exodus 23:28 NKJV)
Notice how God said He would drive out their enemies before them. In other words they had to be moving before God unleashed the hornets. If they just sat in their camp thinking, praying, planning and doing nothing, God wasn’t going to do anything either.
If you have been praying about starting a ministry, writing, doing videos or starting a podcast, it may be time to quit praying, crying out to God, and it might be time to start doing it.
Sometimes we procrastinate because we are not sure how things are going to turn out.
This was the problem Zerubbabel faced when the Israel returned from its captivity in Babylon. Zerubbabel was the leader of the first group of Jews who returned to the Promised Land.
As their governor, he was instrumental in rebuilding the city and the temple.
It wasn’t easy. There was resistance and delays and the construction ground to a halt. Then the prophet Zechariah gave a word:
10 For who has despised the day of small things? But these seven will be glad when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel—these are the eyes of the Lord which range to and fro throughout the earth.”” (Zechariah 4:10 NASV)
Other translations read that we are not to despise the days of “small beginnings.” God wanted Zerubbabel to get moving and not worry about how things looked at the start. Sometimes we refuse to move forward because we want things to be big and perfect at the beginning.
Well they won’t be.
I want to do videos and have been involved in a few and everyone of them was full of mistakes and things I could have done better and hopefully will do better next time.
On one video the sound was so low people were complaining they could barely hear it.
Another was too dark and the script in spots was horrible. (Even my wife, who is my biggest cheerleader, thought it was bad and if this is what she thought, that meant parts of it were horrible.)
Another video, that probably took an hour to produce, was mistakenly done in the poorest resolution.
But so what. I need to learn from these mistakes and move on to the next one.
But notice how God said that He would rejoice when He saw the plumb line in Zerruabel’s hand. The plumb line was a string with a weight on one end used during construction to make sure a wall was vertical.
God was not rejoicing over the finished project, but by the fact Zerubbabel was starting to build. He was moving forward. This is what excited God.
A few days ago, an acquaintance posted a video. The lighting wasn’t perfect and the sound was a bit off, but her message was clear. I applaud her because she took the risk and just did it. More importantly this video delighted God because she was doing what God called her to do.
And finally when you start your journey forward don’t forget Paul’s advice to “pray without ceasing.”