We sat in her kitchen sipping coffee. She was walking through a trial–a long one–and didn’t have a clear end in sight.
“It’s like we started out, and all these people were at our side. I could see them all around. I could hear them cheering. They all seemed to be on board, running beside us. But as the months have drawn on, I find myself looking around … and can’t see anyone anymore. We’ve made some hard choices to obey what we feel God has called us to do, and for whatever reason, I just can’t see anyone around us anymore. It feels so lonely, and makes me wonder if we’re doing the right thing.”
Have you been there too? I know I have. Although it’s critical that we surround ourselves with like-minded people and learn to run together, it’s equally important that we know how to run alone. Why?
Because we’re bound to spend a lot of time doing just that.
Last year, as we were praying, planning, and preparing for the adventure of RENEW, we met with lots of people who are considering whether or not to join this venture. And even though I prayed every single day that only those who God was calling to join would come, I still found myself–in my flesh–craving a nice-sized crowd around us. Sure, it was partly because I was genuinely excited for what God was doing and wanted as many people as possible to be involved.
But also because things are just so much more comfortable when a bunch of other people are around.
The key thought process is this: If a whole bunch of us are running this direction then it must be God, right?
But what if we’re called to run alone? Or with only a few? Does that mean we’re going the wrong direction?
Does a crowd = God’s blessing?
Does popularity prove it’s the hand of God?
Oh, friends, these lessons are not easy, and chances are we must learn them again and again (I have this past year!). Even though we are wise to consider the wise counsel of others, We cannot determine God’s will based on popular opinion.
Crowd-sourcing theology will never bring us to the heart of God.
If we only run as far as everyone else is willing to go, we’ll never really see His kingdom come.
So, we must learn to run alone. How?
By remembering that we never actually run alone. No matter who is with us and who is not, If we are walking with Jesus we are never running alone.
And as long as we crave the company of man more than the company of God, we will never go far in our Christian walk. Just this morning in my quiet time I read:
“Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is none on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:23-26
There is none on earth I desire besides You.
It is awesome when a crowd gathers around. When many are there to cheer us on. It’s such a gift to have people are your right and left, running beside.
But we must be a people who run with God.
HE must be who is at our right hand. Who we desire fellowship with more than anyone or anything else. No matter who comes and goes in our life, who starts with us or ends with us or comes just for a while. We must run with God. Our Source, our Joy, our Strength.
Revisiting this and recommitting again to run … no matter what. How can you run with Him this week? Thanks for reading.