Boxes of all sizes and weights adorned the upstairs landing of our town house. After nearly twenty trips down and up two flights of stairs, the mountain of boxes sat neatly stacked within the walls of the garage. Even though I could barely walk the next day as my calves reminded me I didn’t normally hike so many stairs in a day, the relocation experience continued. A few days later, the garage could breathe again as friends and family lifted and carried boxes to their cars. Filling each vehicle resembled the game Tetris – packages fitting together like a unique puzzle within the confines of the car. After twisting through the neighborhood streets, the unloading commenced with volunteers trekking up and down another two flights of stairs to deposit each household box in the appropriate room within the newly rented apartment.
Last week we moved Sophie and Peter into their first apartment. The days of preparation seemed endless, followed by days of organization within their new home. Yesterday, we moved Sammy and Emily from Sam’s bachelor one bedroom apartment to a two bedroom apartment with more space to accommodate themselves and their two energetic dogs. Sore calves, tired arms, and weary feet greeted me this morning.
Moving – In motion. The process of changing one’s residence.
This caused me to consider those stories we read in the Bible regarding people who moved. Via a big boat, Noah moved to a new home :–). The preparations involved in Noah’s move were extensive. According to Answers in Genesis, it probably took Noah between 55-75 years to build the ark, numerous days to gather necessary food, and then another seven days to load the ark. Click here for the Answers in Genesis link. The “drive” to Noah’s new home as directed by the hand of God took just over a year. Wow, that was a LONG moving journey. (see Genesis 6-9)
Abraham also relocated. This hero of the faith received a call from God to leave his place of residence in Ur of southern Mesopotamia and move by faith to a land which he knew very little about (see Genesis 11:31-12:9) . Abraham’s vehicle likely walked with four legs and his journey included a long stop-over in Haran. The route covered over 600 miles and demanded months of travel. I can’t imagine walking and moving for such a great length of time; Abraham definitely persevered.
The Bible reveals that many followers of Christ moved dwelling places. Some of these include Jacob, Esther, Ruth, Job, Paul, Priscilla and Aquila, Timothy, Peter, and all of Israel. Have some fun reading through the Bible noticing all those who experienced moving homes.
Yet, there is another definition of moving revealed in Scripture. This meaning reflects inner movement, progress and development in a particular direction.
Moving – An action that initiates or advances a process or plan.
The Lord was moved by the entreaty of Manasseh, as recorded in 2 Chronicles 33:13. Ezra records that God moved within the hearts of His people to give generously to build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem (see Ezra 1:5). “Moved by the Spirit,” Simeon went into the temple courts where he met the infant Messiah. Jesus experienced this kind of inner “moving” as well: “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled” (John 11:33). When Jesus noted the sadness of Mary, Martha and their friends. He was moved. Filled with the movement of the Holy Spirit, Stephen gazed into heaven seeing Jesus standing at the right hand of God (see Acts. 7:55-56). The beloved disciple of Jesus, John, “was in the spirit on the Lord’s day” and he heard a trumpet-like voice. He too marveled at the spirit moving within his soul.
Stories abound of the Spirit moving within those committed to Him. What is your story?
Are you aware of the ways God is moving within your soul?
In order to notice the movement of God, engage the practices of slowing and stillness. Too often we long for the Spirit to move within us, but we are too busy, too exhausted, and too distracted to authentically attend to His activity.
Slow down. Schedule space to sit with Jesus. Approach this time without an agenda, just be with Him. In many circumstances we come to God running on 8 cylinders. Our engines are reved up and we are in high gear. Instead, we need to remove our foot from the gas pedal, down shift, and slow our internal engine. What would it be like to be with God in an unhurried manner? Life with Jesus is too priceless to miss out on the ways He is moving within us to transform us to look like HIm.
In the same way. we need to slow down our bodies to savor space with God, we must also still the inner chatter. God longs to meet with the entirety of who we are. This includes our mind, emotions, body, and intellect. Many times during prayer, bible reading, journaling, and worship, we are “thinking” about other things. Don’t deprive yourself from the fullness of meeting with God. Stillness occurs when the inside of us is tranquil before God; when we rest in His peace and quiet. Be still and experience God moving.
Incorporate the rhythms of slowing and stillness this week. As you practice these spiritual habits, look for how the Spirit of the living God is moving within you. Then, you will be better able to align yourself with His ways and transforming power at work in your life. Welcome His voice of truth, clarity, love, and invitation. Be attentive to God as He advances His plan for you.
You may not be moving the location of your home, but you can receive God’s initiating pursuit of your soul and accept His moving Spirit within you.
Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.
In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. [The sons] took Moabite wives… Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.…When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her. So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem.
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.
Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.
Charles F. Stanley. Living in the Power of the Holy Spirit. Nashville, TN. 2005.
Ruth Haley Barton. Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation. Downers Grove, IL. 2006
Sprinklings of truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.
Danny Gokey. Slow Down. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTYAkbZojV4
7eventh Time Down. God is on the Move. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPB9ENSd1Xc