One of the greatest dangers in the Christian life is stagnation. It happens when we quit moving. There’s lot of reasons why we quit moving and growing. Sometimes it just isn’t easy, and we decide to stay where we are. It’s easier to stay than go. The press of other life issues sometimes cause us to stop right where we are spiritually. Obstacles from situations or other people often bring our spiritual progress to a halt. One of the most dangerous reasons is simply lack of vision. We’ve been growing; we are doing things in the Kingdom; we are seeing God move,and there can come that moment of feeling we have arrived. The failure to have the spiritual vision that challenges us to keep moving is deadly.
How lovely is your dwelling place Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion
(Psalm 84:1–2, 5-7).
Psalm 84 is a tool God has used to continually challenge me to keep moving, especially in my prayer life. I have used this powerful psalm to keep myself on a prayer pilgrimage. It is interesting that Psalm 84 speaks of pilgrimage, because the whole psalm is really about dwelling in Gods house. How do you dwell somewhere, yet still be on a journey to that place?
I think that apparent contradiction is why it appeals so much to me. You see, that’s where I am spiritually. Through Jesus, I now dwell in Gods house. Indeed, it can be said that you and I are God’s house in which He dwells through His Spirit. That is just solid biblical teaching.
Yet in living this out, I discover that I am on a journey. It is a journey of awareness. And like any journey, I must keep moving if I am to arrive at my destination. Without setting my heart on the pilgrimage of awareness, I will forget the amazing truth that I not only can, but am even now dwelling in the House of God! It is prayer that keeps me walking in awareness.
Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty; listen to me, God of Jacob.
Look on our shield, O God; look with favor on your anointed one.
Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you
(Psalm 84:8–9, 12).