Move with a Motivated Attitude
Your attitude determines your altitude says Zig Ziglar. Too often we allow our circumstances though to determine not just how we see and face life, but whether we should move forward or not. If we do not want to move forward, the underlying determinant can usually be found in the attitude that we have on the situation. It can be an attitude of fear, hopelessness, or perhaps it just appears hard.
American pastor, Harry Emerson Fosdick once told how as a child, his mother sent him to pick a quart of raspberries. Reluctantly he dragged himself to the berry patch. His afternoon,Â ruined for sure. A thought however then occurred to him. He would surprise his mother and pick not just one quart but two quarts of raspberries. Rather than a hot afternoon of hard work and drudgery, his work now became a challenge. He enjoyed picking those raspberries so much that fifty years later; the incident was still fresh in his mind. The task had not changed, but his attitude certainly had, and it is his attitude that forced him to move forward with new insight.
Attitude changes our desire to move, but sometimes our perspective of how we see things is the motivation factor that makes us move. There was a teenage boy, who while playing basketball in the driveway, lost his contact lens. After searching in panic and fear to no avail, he reluctantly went inside to tell his mother, the lens was nowhere to be found. Undaunted, she immediately arose and went outside, to look for herself. In just a few minutes, she returned with the lens in her hand. ”I really looked hard for the lens, Mom,” said the boy. ”Where did you find it?” The mother replied simply, ”We weren’t looking for the same thing. You were looking for a small piece of plastic. I was looking for $150.” The perspective on how we view life is what motivates us to move.
I often find myself not really wanting things to change, with an attitude of not wanting to move forward, this is because frequently the perspective of moving forward is full of unknowns and the unknown is sometimes scary.Â Frequently though, the lack of motivation to move is not so much the unknown, but what the future looks like from the current perspective. When our perspective changes, the desire to move forward propels us in motion. This week, our focus verse looks at the motivation to move, as we look at the Israelite’s. They left their homes and now are crying out, because even after witnessing countless miracles to get to where they are now; they think the very uncomfortable way of slavery life that God rescued them from was better than what it now appears they must face. They find themselves in the desert surrounded by their Egyptian enemy and the Red Sea. They prayed for rescue and God answered their prayers, but now they are afraid they made a mistake, and are ready to just go back to the old way of life that they wanted to escape from, for so long. Their perspective was only from the desert floor, and they were frozen in fear to move.
How often do we find ourselves in the desert of desperation, where things look so dismal, that a move is out of the question? Perhaps we are in the place we are because we prayed and moved. But now we question, if we did the right thing, because from our perspective, we followed the right steps, and now here we are against what appears to be a wall. But in this week’s verse, God shows us that He is bigger than all and He is in control. We must focus on His faithfulness of the past and face the future. Even when we are in a crisis, we must look to God with the confidence of trust, rather than fear and complaining. This is where our relationship with God takes first priority, onceÂ we have prayed and listened, it is time to stop asking for continued signs, and just move!
Then the Lord said to Moses, ”Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!” Exodus 14:15 (NLT)
Change your Perspective and Move
Praying is the key to changing your perspective as itÂ strengthensÂ yourÂ relationship with God. Praying may seem like a passive action, however prayer usually requires a necessary move with active action. Too often, prayer becomes an excuse to procrastinate doing what you know must be done. If the Holy Spirit gives direction then it is time to move in that direction. Action follows prayer. Prayer changes your perspective, and that changed perspective precipitates a move of some variety.
Is it better to be a gazelle or a lion, it depends on your perspective? Columnist, Herb Caen wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle: ”Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle; when the sun comes up, you better move! And so it is with prayer, you pray, God answers, you move. You don’t want to be caught in the frozen motion of fear.
A ”God-focus”, will Move you to a ”God-view”
God is not saying though, we need to solve our own problems, as that is a move in the wrong direction. When however, you have prayed and the direction you need to move in appears before you, then move into action. You will feel more confident in moving when your perspective changes, because you see things from God’s view. Facing everyday life with prayer helps change your perspective and creates the move you need. When you ”God focus” your life on a consistent basis, your perspective cannot help but change to a ”God view”. This in turn will give you the confidence to move into action after praying, as you will rely solely on the faithfulness of God.
Have you ever felt like the Israelite’s, thinking that you made a mistake and your move created more problems than you had? This is where you must trust fully in God and your relationship with Him. This relationship can only come from spending time with Him, through prayer and meditation. Sometimes, in your time with God, an understanding will come through a revelation that you have some wrong in your life that must be cleared out. So move to clear it out and then you can move forward in your faith and relationship to move on with life. (Joshua 7:10Â – 14) When you know the right answer, you must move forward in action.
Occasionally you make mistakes, which is why prayer should always be the first thing you do before making a move, but mistakes should not freeze you into the inability to move forward. Theodore Roosevelt said, “The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.” God does not want you to fear life and not do anything. He wants you to live your life in full abundance with Him at the realm, not allowing the small obstacles to make you immobile. There are countless icebergs in the frigid waters around Greenland. Some are small and others tower towards the sky. The small ones are subject to surface winds, but the huge ice masses are carried along by deep ocean currents. You must trust God completely and become a gigantic iceberg and be carried along God’s deep current knowing that He is in complete control. Allow Him to direct your move, as what you believe as a mistake maybe nothing more, than an opportunity that God is providing.
The time to build your relationship with God is now; it all begins with prayer, which is quickly followed by a move in action. You should not wait to be motivated by a desperate situation. A famous paratrooper was speaking to a group of young recruits. When he had finished his prepared talk and called for questions, one young fellow raised his hand and said, ”What made you decide to make your first jump?” The paratrooper’s answer was quick and to the point, ”An airplane at 20,000 feet with three dead engines!” Don’t be forced into a move without the daily preparation of prayer.
When a move is necessary follow the three C’s;
- Be challenged to move forward after prayer.
- Be convicted to move through your faith and trust God.
- Be comforted to know that God is always with you, waiting on you to make the next move.
Love in Christ,
Actress, Helen Mirren says, ”You write your life story by the choices you make.”
Shouldn’t your first choice be to choose God, before you move?
Credits: Harry Emerson Fosdick Story, Paratrooper’s Explanation - Dynamic Preaching, June, 1990.
What are your thoughts? Join Us in Discussion
Have you ever been afraid to move forward with a decision? Do you begin with prayer before you move? Do you have stories to share with others about how prayer dictated your next move? Are you allowing God to help you move in the right direction? Join us in discussion about how your attitude and perspective of God, helps you move forward in life.