Wednesday’s Word: Advancing



…I have defeated all your enemies as you advanced… 1 Chronicles 17: 8


David didn’t wait for God to make it safe before he advanced. Instead, God empowered David to continue his forward movement by conquering his opposition as David advanced. And so it is with us.


When I was little, I loved going to the beach, but I couldn’t go very far out. The shoreline breakers always knocked me down. My big sister wanted to bring me out beyond the breakers where the waves were calmer. I resisted, thinking, if the waves are this rough close to dry land, they’ll only be bigger and worse the farther out I go. I’ll be in over my head and completely dependent on her. That’s too risky.  But finally, I agreed to try. My sister was right. The water was much calmer once we advanced beyond the breaking waves.


I wish I could say I learned this life lesson at that tender age, but I didn’t. Time and again I avoided confrontation. When people seemed rough to me, I clung to safety by not going up against them. I gave others what they seemed to want or expect of me until I felt like I was losing myself. At some point, the grace of God showed me that going along with what others wanted wasn’t being Christian or even “nice.” It was being fearful and abdicating my responsibility to use my God-given free will. Putting other people’s opinions first was just as wrong as putting mine first. God belongs in first place.



It was scary to begin resisting my opponents. I didn’t want to make waves. I’d felt knocked down and beaten back by them before—just as those breakers drove me back when I was a child. But by trusting God—like I had trusted my sister—to lead me through the turmoil, I began making my way past the disapproval of others. It was much calmer on the other side. Some people came to accept me and related to me on a different footing; some relationships dissolved. Either way, I wasn’t annihilated by their displeasure. In fact, their displeasure often lessened over time as others came to accept my new approach to disagreements. God didn’t silence my opponents so I could make progress in my journey toward healthier relationships. I had to be willing to move forward trusting that He was with me. He defeated the enemy of fear as I advanced.


Prayer:  Thank you God for defeating the voices of negativity that threaten me.


Reflection for sharing:  What feels threatening to you today? How can you find reassurance that God is with you as you move forward?

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But Jesus answered “The scripture says, ‘Human beings cannot live on bread alone, but need every word that God speaks.’” (Matthew 4:4)


All Bible quotes are from the Good News Translation unless otherwise noted.


It is reassuring that Jesus called fishermen and tax collectors to be his followers. These were laymen, not Scripture experts. It is wise to seek guidance from religious scholars and clergy who have studied Scripture to avoid errors in interpretation. But the Bible is also a gift given to each of us, to use as a basis for prayer and meditation.


I’m not a Biblical scholar; I’m an expert only on my own experience. Following the Scripture passage is a brief meditation along with a question or two as a springboard for your own reflections. Please feel free to share your own thoughts or insights on the passage by adding a comment. All comments are moderated, so please allow some time for your comment to be posted.

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