Pull, Don’t Push

Written by Steve Ballinger. Posted in Devotions

Pull, Don’t Push

If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourself this day whom you will serve”
—Joshua 24:15—

While attempting to get into my car, I could not, for the sake of me, get my door open. I peered down at the lock and was able to see that the door was in the unlocked position, and yet, I could not pull it open. I exerted such force and energy to open the door, that my left arm is now 3″ longer than my right. I became concerned about my own abilities, wondering if I was losing my strength. I hadn’t had a pizza that day, so I knew I wasn’t overdosing on pepperoni! Could I not even open a silly car door!

After a few moments, I realized who the silly one was, as I was able to determine exactly why the door would not open. I’ll tell you, but you have to promise not to laugh or have me committed. You see, as I had my left hand on the door handle, I also had my right hand resting against the top of the door. Thus, while pulling on the handle, I was also pushing on the door. When I told my wife what I had done, she simply replied, “Dear, you’re not losing your strength. You’re losing your mind!” Hey! You promised not to laugh! You’ll be my age one of these days.

I share this humiliating story with you because it reminds me of our spiritual service to the Lord. As much as we want to serve the Lord, we quite often find our self pulling and pushing at the same time.

In other words, we tend to struggle against ourselves. With the one hand, we have an excitement to serve the Lord, and with the other hand we start coming up with excuses for why we aren’t serving the Lord. With the one hand, we ask God to open the door for us so that we can serve Him, and with the other hand we push against it to keep it closed.

While God wants to open the door for us to serve Him, we often look for an excuse to close it. While God truly wants to bless us with the opportunity to serve, we quite often won’t allow ourselves to receive His blessing. The best counsel I can give to the “excuse making” person is this—”If you have an excuse, don’t use it.”

When Moses was told to go and bring God’s people out of Egypt, he said, “Lord, who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” When Jeremiah was appointed a prophet to the nations, he said to the Lord, “Alas, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, because I am a youth.” God was pulling the door open for these men to serve, and they were attempting to push it closed it with an excuse. Nonetheless, the Lord responded to these men’s excuses with words of encouragement, “I will certainly be with you. Do not be afraid, for I am with you to deliver you.”

My point is this: when God opens the door, don’t push it closed. Instead, take that step of faith and walk through it, and see the amazing things the Lord will do as you minister to others.

But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord”
—Joshua 24:15—

Pull, don’t push,

Chaplain Steve

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