It can be easy to get ahead of God these days. Life moves at such a fast pace - we can trod along so quickly and forget that He's even there. So how can we walk with God without leaving Him behind?
About 7 years ago, my family took a vacation to Florida, which of course meant visiting the land of dreams - Disney World! To be honest, I wasn't too excited. I never got the whole "Disney Craze" - but I WAS looking forward to my favorite ride - The Tower of Terror!
Our family had been to Disney World a few times in years past so as soon as we entered the park, I remembered exactly how to get to The Tower of Terror. I started power walking in the direction of the ride and looked back as my family followed. I can actually remember thinking to myself, "how lucky are these guys to have me... they would be fumbling around the park for hours if it wasn't for my incredible leadership." (....gag)
In that moment, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and revealed how, in my attempts to get to the destination, I missed the point of the whole experience:
I was moving quickly towards my destination, but I was moving further away from the people I was destined to move with.
In 2 Samuel 6, we find David and the Israelites. They just defeated the Philistines and won back the Ark of The Covenant. The ark, of course, represents the Presence of God; wherever the ark was, there was God. The Israelites were pumped - partying their way back home and marching without ease. The Bible says they had put the Ark on a "new cart" and wheeled it alongside them - this would make it easier to move and quicker to transport.
The only problem was, this wasn't the pace or process God wanted to use with His people.
Because of this, the Ark began to slip and slide in the mud. Then, one of the most awkward scenarios in Scripture takes place - Uzzah, a priest who was supposed to be carrying the ark instead of wheeling it, shoots out his arm to keep the ark from falling off the cart and is struck dead by God.
What happens after is remarkable. I believe David's response to this incident is the revealing of his heart - a heart after God.
David decides to take matters so seriously, he tells the people that they will continue the journey but instead of moving fluidly, they will walk 6 steps and pause. After every 6 steps, they will stop to sacrifice an animal and give thanks to God - dancing before the Lord with every ounce of passion inside Him.
Talk about extreme.
Here's what I believe the Lord wants us to realize - we can get so focused on getting somewhere that we neglect the Someone who is the force that will get us there in the first place. It's not about conquering, it's about communion with God in the journey we're on, and SOMETIMES, it takes something as EXTREME as having a worship service every 6 steps we take to remember to WALK WITH GOD.
So how can we stay in sync with the Holy Spirit and not get ahead of God?
1. Value Communion Over Conquest
Walking WITH God is more important than working FOR God. He wants to be involved in every decision, thought and action we take. We can only value communion with God by actually experiencing it - so spend time with Him and experience His love for you. There's nothing like the place of His presence - and the more we get acclimated to it, the more we can learn to walk in it at all times.
2. Don't Be In Such A Hurry
God's not in a hurry, even though we consistently feel the need to be rushed. God's more interested in the process than He is the promise - take your time. You don't need to get there right now; you're future will still be waiting for you. Don't miss what God has for you in this moment and the beauty of sharing it with Him.
3. Be Intentional With Every Step
If you're like me, you move fast. For those of us who move at a quicker pace, we need to be intentional with how often we stop - and sometimes, this means setting extreme reminders for ourselves. Don't leave God behind because you're so busy working for Him - be intentional throughout your day setting aside time to refocus and recalibrate your heart on His presence. Even if this means setting hourly reminders on your phone until you remember to realize His presence - do whatever you've got to do to walk at God's pace!