Making A Great Crossing (2 of 4)

Posted by Richard S. Lytle, Ph.D. in Blogs

Last month I suggested God’s nature is one of creativity, strategy, movement, transformation, and implementation.  He is NOT a God – of “okay as you are” or “good enough” or “whatever” or “you’ve arrived.”  He is a God of journey – a God of great crossings – times where He wants to do something significant in your life – moving you from here to there. He is not a God of here for long.  There is always better!  He has plans for his people (Jer. 11:13).  In short, He wants you to make great crossings to new places and he wants to personally deliver you!

In this short series, I am suggesting three things I believe keep us from making great crossings with God and three things we must do to enable great crossings.

Last month I spoke of the negative power of Clinging to the Past while attempting to make a great crossing. During tough times or in tough decision modes, we often look over our shoulder and begin to doubt our decision to cross.  Truth be told, our past significantly informs us but it does not control us!  Jesus came to offer us forward thinking in all things.  He said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”[1]

This month I am suggesting the second thing which often prevents us from making great crossings is the Fear of Failure.  Our oldest daughter, Kelly, was a great defensive basketball player in high school.  However, she would rarely shoot on offense.  Explaining this phenomenon to me she said, “Daddy, if I shoot I might miss!”  I explained she will never make any of the shots she doesn’t take!

Fear – many leaders are plagued by anxieties directly related to failure.  One of our own CEOs recently said to me, “I am afraid too often.  I don’t lead like I should.  I know it.  Others know it.”[2]  The children of Israel would never have reached the promised land if Moses and Joshua allowed their fear to make them turn back.  Moses was afraid at the outset of God’s call to do something incredible: lead the children of Israel in a great crossing.  In fact, Moses shared his fear with God at the very first interview about the job.  Moses began, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me?”[3]  After a staff-to-snake/leprosy experience, Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord.  I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant.  I am slow of speech and tongue.”[4]   After God proclaims his credibility as Lord – the Lord who gives man his mouth and makes people deaf, mute, and blind – Moses said, “Pardon your servant Lord.  Please send someone else.”[5]  God’s anger burned against Moses because Moses’ fear of failure resulted in a lack of faith in God’s promises and power.  Moses, unlike Abraham, would not believe God could do what he said he could do.[6]

Great leaders consistently have the fear of failure ever before them.  But, great leaders don’t let the fear of failure prevent God from doing what he promises he can do through them!  Goliath defied the armies of God by taunting the fighting men of Israel for 40 days.  David stepped up, acknowledging the fear of sword, spear, and javelin but, in faith said, “I come against you in the name of the Lord almighty.”[7]  He acted.  He won.  He made a great crossing from here to there for the children of Israel that day.

Angela Duckworth says courage, resolve, and strength of character which move you beyond your potential is Grit.  I suggest obedience, faith, putting your hand to the plow and not looking back, and daily trust in a God who can do what he says he can do is Spiritual Grit.  God has not given you a spirit of Fear (2 Tim. 1:7/Hebrews 10:39).  He will deliver you!

God plans for you to make great crossings this year!  In testing, wilderness, drought, tough decisions, difficult relationships, and your walk with Him – He is not interested in here for long.  His real mission is the next there for you.  He is creating, innovating, planning, acting, transforming, and implementing.  Are you seeing God’s there?  Jesus taught, “The eye is the lamp of the body.  If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness.”[8]  What are you seeing right now?  Are you in a Red Sea moment?  Don’t look back!  You can (1) Cling to Your Past, (2) Fear Failure, or (3) you can make a clean break, trust God, and fix your eyes on Jesus’ future.[9]

Today as always, God consistently whispers: you are destined for a great crossing – I want to personally deliver You!

More to come next month …



[1] Luke 9:62 (NIV)

[2] Ongoing Research, R.S. Lytle, 2018

[3] Exodus 4:1 (NIV)

[4] Exodus 4:10 (NIV)

[5] Exodus 4: 13 (NIV)

[6] Romans 4:20-21

[7] 1 Samuel 17:32-45 (NIV)

[8] Matt. 6:22

[9] Heb. 12:1

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