My husband, Mason, has a habit of spying previously owned vehicles. Sometimes he just tells me about the vehicles, but if it was a special car, we stop to reminisce.
On one occasion as he was driving, he spotted a car. He stopped in the middle of the road, turned off the truck, and got out. Fortunately, it was a not-so-populated road. Traffic wasn’t being blocked. So, I got out too.
He was so thrilled to see this car. It was identical to the one he had owned in high school and the memories began to flow. Then he asked me to take a picture of the car. I took one with him next to the car and one of just the car.
He was so happy in that moment.
There are times that we need to stop what we are doing, sometimes right in the middle of it. Words of discouragement flowing from our mouths. Improper thoughts. Actions that simply are not very Christ-like. In the moments we are caught up in sin, we must stop. Get away from the situation and head toward God.
In Scripture, we find some examples of when we are to stop. Let’s see what God has to say.
The first thing we must stop is sinning. Isaiah 1:16b-17a (NIV) and 1 Corinthians 15:34a (NIV) share the same thought. “Stop doing wrong, learn to do right.” “Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning.”
Let’s remember, if we are going to remove a behavior from our lives, we must replace it with something else. Isaiah says to learn to do right. Fill the void with good as you stop doing wrong.
1 Corinthians 14:20 (NIV) reminds us to “Stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.” We need to grow up and stop acting like children when it comes to our spiritual lives! We need to put aside evil, sinful thoughts and get into God’s Word. Get to the “meat” and become spiritual adults. Learn what God has to say about all areas of your life. Then you will stop thinking like a child.
Then there are a few things we are to do in relation to others. Romans 14:13 (NIV) says to stop judging. “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.”
Judging. It’s something we’re good at. But God clearly states that it’s not our job. Our job is to keep others from stumbling by making sure our lives are following the path God has laid before us. Another great example of what we are to fill the emptiness with. God’s love for others.
And in John 6:43 (NIV), Jesus was speaking to a group of Jews, but His words speak to me. “Stop grumbling among yourselves.” I find myself falling into this trap over and over. Grumbling. Complaining. Believing that I could do better. Hah!
Perhaps I could do better, but guess what? I wasn’t asked to do it! Someone with more qualifications, more abilities, more anything was asked. My role is to support. Lift up. Encourage. Not grumble.
Finally I’d like to look at a verse that brings everything into perspective. In the book of Job, God’s faithful and eloquent servant, Elihu, presents God’s case to Job. Over and over, Elihu brings Job to an understanding of God’s goodness.
In Job 37:14 (NIV), Elihu asks Job to “Stop and consider God’s wonders.” When we adopt this view of life, we too, will not be able to contain the joy, love, or hope within us. These qualities, God’s qualities will flow from us.
God’s wonders. They are boundless. They are limitless. They are amazing.
I encourage you to stop. Right now. Stop and spend some time praising God for who He is. For what He has done. For what He is preparing to do. Then inquire what He desires for you. What He is asking you to do.
He might reply with “stop.” Stop sinning. Stop thinking like a child. Stop judging. Stop grumbling. Stop and consider. Stop.
Stop. Get out of the situation, way of thinking, or busyness of life. And then, run to God.
Now, you are prepared to do something for God’s Kingdom.
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,