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I was a nerd growing up (okay, still am) and spent many hours watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. Scenes and lines from the show still pop into my head periodically. Captain Picard would always say one word when directing his crew to bring the ship to warp speed: “Engage.”
One day this one-word command came to my mind. I began thinking of that word in the context of moving forward and approaching life with an attitude of courage and confidence. (I often find spiritual connections between everyday things, even lines from a show I haven’t watched in years.) One of the definitions for the word, according to my Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “to begin and carry on an enterprise or activity; to take part; participate.”
God always walks that road with us if we are seeking wisdom from Him to make better decisions.
There can be so many things that we need to address in our lives but that we usually try to avoid: problems within a relationship, personal bad habits or sins, changing our career track or choice of school when we realize we’re heading down the wrong path, and on and on. Or there could be good things that we know we need to pursue in order to become stronger and better people—deeper relationships with God and our family and friends, building character, helping others.
There are countless things in this world that can distract and numb us from doing the things that we know we really should be doing. They range from the drive to blast our way through our Netflix queues to the distraction of addictive behaviors like gambling or compulsive eating or pornography. It’s so much easier to push the troubling things that we know we need to address into the back of our minds in favor of something that makes us feel instantly better (even if later it may make us feel much, much worse).
It’s no wonder, given the power behind most everything in the world today (Revelation 12:9; 2 Corinthians 4:4). Even just the mad pace of society today is enough to keep us stuck on the hamster wheel of busyness that we don’t take the time to simply sit down and think—about who we are and why we are here and what we can do to live our fullest lives with the best possible futures.
And we can get caught up in our own fears about taking care of the things in our lives that we really need to address. It’s easy to get sucked into the apathetic vortex of fear that haunts us with endlessly looping thoughts of “What if I can’t do it? What will people think of me? What if I make things worse?”
Crack open the pages of your Bible and you’ll quickly see that this is not how God wants us to live. We are designed to engage--to move forward. After all, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). Those who choose to obey God have the chance to have access to the same power, His Holy Spirit, that enabled Jesus Christ to do all of His astounding and renowned miracles during a very short span of time during His ministry on earth.
Does that mean that we will never have fears and the hesitation to take action when we know we should? Even a brief survey of the Psalms shows that deeply spiritual people still experience strong emotions. But the theme interwoven throughout the Psalms mirror the words that echo in Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh and strength to your bones.”
The road to truly engaging in the changes we need to make in our lives to get rid of the bad and pursue more of the good is not a lonely one. God always walks that road with us if we are seeking wisdom from Him to make better decisions. Wisdom comes directly from asking God for more of it (Matthew 7:7-11) and by reading His Word (2 Timothy 3:14-15).
So do you feel like you are stuck or need to make a major change in your life? I challenge you to trust the One who knows you inside and out and wants the best for you. Don’t let anything hold you back. Engage!