Monkey Island Peninsula

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A couple of weekends ago my friend and I had a girls get away. We went to the northeast part of Oklahoma; Monkey Island Peninsula. It was  great except for a couple of things, it was January and it was a very cold weekend. Not only was it cold, but on Sunday morning it was windy. 
We arrived late Saturday evening and chilled out. The next morning after doing our devotions and having breakfast we decided to head out for the day. The first thing on our agenda was to walk down by the water where the boats are docked. We wanted to check out the Island. We had to walk maybe a half mile or so. Knowing it was cold we bundled up and headed out. We were walking with the wind which wasn’t so bad. My friend mentioned we would be walking against the wind coming back. It was a little hilly so we’d have wind and hills walking back. That didn’t deter us we headed on.
We did make it to our destination and looked around for a few minutes. It was almost too cold to get any really good pictures. Looking at the water once again reminded me of Peter walking on the water. 
We headed back and true enough we had a few hills to climb and we had to fight the wind. It was really difficult walking against the wind. At times it was a struggle to keep going, but we were determined to get back. Instead of heading out right away we decided we both needed to get something hot to drink and warm up. Knowing there was something hot to drink and heat made us keep going against the wind. We had a goal and we were determined to make it to our goal; for me hot tea and heat. 
Like usual I spent some time reflecting on the walk later. Walking with the wind was much easier than walking against the wind. Walking against the wind is hard and difficult. At times it was a battle. God reminded me it is the same way with Him. When I walk with God it is so much easier. There were times the wind was so strong it just pushed us along making it so much easier. When I walk with God there are times He pushes me forward and I just go without thinking about it. When I am following His ways the obstacles are less severe. 
When I decide to go against His will the path is often hard and difficult. Because we were all bundled up it was hard to see where we were headed. Our face was covered with a scarf. When we go out on our own it’s hard to see the path that is before us. Every step we take is a difficult step. It takes a lot of effort to keep going. 
This is a pretty simple concept, right? Walk with God and the path is easier; walk against God and it can be a pretty difficult path. I was planning on doing this article a week or so ago, but God prevented me from doing it. I know now why. 
He reminded me how difficult it was to live in this world and not become a part of it. I have learned during my years of life that when I go along with the world and do things the way the world wants me to it can be pretty easy. I am accepted and loved by the world. If the world tells me I need to be a size 2 then I should just give in to the world’s demand and become a size 2. If the world tells me it’s okay to accept this or that and not to go against the grain then it becomes an easier way to live. Going against the grain is hard. I recently came across this saying which I never heard before: “Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream.” So the quote says to me that someone who has no drive or push is just willing to go along with the flow….doing the mundane and being just average, not willing to push or drive himself to do better. To apply this to someone’s faith is saying it’s better to go along with the world’s views and ideas than to believe in God. The world has a tendency to say it’s okay to have faith just don’t rock the boat. 
But for us who want to live as Christ wants us to live that often means going against what the world tells us is okay. Instead of going along with the world we often are struggling to keep pushing in the direction God wants us to go in. Sometimes in this world that can be a hard and difficult time.
We as Christians have goals. One of the goals is to be able to live in Heaven for eternity. In order to do that we must overcome obstacles, we must persevere. We must keep the goal in mind and keep pushing toward that goal. When we do that we often find ourselves rocking the boat, going against the grain or believing differently than the world does. It can be difficult but just like our walk if we succeed we know there are rewards waiting for us. 1 John 2:15 tells us, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” There comes a time for all of us to make a conscious decision to be of this world and go along with this world or to go against the grain and have the Father live in us and walk with Him. When we walk with Him He will be there to keep us moving in the right direction and even when we can’t see where we are going He will guide our steps. 
I was reminded that often times I am walking against the world. Sometimes my walk is just like the walk my friend and I took; hard and difficult. Yet, I know that if I keep keeping on I will have something more valuable than a cup of tea and heat waiting on me. 
So let me ask you are you like me walking against the world or are you walking with the world? Are you in the world or of this world? When I would visit my brother in Indiana and someone would ask me where I was from I would often say Texas and my brother would respond, “No you live in Texas you are from Indiana.” Are we of this world or in this world? 
Dear God: You have reminded me how much easier it is to walk with you instead of against you. Too many times in the past I have walked away from your will and it was a hard and difficult journey. Now I am walking with you. Although my walk maybe easier I find it difficult walking against the world and all it offers. But I know the plans you have for me. I know what I can receive when I am finished with this walk. Thank you for helping me along my way. May I help those around me who are finding it difficult to walk with you. Amen. 
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