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Isaac Newton was right. Movement is the consequence of outside forces – a push or a pull. So, bowling balls move by being pushed. Apples fall by gravity’s grip, pulled to the ground. Without this push or pull, everything and everyone would be stationary. We need a push or a pull to overcome inertia. Mr. Newton noted this as a physical law, but it is a dynamic for us emotionally, mentally and spiritually as well.

There are times in life when we are pulled by our desires, expectations, hopes and mostly, by our faith. We have a sense of what God wants us to do and it attracts us. We walk forward with obedient steps and work to see a vision fulfilled. We sense a calling and are pulled towards it. These can be exciting times. We are energized by the hope of what could be. It’s a season of attraction. Our souls are being pulled.

There are other occasions when the power of push is dominant. Now we are moving away from something. We sense restlessness with an unsettled heart. There are situations that don’t seem to fit or problems that are unsolvable. We may not have a dream or vision to move towards; we just know that we need to move. These times drain us. This can be a season of frustration. Our souls are being pushed.

You have experienced both energies. You have been pulled towards or pushed away from certain situations. But note, we tend to attribute a pull or a push in different ways. The times of attraction seem positive because of the energy they create. It’s easy to recognize God in this. But the times of frustration are often seen as problems. We don’t see God in their midst. We don’t like the push because it drains. We hope for the pull to capture our hearts. But both are forces for movement and change. God can use both the push and the pull to get you where He wants you to be.

Sometimes the push comes first. We are uncomfortable and want to take some steps, but don’t have direction. So, we stifle the dis-ease we feel and try to make the best of things. If God is moving us forward, you can be sure that the discomfort will increase! We may have to step blindly into the future. Sometimes the pull comes first. Everything around us and in us is fine – but we still hear a call. We may ignore it for a time because change seems contradictory to our pleasant state. I assure you, if God is speaking, His Voice will get louder!

Planets and billiard balls move by forces beyond them. So too your soul. Whatever movement is made on your spiritual path, it has been because you have been pulled and pushed. They may not be in equal measure, and this is not a tug of war between right or wrong. God is simply using both tension and attraction, positive and negative forces to move us along the right path. But of course, the difference between you and apples is clear. Apples have no say, they simply succumb to gravity. Every one of us must respond to God’s direction. So today if you hear His Voice, pushing or pulling, do not harden your hearts (Ps.95:7). God knows how to move us for His glory and our benefit. Every Pilgrim is glad that He does.

Scott Tolhurst

Scott Tolhurst

Scott and his wife have spent almost 50 years following God together through life, marriage and ministry. They’ve hop scotched across Canada and landed at the water’s edge on Vancouver Island. They’ve harvested the riches of family (5 grandkids!) and the delights of God’s people. Life has not always been clear but the fog has been pierced with these truths. The heart matters. Kingdom work is God’s. Nothing can replace faith. It never ceases to amaze Scott that, if his life is a gift, how great the Giver must be!

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