I remember as a child we lived at the far end of a dirt road. When it rained the truck tires would cut into the ground. Each trip over the road that cut into the earth would get deeper and deeper. Soon these were what we called ruts. They would fill with water and after time they became so deep that if you slid into the ruts you would be stuck in the mud.
Going across Africa with my Land Rover one of the biggest problems in the wet weather was trying to stay out of the deep ruts on the road. I could walk and carry the cross fine but the 4-wheel drive Land Rover would even get stuck if it got into the deep water-filled ruts.
Now that old term ‘stuck in a rut’ has become common the English language for someone doing the same thing in the same way over and over and over. One has a habitual way of just acting the same or carrying on the same response no matter what.
When one is ‘stuck in a rut’ often the person looses freshness and creative thinking. Life becomes dull no matter what is happening.
Ok, now for some interesting thoughts’¦
God is not ‘stuck in a rut!
He is the God of creation and action. Just look at His creation. The Bible says in the book of John in the first chapter about Jesus that ‘everything that was made was made by Him’!
Just think of all the different kinds of birds, animals, fish, trees, grass, and people that Jesus made! Think of the deserts, jungles, mountains and all the different types of places on earth. Then look at the sky and space and we are completely staggered with the creative power and imagination of God.
Are you ‘stuck in a rut’?
Is your marriage ‘stuck in a rut’? Same food, same greeting when you walk in the door? Same chair? Watching the same TV programs? Same clothes? The same dull old you? Are you grumpy and set in your ways? Is your romance with your marriage partner ‘stuck in a rut’? Has a passionless kiss and predictable action caused you to become a stale lover?
Are you just functioning at home with your children or parents? Is boredom your main family function?
Is your job ‘stuck in a rut’? Gone is the thrill and challenge of working and being creative. As the years creep by you become a creature of habit and never change.
Is your vision of life ‘stuck in a rut’? Just you, doing your thing, passing time and hoping for a thrill or two along the way of life; is that you? Trying to get excited about the Super Bowl or the U.S. Open or the NASCAR races?
Do you still dream dreams and have visions? Have you lost your creative energies?
Are you so ‘stuck in a rut’ that you fear all change’?
Are you afraid to move to another city, or change jobs, or meet new friends?
I am at this writing 63 years old and it would take me much longer than I have lived to do the things I would like to do. My mind is full of ideas and projects and challenges. I love short-term and long-term projects. I am thrilled to be alive and just have to try to stay focused on the things God has called me to do. However, I have a whole long list of options that are available should the Lord let me do them. What I am saying is that I am not ‘stuck in a rut’ but the grace of God.
(For pastors and church workers)
Is your church ‘stuck in a rut’?
Have you done the same thing so long that neither God nor man could change things at your church?
Has tradition become equal to the Bible?
Do committees and programs substitute for the leading of the Holy Spirit?
Take a look at the creative content of movies and sports and TV, etc. Now I am not saying that we are to imitate or copy the ‘world’. But what I am saying is that often we in church are so predictable and unchanging and can I say it ‘boring’ that we are simply ‘stuck in a rut’ and driving people away with old habits and non provoking meetings.
Where in the Bible does it say what time of the day the church is to have Sunday meetings? Yet get any newspaper listing the times of the church meetings and they are almost all meeting at the same times on the same days?
The Bible in the book of Acts speaks of daily meetings so how about a Saturday morning church service? I am speaking later this week at a church that meets on Saturday night.
Last Sunday I spoke at a church that had the children in the regular Sunday morning meeting and’¦they even had children giving testimonies. Plus this church had a big dinner for everyone after the meeting.
When are you to receive the church offering? Before or after the message or just an offering box outside or what?
Is the sermon to be at the beginning or at the end of the meeting? Must you have music in every service? When we have prayer in church what position should our body be in? Heads bowed? Hands up? On our knees? Bent over? Lying on the floor or standing? Should our eyes be open or closed?
On and on I could go but by now you are getting the point. Is your church ‘stuck in a rut’?
Is your relationship with God ‘stuck in a rut’?
Have you lost the thrilling love of God and become lukewarm? Have the words Jesus lost their freshness?
Remember what Jesus said:
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
Does your life and heart make Jesus want to vomit?
Wow, should I go on?
Is your witness for Jesus ‘stuck in a rut’?
Even some evangelists have lost their creative energies. Many are just evangelizing like they always have. Trying to use the same methods in a changing world.
I saw how the church was missing reaching the hippie generation back in the 60’s and I felt the call of Jesus to go to Hollywood and witness to them. Many of you know the story. I had to change methods and approaches to reach the kids with Jesus but not the message of repentance and salvation through the Blood of Jesus. I used different words and saw an awesome historic response.
To my knowledge no one had ever carried a large cross on a long journey on foot across a nation before I accepted the call of Jesus to do it and began December 25, 1969. A new method with the old message and now I have carried the cross in every nation on earth and witnessed to hundreds of millions around the world in person and through the news media.
One day in 1996 in Africa I saw a billboard advertising the Internet. The Spirit of God spoke to me that now was the time to get knowledgeable about the Internet and get a website. When Denise and I returned from that trip I had a phone call from someone I had never met. Ricky Hobbs called me and said that he would create for me a website and put it up for free. Now we are the best of friends with him and his family and www.blessitt.com has grown to where we average a quarter of a million hits a month on our website with many coming to receive Jesus as Savior and helping to strengthen many followers of Jesus. Even this weekly column is an outflow of that.
Let Jesus lead you in creative and ways to share Him with the world and the people you meet.
I will close with the last one now.
Are you ‘stuck in a rut’ about receiving Jesus as Savior?
The Devil would just love for you to keep saying no to the call of Jesus. Some of you have said no so long it is just easier and easier to say no. Why? Because you are ‘stuck in a rut’ and that rut you are in leads to Hell.
Just like when I was in some horrible deep ruts in Central Africa I could not get out on my own. I had to get another truck to pull me out.
Dear friend you need Jesus to pull you out of the rut of sin. Just call upon Jesus now and ask Him to save you and give you a new life. Jesus died for you and lives and will be your Savior. Open your heart to Jesus and ask Him now!
God bless you. I trust that this column with help you to see your true condition and get ‘out of the rut’. In Jesus you have the strength. Do it now! Glory
May take some effort but it will be worth it.
I sure would like some comments about this column and how it has helped you.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt