A car cannot stay in first gear – unless it really isn't going anywhere anyway. And neither can we. You've got to make a shift in order to move upward and onward into the high calling of your life's noble purpose. God has placed eternity in your heart, and earthbound dreams simply cannot satisfy you any longer. It's time you learn how to handle life's surprising turns without stripping your gears.
Sometimes to shift us, God has to sift us. His purpose is to remove the chaff, and to reveal the gold. Webster's defines shift as "changing the place, position, or direction of something." Have you experienced any shift lately? A shift in place, in position, or in direction? If so, how are you handling it? Are you blowing a gasket, or going with the flow?
The wisest man who ever lived, Solomon, wrote, "To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven." In other words, shift happens. The issue is how we respond when it comes. The un-shifted life is untested, and therefore unproven. As such it is unreliable. And for that reason it is often unnoticed and unused.
Life is change, and to refuse to change is to refuse to grow. Sometimes the change is welcomed, other times it is not – but either way, it comes at us without discrimination and requires that we respond in positive, proactive, and purposeful ways. Those who do so grow stronger, better, wiser, and richer. Those who refuse to embrace change not only fail in life, ultimately they perish.
If we will not shift when God is moving us to do so, if we will not change our ways, then our only alternative is to become shiftless – people who are lacking in resourcefulness, ambition, or incentive. "Moab has always taken it easy," the Lord said to Jeremiah, "lazy as a dog in the sun; never had to work for a living, never faced any trouble, never had to grow up, never once worked up a sweat. But those days are a thing of the past, I'll put him to work at hard labour. That will wake him up to the world of hard knocks. That will smash his illusions" (Jeremiah 48:11-12, The Message).
This seems to describe so many in our society today, especially those who have grown up pampered in the freedom that was purchased and provided by the hardship and heartbreak of others. We must take heed that we do not take for granted the liberty and abundance of life we as a nation have so richly enjoyed, lest we unexpectedly lose what we so carelessly hold. There have been numerous nations throughout history who regarded themselves as invincible until they fell from grace.