Going Through the Motions Is Not Progress


A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps. — Proverbs 16:9

Sometimes we mistake movement for progress, but if we are moving around in only one spot, we are not really making progress. Isn’t that how life looks from time to time—a whole lot of movement but not a lot of progress? The children of Israel experienced this. They went around in circles for years, thinking they were headed toward the long-awaited promise, only to find themselves right back where they started,year after year, season after season.
Two major obstacles to forward progress are sin and stubbornness. If we live a sinful life, it will paralyze us. If we are stubborn and unwilling to conform to God’s ways, we will become stagnant. The children of Israel suffered from both sin and stubbornness, and, as a result, many of them never experienced life in the long-awaited Promised Land.
My coach often said, “Why dribble in one spot and then pick up your dribble? That’s just wasted movement because you are not progressing toward the goal.” A person who is always moving but making no progress is like a dog chasing its tail: going around in circles but getting nowhere fast. When I was young, I’d often practice basketball on the driveway with my daddy. He would tell me to be aggressive and go with my first instinct because if I waited too long to make a move, I probably wouldn’t move at all. Aggressive movement will bring forth progress. Progress consists of aggressive steps toward a desired end, and the desired end is God’s plan and purpose for our lives.



1. Why were the Israelites constantly moving but not making any progress?
2. Why are you constantly moving but not advancing?
3. What promise or goal have you failed to reach because of your stubbornness or sin?


Extra Reading: Proverbs 20:24


Lord, please help me to stop going around in circles with my life. Help me to move progressively toward the goal You have for me. With each step I take, I want to move closer toward Your purpose. Order my steps according to Your Word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Bible Reference: 
Proverbs 20