Monday, September 8, 2014

Our Challenge

I regularly read Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.  It is an incredible work of God, perhaps the deepest devotional of this new millennium.  She didn't write it for others, this work came out of a journal she wrote during her own quiet time.  She wasn't out to change the world for the Lord, she was out to let Him change her.

That's not only a challenge to me as a writer, but as a person of faith.  So many times, I seek the gift, not the Giver.  I seek the healing, not the healer.  I look for the results in creation, not the Creator.  I want His wisdom and discernment, rather than wanting to know His Mind.  I want what I see what I can touch, see, taste, smell and hear, instead of the One who is the foundation for all of those things.  I feel an internal pressure, in a good way, to seek Christ above all else; to experience Him in more and more ways, more and more moments, throughout my day.

Some days I blow it completely.  Sunday afternoons can be like that.  So, I'm learning and thanking Him for a family who is so quick to forgive me.  That is grace, a husband and children who hug and kiss you, with open arms, when you walk back through the door you stormed out of a little earlier.

But I'm learning to live more fully in this challenge of desiring Him above all.

As my pastor likes to say, that's a free one.  That's not the sermon.

The real challenge, as I said in the beginning, comes from today's entry, September 8th, in Jesus Calling.  One line stuck in my brain:  Your assignment is to trust Me absolutely, resting in My sovereignty and faithfulness.

The more I grow in this faith, the more this is exactly what it is about.  It's not about doing and there are no caveats.  There are no corollaries that say, "Well, today, I'll let you do it in your own strength because you are going to get the results from Sophia's scans."  Or, "You can do your own thing today because you've been dealing with sick children all week and need to tune out for a little while."

Or my favorite as of late, "You can do things in your own strength, pray with your own understanding instead of asking me for My perspective because you've been working so hard for My Kingdom lately."

OOO, ouch, that one hurts.  Nope, no caveats.  No corollaries.  No loopholes with God.  It is always and ever about trusting Him alone.  Not how I feel, not my circumstances, not how much good I've done.  Moment by moment the victory comes and that is a tall order.  It is a hard concept to have to rest alone, not work, not gain purpose and meaning from the work of our hands.

We derive our value from joining God in His work, not the work we do to please Him.

Is He pleased when we seek to work for Him?  Sure!  But the work is not to give us our meaning.  Our meaning comes from our identity in Christ.  Period.  No additions.  Who He is and What He has done is meant to define our purpose in life.  Our job, if you want to call it that, is to rest in that finished work, to declare it's praises and live our lives like that is the truth of the world, not how we understand things to be.

It's a new work and school week.  Do you think you could try this today?  Do you think you could surrender a little bit more to resting in the Lord, instead of getting busy on a Monday morning doing all the things you need to do?

You need to do them, but you need to rest in God more.  It's a complex balance, one I'm just beginning to grasp how to walk.  But people have and still do this every day - they walk with God, they walk in His peace, they walk in the joy of His presence all day long.  And when their "selves" take back over and they start getting all worked up about life (like Martha did so long ago), Jesus is still there.  He is waiting for us to remember what the better thing is.

And He is that better thing. So, your assignment and challenge, should you choose to accept it, is simple:  Trust God a little bit more.  Whether that's the state of your body, the context of your mind or the reality of your spirit, you can trust He is willing and working you in whatever you are facing.  He is sovereign, which means, He is bigger than anything and everything.  And He is faithful, which mean He is better than anything and everything.

I'm going to accept the challenge.  I'm going to seek Him more today than I did yesterday.  And I have a feeling today will end up much better than yesterday because of it.

1 comment:

angie said...

Love me some Jesus Calling! :) And, Ps 42:5 has stuck with me for several months now after a sermon "Preaching to your Soul" at church!