Perhaps like many of you, I am over scheduled and under-rested as the year winds down. I have experienced the feeling of being overwhelmed lately–which isn’t healthy for me. It isn’t healthy, and it isn’t helpful.
At the encouragement of someone wiser than I am, I simply began to pray about this feeling. And while there are many personal things the Lord has been gracious to open my eyes to in the past few days, there’s one thing in particular that I hear Him whispering to my heart: don’t be overwhelmed at a time when you should feel overjoyed.
Think about what we are actually celebrating. Let’s choose to rejoice in the miracle of a Creator God who made a way for me (and for you) to come into a personal relationship with Him by coming to earth, living and then dying for each of us.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
That, my friend, is truly overwhelming and makes me overjoyed.
Let’s all choose to be overjoyed this Christmas, rather than overwhelmed by our to do lists. Merry Christmas, y’all!
When we change our perspective on eternity, we change our perspective on our problems.
We simply live life differently with a heaven-focused heart.
…we mourn differently…pray differently…plan different…use our time differently.
We spend our money differently.
We treat our families differently.
We are different.
Contrary to popular desire, the purpose of this life as a believer isn’t to be happy. The purpose is to become holy (set apart), and it is a lifelong journey of becoming more like Jesus.
To achieve this process, we’re told we will be pruned in John 15. Pruned specifically for a purpose: so that we will produce fruit.
I’ve been through an intense season of pruning in my life and to be perfectly honest, it has been so painful. Relationships, destructive habits and deep-seeded beliefs all had to be cut away. The point of the process was not, however, the cutting away. The point was to grow the good stuff, the fruit of the Spirit, which required cutting away the branches that were sucking the life out of me.
He pruned. I participated.
He cut away. I sometimes cried my way through the process.
But in the end, what a sweet understanding He has given to me. While Jesus loves us just the way we are— He also loves us too much to leave us that way. Thank you, Lord.
I can get just as caught up as the next person in the hustle and bustle of life. Without intent and practice, I can lose my eternal perspective and begin to believe the world about what is important.
Get more. Be more. Save more. More. More. More. That’s definitely what I hear the world cheer.
“More” is a lie of the enemy. It is the robber of joy. The thief of contentment. I have learned that joy and peace do not come from “more,” joy and peace come from enough.
Practice being thankful for your “enough” today and be amazed at how it combats the lie that “more” is your answer.
In a world of fast fixes, 2-minute burritos and instant coffee (blasphemy!), I fear we are trading quick and easy for deeply transforming time with the Lord.
Can I just encourage you today to not be afraid to dig deep into God’s Word? Don’t be cheated out of the soul nourishing words of life that come from time in Bible study.
You can understand it. You really can. Don’t miss out. Dig into God’s Word. And find the joy that comes when God opens up the pages of His story to breathe life into your soul. Your heart longs for more. You know it does. Praying for you today that you will choose to dig deep.
P.S. This really isn’t a mysterious process. Send me a Facebook message if you want me to walk you through how to go about studying God’s Word for yourself. I’m no expert, but it doesn’t require an expert! You might be surprised that things you’ve been taught by well-meaning people aren’t what God teaches. It’s why you have to dig deep for yourself.
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” -Jesus (Luke 6:46)
Think about how life would change if we believed God’s Word.
Yeah, yeah. I know. You DO believe the Bible, right?
Not so fast. I think many of us attempt to understand it intellectually. Maybe we even believe it generally. But let’s be honest–if it’s not changing our lives, then we don’t really believe it to be true.
How we behave is the greatest indicator of what we believe. Not our words. Our actions.
So, what does your behavior say about what you believe?
Sweet friends, it isn’t enough to know what God’s Word says. And it definitely isn’t enough just to say we believe it. We have to LIVE like we believe it!
I want to be transparent with you. I have been worrying about the future a lot lately, not being present in the moment because I’ve been living in the what if’s of the unknown.
Then, while studying His Word, the Lord hit me over the head with the obvious and reminded me that His presence can ONLY be experienced in MY present.
If I go “future tripping” (as I call it)—I forget to take him with me, and then I get anxious and overwhelmed.
To experience His presence, we must be present in the moment. Worrying over the future, or fretting over the past, will rob us of the supernatural peace only His presence can provide in the exact place, space and time where we currently are.
It’s the question I hear so often from believers: How do I know/what is God’s will for my life?
That’s a pretty big question. And I think it might be the wrong one. Now hear me: do I believe we each are assigned specifics in God’s kingdom plan? Yes. Do I believe His plan is to reveal His purpose for me in His time? Yes. I still think we need to change the question. Quit asking, “How do I know/what is God’s will for my life?”
Instead, what if we ask this question: What is God’s will for my life right now? Today? And until we know the specifics of our calling, let’s be followers who are obedient to the overarching:
- Love others. (John 13:34)
- Be His witness. (Acts 1:8)
- Make disciples. (Matthew 28:19-20)
Don’t overly complicate what God has so vividly laid out before us. He has told us what we are to be doing. And no matter what He may also call you to do specifically, these three things will always be a part of His plan for your life as a Jesus follower. His Word guarantees it. Besides, it’s not nearly as difficult to discern His specific purpose and assignment when I am actively obedient to the things He has called all believers to be doing.
Why can it be so difficult to accept the grace that God so freely pours out? Even as His child, I lived under a veil of guilt and shame for far too many unnecessary years.
I believed in His grace for everyone else. I just wasn’t so sure it applied to me.
But a wise person in my life often says: God is not going to ruin His reputation on you, Kassi.
If His grace is real (and it is), then it has to be real for me. And the beauty of that is that it’s real for you, too. Praying today you’ll walk in the freedom of His grace.
“Feelings come and go, and when they come a good use can be made of them, but they cannot be our regular spiritual diet,” C.S. Lewis
Feelings (both positive AND negative) can rob us of a deeply intimate relationship with Jesus. Feelings are fleeting but His truth is eternal. Feel your feelings, yes, but ask what it is in that feeling that the Lord wants you to understand about Him. You may find Him glorified in your joy, or you may realize you’re believing a feeling rather than Jesus.