Do you struggle with idolizing what you think is the right thing versus looking to Jesus Himself to direct you on the right path? I would like to share with you today some lies versus truth that I wrote down last year in an attempt allow God to set me free from perfectionism.
Lie #1: Iam a victim of fear
The truth is, we have no reason to fear. You have God Himself on your side! Don’t live in fear, live in love. Be persistent about living in love. You have not only His love, but His power and the mind of Christ on your side.
“for God gave us a spirit not offearbut of power and love andself-control.” 1 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)
Lie #2: I am stuck
There is always a way forward. Don’t complain that you can’t win. Persevere through every…
Here is a story told from Elizabeth’s perspective, the woman in the Bible who gave birth to John the Baptist. I hope you enjoy it and that it blesses you.
I stood in the doorway, watching Zechariah on his knees praying to God. My heart fluttered within my chest. He was a good man.
He prayed often for a child, but I thought for certain our days to give birth were over. I was barren, and that was that. I hated it. I wanted a child so badly. I had begged to God for eighteen years to give me a child, but he did not seem to hear my prayers. The people thought little of me because of my barrenness. They scorned me.
Where was God now?
I watched my husband, his hands folded, his chest uptight. Oh, how I wished to have a different…
He is not just a crutch to rely on, but He is your wheelchair to glide on. He isn’t something to look to only in a dire situation, He is the tight rope to walk on in every situation, never looking to the right or to the left. Fix your eyes on Him as Peter did walking on the water, ignoring the waves about Him.
“He said,’Come.’So Peter got out of the boat andwalked on the water and came to Jesus.But when he saw the wind,he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out,’Lord, save me.’Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him,’O you of little faith, why did youdoubt?’And when they got into the boat,the wind ceased.” Matthew 14:19-32
Have you ever longed to feel a touch from God? Just one touch? Or have you been doubting God’s love for you lately? Do you feel you’ve had too many failures to be able to truly be loved by Him again in the deep way you’re craving for?
Well, my dear friends, you are not alone. These past few weeks I have felt like a total failure.
I wasn’t trusting God. And so the devil was ruling my life in many ways. I wasn’t believing He was enough. I wasn’t believing He was the happiest and safest and most wonderful place to be. I wasn’t totally submitting to Him completely, so I wasn’t able to cooperate with Him in resisting the devil.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
I was letting the devil turn my world upside down–which resulted in the opposite of the abundant life Jesus offers.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
God had hit me at my weakest point and was asking me, “Child, can you trust Me with this?”
And then I grew weaker and weaker until it felt hopeless to ever return to My first love. To trust Him completely again like a small child. I was a failure. But God saw things differently. He encouraged me to keep fighting, to believe He was enough and so much more than I could imagine.
Soon (or finally!) I began to trust in His loving gaze. That He didn’t look down at Me with scorn. That He was enough and I could let go of the thing I was clinging onto foolishly.
And so, I let it go. I let it go, and I looked up. Up to Him. I trusted that, somehow, He saw me as precious and holy and beautiful, because of the blood of Jesus that washes over every stain and makes you new again.
He told me again and again how He had been with me that whole time, and how He was always reaching out His hand to me if only I trusted Him. If only I really, truly believed.
The happiest place to be is with Jesus. And I don’t just say that to say that, but because I’ve tasted and seen it is true. He is good.
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” Psalm 34:8
Nothing- not money, not a relationship, not a job, not sex, not pornography, not masturbation, not technology, not academics, not video games, not the best tasting food- can satisfy you like He does.
It is the deepest joy to realize His great delight in you. To listen to His sweet words, To feel His gaze on you. His eyes full of love. Never looking away. Always watching. Always waiting. Always yearning for you to just, for one moment, lift your gaze to Him.
His presence doesn’t come to those hoarding up idols for themselves. God asks you to first give up whatever you’ve been clinging onto to satisfy, and then once you’ve emptied yourself, you are able to dive deep into His presence, hungering and thirsting after Him like choice food and the best of drinks.
“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.'” John 6:35
Come to Him, Beloved! And don’t let anything hinder you from feasting on His sweet presence which alone can truly satisfy your soul.
Ask Him to show you what you’ve been hoarding up in your heart, and then let Him pry your fingers open and take it away from you.
As Corrie Ten Boom said, “Whatever you treasure in life, hold it very loosely, so it doesn’t hurt when God has to pry your fingers open to take it away.”
Don’t make it difficult for Him, as it was in my case.
Choose Him now, so you won’t bear the consequences of your actions and the beating of the devil. Choose to believe that He wants nothing but the best, sweetest, and most abundantly blessed life for you.
Have you ever sat for hours in His presence and let Him woo your heart? Dear heart, it is the most pleasurable thing in the world. And God does, indeed, desire that in making you pure, whiter than snow, and set apart for Him, you become unbelievably happy.
It really is true, as Psalm 16:11 says, that in His presence is “fullness of joy.” I just watched an incredible Christian movie that was so convicting, powerful, and thought-provoking. It was about how movies and television have put American Christianity in grave danger called The Power of the Air (You should go watch it here!). The main character exclaims to his friend at one point, “If in His presence is fullness of joy, then why aren’t we spending time with Jesus 24/7!?”
Wow. Why aren’t we? God’s presence truly is the happiest place to be, and it is made completely available to all who have truly repented and trusted alone in Jesus to save them from the devil’s way of living. He is your Father, Savior and friend. He is the fulfiller of dreams and the healer of hearts and the most intimate Lover of your soul. He loves you and yearns for you to spend time with Him.
Just like Jerusalem, the Lord longs for you to come to Him to find safety:
“How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” Matthew 23:37b
In contrast, when we come to Him, who has been waiting for us all along, we are richly rewarded:
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
Have you come to Him lately? Will you look up into His loving face, dear heart? Whether you realize it or not, He is looking down on you not with scorn, but with favor and love. Have you confessed your sin, turning away from your sin and choosing God’s way?
Then stop beating yourself up.
The Father has cleansed you and purified you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). As He told me one time, He has unrestrained delight in who you are. He doesn’t hold back how much He adores you, we just don’t have the faith to believe it could be true.
So, Beloved, take heart. Just be with Him today, listen to His whispers of love, and rest in His tender gaze.
“The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry.” Psalm 34:15
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7
I have a new blog called Worthy of His Call! Click the link below to read the About page and find out–yep, what it’s all about! I am super excited about this blog which has the purpose to encourage readers to seek holiness and live the blessed and beautiful life Jesus has destined them to live.
Please subscribe as well! I would love to have all my blog readers from this site join me on this new journey of even greater hope, faith, and life with the God who created everything.
I will still be writing on this site, Grace Abounds, about dealing with condemnation, guilt, and shame, with the truth of God’s abundant grace. On Worthy of the Call, I will focus more on spurring my fellow believers on to get out of complacency, distraction, and worldliness to live the high and holy life God has meant for each believer to live.
Here I am! At last. I have been gone for awhile, and finally I have bolstered up enough motivation and energy to write for you my last and final post on my series about the fruit of the Spirit and how they counteract fear in our lives. God is convicting me that I need to write more blog posts, so keep a look out for some new, exciting material! To check out my other posts in the fruit of the Spirit series, click here: Be filled with the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness
Self-control is one of the rarest fruits of the spirit in this day and age of instant-gratification from our phones and devices, rampant sexual immorality even in the Church, and excessive eating patterns.
It is definitely one of the things I struggle with the most. My phone is definitely something that keeps me occupied with far more than I like to admit.
Do you run to your phone in the morning before you run to your Bible? Do you let loose your thought life into a romantic fantasy world about being with so-and-so doing such-and-such? Do you stare at the pile of cookies and think “just oneeeeee more”?
Why is it so hard to have self-control? What is this thing in us? This wanting wanting wanting? This ache inside, insatiable, never-ending thirst.
“Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the Lord, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” Jeremiah 2:12-13
Lack of self-control leads to (1) forsaking God and (2) seeking out other things to satisfy the hole inside you–anything but God. We turn from the One who can satisfy us and run to other cisterns–or broken pots– filling and filling them up, over and over… only to end up empty again. How can a broken pot hold any water? It will leak right through. In the same way, nothing in this world- phones, social media, sex, romantic relationships, hamburgers, icecream, video games–you name it. Nothing in this world will fill that hole inside you. Nothing will satisfy you.
You may feel temporary relief, but when you’re done you’ll end up just as miserable, thirsty, disappointed, and empty as before.
Only Jesus can satisfy you, dear heart. With Him filling you up, you have everything you need to live a godly life.
“…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 1 Timothy 1:7
With His Spirit living inside you, you are capable of living a self-controlled life. Jesus living in you does not struggle with trying to have self-control; He is already perfectly self-controlled in and of Himself. He can and will enable you to abstain from your phone usage, your romantic or sexual thought patterns, and, yes, even that delicious piece of chocolate cake. He Himself was tempted by the devil three times: to provide for Himself, to protect Himself, and to become seemingly all-powerful (even though God the Father already is). He resisted each and every temptation and trusted that the Father was enough. Do you trust Him, too?
Do you trust that He’s better? Do you trust His Spirit’s power to enable you resist any and all temptations? Or are you backing down in fear that you cannot overcome this?
Dear heart, you can overcome. And you must.
“The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.” 1 Peter 4:7
This gets into the why. Why should I stop masturbating? Why should I give up video games? Why should I try to stop using my phone so much?
Because, Beloved, it is God’s will for you. If Jesus were to come back tomorrow, would you be confident before Him? Are you allowing Him to fill the hole inside you in your times with Him or forsaking Him and turning to other things? Do you seek earnestly for God’s will accomplished in your life? Are you diligent in your prayers?
There is a deep urgency inside me to spur you on to get yourself out of the world’s system, stop getting entangled by these ropes of self-gratification, and live all out for Him, the only One who can completely satisfy your soul. The day is drawing nearer and nearer, the time is coming… Jesus will come back and judge us for our deeds, good and evil (2 Corinthians 5:10). Is your life manifesting the fruits of the Spirit–the evidence of your salvation through faith in Christ–or, my friend, are you living on your own, with “Jesus” only a name on your lips?
When we back down in fear that we cannot overcome, that Jesus cannot satisfy our ache inside, that there is no hope to be better… Well, we become like this man in Proverbs 25:28:
“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.”
Wow. That is a pretty graphic image of what a person looks like who lacks self-control. There are no boundaries. We let the devil have free access into our lives to steal, kill, and destroy, disrupting the abundant life that Jesus has planned for us in Himself. (John 10:10).
We haven’t locked the doors and set up guards. We have allowed the thief to come and steal the abundant life that is living inside us, overflowing and beautiful. We haven’t guarded our hearts (Proverbs 4:23).
Paul was very intentional about guarding his heart, training his body, and making himself a vessel fit for use in the Kingdom of God.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Even if Paul himself failed to exercise self control, he would not be qualified to be a preacher of the gospel. Wow. This should tell us something about our need to discipline ourselves.
So, how can you overcome your lack of self-control?
This seems to be what God is saying when I sit back and listen. The key to self-control.
Stop giving in.
Stop giving in.
Stop giving in.
How much are you willing to lay down in order to be filled more with the Spirit, be more effective for God’s Kingdom, and experience the abundant life offered to you through Jesus?
That’s the question I will leave you with today.
You have self-control. Now, will you use it?
All Scripture taken from ESV version at Biblegateway.com
Hey all you lovely, precious God-fearing women out there! A few weeks ago, I created this video on Youtube, as the Lord was breaking strongholds of shame in my life and showing me His perfect love. I hope and pray it blesses you, and that Jesus brings freedom, hope, and healing into your life as well! ❤
P.S. This video certainly applies to women very much, but there may be bits and pieces for the men to glean from as well. 🙂 God bless!
My last post was on the topic of gentleness. Gentleness can easily be misinterpreted as tolerating people’s beliefs to the point of not pointing out their error. Thus, the Lord led me to write this post to explain that while we are in dire need of gentleness in our day and age, we are also in dire need of speaking the truth in power and love and conviction from the Holy Spirit.
People seem to go to one extreme or another: being too sensitive to hurting a person’s feelings so they don’t speak truth, or yelling truth hatefully in someone’s face. Both of these ways stem from fear. Fear that the person’s feelings will be hurt, or fear that the person won’t “get it” unless you say it louder or more strongly.
God’s way is better. His ways stem from a heart of faith in Him. He teaches us to be gentle and respectful in all the ways we need to be, and He shows us when it’s time to rise up and speak bold truths with full love in your heart for the person.
Paul talks about this in 1 Thessalonians 1:5, “…because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.”
Jesus did not waver in speaking the truth. He confronted people head on. He never compromised in order to please the other side, show toleration, or avoid offending. The world has a skewed view of love, so much so that some people may interpret my last post about gentleness as a post encouraging people to be so gentle with others they do not speak the truth. As I mentioned above, that isn’t true gentleness; that’s fear. True gentleness speaks the truth.
True love, on the other hand, goes far deeper. And as we know, love is in the two greatest commandments: love God and love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:30-33). So, how do we love our neighbor as we love ourselves? True love speaks the truth in whatever ways the person needs to hear it. True love isn’t about what giving a person what they want; it is about giving them what they need. Don’t you want someone to let you know if you are in a destructive habit that is keeping you from sweet intimacy and abundant life with God? Don’t you want to know the truth, so you will be set free?
Then go, go speak truth to others.
In order to speak uncompromised truth, sometimes God calls you to do it with boldness rather than gentleness. This is why He brought the tongues of fire come on the believers during Pentecost, in order to empower them to share the gospel in various tongues with all boldness (Acts 2:3-4). It all comes down to: you have to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit to understand what He wants for you in each situation. Always talk to God. Always be open to what He wants you to say and how He wants you to say it.
If someone is standing on a train track thinking they won’t get run over and you see the trains coming, are you going to gently say “hey, maybe you should move because, you know, like there might be a train coming that I might be looking at right now and that might sort of have a belief that it is going to run over you…”
Is this even true belief? That’s why in the above passage Paul mentions “with full conviction.”
If you truly believe something, you’re going to shout it from the mountain tops no matter whose whose ego it hurts. Why? Because there is NOTHING better than the truth. The truth is worth more than anything the earth has to offer: friends, family, jobs, school, money, success, fame, pleasure, you name it. It’s worth SO MUCH MORE.
True love points people to the truth. True love is fearless at pointing out the faults of others in order to bring healing and transformation. True love is willing to go the extra mile in reaching out to the person with the truth that they need to hear in order for them to grab hold of Jesus’ hand and be rescued from the pit of darkness they are in.
When you are speaking the truth under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, it isn’t going to come off as cruel or harsh, it will come off as loving, unless the enemy blinds the person to interpreting it as otherwise. I know that even when people give me hard, uncompromised truth, I can sense that they are being so bold with me because they love me and they want me to be more free, healed, and in unity with God. True love is FIERCE in speaking the exact truth a person needs to here.
This world is so corrupt, and so many churches especially in America are just existing to puff up people’s egos, giving them a false delusion of having a relationship with God when in real life they still cling to alcohol, to fornication, to sexual immortality, to love of money, to pride, to religion, to family, to friends…
None of that matters. Leave every idol in your heart aside and follow Jesus. Don’t turn back. Jesus Himself warned against this.
“Another disciple said to him, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’But Jesus told him, ‘Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.'” Matthew 8:21-22
This must be your attitude in being uncompromised in the truth. Cling to Jesus rather than the idol of people-pleasing or the fear you will lose a friend. And challenge others with this radical gospel message of surrender and trust in order for the Holy Spirit’s conviction to fall on them. Challenge others to lay everything else aside and follow Him, too.
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.'” Matthew 16:24
Speaking the truth in love is actually laying yourself aside in order for Jesus to get the glory and speak through you into the other person’s life. And the power of the Holy Spirit speaking through you allows that person to hear Jesus confronting them in their hearts: “Will you choose self or Me?”
Jesus is always drawing people to Himself. He uses us, His broken vessels, to get people’s attention and help them to hear what Jesus may have already been telling them or nudging at them about. Pray the person before, during, and after you talk with them. You need prayer and you need the Word of God in order to be true prophet as well. (But that’s another topic for another time…)
There is usually some area or multiple areas of a person’s life they aren’t willing to give up in order to follow Jesus. Ask the Spirit’s guidance to show you what questions to ask to get to the heart of that person to find out why their heart isn’t truly surrendered. You can do this even with people who believe they are Christians but whose lives do not reflect their professed beliefs. You will know them by their fruit. Ask God for discernment about what to say to people and how to say it.
So while I advocate for speaking the truth in gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15), that by no means means you cannot be bold. If the Holy Spirit is telling you to say something bold, SAY IT. Don’t back down. The enemy would like you to say all the nice things about Jesus and avoid saying the harder things. But the harder things are the things that actually bring freedom, purity, deliverance and salvation. The harder things are actually what lead a dead person into new life in Christ Jesus. And they are what lead to believers into great freedom, intimacy, and purity in the Lord.
This is what true prophecy is. Paul says we are to eagerly desire the gift of prophecy, and to be a true prophet of God is to be uncompromised in the truths and wisdom God reveals to you to tell others.
“Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.” 1 Corinthians 5:1
Desiring after prophecy is actually where “following the way of love” leads you to. Speaking true wisdom from God to share with others is one of the most loving things you can do for a person. Ask God for more of the gift of prophecy, and see how He enables you to speak wisdom and truth into people’s lives.
I have been so grateful for those in my life who have spoken hard truths to me. While at first I may feel a little taken a back, uncertain, offended, or hurt, I always have (to my knowledge) ended up receiving the things that were true and from God and as a result I have always been led to greater freedom, intimacy, and purity in the Lord. It’s amazing when you have a love for the truth how God takes the scales off your eyes and gives you spiritual glasses to see things the way He sees them.
Truly, a corrected person is a more transformed person. Learn to receive and embrace true godly correction. Seek out the truth. Seek out others who will tell you the truth. And always be sensitive to the Holy Spirit of when to speak truth, what to speak, and how to speak it.
Jesus is God, and He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). God is love (1 John 4:8). So, when your heart is sold out for the Truth, only then, can you know what love really is.
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,” Ephesians 4:15
“Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,” 1 Peter 1:22
“Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you.” Proverbs 9:8
Does it mean simply politeness, or something more? Where has gentleness gone in this day and age of social media, “say it like you mean it” angst, and hate speech?* Has our culture lost the art of gentleness?
While there is a place for speaking truth firmly and boldly in love, there is also a dire need to speak truth in gentleness or extend love to others with gentleness. Harsh talk is damaging to relationships and to our witness of Christ.
Gentleness changes things. I remember talking with someone one time (well, there are many times such as this), and this person getting very mad at me for something which I did not deserve such intense accusation for. I almost responded back with anger, but instead felt the nudging of God to soften my voice and say something kind which she did not deserve.
To my surprise, instead of continuing on showering her wrath on me, a calm settled over her and she responded with the same gentleness.
I don’t want to say this to show that I’m some sort of expert at being gentle (I’m not!); rather, I want to say this to show how gentle Jesus is, and how His Spirit living inside each one of us can change the atmosphere when we listen to His promptings. Though people lash out at us when do not deserve such accusation, we must respond to them in the gentleness which they themselves do not deserve. In the same way, Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, suffering punishment He did not deserve in place of us who did not deserve such grace.
As Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Guys, this is HUGE! Think of how much better of a world we would live in if people responded to someone’s anger with gentleness rather than with more anger? With Christ living in us as believers, we can touch people’s heart and lives by living radically gentle lives.
As Christians, there are many areas of life we are called to be gentle. To get more of an idea of what gentleness is, when to use it, and how it is used, here are some Bible verses that caught my attention about gentleness:
“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work,to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” Titus 3:1-2
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” 1 Peter 3:15
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” Galatians 6:1
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20
Thus, gentleness softens the hearts of the ungodly, avoids quarrelling, points errors out lovingly in other believers, and is “quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.”
The point of today, folks, is that gentleness stands out in a world of hard and bitter speech. In these dark times, Beloved, choose to be gentle as Christ himself was gentle.
The thing about gentleness is that it is the opposite of fear. Fear drives people towards anger. If you are afraid of not getting to work on time, you might lash out at your spouse if they keep asking you questions about something in the morning. If you are afraid you will gain weight, you might reprimand your mother harshly for serving you hamburgers and fries for dinner.
Nevertheless, when we choose to trust in God, we don’t need to be fearful, and therefore there is no need to be angry. God is in control; and the truth of the whole matter is that the person in front of you matters more than your own agenda. That person is so precious to God; and their hearts are really yearning for love. Their own anger evidences just that–they are hurt and are in need of assurance they everything is okay. Because of the love of Christ inside you, therefore, your only option to respond to them is gentleness.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths” Proverbs 3:5
This means your simple faith in the Lord allows you to respond in a supernaturally gentle way to those around you.
How can you be gentle today, Beloved?
Surrender your fears about your own plans and forgive those who have interrupted or upset your agenda. Go to them and forgive them, if need be. Ask Jesus to pour His love into your heart and make you pure and gentle once again.
A song for you to receive the gentleness of Jesus:
*this is not a political reference or meant to suggest anything political.
There is such a lack of faithfulness in today’s culture. So many are content with living below average lives, just working the bare minimum to pay the bills, just studying the bare minimum to pass the class. So little motivation for living a thriving, healthy lifestyle.
I can’t say I’m totally exempt from this attitude. I feel so dragged down by college schoolwork, so I overly distract myself with social media, YouTube, and other various things, leaving schoolwork in the backburner and letting ugly procrastination rule my life.
Ouch. Lord, help me.
The other day, He told me:Do small things with great joy.
This reminded me of when Jesus said:
“Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.” Mark 9:41
Wow! We will get a reward for doing just that? Giving someone a cup of water in Jesus’ name? Incredible. This goes to show how watchful our Father is over each one of us, and how He delights in every act of faith, no matter how small. What a good Father!
Speaking for myself personally, I have long struggled with doing every day things joyfully and eagerly. It all stems back from fear–fear that our actions don’t matter in light of eternity. Fear that this whole thing is a waste of time. Fear that we could be doing something better and more satisfying with our time.
All of these fears are lies. As we see in the verse earlier about giving a cup of water, every little action matters for eternity when we set our hearts on Christ and do it for His glory, as His followers. Every action for Jesus stores for ourselves a reward in heaven!
If that isn’t enough, when we choose to let Christ be with us in the little things and do it for Him, we find a life far more satisfying than wasting our time on the Internet, which leaves us miserable and regretful. We aren’t wasting our time. We are connecting with Christ, glorifying Him, and storing for ourselves a future reward in heaven.
Sometimes it feels the smallest things are the hardest and most tedious to do. But if we do not have faith in Jesus in the small things we do, we will not have faith in Him into the big things we do for His kingdom’s sake. And even in the small things, we can experience God’s presence—which after all, is what our heart’s ache for, isn’t it?
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” Luke 16:10
The truth is, we can live a satisfying life when we allow God’s grace to fuel us in even the small tasks of every day living. When we enjoy His presence at work, school, or talking with friends. When we delight in Him as we drive to run errands or as we wash dishes. And in turn, these small things prepare us for larger moments of acts of faith God may have for us in the future.
Even in these miniscule moments, God is able to come through for us in making ever moment count and every moment significant for the Kingdom of God. He can use anything and everything to grow us to be more like Him and draw us in an ever more intimate relationship with Him.
God wants us to be faithful. It’s one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, so that tells us He can empower us to be faithful in ever task.
So how can we be faithful? The simple answer is this: Have faith in Him.
Rather than bowing to fear of wasting time, trust that He who gave this task to you will strengthen you and satisfy you through it. He can teach us how to be organize and clean for His glory. He can teach us to be committed to meetings, appointments, and the like. He can show us how to get to places on time and prioritize the right tasks to make for fruitful living that glorifies Him and shines a light for Him for all the world to see.
Every moment counts as a Christian.Even if no one is watching, God is always with you watching over you, cheering you on to live every moment in His presence, His freedom, and His grace. His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). Truthfully, we must invite Him into our small tasks and let Him strengthen us in order to find rest for ourselves even in our labor.
So, how can we be faithful in the small things?
Stay connected with Him. Keep in mind this verse: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19
See, this is God’s will for your life! To be rejoicing always in the Lord – that Christ died for you, even you, a sinner, and rose again on the third day to give you eternal life. To be praying always – living and abiding in His presence, staying in constant communion with God. To give thanks in all circumstances – thanking God for His mercy, grace, and compassion. He is slow to anger and abounding in love!
As rejoicing, praying, and thanking God activates the Holy Spirit within you, you will have all the strength you need to remain faithful to the tasks God has set before you.
Work with all your heart, dear brothers and sisters. Know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
What are struggling with being faithful in right now? School? Work? Commitments? Time management? Cleaning?
Ask the Lord to be with you and give you great joy for the tasks ahead of you. He will strengthen you and help you (Isaiah 41:10). You can always be sure of that. ❤