I prayed and wrestled a lot about what to blog about today. While it’s not the most comfortable thing to do, I feel like God just wanted me to write honestly about where I have been recently and hopefully it will be an encouragement to you.
God has been doing a whole lot of good things in my life right now. Really good things. But, with those good things has come a lot of busyness and added responsibilities. What I’ve noticed is that busyness has a way of quickly cutting in on my time with God.
I know what it feels like to be close and intimate with God, to have time in his Word and walk away encouraged and satisfied. I know what it feels like when my prayer life is constant, joy-filled and focused. I know what it’s like to feel like God is so real and present in my life that I would easily follow him anywhere he would lead.
I want that closeness with God, but I can tell that hasn’t been the description of my faith-life recently.
I’m always shocked how easily I can go from being passionate and “on fire” for God one week to struggling to get into his Word and not even feeling in the mood to pray the next.
While I’d love to list all the good “legitimate” reasons why my time in God’s word has been in a “get it done” mindset and why I’ve been too exhausted to spend good time in prayer, they don’t hold up. I’m feeling “blah” and more distant from God because recently I’ve given him the leftovers in my life; the few minutes I can squeeze him into my life.
In the whirlwind of good things, I’ve missed out on the best thing; sitting at Jesus’ feet, worshiping him, and hanging on to his every word.
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” - Luke 10:38-42
Maybe you know what this feels like. I have a feeling we all do. I think we all look a whole lot like Martha, more than we’d ever care to admit. We often exhaust ourselves on lots of “good” things but in so doing, we miss out on Jesus.
It’s easy to want to be coddled, to be told it has been a busy season and that our apathy is understandable. But Jesus doesn’t really beat around the bush with Martha. He clearly loves and cares about her, but he says it like it is. Mary chose the better way to spend her time. Your stress, your frustration, Martha, is a result of your own choices.
We need the same tough love sometimes.
I don’t need someone to make excuses for me, I’m great at coming up with my own. I need a fellow Christian I can trust to give me the hard truth. I’ve been distracted and apathetic and I’ve missed out on the joy of being with Jesus.
I think we need more of this in the Church. We need to surround ourselves with people who are willing to tell us what we need to hear, not what we want to hear. Jesus knows it’s the truth that sets us free, not some fluffy, feel-good excuse.
These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. - Revelation 2:1-5
I don’t get out of my apathetic funk by spending more time on "ME".
My faith flourishes when I carve out lesser things in my life so I have more TIME to be with my Lord, in his Word each day, seeking him in prayer and living for others.
I had some good time in prayer with God recently, confessing to him my lazy heart. I asked him to forgive me for seeing his love story (the Bible) like a to-do on my list rather than a privilege. I asked him to renew a steadfast spirit within me.
And you know what? I walked away from that prayer feeling like a huge load was lifted from my heart. He knows my weakness. He knows my failings. Yet, Jesus draws me back to himself like he always does and his promises revive my heart.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. - Jeremiah 29:11
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. - James 4:10
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. - Psalm 51:10-12
Jesus doesn’t want to be something on our check list. He wants an intimate love relationship with us. In fact, he calls us his bride. I’m not settling for a blah relationship because I’m too distracted with other loves. I want a thriving love. I want the passion, I want the satisfaction of being close to my Maker. I want the fearlessness that comes from knowing that the God of the universe has a plan for my life. I want the purpose that comes from seeing life beyond myself. I want Jesus to be my first love, and, praise the LORD, he wants the same thing!
If you are feeling distant and unsatisfied in your walk with the Lord today, don’t keep settling for lesser things that won’t satisfy you. Take some things out of your schedule and make more time to sit with your Savior in his Word. You will not regret it.
Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever. - Psalm 73:23-26