Thursday, June 18, 2015

When the yes hurts.....

Have you ever had the "struggle is real" moment?

I'm not talking about the ones where pictures of cookies as big as my head are posted and people are trying to talk themselves out of devouring the entire thing (you would feel awful afterward). I'm talking about the struggle between following your heart and following God.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? _Jeremiah 17:9

We are often told that in order to be happy we should follow our heart, chase our dreams, seek out our own happiness. The truth is: we are NOT called to be happy...we are called to be effective.

Don't think that I am above heart following here! There have been far too many times where I have literally told God to wait until I finished. That's right in line with treating God like a toddler asking for your attention. The fact is, God doesn't require our attention. He will continue to be God even if we ignore what He commands. He desires our attention and His ultimate desire is that we be effective for ministry in a way far larger than we can comprehend.

But there happen to be some things that hold us back from offering a whole-hearted YES to our Creator when it comes to His commands:
  • We're afraid of what we might have to give up.
Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. _Luke 12:33-34
  • We're afraid that we don't have what it takes.
Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind. _Psalm 26:2
  • Sometimes, we don't think our calling is big enough or fancy enough.
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart._2 Timothy 2:22
  • We're are comfortably distracted by the things the world offers.
And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God ._Luke 16:15

So, if we find ourselves struggling to say "YES" wholeheartedly, here are a few action steps to set us up for success:
  1. Guard your heart: be careful what you allow into your heart on a daily basis. By mindful of the music you listen to, the show you watch and the books you read. Ask yourself if these are planting seed of  God's will or are they selling short-term happiness in following our own dreams.
  2. Read God's Word DAILY. I don't just mean pop it open and read a few verses before you head about your business. I mean come into a quiet place with an expectant heart and spend quality time in His Word.
  3. Commit to memorizing scripture. Make the commitment (which means you intent to give time and effort) to memorize verses that speak to your specific season in life. If you have trouble finding them, consider to help. And remember, this is about YOU, not your husband or friends or co-workers. The ones you may need can be a little uncomfortable, but you are committed.
  4. Join a small group or Bible study if you haven't already. This is how we grow in the Word: by studying and sharing with others.
  5. Keep a journal. You can record verses that speak to you and also write down ideas and dreams that you have. This will help you cut through the clutter and begin to discern God's will in your life.
Living for God becomes a more natural thing as we commit to know Him better. Just as marriage can be difficult when there is no communication, our lives will thrive when we communicate with God.
Start with just one of these action steps and commit for a week. We would love to hear how it is changing your life, so be sure to leave a comment in the section below.

Life is worth living when lived with a purpose,

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