“I need God to consume me more than my life currently does” -Lisa Whittle
“We are living an unsustainable, unhealthy, and un-Biblical pace of life” -Bryant Underwood
“God has more for you, the only way to get from where you’re at to where He has called you is to put your trust in Him” -Jeremy Camp
Wisdom. Words of wisdom from people I know, people I’ve never met, and people I had never previously heard of but that inspired me. Wisdom.
In James 1:5 the Word says if anyone lacks wisdom, to ask and it will be freely given. Is it really that simple? Ask!? Trust!? Surely there’s more to it…
“Oh how great is your goodness which you have prepared for those who trust in you” -Psalms 31:19
God knows the plan for our lives, it is not to harm us, but to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11)
Why do we so frantically run through life adding task upon task to chase “the plan” – why can’t we just trust Him? I think we confuse the “more” God has for us with “doing more.” A quantity vs quality. The American way – more is always better- more activities, more volunteering, more ministry, more possessions, more TV, more…more…MORE.
We shouldn’t confuse the “more” He has for us with quantity. We are accustomed to the easy way – the quick way. Texting is preferred over talking because you can have short bursts of conversation. It’s quick and convenient. The microwave prepares dinners because it’s quick and convenient. The drive through is even better. Everything is fast, convenient, and more.
But quality is not rushed.
A quality relationship is not rushed. It takes time. Time must be committed to others in order to build a relationship with them. An authentic relationship is built with trust, but it requires time. And time communicates to others that you value them enough to give them a portion of your life that you can never have back. Time means value.
A relationship with God takes time. Yes, He accepts us as we are, but He desires time. He wants us to demonstrate in our lives that He matters. That He’s important enough to set aside time for and that we will speak to Him. To read more of His teachings (the Bible) and get to know Him.
So back to that “more” issue that plagues us. I believe that the “more” that God has for us is about choosing what is better, not choosing to exhaust ourselves. I know people that have taken on tasks or ministries because they were a good thing but it wasn’t right for them. And so they initiated a task that was a burden, and they were not fully acting with love in that task. In fact, they dreaded the task. It was just that: a task. God says that if we don’t have love, we are no better than a clanging cymbal and that nothing we do is of value if we don’t have love (1 Corinthians 13). As Lysa Terkeurst says, we feel powerless to say no. But we should say no when saying no is the right thing to do.
Lysa shares so many wonderful truths in her The Best Yes book. One of her stories is about an opportunity that was presented to her that she declined. She knew it wasn’t for her. It was a great thing and was going to be a huge gift but a difficult task. In her heart she knew it wasn’t for her. Please understand, she didn’t run because it was difficult. She didn’t say yes when she knew she should say no either. She declined because she knew in her heart this was not for her.
How did she know? Because Lysa had been in regular communication with God. She spends time in His Word. She spends time in prayer, communicating with Him. She spends time seeking Godly counsel from people she trusts when appropriate. Lysa devotes time to these things and in so doing she can recognize His voice. She didn’t rush the decision either.
“I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you” -Psalm 32:8 NLT
Are you facing a difficult decision? Have you spent time in God’s Word? In prayer? Don’t make a decision without seeking His guidance. And don’t agree to a task because you feel obligated. Love that is freely given, true from the heart, and ministry from that love and heart is of deep value and will touch others.
Think of it this way, that thing that you are going to say yes to that your heart tells you to say no: what if you take that on and you rob someone else of the opportunity to shine in their gift? What if you were willing to be brave and obey God’s guidance and say no, in order for the right person to say yes?
Don’t be too afraid to humble yourself and step out of the way so that the right person can step up. It is ok to say no. Did you read that? Ladies – ladies that are guilty of doing too much for too many – it is ok to say no.
I am guilty of saying yes at times because I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or disappoint them. But scripture is teaching me to check my motivations.
Another that had spoken to me lately about this topic:
When I accept an opportunity, it needs to be out of a heart of love with others’ interest in mind, & for God’s glory. Not to prevent disappointment – not thinking of myself.
And this quote really resonates with me:
Being humble is thinking of myself less. But it isn’t about sacrificing myself to the point of exhaustion. What good am I if I’m spent, worn, & empty?
You can’t do it all. And you can’t do it all, all the time. You will burn out. And you cannot give what you do not have.
Take time to go to the well (God’s Word) and refresh your weary soul. Spend time with the Author of peace and speak to the One who refreshes. Replenish your soul, and get to know His voice. Then when the next thing comes that you should say yes to – not only will you be ready, but you will know the path He has for you.
He has more for you. But His more, is beyond our comprehension.
I pray for the refreshing of your soul. Your mind. Your heart. And may you be brave when you step into the next part of your path.
One more thought provoking quote:
“We never grow closer to God when we just live life. It takes deliberate pursuit and attentiveness.” -Francis Chan
May you pursue Him, and may you discover Him and the amazing plan He has for you.