Working Hard … (or not)

What is your mission statement as a Christian? I don’t mean the honorable aspirations of witnessing, giving, loving, making a difference for Him, etc. Those are commendable and worthy goals, but I’m talking about that ONE statement that sums up the sole purpose of your existence, such as the vision statement of my church to know Him, to be like Him, and to make Him known. What is yours?

Are you working on it? Working hard? Daily? Perhaps you should stop. 

Allow me to explain:

Get ‘er Done!

My mission statement is to “be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” I continue to press on in my journey for completeness even when I am worn and weary from the work. After all, it isn’t going to happen overnight. I must persevere because it is a work in progress, and sometimes the work is painfully HARD! But it’s honorable to be so willing to persevere hardship, isn’t it? It speaks highly of those who endure pain and work hard in spite of their weariness, right?

Yeah …  see … that’s where I lose sight of my vision. When I get caught up in that kind of thinking, I forget that my intention is not to speak highly of myself or to bring honor to myself. In being “made complete with the fullness of life and power that comes from God,” I want to bring honor and glory to Him.

Still, it can’t be an easy task, this striving for completeness. Surely it will involve hard work, right? Actually, no, … attaining completeness is intended to be quite simple. I’m the one complicating the process. I think of it as a level of personal achievement, and therefore, I must work at it.

Again, wrong, but don’t take my word for it. I got it from Paul (surely you believe him?). According to Ephesians 3:17-19, it’s as simple as experiencing how much God loves me:

1) Trust Him, or have faith in Him – invite and allow Him to dwell in my heart.

2) Then He will develop my roots and ground me in love. HE is doing it. My  job is to be still (which also means to “shut up”), and let Him do His thing in peace.

3) Once I am rooted and grounded in love, I will have the power and the strength to understand the extent of His love for me – just like all those other important God-people. Bit by bit (to the extent that I choose to let Him), He empowers me to comprehend His love, and it is an awesome ride!

4) Finally, I have begun to experience His love. Oh, wow … get this: His love for us is so awesome that it cannot be fully understood intellectually – it has to be experienced. And all I have to do is be still and receive His love. But I’m warning you, it is impossible to “be still” when you are in the middle of a “love experience” – WOW! There are no words …

5) Then I will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Notice, it doesn’t say I will “have achieved completeness.” It says, I will “be made complete” – by Someone Else.

Here’s what is required of me in Ephesians 3:17-19:
trust (Him)
have (faith in Him)
invite (Him to dwell)
allow (Him to dwell)
let (Him do His thing)
have (the power to …)
comprehend (His Love)
experience (His Love)
receive (His love)
be (still)
shut (up)

Notice how these are all passive in nature? None of them require excessive flexing of muscles or brain cells (except maybe the shutting-up thing, in my case).  As for “comprehending” – we aren’t expected to strain our brain – the Holy Spirit empowers us – GIVES us the comprehension. 

Here’s what Jesus does in the passage:
loves (me)
dwells (in my heart)

develops (my roots)
grounds (me in love)
empowers
(me to comprehend His love)

makes (me complete with all the fullness of life
and power that comes from God)

See? Jesus is doing all the “hard” stuff!

Have you ever had someone try to help you do something that you are quite adept at doing by yourself? You don’t need the help, and you didn’t ask for the help. In fact, they just get in the way and keep you from doing your job, right? Welcome to God’s world. Do we believe He is capable and willing, or not? Our actions (and words) should reflect our beliefs.

It boggles my mind that “my job” here is so simple, yet so difficult. It is extremely hard for me to “be still” – I have to do something! He promises that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Why, then, do I repeatedly make it so hard? Why can’t I take Him at His word? Do I believe Him or not? 

Please stand in agreement with me as I pray for true “active” belief; for the willingness to trust, have, invite, allow, let, comprehend, and experience; for the humility to be still and know that He is God. And I pray that I shut up already(!), and hear Him.

I also pray for you. “I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
Amen …
So be it …
That’s just the way it is!

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8 responses to “Working Hard … (or not)

  1. Great job. God’s peace to you and yours. I am excited for what He is doing in your life and His use of your skills.

    Stan

    • Thank you, Stan. That means a lot coming from you. You know He’s using you too, right? You have been “used by God” in my life in a huge way for the last 4+ years, and He started the day of my interview!

  2. Wow, thank you for sharing. You have been blessed with a gift. Keep it up!

  3. Great word!!! Amen

  4. J Carla Northcutt

    Nice work! My goal is to leave footprints on the hearts and spirits of those God places in my path.

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