For over a month, my motivation for a lot of things has been waning. I asked myself, “what is wrong with me?” Over that time, I recognized it and thought to myself, “this too will pass.” I thought for a while that it was just a phase and I just needed to wait and it would pass. I hoped it wasn’t the weather for it was a bit too soon to let the cold weather get to me. We still had 3 or 4 months of cold weather on its way. I was hoping it was my dieting and workout routine since I had been working hard at losing 20 lbs (almost there) and I knew that would be over soon. I wondered if it had to do with my life circumstances changing in the past few years and it was catching up to me. I wondered if organic church life was impacting my life in ways that I hadn’t expected, if maybe it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Overall my relationship with my wife and daughters is as good as it has ever been, so that couldn’t be it.
In the past few weeks, I had shared my concern with others. I talked about it in our house church. I talked about it with my wife. I talked about it with my accountability partners. I talked about it with a house church coach I know. But, somehow I missed talking about it with the most important Person I know. My motivation to read God’s Word and/or to pray had been gone as well. So I guess I figured, “what good would it be to talk to God about it, I don’t really want to.” But after spending a half hour or so on the phone with the previously mentioned house church coach, I realized that the most important thing I could do would be to talk to God about it. I needed to get straight with God and share my honest feelings and struggles with Him. Somehow that conversation encouraged me enough to actually do it.
Yesterday, I opened my heart to God and I told him exactly how I felt. You know what? He listened and he responded with love and affirmation. He directed me to read Hebrews. As I read, I remembered how great Jesus was… correction, how great Jesus is. He is above all. He is greater than the angels. He is greater than man. He is greater than all of creation. He is above all.
In Him, there is mercy. In Him, there is grace. In Him, there is life. What I needed more than anything was to be reminded in a real and personal way, how great Jesus really is.
My life contains many good things. I have a wonderful wife. My daughters are a blessing beyond measure. I have some great friends. I really miss my Congo family right now and am looking forward to Christmas! I have a nice home. I am driving my dream car. I am working with a great group of people in a profession that helps people. I am following God’s call to plant churches. All of those things are really good. But, they all become devoid of much meaning without Jesus in my life. If my purpose is not found in God, then the rest is all for me. How self serving is that? It matters not how much we receive from others, but much more in how much we give to others.
I needed a new, fresh revelation of Jesus in my life. He loves me so much. He longs to display mercy in my life. He longs to give me grace. He longs to lavish his love on me.
I think it is interesting how I and many other Christians can talk so much about how Christianity is about a relationship with God and then we get caught up in outward religiosity ourselves. Can I just get caught up in Jesus loves me?!!
Now comes my confession though. As I read my Bible this morning, looking for something else, God brought something to my attention. If you read my notes/blogs and/or prayer newsletters, you will know what I’m talking about. Maybe you haven’t thought of it in this way, but I was convicted this morning.
I was reading Matthew 7 this morning and it said this…
You cannot serve two masters: God and money. For you will hate one and love the other, or else the other way around. So my counsel is: Don’t worry about things – food, drink, and clothes. For you already have life and a body – and they are far more important than what to eat and wear. Look at the birds! They don’t worry about what to eat – they don’t need to sow or reap or store up food – for your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. Will all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothes? Look at the field lilies! They don’t worry about theirs. Yet King Solomon in all his glory was not clothed as beautifully as they. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won’t he more surely care for you. O men of little faith? So don’t worry at all about having enough food and clothing. Why be like the heathen? For they take pride in all those things and are deeply concerned about them. But your heavenly Father already knows perfectly well that you need them, and he will give them to you if you give him first place in your life and live as he wants you to.
So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.
This last line is one I need to constantly remind myself. I live so much of my life thinking about tomorrow. Some call that being a visionary. Maybe.
But the Word didn’t say don’t think about tomorrow. It said don’t be anxious about tomorrow.
Why? To be anxious about tomorrow demonstrates a lack of faith in God today. It reveals my lack of trust in the God that loves me so.
I admit, I’ve worried about my finances. I’ve worried about church finances. God has convicted me not to worry. He has convicted me to trust Him. He loves me so. He will provide what I/we need.
There is so much more I could write. But, I will conclude here today.
Know this. God is still speaking. I am listening again. His grace and mercy are greater than my need. He loves me. He loves me so.