Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)
Summer is flying by! I’m enjoying this beautiful season, cherishing the memories being made, and soaking in everything God is revealing to me. Lately, God has been teaching me that I’m not in control, He is. Far too often, as my schedule becomes busy, I lose sight of God. I find myself simply going through the motions. My life becomes a to-do list. I have come to realize though, that as I try to make my own plans, control my schedule, love others, and manage my life on my own effort, I just become frustrated and overwhelmed. I desperately need God, I can not navigate life on my own.
Recently I have been focusing on trusting God, on totally surrendering to His will for me in every aspect of my life. It’s one thing to trust God when it comes to the big decisions and hard situations, but I’m learning that it’s equally critical in our faith to trust Him in our day-to-day lives. I view the small things in my life and see them as unimportant to God, I think that I can handle them on my own. But I’m learning that I’m incapable of even managing the little things in my life on my own effort. The things I deem small or unimportant begin piling up, and I wind up in a downward spiral of stress, worry, and failure.
“We have to learn to trust in little things, even in what may seem like silly things, if we are ever going to be privileged to suffer in the big things.” -Elisabeth Elliot
Nothing is too small for God. He wants us to turn to Him for everything from friendships and relationships, to school, work, and our money. God isn’t a distant God, He is there every step we take. He knows us and loves us. He desires for us to follow in His footsteps, walking step-by-step in faith as we follow His lead.
I like to be in control, I far too often believe the lie that I can navigate my own life. But in essence, when I have that mindset, I’m putting my own plans above God; I’m viewing myself as better than God. That’s hard to admit, but it’s true. I know that God’s plan is better, that God desires His will for me, which is good, and pleasing, and perfect (Romans 12:2). I must learn to wholeheartedly believe that , to trust God’s goodness, because if I have confidence in that truth, I will live in complete surrender of myself and in complete trust in God’s plans.
This journey of faith is a constant battle of surrender and repentance. God doesn’t call us to just go through the motions. He doesn’t call us to the inevitable failure in trying to control our own lives. He calls us to surrender. God calls us to Himself.
I’m learning what faith is really about. Faith is abandoning ourselves and trusting in God’s will, even when it doesn’t make sense to us now. It’s daily denying our own effort and totally relying God. It’s constant conversation and absolute honesty to God through prayer. Faith is putting to death our own worry, anxiety, stress, and fear and believing God’s goodness. It’s understanding that God has already overcome our mistakes on the cross. It’s accepting our own failure, but also accepting God’s mercy and forgiveness. It’s living in the freedom, rest, and joy found in His love. Faith is living every moment of our lives to the rhythm of God’s grace.
You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.