“My personal life may be crowded with small, petty happenings, altogether insignificant, but if I obey Jesus Christ in the seemingly random circumstances of life, they become pinholes through which I see the face of God. Then, when I stand face to face with God, I will discover that through my obedience thousands were blessed. When God’s redemption brings a human soul to the point of obedience, it always produces. If I obey Jesus Christ, the redemption of God will flow through me to the lives of others, because behind the deed of obedience is the reality of Almighty God.” Oswald Chambers
I feel as though I have become undisciplined in regards to my spiritual life. Completion of my graphic design senior portfolio and then graduation left me spent. The good kind, the kind that makes you smile amidst your weariness. But weary nonetheless. On the verge of burned out, and in the middle of a lack of intimacy with Jesus. Tomorrow will mark a week since I graduated, and while I have loved the chance to spend hours lettering or reading a book for pure pleasure — just to sit still and be stressed — I feel detached.
As hard as it is for me to admit, while I am still active in prayer and reading the Bible, the intimate relationship I was designed for with Jesus is hardly present. Sustained by days of stress and busyness, comparison and worry, selfishness and anxiety throughout my final semester.. this numbness to the presence of God has snowballed.
I feel mentally and emotionally spent. And my soul is longing for it. The hindrance? I believe it’s a lack of discipline. There’s rest, and then there’s true rest. My rest lately has been Netflix or eating out with friends. True rest is making space for things that recharge my heart, energize my spirit, inspire my soul. True rest is unplugging. But it’s hard, it calls for a hard look at priorities.
I am both convicted and challenged by how much I browse but don’t digest. Best example: media. Social networking to Netflix to anything requires no effort whatsoever. Hear me, I am by no means calling those elements bad; by no means. But personally, right now, they aren’t serving a beneficial, helpful, or lasting purpose for me. It steals my time and my energy. Most of all, I feel one of its most prominent consequences is that it helps me develop a habit of impatience when I’m reading or learning something.
In the study and meditation of God’s Word, or in prayer, patience is key. These things are disciplines, and means of glimpsing the Lover of my Soul.
For the past few weeks, I have gotten comfortable in a lack of discipline, and my soul can feel it. It longs for the intimacy it knows is found when focused on the Lord. Right now I’m not, and that hurts my heart, but I have been challenged lately by His Spirit in me, to do something about it. In Richard Foster’s book Celebration of Discipline, he writes,
“The most difficult problem is not finding time but convincing myself that this is important enough to set aside the time. Disciplines are not the answer; they only lead us to the Answer. We must clearly understand this limitation of the Disciplines if we are to avoid bondage.”
God is worth…. everything. He’s worth all I have – every minute of my time, all the affection my heart can give, and every bit of energy in my body. He calls me to live in this world, on this Earth, and there are so many things, even blessings from Him, that vie for my attention, and rightfully so. But, He is still worth everything I in my hummanness have to give. To me, this means that I live my life out of that heart.
A heart that treasures time spent in prayer with Him, that finds a home in His Word, that sees glimpses of Him in the circumstances and relationships around me.
I don’t want to put my face in my Bible and just read words. I don’t want to pray without connecting, or pray without listening.
I need to slow down, to find the freedom is simplicity, the intimacy with Jesus that overwhelms me and consumes me… when I uproot idols, and take a step back from things, that distract me from focusing on Him.
I don’t say to make anyone feel guilty for whatever choices they make in their daily life! Please, your life is your life, enjoy it, enjoy God, soak it all up, that’s what God intended. I only open this up because of where I am, and where I am is a place of missing God.
Some changes to my daily life are coming, whether they last two weeks or the entire summer, they are coming.
And I faithfully trust and expect God to fill every crack, nook, and space in my being. Because it’s the desire of His heart. He longs for me and my heart’s direction toward Him far more than I ever could fathom.
It may seem daunting to some.. radical, even, to others, the attitude of my words… but my posture is not one of a monk or nun (although I have absolutely nothing against them!). This is me wanting more of God.
He is like a flood, and I want to make more space for Him.
“And so I urge you to still every motion that is not rooted in the Kingdom. Become quiet, hushed, motionless until you are finally centered. Strip away all excess baggage and nonessential trappings until you have come into the stark reality of the Kingdom of God. Let go of all distractions until you are driven into the Core. Allow God to reshuffle your priorities and eliminate unnecessary froth. Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, ‘Pray for me that I not loosen my grip on the hands of Jesus even under the guise of ministering to the poor.’ That is our first task: to grip the hands of Jesus with such tenacity that we are obliged to follow his lead, to seek first his Kingdom.” Richard Foster