If there is one powerful element to life that is underestimated, it is our speech. The way we speak, the opinions we fancy, and the time we choose to speak have greater consequences than we realize. James charges us to “be quick to hear” and “slow to speak” (James 1:19-20).
Comparing my how and my what to others conditions my eyes to fix on them or myself, and hardly ever on God. In my experience, comparison fuels self-reliance by putting on unnecessary not-from-God pressure to always do more and be better. Comparison handicaps the practice of allowing God to inform our being and our life, and puts in its place our own understanding, paving the road for habits that don’t prompt worship of God like pride, doubt, or insecurity.
Let go of the expectations you put on you to be better, know more, and try harder. Surrender the anxiety you carry about your weakness, your lack, your struggle. Instead of prioritizing righteousness, prioritize Jesus. Let your goal be Him. Let your effort be cultivating deeper love for and trust in Jesus, not cultivating your own awesomeness.
There is unfair, devastating loss in this life. There is uncertainty, disappointment, pain and a vast amount of circumstances to grieve over. But there is One who will never die, never lose and never falter.
Soul rest in an unrestful hour, day, week, or season is accessible when we acknowledge His Spirit in us and practice total dependence.
It’s a healthy practice not to pitch your mental + emotional tent in the way a few hours go, because the next few could be vastly different!
I’m here to extend the invitation God gave me: do not expect your physical body to give you what only Jesus can give you. And with that practicing hope in Christ, be free to hold stewardship of your health in one hand and a consuming love for God in the other.
If I prioritize John above God, it would feel impossible to bring to our table any observation of sin or heart-harmful habit, because I’d be too afraid of his response. When I’m submitting ultimately to God first, I can be an extension of God’s sanctifying work, not fretting over potential messiness or hurt pride or slowness of change. I’m free to love him as God loves him, rejoice when he rejoices, hurt when he hurts, and care more about his heart than my potential hurt feelings (in the moment).
When days are challenging, when moments are overwhelming, God asks me to hide in Him, not escape in lesser things.
In a matter of words, I’ve been confronted these first 20 weeks with what I believe about God. He’s high and lifted up. He’s mighty and glorious. He is to be feared and worshipped. He is holy and in control. His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. He’s the creator and sustainer of the world. He’s going to surprise us. He will take His time teaching us as we hurt, as we struggle. But He will bring us the most joy.
Believing we are loved unconditionally by God keeps us in a posture of worship, delight, service and dependence. This is what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.
I underestimate how good and refreshing it is to go back and remember how God has encouraged me or where I’ve been. Might be a new practice every few months. What do you think about looking in the past to encourage your present?