To be, or not to be? No. That is not the question.
To DO, or to be? Now THAT is the question.
I’m sharing the moment today when God identified a surprising struggle- in an area I thought was a strength of mine! It was with the precision of a Great Physician that He cut away to reveal the hidden issue causing me such pain.
I am goal-oriented…….to a fault.
I run hard after good things, but in the end, I am still just running hard.
I have learned that a person's strength can also become their weakness, when left unbridled. Click To Tweet My goal-oriented nature has proven just that. I don’t even have to try to be a fixer or a planner. It happens without me realizing I am putting forth the effort.
In essence, I am a “doer” that can’t stop “doing”. What Jesus is revealing is that all this “doing” is getting in the way of His prize for me – intimacy with Christ.
And wouldn’t you know it? I am right where I need to be in my Chronological Bible to drive home the lesson! Philippians 3:12-14 says,
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Due to my competitive nature, I relish this passage because I am ALL ABOUT doing, working and striving. I want to “press on” and “take hold”. Progress in any form thrills me!
But what God is showing me is how this character trait is getting the best of me, how it is becoming a fault of mine, bringing me more harm than good.
As I am “doing” incessantly, it is hard for me to just “be”. Mind you I am “still” at times, but that doesn’t mean I have ceased working and striving. When I am reading the Word, it inspires me into action, making me want to understand immediately and apply it to my life. Or maybe I’m strategizing how to develop in ministry and use my time and gifts wiser. I’m the kind of person that thinks by putting forth MORE effort, I can achieve _________.
That blank can be filled with an endless number of things and all of them GOOD things. Traits or progress worthy of all sorts of goals. Yet, those goals can actually hinder the prize….
What does God want of me, FOR me the most? I believe He wants me to have more of Jesus.
More of His love (understanding it, receiving it, not attaining it).
More of His peace.
More of His perspective.
More of His strength.
More of His nature……..
And how does all that happen?
I think it happens through intimacy with Christ. As I spend time in His presence, communing with Him, I understand Him better and become more like Him. Joy unfolds in His presence.
Jesus never had an air about Him that He was working hard at “life”. He simply abided, rested, and depended upon the Father. He was able to “do” by “being”.
This is my lesson. Stop doing so much and just “be”…..with Him, enjoying Him, resting in Him, celebrating Him.
His easy yoke and light burden are supposed to be MY reality! And yours!
Are you like I am? Falling victim to working “at”, what we are supposed to enjoy, just by “being”?We cannot let the enemy scheme us into effort, for what is already ours by faith! Click To Tweet
Jesus is the prize! Christlikeness, sanctification, fruitfulness, and faithfulness are all goals that will be produced through being more than doing.
So how can this practically happen?
- Consistent devotional time where I protect the true intention- loving Him, enjoying Him. Resisting the disruption or distraction of thoughts that pop into my head, compelling me to “work” at something good.
- Evaluate the goals that seem good but remember they are always secondary to Jesus and my relationship with Him.
- Whenever I am feeling stress or anxiety, trace the root back to see if I have become over-responsible in striving when I should be abiding. Remind myself that I have a choice in how I feel.
- As goals pop in my mind, remember they are all under God’s authority and responsibility. Commit them to Him and rest peacefully that He WILL accomplish HIS will no matter what.
- Trust that He will bring to me what He wants me to respond to. The burden is not on me to make things happen. He is the One who initiates, as I respond back to Him.
The beauty of this season, and this passage of Scripture, is that Christ came and took “hold” of us. That warrants a “Hallelujah” every time, even if it is a work still in progress till the day we see Him face to face. How fitting a “Hallelujah” when we are repenting of having lost sight of Him ……..again.
One of my favorite lyrics of this song is when he says,
I know you came to save me….
Moments like today remind me of how Jesus saves us- not only from our sin, but from ourselves. What a precious prize He is!
May we cease our “doing” and rest in “being”- so we can enjoy the greatest treasure of this Christmas season!