Called To Be

We each go through phases in life. Phases of joy and times of sorrow. Phases of stress and times of quiet. Phases where we are close to God and times when we are far from him. The one thing we do know is that a phase is just that, a phase. No matter how hard it seems, we know it will come to an end.

Recently I’ve struggled with a phase of spiritual apathy. Life had become routine. Closeness with Christ had become routine. What I was already doing should have been enough, at least in my own mind. Reading, studying, leading, discipling, I mean, what more could I do?

Follow.

I’m failing to follow. No, if I am being honest, I’m refusing to follow. I can give you any number of excuses: I am too busy, I am already doing enough, I just don’t want to, etc. Netflix is more appealing than quiet time with God. Accomplishing tasks on the to-do list is more important than engaging with others. God has been calling me to be present and engage with others, yet I choose myself and my wants instead.

Through this lesson I’ve learned a few important things:

  • Spiritual apathy is not a phase. There’s no confidence that “this is just a phase.” (Proverbs 1:24-26)
  • Sometimes we aren’t called ‘to do’; we are simply called ‘to be’. Be available. Be self-sacrificing. Be enraptured with Christ. Be faithful. Be still.
  • God is merciful. He is faithful to those who love him (Deuteronomy 7:9). Confess and ask for a heart change, and God will be abundant in his grace and mercy.
  • Pray, pray, pray. Start with baby steps in recommitting your all to Christ. Start with prayer; the rest will follow.

I pray that you are encouraged, knowing you are not alone in your journey and in your struggles. If you find that you are wandering, straying, today is the day to recommit to Christ. Lay it at the cross. He already knows how messy you are, and how messy you’ll be, and he decided that you are worth sacrificing his son on a cross for so that you may have eternal life with him in heaven.

James 2:5 – Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?

2 Thessalonians 1:11 – To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by His power.

John 15:16 – You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

Daniel 12:2-3 – And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.  And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

I Just Really Don’t Want To

Right!?  Please tell me I’m not alone in this.  Sometimes I just really don’t want to.  Don’t want to do the dishes, don’t want to fold the laundry, don’t want to respond to that text, don’t want to adult in general.  My face expresses what my heart feels: “Enter at your own risk”, “Do Not Disturb” or “Beware, guard dog on duty”.

Sometimes those “sometimes” last longer than I care to admit.  Those moments become days, days become weeks and before I know it, weeks have become habits and patterns that define a larger period of time.  “I don’t want to” becomes more of a lifestyle than an attitude.  It becomes more of a passive condition of my heart than an active choice.

God has been tugging at my heart about my lack of writing lately.  At first, it started as “I’m too busy.”  Then it became “I don’t know what to write” which quickly turned into “nothing that I write matters.”  Did you notice how many “I” statements that was?  All of them, which is all of them too many.  And yet in life, none of it is about us.

Every bit of life is about our relationships with others.  I write because I am called by God to write, not because I enjoy it or have an extra abundance of time for it.  Writing isn’t about what matters to me, it’s about uplifting and encouraging others in their walk with Christ.  As long as we are stuck on ourselves, or within ourselves, we will be unable to experience true growth and freedom in Christ.

I can tell you that not writing the last few months has been nice.  I haven’t had to stretch myself into territory that is uncomfortable.  I haven’t had to be vulnerable or scared of rejection.  I haven’t had to check numbers or care if anyone reads the posts.  I haven’t had to research Bible verses or study extra hard.  But I also haven’t experienced true joy in Christ.  Joy that only comes when we are fulfilling our purpose and our calling by God in our lives.  The joy that comes from resting in Him knowing you have served your God well.  The joy and purpose that comes from hearing “…Well done, good and faithful servant.  You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.  Enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:23)

Tonight I rest in the fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11) in the presence of my savior.  I invite you to rest in His fullness of joy with me.  Whatever you are wrestling with, whatever you are putting off, now is the time to surrender.  Stop wherever you are and give it over to God.  Let him remove your sign of “Beware, enter at your own risk” and instead replace it with “Welcome, Joy Abounds”.

Psalm 16:11 – You will make known to me the path of life; In your presence is fullness of joy; In your right hand there are pleasures forever.

1 Peter 1:8-9 – and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

John 17:13 – But now I come to you; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have my joy made full in themselves.

Romans 15:13 – Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will about in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.