His will, not mine.
I'm fairly certain God has a sense of humour. Because He is MIXING LIFE UP! If there is stand-up in Heaven, he's got it down (there'd better be). Our God is a mighty God, but I think sometimes He just looks down and laughs a little. Not in a over-bearing or condascending way, but in a way that just says, "Yup, that's right. I just rocked your world. Things are about to get crazy".
God has been working in some awesome yet mysterious ways these past few weeks and I am amped to share my heart with you! It's been a while since I've shared something like this, so bear with me. :)
I came to my devotional tonight - and couldn't help but think, "holy smokes I am content". I am busy, way over-committed, but just really content. I don't feel pushed, I don't feel outside my comfort zone. I feel just fine. And that's a problem.
The words read:
"The substance of Kingdom Life is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (see Romans 14:17). So often our minds get distracted from these beautiful realities. We tend to become preoccupied with ideals and details, anxious to make sure we fulfill what God made us to do, and it robs us from experiencing what God's reign has come to bring in our hearts. We worry - we're afraid and far from rejoicing in the present. We lose sight of a thankful, God-filled perspective". (Cultivate, The Will of God, p. 79, Joel Case).
Woah. I resonate with that so much. The words, distracted, ideals, anxious, robs, and lose sit heavy on my heart.
I feel content in things that are not of His will: content in being by myself, content in not spending time with friends, content in living a mundane life, content in being single, content in SO SO MANY things. It's actually astonishing. HOW did I become so content in the things that are not from Him? Then, I also become uncontent in things that are from the enemy: body image, eating, athletics, appearances, the list goes on. You get it, right? It all ties in together.
Ultimately, my content-ness is a problem because it's my will. Not His by any stretch of the imagination. It's not His at all! Where is the surrender? It's there, but so half-heartedly. It all comes back to these words and this idea of distraction, ideals, anxiousness and losing sight of His heart and His will.
Let me explain. The past few weeks have presented numerous opportunities, choices, decisions and times where I have the ability to say yes or no to something that has an effect on my future. I applied for student leadership at school last week, fully wanting to apply for positions that I KNEW I would be comfortable in. I know I can do this or that, but I am scared out of my wits to do something that I know will challenge me. I was fully content in applying for things that I KNEW wouldn't challenge my heart.
Again, I feel the word "comfort" and "content" flying in and out of the conversations these past few days. I think you can actually be really content while over-committing. It's like you don't allow yourself enough breathing space to actually slow down and acknowledge His will for your life. It's like my devotional reads: "We tend to become preoccupied with ideals and details, anxious to make sure we fulfill what God made us to do, and it robs us from experiencing what God's reign has come to bring in our hearts". OH MAN THAT IS REAL STUFF.
It usually goes something like this: Katie sees an opportunity. Katie feels as though if she doesn't commit, then she will miss out on opportunities in the future. For example, if Katie doesn't take this writing internship, then she will not be able to advance in her career in the future. Since when did I become so obsessed with my future? Ugh! I think that by doing these things, I can please Him. It just doesn't work that way. When I over-commit, when I half-heartedly surrender, He sees my heart! It's not whole! It's half! It's simply overstretched, un-willing and not soft.
I (or we, maybe even you!) spend so much time worrying about HOW to make what I think is God's will happen in my life, without taking TIME to spend with Him trying to LISTEN and UNDERSTAND what He has set up. It's okay to say no. Actually, I think it's healthy for you. (I should take my own advice). Instead of saying "yes" to everything and convincing myself that it'll be worth it in the future, how about I take a step back, spend some time on it instead of saying yes in a rash fashion, and then making a choice. What if I just said "no"? Wouldn't that mean I would have to trust God? Well, uh, yes.
In the end, I want to challenge you, along with myself, to really sit on these words (not physically, that would just be weird, and then God would laugh some more):
"Abba, help me to realize the truth that your will for me is more about the freedom of my heart than the direction of my life. I believe that you are able to guide me as I respond to your loving kindness. Thank you that you care about my freedom more than you desire for me to do something for you. It glorifies you when I am rejoicing, prayerful and thankful. So I ask for more rejoicing, more real communication and communion in my relationship with you, and for more thanksgiving to flow from deep within in my daily life. I agree, this is your will for me. Amen." (Cultivate, The Will of God, p. 79, Joel Case).
OH SO GOOD. Thanks for reading family! I have to admit, the blog has been neglected this past while, and I have felt God tugging saying, "Katie, what about the space I GAVE YOU?!" This blog is a GIFT from Him, and I don't ever want to take it lightly or for granted. With that being said, there is a lot on my mind and my heart in terms of what the direction of this space will look like. It's going to be good and I TRUST Him with it. That means stepping back from other things as the Lord calls me to.
PS - If you're interested in checking out the devotional that I've been reading and sharing from, head to THIS LINK and see what Melissa and Jonathan David from the Cageless Birds are up to. Fully worth the $25 if you ask me (and that's a steal for a devo these days). This book, and with the Bible as your firm foundation, will CHANGE the way you spend time with Jesus. So so good. Watch the video below if you want to know more.