I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have prayed about what to do with my time, how to balance my life, how to make the “load” even (remember the washing machine blog?) and after writing the blog the other day about Pie Charts and God centered living, I continue to ponder the differences. As I marinated, I had a pretty big AHA revelation moment!
The tsunami wave in my life has been trying to get balance in my life in a world that seems to want me to squeeze more and more and more “priorities” into my life. Yet, God centered living does NOT do that. In Psalm 103 – He remembers we are ONLY dust. God made us. He knows our limitations. He wouldn’t design a life for us that wears us down. Jesus said, I came that you might have life and have it to the FULL – He didn’t say empty! So I believe that I shouldn’t struggle with balance and yet I do!! Grrr…
But, here is the AHA moment that has brought power and freedom for me and I pray it will for you too. When you are living a concentric circle God centered life, – balance is no longer the issue!! I will write that again. Balance is no longer the issue. With a pie chart life, balance is always, always the issue because you are dividing your life up. In God centered living balance is natural and a given.
In God centered living, I revolve my life around Him and everything naturally radiates from there. Life will radiate from the innermost circle to the outer circle in this order: God, relationships, church and work.
Wow, I feel some serious peace and relief about this and I’m happy to stop trying so hard to balance. Instead, I will just focus on God first and let everything else radiate and fall into place naturally from there!
As I said last week, I haven’t figured this all out, but this AHA is a big one!!
Any thoughts? I’d love to hear them!
I hope that you will have a great weekend. Stay tuned, I still have that 11 years in the dessert blog to write!
I want to start with that question.
How much do you want it?
Did you answer alot? Good.
Now I have another question for you.
What are you willing to do to get it?
I am convinced that when we want something enough, we will do whatever it takes to get what we are after. If we don’t, then we don’t want it that much! And if we want something enough we will also do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to get it.
In the Bible, God promises a lot to those who believe in Jesus. A lot. When I look back at our 12 years as a Christian, I can see many, many of those promises have come true. I also see that Jesus has changed both Robert and me. I also see that while many promises are true in our life and God has blessed us; I also know that God has tested us and taught us. Each time we have been tested, we have been blessed. Each time God has taught us a lesson and we stopped doing what we were doing and starting doing “it” God’s way we were blessed. So, this has made us want more. More of God in our life. More living God’s way. Our life, as we have gotten closer to God has improved exponentially and that is a major motivator!!
So when we read the Bible and then looked at our life, we realized things had to change in order to experience more of God. Compared to how we were living, living in relationship with God and doing life His way has brought us much more happiness, joy and peace! We wanted the tsunami to change from American culture and this world crashing in on us to Jesus crashing in on us! We wanted it and still want more of it – a lot. A whole lot!
I will now speak strictly for me. The first “shift” was taking a look at how I spent my time. A good hard look. How much tv did I watch? How many hours did I train? How much was I reading the Bible? How much was I studying the Bible with others? How much time did I spend on facebook? Twitter? The internet? How much time was I spending alone with God? How much was I looking for opportunities to help others? What was my mind busy thinking? What was preoccupying me? I realized that in order to get more of God, I had to give up a lot of other things – perhaps temporarily. Perhaps long term. I didn’t know. I had to start focusing on God! Over the course of about 2 years, I really stripped my schedule down. Sometimes I wondered just how much I would need to cut out of my life! What I learned was God really wants to spend time with me and wants to be with me. This was stunning to me. Me? God wants to be with me? So, I began to tell myself, “The God of the universe is asking for your attention. You. He wants to spend time with you, so what are you going to do? You better spend time!”. And this is one of the big shifts that starting causing the J-Wave to roll in my life.
Once I began to say yes each time God asked me to let go of something that took my time and my interest, it got easier to say yes. And this caused a big shift. I believe with each yes the J-Wave built momentum!
This is my story. My experience. Your experience may differ! See God created each of us uniquely and He plans to relate to us just as uniquely. There is no one more inexhaustibly creative than God! If you will quiet yourself and look and listen in His direction you WILL know that God is asking you to spend time with Him and give Him your attention because He wants to spend time with YOU..yes YOU. What could be a better investment of your time and attention? The answer is unequivocably, nothing.
I pray that you will take the offer God gives below in Jeremiah 29:13 and that the J-Wave will gain momentum in your life!
Jeremiah 29:13 (the Message translation)
When you come looking for me, you will find me. When you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I will make sure you won’t be disappointed.
(How’s that for an exciting invitation?)
Matthew 6:33 (NLT)
But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.
I John 2:15-17 (the message translation)
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you don’t have the love of the Father (God) in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see and pride in our accomplishments and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave.
Proverbs 15:14 (NLT)
A wise person is hungry for knowledge while the fool feeds on trash.
Tomorrow: Shift #2 – 11 yrs in the dessert finally ends
In October of 2011, I was sitting at the kitchen table doing my devotions and God told me to let go of triathlon. I asked Him to repeat that and of course He did. He wasn’t speaking out loud, but He was telling me,” Daughter, in your workout room, there are pictures, medals and trophies from triathlon and athletes you admire hanging on the walls – this sport I gave you to learn about me through is becoming an idol (replacement god, something I am loving just a bit too much) and I need you to go back and take all that stuff down for awhile and put it away. I know you are injured right now and I can’t tell you whether you will return or not to this sport. But, remember what I did for you through this sport- I helped you learn to swim, brought you a coach ( who turned out to be like the brother you never had), I helped you understand that if you swam in cooperation with the water it would be much easier. I showed you that in life, when you cooperate with me it will be much easier. I gave you a great job as a triathlon coach and blessed you with many wonderful athletes. I gave you the discipline and talent to go from never being an athlete to competing rather competently in your age group. I provided you the funds and blessings to have all the first rate equipment you needed and to travel to great places to race. I placed in your heart the audacious goal to qualify for the World Championship race in Florida. You believed in Me enough to go for it and I brought you there didn’t I? That dear daughter, was the last race I brought you to. I brought you to the top race in your sport. That is how I roll dear daughter! Only the best for you. So, now, I’m doing a new thing. I’m taking you new places and I need you to let go of triathlon to go with me on this new journey. I need to be number 1 in your life. Remember this triathlon journey we have been on? I promise you, the next one will be just as exciting and challenging as everything I blessed and challenged you with in your triathlon life.”
I cried. Both in sadness and in joy. I looked back at all God had done and wondered how could I not let go of triathlon to go into this “new thing”? I decided God was making me an offer I couldn’t refuse. I got up in that moment of commitment and packed up everything as He had told me to and determined to go forward into this “new thing”.
Yes, I drift back into desiring to train and compete. But as time passes, I drift back less and less and less. And as time has passed He is showing me, leading me, preparing me for the “new thing”.
Over the years, I can tell you God has asked me to let go of many things that were hard to let go of, but each time I have let go, I have never ever regretted it. In fact, a few times I have wondered why I hung on so long!
About a year after I put all my triathlon stuff away, God permitted me to put it back up. Why? It serves as a visual reminder of all that He has done so I can remain hopeful, patient and confident in Him as He leads me into the new thing! Now, instead of an idol it is an altar that confirms who He is and how He rolls!
I believe that whatever it is we are hanging on to isn’t nearly as good as what He wants to give us!
Let’s make a commitment today to release what we are hanging on to. He is a loving and trustworthy God. Let’s agree to take a step forward with Him into the “new thing”!
10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.