“The greatness of the man’s power is the measure of his surrender.”
― William Booth
I really hate to admit this but I am really one of those people who happen to be more talk and less action. It’s one of the many things I would like to change about myself. In fact, since I have started blogging, I’ve received some inspiring feedback from people and when I go back and read my blogs over again, I realize I am saying things that I still need to live out, act upon and believe for myself!
Truth be told, I’ve been encountering some difficult times as of late, especially over the past few weeks. A number of issues have surfaced and I have been feeling drained-physically, emotionally and spiritually. While I don’t have the privilege of speaking about everything, I am going to open up about a few things.
I’m physically exhausted. My job has been more of a challenge to me than I ever thought. I remember wanting to be out of retail so bad and to this day I don’t want to return to retail. I can’t stand working in the retail industry at all. I felt called to be in the line of work I am doing now but it’s physically challenging me.
When I get home, I am often just beat and I fall on my bed, pick up my remote and hit that Netflix button and watch mindless TV shows. It’s nice to relax for sure but it’s like I have no energy whatsoever either. Now, as I am writing this the past few days I have managed to end my shifts without being tired.
I’ve been physically hurting though a little bit as well. It’s not great pain I am in but there is definite discomfort I have faced. I am still kind of a young guy so I think that I need to be more active although my job makes me fairly active in some ways.
[God is stronger than my weakness.]
The simple complexity is that I need to begin to realize it is the Joy of the Lord that is my strength that means the source of my strength is found in God’s joy.
When Jesus had to face the cross and endure the trial that was set before him, how did he face it? The Word says he set joy before him. We can become joyful when we become people of thanksgiving. So, thank God I’m weak! Thank God I don’t have what it takes to deal with life because he can deal with it. Thank God I can’t overcome my issues because he can overcome them
Emotionally I feel broken as of late. Partly because of the job and the nature of the job, I sometimes feel the weight of the problems of others and I wonder how I fit into their world and how I can serve them better. That does a lot of emotional draining for me.
A lot of comes from the “believers” who have decided to speak against me. That really bugs me a lot because the Bible specially addresses those kinds of issues. If you unaware of what the Word says let me share a brief truth with you.
If you speak against a Christian brother/sister, even if they are caught in sin, your responsibility is to speak the truth in love and the heart should be for reconciliation. When you do that after the person has already confessed and repented, it’s called condemnation and slander. James has some pretty serious things to say in regards to that.
“Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you critize and judge each other, then you critizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you.”
I over think and over analyze like crazy though to the point where I am beyond stressed. Now, we should not be man pleasers but rather seek God’s acceptance of who we are. What gets to me though is that I feel like I am not actually pursuing holiness if a brother or sister speaks negatively. All I see is disunity in that.
[God is bigger than my problems]
Emotionally speaking, I am drained because of the problems I see and encounter. The problems I face at work and the problems I face in ministry are just that, problems. When I allow them (and I do) to go beyond what I can control, I am attempting to remove God from the scenario.
God is bigger than all of the circumstances that I face. Regardless of the situation, he is in control. When I struggle with my finances, he wants my attention. I may not have the greatest financial plan in place but God asks me to make him the priority, even in my finances.
God is bigger than the divisions that arise in His church. Everyone has their own story, their own hang ups and their own pitfalls. I deal with insecurity and lust. Some people deal with addictions to smoking/drinking, while still others deal with being judgmental.
News flash: we live in a fallen world and we are born with a sinful nature. Even after we place our faith in Christ, we are told to “put off the old self” which means there is an active participation believers are to engage in on a daily basis.
When we slip and fall short, we become instruments of the devil and our attacks on others have the ability to overwhelm them with discouragement. If you’re believer, that is a sobering thought!
Are you building others up or tearing them down?
Again, spiritually things have not been great lately. I was able to make it through a 40 Day devotional but had a really hard time with anything other than that. I think that it’s kind of a funny thing since I do my blog which is Christ centered and work on my book, which is also Christ centered. What God wants though is intimacy.
I can have all the knowledge in the world, along with my Masters in Theology and have books upon books of theology, how to grow organic churches and life transforming communities but without love, I have nothing and I am nothing. God wants me to pursue him and nothing else matters.
[God is greater than my understanding]
As a blogger, I read other blogs (a lot of them.) I was thankful to come across a blog that discussed the importance of enjoying God during our devotional times. That is the key I’ve missed in spending time with him. When we read the Word and pray it can become a burden if we are not focused on the relationship of a loving Father who reconciled us to himself through his son Jesus.
God wants intimacy above all else. So many times I think of how well I am not measuring up to his standards of holiness and how bad of a Christian I am. The kind of thinking is my greatest downfall. God is pursuing me in a loving relationship and has lavished his grace on me.
His call begins with the invitation that I simply pursue him in return. When I pursue him in a loving relationship then I begin to understand that I want to spend time with him and I want to read His word and I want to spend more time in prayer.
My understanding of God is he wants my time, my talents and so on. Not so, he wants ME! He just wants to spend time with me. My time, talents, gifts-those are all things he already gave me! Before I move forward I need to be in a loving relationship so it is from that love that I live my life. God calls me to enter into the rest (finished work) of Christ and to believe. It is through faith in Christ and abiding in his love for me good works are produced.
So I’m going through a lot of things right now. I am facing a lot of issues in my life and all I can is this: God is bigger, God is stronger and God is greater!