“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.”Luke 10: 41-42
I’ve sat in a room, surrounded by some of my closest friends and sisters in Christ and had the same conversation again and again. “I feel like I’m further away from God than ever” one of us says, “There is just so much for me to do every day, so many details for me to think about. Most days I don’t even think to sit down and read my bible or pray. Even on the days I do, it is more out of obligation than desire.” Another one of us chimes in, “Don’t y’all miss college, when there was so much free time. It was easy to get alone with the Lord regularly. I felt so much closer to Him then. I heard and recognized his voice on a regular basis.”
Everyone around the room nods in agreement. Someone else brings up their struggle with materialism, and how that keeps them distracted from spending time with God and truly appreciating the things of the Lord. For me it is comfort and laziness that are the biggest temptations (I love a good Netflix binge) . I could go on and on, listing out each individual distraction that rears its head in my close group of friends. In the end we all agree that we want to love and desire Jesus more, but we don’t know how to get there. It feels like an uphill battle.
Over the last year or so, I have been slowly coming to the realization that the root of the repetition [in my heart at least] is fear and selfishness. Fear that if I truly surrender all my hopes, dreams, and possessions to the Lord that he will ask more of me than I am truly willing to give. And selfishness, because despite all that Jesus did for me on the cross, and all that God has done in providing for me and pursuing me, my own desires are the most important thing to me.
Lately as versions of the same conversation have come up, I’ve been met by deep conviction in my own heart. I can’t help but think we’ve been missing the bigger picture. All of us, in our own unique way choose things other than Jesus to focus on, whether consciously or subconsciously. Most of them are good things; things God calls us to even. But done from a place of self-centeredness, all the things we choose to pour ourselves into will turn up empty, again and again. Ultimately, if we are going about our days seeking to accomplish our own purposes, rather than leaning into God’s, we are always going to feel a void. Always going to buy one more top, or home decor item; make one more to do list; or spend one more afternoon binge watching Grey’s Anatomy.
Galatians 5:1 reminds us, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Freedom from the constant onslaught of MORE we are hit with every day in this country. Freedom from the constant struggle to fill the void. Freedom from whatever cage we found ourselves in before we heard and understood the significance of the name Jesus Christ.
Not too long ago, amid a similar discussion to the one I detailed above, something in me snapped, and for the first time in a long time I heard God’s voice loud and clear. ENOUGH. Enough striving, enough talking, enough stalling. I could feel Him change my heart in that moment. The stirring in my soul finally brought me to a place where I’ve had enough talk. It’s time for action. I’ve known for a long time what I need to do. Let go of the chains that bind me. I have been comfortable in my chains. They feel safe because they are what I have always known. But the Lord has finally brought me to a place where my desire to live the life God has called me to has grown large enough and loud enough that I cannot ignore it or squelch it any longer.
THANK YOU JESUS!
This blog will be a place of accountability and community with other women who have also heard the call and are ready to walk the path of shedding the excess in the hopes of finding more love and desire for Jesus on the other side. The journey will be long, and I’m certain it will require many sacrifices. There will be days when I fail. But my prayer is that with every change I implement (however imperfectly) God will help me die to myself a little bit more. My prayer is that on the other side of this I’ll be more free than ever before.
Who’s with me?