Pursuing Christ, Together

Sunday Mornings

9:15am: Children’s, youth, & adult programs
10:30am: Worship & children’s programs (birth-5th grade)*

*On the 1st Sunday of each month, K-5th grade kids
join the adults in the Sanctuary for Family Worship.

Staff Meeting Devotional Sept. 27, 2016

Survivial Mode

Last week I was listening to a podcast that I have gone back and listened to several times. This time of year tends to be very busy and I can get into survival mode. I’m sure many of you are feeling that pressure too. The guest on the podcast shared about her journey through trauma and how that shaped her faith. Some of the things that she shared resonated in me and I found some similarities.

She reminded me that God lives outside of time and space. The way He chooses to connect with us is in the present moment. When we try to escape our present moment because of A, B, or C, we miss His presence. We try to search for God and long to find Him, but he is right here, in me, all of the time. I’m his walking temple.

I Corinthians 6:19 reminds us of that: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you?” Also I Corinthians 3:16: “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s spirit lives in you?”

The pain or busyness of life causes us to avoid our hearts at all costs or to be just too busy. We miss him constantly but keep trying to find him or just to feel Him. We are destined to be alive and to feel, so we turn to things that make us feel good for a moment–movies, music, friends, and so on. None of these are bad, per se, but they are not Him. They will not fill our empty tanks. Sometimes we turn to sinful things that bring destruction to our lives.

We turn to other things rather than Him. Until we face the problems and accept them, we will continue to turn to those things that make us feel good for just a moment. We need to face the things that are happening in our lives, in our present. These are the things that are true for our right now.

These past few weeks I have felt like I’m just holding my head above water. School’s back in session, which means kids are busy and need more of my brain space. Ministry here is more demanding in the fall. And then there’s just the curve balls that life throws at us. Sometimes I feel like my head is literally spinning and I am just surviving, which I think we can all relate to.

I was reminded from listening to this podcast that I need to face what is happening in my life, in each moment. This is my present. These are the things that are true in my life. God is waiting for me in the middle of all of it. Instead running from all of this, I need to face it head on. There is greater truth in the middle of what looks to me like chaos and it’s Him, and He’s just waiting for me.

This called to mind the verse, “Pray without ceasing.” I feel like this means that prayer needs to be my go-to…not venting to a friend about a situation or adding my issue to a prayer chain. Again these are all good things, but they are not what will fuel me to keep going. When I don’t turn to the source immediately, without ceasing, I’m giving into my fake faith. Praying without ceasing connects me to the source. It shows me what Heaven’s perspective is on my situation and what is going on in my life, which is so different from my human perspective. It causes me to hear Him. Faith is not my human responsibility. I can’t just conjure it up. Faith is God’s responsibility. He explodes it in us when we choose to hear Him.

The word “obedience” comes from the Hebrew word “Shamah,” which means to hear or to listen towards. This knowledge blows my mind and makes a difference in my heart. Obedience to me was always, “Do it this way or else.” I was the kid who never did a wrong thing because the fear of my father was a very real and tangible thing. I think that meaning was engraved on my brain and that belief became what I believed obedience to God to be. But according to the Hebrew it’s not that at all. Obedience is when I hear God, I listen towards Him. That takes so much weight and pressure off of my shoulders. This perspective has brought to mind I Kings 19:11-13, which is one of my favorite passages.

Obedience is to hear, and then faith comes from hearing. Obedience is saying, I’m going to connect to the source and find out what he has to say about my life and my circumstances. As I hear Him, faith explodes in me. I can’t muster up faith. He explodes faith in me as I stay connected to Him, as I am obedient. As we listen for his still, small voice, we can find him right here in the present of whatever is going on. This sure lightens the load that life heaps on our shoulders. His yoke is easy! Matthew 11:30, “My yoke is easy and the burden I give you is light.”

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