,We can sometimes get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and miss out on some very important, very needed quality time with God. I realize recently that I had reached a point where I felt ill at ease. I wasn’t tired. I wasn’t having a bad day or anything. I just felt this longing for something that was missing. It was like a pull on my soul for something deeper, more meaningful, and more peaceful than all of the activities going on around me. It was an invitation to quietly sit in stillness and bask in God’s presence.
Our souls constantly need to be recharged. I was listening to the radio one day and the person speaking said something that really made me think. He said, “It’s good to busy yourself in good things, but don’t busy yourself so much in the good things that you miss the greater things that God has for you.”
What greater thing can we have than spending time with our Savior who cares for us? God longs to spend time with his children but so much more than this, we desperately need to spend time with him. Sometimes we can be so absorbed in everything around us: caring for others, working, taking care of the house, cleaning our car, cooking, browsing Facebook, watching Netflix, feeding the fish, cleaning the fridge, fixing the toilet, and polishing the silver. If we are not careful, we can find ourselves in a place where our steam is running out like whistling kettle that screams, “I am done.” Now, you can keep going, you can keep driving yourself, but wouldn’t it be nice to just sit still and enjoy God, to dwell a moment in our Father’s warmth and light, to meditate on his Word, and be refilled.
Allow your soul the opportunity to be replenished. Sometimes it’s as simple as taking the time to pause from the busyness of our lives in order to meet the greater need: Sitting at the feet of Jesus. We see a prime example of this as we look at the story of Mary and Martha as Jesus visits them at their home.
Luke 10:38-42 (NLT)
“As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Martha was concerned about providing good neighborly hospitality by ministering to or serving her guest, but Jesus showed her that the best hospitality you can give to him is spending quality time at his feet. At his feet, we show a humble eagerness to hear what our Lord will say.
My challenge to you is that every day, you will take some time out of your busy schedule to sit and hear from the Master, dwell in his presence, and enjoy his company.
Here are three Psalms about longing for God. You can use them for meditation during your quiet time with God. Sometimes it’s good to give our souls a check up.
God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; (Psalm 63:1 KJV)
Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee (Psalm 73:25 KJV)
My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. (Psalm 84:2 KJV)
Dwell in His Presence,
The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing;
But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich. (Proverbs 13:4 NKJV)
Accomplishing your dreams is hard work. It is definitely not a task for the faint. I was recently listening to my daughter as she talked about how much work it is to lead her fashion club at school. She talked about how on some days she has to stay up late at night finishing projects and getting things ready for her meetings. The hard part is the work but the joy of it is seeing her club come together.
Hard work pays off. We can find many scriptures about the importance of work:
Proverbs 6:6 "Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise." (Wisdom)
2 Thessalonians 3:10 "...if anyone will not work, neither shall he eat." (Food)
Proverbs 14:23 "In all labor there is profit, but idle chatter leads only to poverty." (Profit)
Ephesians 4:28 "Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need." (Blessing others)
And the list goes on...
Hard work keeps us out of trouble, helps us to have our physical needs met, helps us to profit, and gives us a means to bless others.
When you begin to look at your goals with new eyes you can see the impact that moving forward can have, not only on yourself but also on the people around you. With your dream, whether it's a big dream or a small dream, you have the power to be an influencer, an encourager, or a trend setter. Not only will you motivate others, but you will simultaneously build your confidence.
Make yourself a professional of your dream. Many of us have jobs that pay the bills but what is the ultimate thing you want to do? Make the commitment today that you will work hard until you see your dream happen. Nothing comes over night (most of the time) so putting your dream into action will take work on your part. Don't be afraid of the work. Don't allow the enemy to get inside your head and make you feel as though your dream is too impossible to reach, or that it will be too difficult or too much work. Sometimes you have to counteract negativity and feed yourself a nice bowl of affirmations. Here are a few biblical ones to get you started:
Psalm 139:14 "...I am fearfully and wonderfully made."
2 Corinthians 12:10 "...When I am weak, then I am strong."
Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
God has given us everything we need to put our dream into action. Don't hesitate, don't stall, just do it. Move in the direction that God has for you.
Proverbs 27:21 (KJV)
“As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise.”
Everyone has the potential to be great. You can probably look back at your life and identify things that you were really good at and things that you received recognition for. During those times, people have probably congratulated you, showered you with gifts and words of encouragement. "You did it." "Awesome job." "You were great." We can be great at a lot of things but in the end that’s not what really matters. Being great at using your gifts or talents is one aspect of life and the other aspect is being great in character. We can accomplish many things and receive many accolades, but how is our character represented? Our character is represented through our actions and the words that we speak. People discover who we really are by what’s expressed outwardly. Jesus said that a tree will be known by their fruit (Matt 7:20; Luke 6:44).
Another way that people can identify your character is by the way you respond to praise. Have you ever seen someone who received a compliment and they responded, “I know.”? A person can say “You did a really good job” and the other person responds, “I know.” They forget about saying “Thank you,” they have no sincerity, they just express pride and conceit. Maybe you have met people who ignore you completely and overlooks you to talk to someone of “higher caliber.” It's funny how a little success can sometimes go to the head. Many of us can start to think so highly of ourselves that it reflects a poor character. When you receive praise does it make you prideful, or do you accept it and respond with humility?
I ask this question because each one of us is out to make something of our lives. We have a God-given purpose that we are aiming to accomplish. Surely, there will be many successes for us. We will accomplish goals, impact people’s lives, start businesses, start new jobs, acquire things that we desire such as new houses and cars. How will we react to all of this success?
My prayer is that as God continues to bless us in accomplishing his will for our lives, we will meet it with a humble heart. When praises start to come your way, they will be a great test of your character. Your character will not be hidden. Eventually, what’s inside will come out. If we are humble, God will be able to bless us even more because he sees our heart and he knows that we are genuinely seeking to express his character. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Gal. 5:22-23). It is up to us to remain humble and consistently express godly character.
Here are three ways that we can stay humble:
1. Remember who we are.
The more success we have, the more humble we must become. We can never forget that God is the one helping us to propel forward. In your quiet time with God, you can study the scripture passages given at each point to further encourage you in your humble walk with God.
May God Continue to bless you in your successes,