Monday, February 17, 2014

Doing vs. Being: The Unforced Rhythms of Grace

Admittedly I have suffered from a total lack of inspiration combined with poor time management skills these past few weeks. And so its been crickets and cobwebs on the blog as a result. Sorry.

Life just happens doesn't it?

Well, no time like the present to pick up the pencil- er keyboard- and get to it!

Was anyone else out there fortunate enough to catch the IF:Gathering live simulcast last weekend? I tried as hard as I could to listen to as many of the speakers as possible but it wasn't nearly enough. I am hoping to purchase the DVD's when they are available.

One of the speakers that I was able to watch was Sarah Bessey. If you have read my blog at all you will know that her blog is one of my favorites. It was such a treat to get to see her face and hear her words instead of reading them!

What a blessing it was to my spirit to hear what God laid on her heart. I think it was just what I needed to hear right now.

One thing that really touches my heart about Sarah is how much she loves Jesus. She loves just being with Jesus and it is evident in her whole persona.

She spoke in her message about just being with Jesus. Taking the time to enjoy the beauty that is Jesus. To bask in his presence. To soak up and learn about his love, to really know it and feel it.

I know so many Christians that are just worn out. I can include myself in this statement many days as of late.

I get caught up in the rat race of to-do's and commitments; consumed by the work harder, run faster, do more society that we live in. I mistakenly think that in order for God to use me for his purposes I need to commit to every church initiative, outreach, bible study, volunteer opportunity, etc in order to accomplish that.

Don't be mistaken- all these things are well and good- its just that most times when I am caught up in the doing I am missing the whole point and the most important priority. My relationship with Jesus. Being with Jesus.

Because Jesus doesn't intend for me to live a tired and worn out life, burdened with commitments and to-do lists. He intends for me to live in his freedom and grace. With a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light (Matthew 11:28-30).

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” 
(Matthew 11:21-30 MSG)

When Sarah shared this verse in her message it made sense to me. Jesus just wants us to stop doing doing doing and just BE WITH HIM. Spend time with him. ABIDE IN HIM. Bask in his FRIENDSHIP (John 15:15). WALK BESIDE HIM for goodness sake! 

God does not just want to use you: God wants to be with you because he loves you.
- Sarah Bessey

As my relationship with Jesus grows deeper, then the natural consequence is that I will live out his purpose and plan for my life. And it won't feel heavy, or burdensome. It will feel natural and peaceful. I will walk in the unforced rhythms of grace. In this place, I am better equipped to be a blessing to others.

Because I can't bear fruit if I am not attached to the vine. (John 15:4-8) However, when I am abiding in Jesus grace comes naturally out of me (along with the other fruits of the Spirit- Galatians 5:22-23). I am able to love others better, extend grace and mercy, as Jesus intended.

Remember friends, Jesus longs to be near to us, he delights in us (Zeph 3:17). We are his children, his joy. He sings over us. His desire is to be gracious to us (Is 30:18)

So today, my challenge to myself (and to you) is to slow down from the doing and get started just being with Jesus. Spend time with him. Relax in his presence. 
Take out some of the unnecessary to-do's and JUST BE. 

Filter out some of the noise and be silent and still. 

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. 

I'm ready to live freely and lightly. Aren't you?