Overcoming the Busy World
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. John 15:4
Looking back over my week all I could do was apologize to God and ask for another chance.
I had fallen back into my old ways, the world's way, of working too hard and excusing my time to sit in God's presence with the believed lie that, "I need to get this done first". And I was complaining to God about feeling far from Him as though it was His doing rather than mine.
It's a good thing that His mercies are new every morning. I have fallen back into a pattern of being too busy for God no less than twenty times in these last few years where God has been teaching me the true source of life. You would think I would have gotten it by now.
But I have noticed something in this struggle to break up with the world's way of constant busyness and hustle. All of hell is against me.
Busyness is a powerful tactic of the Enemy. If he can keep you busy doing lots of things, even good working for God things, he can cut you off from your source of life and power.
There is only one source of life. One vine. One river of life. And we must remain connected in an intimate relationship with Him to thrive.
We must learn to abide. And as I have learned over these past few years, learning to abide is a journey.
Seeing the Belief:
I learned that busyness was a good thing from my culture. But all it has ever given in return for all my hard work and sacrifice is feeling burnout and far from God.
This week, we are going to look at a few places where Jesus and the Apostles talk about breaking up from the world's ways. I think one of these wrongful 'ways' we need to consider is the way of being too busy.
Are you busy? Does this busyness take away from spending time sitting in God's presence?
Drink From the Well
1 John 5:3-5 NET
By this we know that we love the children of God: whenever we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God: that we keep his commandments. And his commandments do not weigh us down, because everyone who has been fathered by God conquers the world. This is the conquering power that has conquered the world: our faith. Now who is the person who has conquered the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
This is such an interesting scripture that I recently found. I know I used it last week as well, but I am just so taken aback by it. I think it is because I long to overcome the world! Ever since God showed me that this striving until burnout is a world way, I have longed to overcome it. But it is also the way I find myself slipping back into again and again. I have even found myself striving in my own strength to overcome. As though I could do it on my own. So I love that this scripture reminds us that is only by our faith in God that we obey His commandments and overcome. God is the one who works inside us to overcome the world.
What does this say about God's heart for is children?
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
The whole teaching on abiding is found in John 15. It is one of the teachings of Jesus that changed my life. It still amazes me that God wants me to live my whole life with Him. He wants to be the source of life for me. He lings to nurture us into all we were created to be. Read all of John 15
Where do you need some nurturing right now?
But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
Ask God to nurture you in this place.
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
This is such a beautiful and profound prayer that Paul prayed over the church of Ephesus. We should pray this prayer over ourselves too, because being rooted and grounded in God's love is how we thrive. And experiencing God's love is what changes us.
Pray a similar version of this prayer over yourself and your loved ones today.
Break Up With the World (Overcome the Busy World)
But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer. Luke 5:16
But. This scripture starts with a but. That is important because in this case the but is saying that Jesus's popularity was growing. The more miracles He performed, the more people needed Him. But Jesus often withdrew to pray.
You have a whole bunch of buts too. I know because so do I. Often as I get toward my prayer time I have set in the middle of the day, these buts arise. They sound like, but I could use this half hour to catch up on work. But that person really needs me to answer them. But my email has a scroll bar I am so behind.
These are the moments we must break up with the world's way of giving in to the buts which keep us striving and become like Jesus who OFTEN withdrew to pray.
Father, you are the creator and sustainer of life. Help me to stay connected to you. All of hell is against me remaining with you. It is my source of power. I pray that you empower me from the inside out. That I may continue to be more and more rooted in your love as I remain in you and you in me. Help me and all my loved ones experience the fullness of your love that we my experience the fullness of life you have for each of your children. Help us learn to often withdraw to be with you every day. In Jesus's name, Amen.