My Gift to You!
Updated: Jun 29, 2022
Cease from striving and know that I am God.
Today marks another year of my being born. I’m beyond grateful and at this point in my life, I’m old enough to know better and young enough to do better. Just a bit slower but I thank God for the pace He has given me versus the pace that I place on myself. I’m sure you can relate. We sometimes give ourselves a pace and internal deadline and when it’s not met an internal alarm goes off and we soon end up in a place of ‘here’.
You know, frustrated – here. Exhausted – here. Confused – here. Discouraged – here. Disappointed - here. A place of always striving but never really arriving? Or you do arrive somewhere and wonder how in the world did I get here? Does any of this sound familiar to you?
Well if it does I have a gift for you today. Well, actually it’s a regift. God so graciously blessed and unwrapped this precious much-needed present for me as only He can and I'm still unwrapping it!
A few months ago I purchased a book by one of my favorite authors. When I got home I placed it on my bookshelf in hopes of reading it when I had some free time. Well, I haven’t had a whole lot of that lately but I kept getting that familiar God nudge to read it but, in my busyness, I didn’t take heed. Well, I’m here to tell you if God can’t get your attention when your awake, He sure can get it while you’re sleeping.
So, last week I had a dream that the author of the book was looking for me everywhere! She was frantically going from house to house with the book in hand urgently trying to find me. She finally showed up at my door, out of breath, and said to my husband something like, “I’ve been looking for her everywhere, can you please give her this book!” Of course, I took this as an obvious prompting and confirmation to read the book and I must say a very creative way to get my attention with Priscilla Shirer at my door chasing me down to read her book! LOL!!
So, I started reading the book, and immediately I knew this was a God thing from the introduction. As I got to about the third chapter I came across this portion of scripture and it gripped my heart in such an undeniable and compelling God way and tears just poured. It was Psalm 46:10, “Cease from striving and know that I am God.” This timely word from God’s throne room literally almost took me out, and took my breath away, partly because it was so unexpected yet so obviously God. I'm finding that when God shows up in this way it's at a time that we may least expect it but most needed and this was one of those times. Pinpointed and prevailing. I don’t think that I’ve ever experienced the weight of God so present and speaking so loudly and powerfully in my inner man to a very deep need.
After the tears fell, and I gained just a bit of composure I sought the Lord and asked Him what is the middle ground of ceasing from striving and not doing anything at all. I mean I can’t just do nothing right? God then whispered, “Wait.”
Now, waiting for me and I think for most of us is pretty hard to do but if we are to be really productive, accomplish things of eternal value, be led by Holy Spirit in our decision making and for God’s will to be done we must learn the discipline of waiting and garner the hinge of grace that holds and helps us to do it.
To be honest, all the misguided striving in our own strength only wears us out. Frustrates us and can cause us to doubt God. All of our striving in human effort can prolong God’s will for us or even worse totally abort His will and cause us to miss His plan altogether.
I’m learning, (mostly the hard way) that months and months of striving gets you nowhere of significance when waiting on God for moments can take you places, you never thought you’d go. Open doors that you never thought you'd walk through. Solve problems that you in and of yourself, you could never solve. Empower you to do things you never thought you'd be able to do.
Keep you from dangers seen and unseen. Cause you to have favor with the right people at the right time. Cause you to be in the right place at the right time to pray for someone. (I could tell you so many stories) Prevent you from making decisions that could change the trajectory of God’s plan for your life.
Striving in our own human effort, in the long run, accomplishes little to the glory of God and causes us to eventually end up at the end of our rope. But aren’t you grateful that God is there at the end holding it and after we’ve exhausted ourselves and “our” options? What we think we ought to do? After all of our striving God is right here to strengthen, redirect, recalibrate and get you where HE wills for you to be. Yes, it’s more than a cliché. It’s sometimes a hard lesson learned, to let go and let God.
It's when we let go that God reels us back in and while He’s reeling, we ought to be still and know that He is God. Praying. Waiting. While waiting He’s giving us new strength. He’s mounting us with wings like eagles. He’s empowering us to run and not be weary. Walk and not faint. He who does not faint or grow weary is perfecting everything concerning us and HE promises to bring it to completion. It may not “feel” like it when you’re not "doing" but believe God, He is doing more in a moment of waiting than we can do in a lifetime of striving in our own strength.
The Lord will perfect everything concerning you. He will not neglect the work of His hand. Psalm 138:8
As children of God, we’re all running the same race but at different paces. God created us all differently. We all have a specific makeup and personalized God plan set out for us and sometimes we can get discouraged or feel left behind when we look at somebody else’s race. But if we keep our eyes on God. Let go of our plans and surrender to the will and plan of God. Following the directives of the Holy Spirit, God is able to plant us right where we were supposed to be from the beginning! He redeems our time.
To fall into the trap of comparing stunts our growth. God gives us grace for our race not for someone else’s. Our aim cannot be trying to keep up with someone else. Instead, our aim must be to keep our eyes on things above. Immersing ourselves in God’s word, the lamp unto our feet and the light unto our paths and walking in obedience. Each step of obedience gets us closer to God's place of 'here' for us. Let's be real, we never really arrive. We just keep walking until Jesus arrives.
So whether you’re striving for family in prayer. Striving at work. Striving in ministry. Striving in your marriage. Striving for your children. Striving trying to get things done. Striving to make ends meet. Striving in making decisions in your own strength and efforts. Striving trying to figure out your giftings, calling and, God's plan for your life. Know that there is a place of refuge and rest. A holy ease in the Spirit where there is no striving but surrender.
A slower, God-led, more intentional pace. I must say slower pace with God is not slow in time and space it's actually more time-efficient. Because it's purposeful. It's preparing you, guiding you, empowering you, and sometimes even protecting you and getting you to a place of making good God use of your time here and causing you to relinquish all to Him.
Each year that God blesses me with I'm finding it just a bit easier to let go of the rope. Mainly because I've had a lot of rope burns and I'm just tired of wasting time and going my own way.
Now I don't mind riding on the passenger side for the most part. Learning. Listening. Observing. Stopping at God’s rest stops and taking full advantage of the time and privilege to be one with Him and follow His lead because I don’t know where I’m going in this life.
Because I can’t do this life by myself. Because I mess up every time I try to go on my own intellect, effort, or feelings. Because I want my life to count for God. Because God has so graciously given me a built-in slower pace, an intentional get-along for this season and I must say, I’m loving the slower rhythms of life. It’s just the way it should be and I'm easing my way into it.
God is teaching me and bringing me to a place of ceasing and releasing. Waiting. Trusting.
It is my prayer that you open this gift of God and slowly unwrap it in earnest prayer and seek Him for direction and your specific pace for the season you’re in.
Regift it if you’re led by sending it to someone that God lays on your heart.
Know that I love you and I’m earnestly praying for you. In the meantime,
Wait on the Lord.
Be enwrapped in His peace.
Garner His pace.
It’s all about Him.
Let go of the rope.
Cease from striving and know that He is God.
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