“The most loving thing I could do is tell others about Jesus.”
Tim Tebow spoke these words and my ears have been ringing ever since.
I’ve been in a writing slump. Hence the rude silence. Sorry.
God’s word always offers something, so it’s not that there’s been a shortage of things to say. It’s just that at some point, I can’t pinpoint exactly when, I started to feel inauthentic.
I know the devil is the father of lies, and those feelings are baseless. Yes, they are. But it did force me to take a step back and re-evaluate.
Why do I write? I mean, stringing pages of beautiful words together is nice. But is that all I desire? My answer is no. I want to write God-inspired words. To articulate His experiential truth in ways that speak to the heart of the one who reads it. I want to write from a heart engulfed in Him.
I may not be the personality that stands on a busy street corner with a microphone talking about Jesus. But this writing thing, it’s His gift to me and if I do not use it for His glory, I have failed.
The thing is somewhere along the way, I forgot something important. “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord Almighty.” I became more concerned about churning out something, anything weekly, than spending time in the secret place. I can’t speak by God’s Spirit when I drink from a carnal well.
Creating a thousand posts may seem productive, but a discerning heart will know it is devoid of life, and thus ineffective. It’s not the words but the Spirit behind them. I had the right intention, but the wrong focus. It should never be about me performing, but simply being. Paul said to the Christian community in Corinth: For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
Let me tell you a secret.
I know God has not given me a spirit of fear, but my biggest fear is not pleasing Him. Crazy, isn’t it? This lets us know that there is a prowling enemy who will do anything to perverse and steal what is good. Delighting Him should never steal our joy but rather increase it. It shouldn’t kill our zeal for His will but amplify it. The crux is: our desire to please Him should be driven by love not fear.
We often become so engrossed in the performance that it becomes a god. Nothing should compete with God in our lives because nothing, no matter how lovely, deserves that honor. I get it though, putting on a show is gratifying. We feel seen, useful even. But what eternal value does it have if God is not in it?
We have to be careful to not give the enemy the opportunity to turn what is intrinsically good, and therefore pleasing to the Father into an idol that creates a distance between Him and us.
Oh my. I’m rambling, aren’t I? The point is:
I know the world encourages you to follow your heart, which sounds almost romantic. It gives all the feels, which is a high for our senses. However, “there’s a way that appears to be right, but in the end leads to death.” Jesus was very clear when He said, come, follow me. He said this because He knew many things, and they are many, would compete for our attention, to woo us away from Him.
Like those unscrupulous pounds (we hate!) that slowly creep up on us, focusing on self gradually fattens our ego and causes us to lose perspective. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Every fruit has a purpose. An avocado cannot produce the sweetness of a banana. A mango cannot emit the citrusy aroma of a lemon. Apart from God, we cannot fulfill the purpose for which He created us. We may be successful in the eyes of the world. Millionaires in currency and clout. But that isn’t what will earn “well done, my good and faithful servant.”
So, ya. Having reached the end of myself (yet again!), I am back to the beginning, JESUS.
Can I tell you what’s on His heart?
YOU! Are you surprised? I will never leave nor forsake you is His promise. The key word is never. If we ever feel distant from God, it is because we moved. The good news is we only have to retrace our steps to His throne of grace. Even more good news, we do not have to walk far. He is as close as the mention of His name.
Like me, you may have been distracted for a while now. Can I encourage you to come back to the foot of the cross and remember all He endured to win your heart?
The one who fills my cup today (and always) is JESUS. It is from the overflow of His love that I pour into you.
I pray Colossians 1:9-12 over you. May you be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
1 Corinthians 2:11
And if I write nothing else this year, Merry Christmas, and a Happy new year!