When I think about accomplishments or things that could have filled my time, I can ponder up a sizeable list. In the quietness of my own heart, there are things that swirl around if I give in. IF I had…IF this had not happened…IF this had been different…do you notice the trend? Giving in to discontentment or even thoughts of unfulfilled dreams will always be a dangerous, slippery slope of moving away from where God has us. Who God has made us to be.
One thing that always catches my attention is that in order to fulfill these faux accomplishments, I have to remove my current realities. Satan never allows things to co-exist. Satan’s plan is always on the opposite path from God’s. When starting down that path, it usually feels great. I do not know your distractors, but mine are always public attention, appreciation, someone thinking (or just saying) that I am amazing. I know, it does not take much. I really like attention. But, before you quietly judge and stop reading…because that is not your distractor, I want you to be honest with yourself. Something popped up in your mind. There is a temptation that Satan knows he can nail in your life. every. single. time.
If you will ever accept God’s peace that surpasses understanding and live in the joy He offers, you have to be honest about your distractors. When I am fully aware and fully willing to give up my distractors, God moves. He works in my heart and brings me to live fully in the place He has me.
And before you think that it’s not worth it, just hear something else. God often has a divine way of using the parts of our personality that gives into our distractors for HIS GLORY. The part of me that likes being in front of people CAN BE USED FOR GLORY rather than self-satisfying distractors. God is the One who made me. Satan tries to use parts of me to lead me astray, but God provides a more satisfying path if (in His strength) I choose to obey.
This blog for instance, is focused on design and family…but lately, it’s been more family because I have not had time to design. I could make more time for it. I could pursue contracts and really jump-start my “business” but that would involve putting my kids to the side. And, right now, my main job is being mom. Most of mothering, does not involve a lot of accomplishing, appreciation, or people telling you that you’re amazing. Mothering is all about sacrificing for the greater good and it is really hard to accomplish anything if you are not fully tapped into God’s power supply. Unlike design or event coordinating, excellent mothering does not come naturally. It does not usually leave me feeling really good about myself…it leaves me desperate for God. Completely dependant on Him to lead me. To forgive me. To realize I am not. More of Him…A LOT LESS of me.
Wow…that is probably why He gave me kids. A lot less of me and greater amounts of Him. That sounds like His redemptive plan to me. That sounds like being molded by the potter (Isaiah 29, 64, Romans 9), if I have ever heard it. And I need to hear it. every. single. day.
A really great example of this lesson is also found in John 3. John the Baptist, who is Jesus’ cousin, is talking to disciples about exalting Jesus. You can read the whole story, but the point is this (vs 30) “He must increase, I must decrease.” John the Baptist had his own disciples. He was older than Jesus. He could have been very bitter about being overshadowed. But instead, he submitted and celebrated his role in the Kingdom. He proclaimed who Jesus was. He exalted Jesus. He thrived in the role he was given. His whole life’s mission can be found in John 1:35-37 “The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples,and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.”
As John stood with his disciples, He proclaimed who Jesus was and the disciples followed Jesus. John obeyed and it was not about him. He did his job and the disciples followed another…
I know I am not a famous designer. I know I am not in high demand. But that is okay. Instead, in this season, my calling is far greater. I get to proclaim who Jesus is to the next generation. I will sacrifice in hopes that they experience the love of Jesus from their heads, landing and rooting in their hearts, and finally propelling their sweet little feet towards Jesus. I want to call out to my children “Behold, the Lamb of God!” and I earnestly pray that they hear this and follow Jesus.
We may wear different “hats” during different seasons. But I really hope you are understanding my heart. Whatever your role is, wherever God has you right now…choose to forsake your distractors and follow Jesus.
Jesus tells us very clearly this difference between Satan’s (the distractor) path and His path…”The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10).
Even if dreams and accomplishments have changed from what we thought they would be, don’t we all just really want an abundant life? Don’t we all just want to feel like we are truly doing what we are supposed to be doing? Turn and follow Jesus. Choose to live the abundant life. He may have a different path, but His way will give you life.
If you already have a personal relationship with Jesus, don’t let the Distractor (Satan) steal from you by planting lies in your head. And when he tries, because he will, give your thoughts back to Jesus and do not entertain your distractions. Pray for God to show you His plan and walk in obedience.
Now I am off to fill a glass of water, do some laundry, and practice what I share! I pray “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you (Numbers 6:23-25).”