the choice we keep making
JESUS ANSWERED, "THE WORK OF GOD IS THIS: TO BELIEVE IN THE ONE HE HAS SENT".
What comes to mind when you hear that phrase, “the work of God?” If I’m honest, I think about all of the things I should be doing. I should be having my neighbors over for dinner more. We should be reading through Scripture together as a family more. I should be spending more time in prayer and the Word. The list goes on and on. And, honestly, it is crushing when I think about all the things I think I should be doing.
However, when I get to that point where I feel exhausted and discouraged, I know I just need to slow down and sort out how I got to that place. I know that I should be so rooted in my belief that Jesus is enough that my actions flow out of that secure place. But if I am honest with myself, my thoughts tend to center around the idea of “earning my keep” or “being a good Christian.” Boil down those thoughts a bit more, and it really is my own attempt to be enough, which I am not. I am not enough on my own, which is why I need Jesus in the first place.
It can be scary and even offensive to admit we aren’t enough, and we can’t possibly be—in spite of our best efforts. The “doing” feels safe. It’s visible. It’s active. It’s results-oriented. But I have been challenging myself to remember that believing isn’t a passive activity, and it isn’t less productive. Believing and holding firm to Truth in the midst of our thoughts, feelings, and circumstances is hard work. It takes commitment and awareness to consistently train our minds to remember what we know to be True
ON THE PODCASTIn Join Natalie and Vera as they talk about this month's design, share their own experiences of realizing that they were working to earn God's favor, and remind us of the beauty of our God who is always ready to bring us back to Himself.
(CONTINUED FROM ABOVE)
There have been seasons of life when I am better at examining what beliefs are driving my actions. It is serious work to actively bring those wayward thoughts into alignment with Scripture. It is also really eye-opening to see how often I am on autopilot. Things might look great (“I’m productive! I’m doing so many good things!”), but the reality is that my heart is far from being grounded in Truth. Eventually, the mismatch of my beliefs and behavior come to a head and the process of slowing down and examining my beliefs begins again.
Believing in the “one he sent” is simple, but it can be hard. It requires a discipline of not letting our external circumstances drive what we know to be true. Instead of letting our circumstances call into question our belief, we have to make a habit of letting our beliefs steer our understanding of our circumstances.
For example, our current housing situation is not ideal. We desire a more permanent situation for our family. However, we are over a year into this journey and there have been a lot of dead ends and disappointment. If I let my circumstances drive my understanding, I would be questioning God as to where he is in the midst of all of this. Is he even good? Does he see me?
However, the harder practice is to let what I believe—or rather whom I believe in—inform how I understand my situation. The conversation moves from interrogating God to remembering who he is. “Okay, God, you know more about my situation than I do. It looks pretty bleak, but I know you are good and powerful. You are likely working in ways I cannot even see right now. You have a plan and you have not abandoned me. Help me put my belief in you and not in my situation, which won’t satisfy me anyway.”
We have choices when it comes to our beliefs. Do we choose to believe our emotions, circumstances, opinions of others, etc.? Or do we choose to believe what we know to be true and in whom we know to be True? When faced with circumstances that are confusing or frustrating, what will we choose to believe? When we feel unseen and unappreciated, what will we choose to believe? When we can’t seem to get anything right and are struggling to stay the course, what will we choose to believe?
I know many things to be true, but still find myself not operating from that belief. Sometimes having the head knowledge can feel like enough. However, it’s a necessary practice to not only examine our beliefs, but to bring them into alignment with what we know to be true. Believing is a choice that we keep making.
HOW GOOD IS YOUR MEMORY THESE DAYS?
ARE YOU ON AUTO PILOT?
HAVE THINGS COME TO A HEAD?
DO YOU NEED TO TAKE SOME TIME TO REALLY REFLECT ON THE SIMPLICITY OF WHAT WE ARE CALLED TO DO: "BELIEVE IN THE ONE HE HAS SENT"?
Thanks for reading,
Meet RANDI OWENS
Hey, Everyone! I’m Randi. I live in small town Colorado with my husband, Clinton, and our three rowdy boys. I love being a part of a crew whose mission is to help equip others to know his Word deeply.
We'd love to see you around.