When we face challenges that come against us, it’s easy to start dreading it, thinking it’s going to be so hard. “How am I going to make it through this treatment? How can I deal with this child who’s off course? How can I ever pay off this mortgage?” Yes, there are seasons of testing where we have to endure and do the right thing when it’s hard, but there are also times when God steps in and makes it easier than it looks.
There’s an expression in the English language that goes something like, “She’s on fire.” The woman being mentioned, whatever she is doing, is performing the task well.
The fire communicates an intensity to the action. Sometimes Christians describe their faith as being “on fire.” Such an expression is appropriate considering the ways fire is evoked in the Bible. Some of which would appropriately describe faith.
In Christ, God made our hearts to burn for him. Though our affections rise and fall, and our zeal boils hotter on some days than others, coldness is not the Christian’s heritage. We are those who walk on the Emmaus road, our souls catching fire as Christ opens, again and again, the Scriptures that speak of him (Luke 24:32). We belong to the fellowship of burning hearts.
Yet we also know what it feels like for the fire to burn low, for a coldness to settle over a heart once aflame. Some of us feel that way most mornings. Our hearts, like campfires untended, cool overnight. We wake up ashen, needy for the Spirit to breathe on us again.
One of my favorite hobbies is hiking. I love finding a new trail, tackling the unknown terrain and enjoying the beauty and peace of nature. There’s so much to reflect on and experience along the way. And in the end, there’s nothing like the satisfaction of making it to the top and viewing the city below me.
Our lives are a bit like a hike. We are all journeying in some way. Whether consciously or unconsciously, we set our paths towards certain experiences and aim for a desired destination.
For many of us, our common journeys are our search for significance, acceptance and happiness. I’d even say the journey to find fulfillment in these areas drives our everyday lives.
Can you imagine living in a house that’s wired for electricity but the house sits in darkness because you didn’t go to the breaker box and flip on the switch? No lights. No appliances. No air conditioning. No power.
That may sound a bit crazy, but I think we do something similar when we don’t deal with discouragement in our life. When you feel like you’re never good enough, when people are talking down about you, and then you join in with your own negative, critical thoughts about yourself, it’s as though you’re wired for God’s power but you’ve not turned it on.
The moment I knew I needed help was when I was laying in bed one night and I realized I was crying. My life on the outside looked so great. Every dream I had ever imagined had come true. I had a husband, children, a nice house, and was able to stay at home with my little ones. Why were tears pooling at the corner of my eyes? It was then I realized the darkness of depression had found me and it wasn’t my fault. In fact, after visits with doctors, I was able to regulate my hormones and brain chemistry with medication. Yes, I was a Christian, had faith in God, and still needed medication.
Imagine yourself on a large ship in the middle of the ocean. In your possession is a small box containing what’s most precious to you. Perhaps a small fortune of gold lies inside. Perhaps a single photograph of a grandmother who raised you from birth. Perhaps the box contains the crown jewel of your life’s work. Perhaps a former wedding ring. Whatever your treasure, imagine that by some untimely movement, in one sudden and unthoughtful moment, you knock this box over the ledge. Imagine the dread, the panic, the plummeting of your heart as you watch it tumble overboard.
We live life at high speed.
Often, we don’t realize how our frenetic pace can influence us. Though technology can benefit us, it can also create noise that makes meeting with God, and hearing from Him, next to impossible.
How Busyness Gets in the Way of Hearing From God
Today you may not feel free. There may be some things that you are fighting, things that you want to get free from–addictions, anxieties, lack, fear. No matter what battle you are facing, let this be the day you declare your freedom. The apostle Paul says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1). You may have to stand and press through for a little while. You may have a spiritual battle on your hands, but know that freedom is yours the day you declare it. Let freedom ring loudly in your life and embrace the victory He has in store for you!
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10, NKJV).
Jesus lived and died so that we can experience abundant life. How often do we pass over those words without stopping to grasp the amazing truth they hold. Jesus did not come so that we can merely survive life. Pagans can survive life. God’s plan is for us to thrive in the midst of the days, months, and years we call life. A continual feast of joy – with every breath we take.