Hi friend! I hope you have had a restful week! Personally, it’s been kind of chaotic and I am working on being disciplined in my routine. Which means there have been a few inconsistencies along the way… Clearly because I am writing this at 10pm on Sunday instead of earlier on Saturday. I’ve felt kind of this writer’s block, but I think a great way to get past this is just writing a little life update for you!
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.1 Peter 4: 7 (NIV)
Isn’t it wild that we’re nearing the end of September? Why does it feel like August took 7 months and September has only been 7 days?! School has been a lot more challenging to stay on top of than I would like to admit. As have my mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health. There have definitely been quite a few days where I’ve wanted to drop out of school, throw my phone into the Atlantic, and move to a small island by myself. But, unfortunately, I am very much a people person. And I know I would turn into an absolute lunatic if I did anything off of that list.
Despite all of this though, I know that my joy truly does come from one source and His name is Jesus. It really has not been easy. And there truly have been days where I have wanted to give in to the pressure and check out again. I think, maybe, a few of you might have felt that way or currently do. I want to tell you that it is okay to want to scream and cry and whatever else you might want to do with the current realities of this world. Because truthfully, it is all a mess. It will remain a mess until Jesus comes again. (Which really, what’s the hold up, right?!)
I’m kind of active in the Christian world of social media, and there are a few key phrases I hear a lot: seasons, breakthrough, on fire, end times. What I’m going to focus on here, if you haven’t already guess by the title, is staying on fire for God. Well, after I quickly address “end times” so bare with me.
If you are a follower of Jesus. I mean ~really~ a follower of Jesus, then you should be living as if He could come back at any moment because we have been in the “end times” since He went back to Heaven. The way to make Heaven crowded is ~not~ by scaring people, but by reflecting Jesus and His love, no matter how difficult it may be. (Don’t believe me, go read your Bible starting with 1 Timothy 1).
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.1 Timothy 1: 5 (NIV)
Okay, so back to the main point, staying on fire for Jesus. I have had quite a few conversations with my friends over the past few weeks about how we have been feeling about our relationships with Jesus. How we can give Biblical advice, but not take it. How we are more prone to checking our phones than checking the Word. How we are quick to judge and slow to love, when it needs to be the other way around. How we feel like we have lost our fire, or at least some of it, for Jesus.
Here is the beautiful truth about those statements. God’s love for you and I is ~not~ dependent on the time of the month for us. God’s love transcends all understanding. Like we talked about last week, God’s Love is everlasting. God’s Love is not based on a temporary feeling, but an eternal truth.
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.“Matthew 26: 39 (NIV)
If we are to become more like Jesus, then we are to also deny ourselves like He did for us when He died on the cross. Yes, Jesus ~willingly~ died and defeated death, but He was also fully human. This means that He fully felt all of the pain associated with this. I think we often forget to mention that Jesus prayed in the garden to let this cup pass if possible. He also experienced human emotions. He was fully tempted by the enemy. Yet He did not allow His temporary emotions win over the eternal truth that He came to conquer death so that we may be in relationship with Him.
Has it been tough to get into my Word every single day? Have there been days when I would rather scroll through Twitter or TikTok? OF COURSE! But here is the thing, I cling to the truth that nothing of this earth is eternal except for my relationship with Jesus. Truthfully, I do not understand how non-believers are holding onto hope in a time such as this. That’s for a different post…
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.Hebrews 12: 11 (NIV)
Think of it kind of like exercising. Do I ever really want to go on a run? Maybe once or twice every few times when I am first getting into the routine again. But more than likely, no I do not want to run. Even though I know it is good for me. Even though I know I will feel better afterward. Even though I know x, y, z… You get the point. We, as believers, know that spending time with our Maker is the most important. I think we can forget that if we are not spending time with Him, then we will not have the capacity we need to love others as we are called to nor will we be able to fight for His Kingdom here on earth.
Getting in the Word daily, reading about His promises, His mercies, His love, His truths will help ignite the flame that fuels your fire for Jesus. Basically, what this long rant has been about is that we need routine. Discipline is necessary for a healthy spiritual life. Just as discipline is necessary for a healthy physical, emotional, and mental life. When one falls off, the rest will follow, and for both our sakes, I pray it is definitely not the first one. And if it is, receive His grace and ask for His help. That is what the whole premise of repentance is. We are asking God to destroy our sinful desires (sin = anything not of God) and replace them with Godly ones. Spending that intentional time with Jesus through reading your Bible, prayer, discussion, etc will only help creating that fire within you. Of course you will not feel like spending constant time with Him at first or if you’ve fallen out of habit. But that’s part of building a habit. Like when we go to the gym and we grow our muscles, we are growing our faith. And when we fall short, it is so important to remember that we need to persevere. We need to run our race. Not the race of the person next to you. Not the race of whoever is at the top of your timeline. Your race, so that you can be transformed every single moment.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.Romans 12: 1-2 (NIV)
How can you better focus on your race this week? How can you ignite that flame to fuel your fire for Jesus? How can you stand in God’s truths over your temporary feelings? How can you be more intentional with your Maker?
How can you be transformed by God?
Keep picking those daisies!