The Joy of Living From God Rather Than For Him - Encouragement for Today - February 24, 2021
February 24, 2021
The Joy of Living From God Rather Than For Him
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Often, our enemy’s fiercest strategy against us as the beloved is keeping us consumed with living for God rather than living from God.
I know this to be true because I’ve lived it! There was a time in my life that I would often yes myself into exhaustion, determined to prove to God and others my worth and devotion. In this outside-in way of living, I hit the ground running every morning. The to-do list took precedence over my soul needs as I focused tenaciously on doing everything I thought I was supposed to be doing for God and even for myself so life would go as planned.
I had assumed I couldn’t afford the luxury of spending time with God, thinking I had far too many important responsibilities to be still before Him. When I did make time for Him, sadly, my priority was to ask Him to help me with everything: motherhood, home keeping, career-building. With a twinge of shame always lingering in my gut, I’d ask His forgiveness for failing to give Him more. Yet I had no more to give because my own strength was gone.
Don’t get me wrong. I longed to simply be still. I craved margin and rest and the capacity to put my family first. But I felt trapped, fearful if I said no to anything, I might miss out on the Next. Big. Thing.
This way of thinking not only set an unsustainable pace for my life, but it kept me self-focused, so much that I didn’t have the capacity to truly see others around me. I was usually in such a frazzled state that I valued community primarily for what it could do for me. For lack of a better word, this is hustling, and I’ve learned that God doesn’t always intervene right away when we strive at this kind of pace. Sometimes He gives us what we think we want so that we will finally discover what we truly need.
All in all, I believe this is God’s way of fighting for places in our hearts that we’ve either given up on or don’t even know need rescuing! In His mercy, God began to show me that my hustling was actually holding me back from living from my God-given identity as His beloved. An identity that offers rest, which propels us to trust Him wholeheartedly and to live from His strength rather than our own.
We see this propelling trust and rest in Psalm 37:5-6, “Commit your way to the LORD; trust him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.” This is our invitation to live as the beloved of God! How beautiful, that as we surrender and trust in Him, He shows up on our behalf and does what only He can do in us, through us and for us!
Beloved, living from God lifts the burden, the stress, and the striving, and restores to us the joy of knowing God and loving Him. This joy is contagious! After all, He said if we would commit everything we do to Him, He would help us! If we will find our joy in Him, He will be the one to fulfill our deepest desires.
When we find our worth and joy in God again, we become available to Him and others in a way we never have before. Taking our place as the beloved of God, we come back to the center of it all — Jesus — the one who has already overcome this world we’re trying so desperately to survive in!
Heavenly Father, I’m so grateful You invite me to place my hopes, dreams and responsibilities in Your hands. You are faithful. Help me to rest in Your strength and draw closer to You today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 55:22, “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. (NIV)
RELATED RESOURCES: All too often, we find our priorities driven by a belief that what we do defines our value, both to God and to others. Christy Nockels has been there, too, and instead of living with misplaced value, she wants to help you live from your true identity as God’s beloved. Learn how and gain the contentment you long for in Christy’s new book, The Life You Long For. Learn more about the book and where to purchase it here.
Enter to WIN your very own copy of The Life You Long For by Christy Nockels. To celebrate this book, her publisher will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. We’ll randomly select 5 winners and
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
In what part of your life right now — such as work, family, ministry — do you feel it’s all up to you?
What can you do this week to recenter your heart in God’s truth and life from Him? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
© 2021 by Christy Nockels. All rights reserved.