Today is Labour Day in North America, and outside of writing this blog, this is the last free weekday I will have for a while. I begin full-time Ministry School via the internet tomorrow. It’s a bit daunting, but I think God and I are up to the challenge. I appreciate your prayers though.
I have a lot to do today to prepare my home to ensure it is a peaceful place to study. As there is a definite crispness in the air, I also must reorganise a few things for my physical comfort. I’ll be stowing a couple of fans away in a cupboard and taking out my space heater. My winter comforter will be across the bottom of my bed in readiness for cooler nights. All the while, my mind is racing as I look at the upcoming course load. I am not aiming at being the perfect student, but I intend to squeeze every drop out of this year that I possibly can.
I am feeling weary, and my day has not yet begun.
God beckons me to himself. First things first. Once the first thing is in place, the rest of my day will fall into place and what doesn’t get done, doesn’t get done.
There are times that Eugene Peterson says it perfectly, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 MSG
Are you labouring under the false impression that God expects you to have your life all-together before He helps you? God never said, “Let’s see how much they get done by their own efforts, and if they do a good enough a job and show initiative, then I’ll step in and help with the load.” He also didn’t say, “If they prove themselves worthy, then I will love them.” No!
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.” John 3:16–17 MSG
If anyone told you anything different, they’re selling you a bill of goods. God isn’t wagging The Almighty Finger of Shame at you. His arms are open wide, welcoming you in.
Don’t labour under the false assumption that God is waiting for you to clean up your mess before He lets you in the door.
Yes, His Holy Spirit will point out those areas of your life that you need to turn away from and those areas you need to clean up, but they are not prerequisite to you reaching out to Him. He’s not pronouncing a death sentence over you. He’s inviting you into a dialogue so you can step out into freedom from guilt and shame.
Isaiah 1:18-19 (TPT) – “Come now and let’s deliberate over the next steps to take together. Yahweh promises you over and over: “Though your sins stain you like scarlet, I will whiten them like bright, new-fallen snow! Even though they are deep red like crimson, they will be made white like wool!” If you have a willing heart to let me help you, and if you will obey me, you will feast on the blessings of an abundant harvest.”
If you have not yet chosen to abandon your ways that are not working and follow God’s ways, please do, today. It’s not complicated. You don’t need to find a perfect prayer to pray; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Just be yourself and bring yourself. You see, it’s not just saying a sweet little prayer inviting Jesus into your life, it’s surrendering control over your life to Jesus. He will be the leader; you will be the follower.
You’ll own up to the messes you’ve made, and He’ll help you clean them up. You choose to turn and walk away from trying to do it all on your own, and He’ll give you all the support, counsel and strength to do just that. That’s what grace is all about; it not only opens the door for us to receive God’s unconditional love; it empowers us to walk away from harmful behaviour and to abandon toxic thinking. Take up his offer this Labour Day, or whatever day you come across this blog.
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All Bible verses attributed to the ESV version unless otherwise indicated.
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Until Next Week,
©2020 Katherine Walden