“Others are sown among thorns; these are the ones who hear the word. but the worries of this age, the seduction of wealth, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”
The Bible study group I attend weekly is starting a new study this month on the Gospel of Mark. Our homework this week prior to attending was to read the book of Mark. Over the past two days of quiet study I have begun with praying for God to speak to me as I read His word. It has been great to get back into this healthy routine post the craziness of the holiday season.
I have been neglecting quiet time with Him both in the word, and in prayer the past few weeks. I have been frustrated, feeling burned out, and thinking what is wrong? Is it our church? Is it me? Do I truly have the Spirit of the living God in me? Am I really a Christian?
When I type those things out they seem silly and eye roll worthy – obvious doubt. I willingly admit my faith in Jesus, and my desire to follow Him with my life. I love our church, although my guilt often eats away at me for not doing more, but that is my own personal issue, not our church. I have been asking myself the question “If God is living in me then why is it such a battle to stay on track?”
While I was reading Mark 4:18 it jumped out at me and a light bulb went off – I realized that is exactly what I am struggling with. I love the word and I love my faith, but I am also deeply in love with the world. I want things, so many things. I want to put a certain image out there, I want, I want. I have desires of my own, and I want to achieve them. I have not stopped recently to commit myself to Him in service for the good of His kingdom. I simply go along having fun, spending money, and being consumed by the world. He has a bigger plan for me, His dreams are far more than my mind can comprehend. Why is it so hard for me to bow down and hand myself over to Him?
I don’t have an official plan yet, but I have been inspired to get to the root of the issue and work this thing out with Him. I don’t want my life to be a tangled mess in thorns. I want to thrive in the word and produce fruit 30, 60, and 100 times what was sown. I have made a quick list of things I am going to work on over the next few months, hoping I can grow closer to and rededicate my life to His work on earth. I have shaped these points into a personal vision “board” (more like a blog journal) for myself in 2017.
Purge The Excess
Something I am always working on as I grew up with pack rats – I fight the urge to stock pile and store the old every single day. But I have come to learn when I hold onto physical “earthly” things I quickly run out of room to serve God. I spend my time folding a mountain of laundry, and clearing huge messes. If I do not have the “stuff” I will have more space to let God in.
Organize My Belongs
This goes along with the top, but is also personal to me. I thrive in organization, it helps me function in my day. If I am thriving personally then my relationships are thriving – with God, my husband, my kids, and my extended family/friends. Respecting and caring for the things I have in my life shows God I am responsible and able to care for the bigger things He has planned for me.
Find Contentment Without Spending
This is going to be a huge stronghold to break down. I am a spender. I find fun in shopping. But I have come to realize spending does not make me long term happy, purely momentarily. This does not mean I am putting a halt on all spending, instead putting thought and intention with each purchase. I want true joy, not the world’s flash in a pan.
Serve Well In The Role He Has Called Me To
Before I say yes to serving in another area I need to be sure I am serving well in the role God has called me to. I am a wife and a mother to six, if something seems to not be working for me or bringing more harm then good – I need to sit down in prayer and leave it behind. If I am not serving well at home, I won’t be serving well anywhere else.
Love God, Love Others
This is deemed the greatest commandment. Am I truly spending my days doing this? If I am unsure, something major needs to shift.
I wanted to share with you because if I am struggling in this area of my life someone else may be as well. We are human this is part of the journey and learning experience. I would love to hear of the area God is working in your life, and the walls you are working on breaking down in 2017.