Sunday, January 19, 2014

With.

A few weeks ago, as the year 2013 was coming to a close, one of our pastors gave a sermon that really spoke to me.  The basics of the message was from Matthew 1:18-25, where it talks about God with us, and the four point he shared were taken from a book called "With" by Skye Jethani. 
(Here is a link to the book) http://www.skyejethani.com/books/book-with/


When he shared, he talked about four different approaches that people come to God.  And I thought it was such a great overview - and so true.  I will list the four below here:
  1. Life Under God - comes with the beliefs if I do all the things I am suppose to do in my life, and follow all of the rules, that the result will be blessing and a rich life. 
  2. Life Over God - the search for specific principles from God to give us control over our life.  Making the Bible divine disciplines for life.  It is taking the control for ourselves. 
  3. Life From God - the consumerist approach - what can God give to me?  What it's in for me?
  4. Life For God - All that I do I am going to do for God.  the Missionary approach - everything I do is For God. 


As I listened to each one, when we got down to Life For God, the conviction bells of the Holy Spirit started going off inside of me.  Yes, that is where I fell.  Life For God.  But that doesn't make sense?  Aren't we suppose to be sold out for Jesus, on fire for Him, living and breathing every moment of our life for Him? 
Or are we?  The problem with Life For God was you can end up feeling discouraged - You see all the world's needs and want to help and fix them all, and you can't.  After I had the twins this is where I begin to fall - into the discouraged point of feeling useless to all the areas of my life that I used to be involved in serving.  And a constant fight to want to get back to where I used to be in serving, trying to figure out how to take four needy children along for the ride and love them too, and make sure I have time to care for my husband too!  How can I be super mom for Jesus? 

I was stressing my husband out constantly with all my ideas of things we could do for God and finding myself frustrated that we weren't doing anything. 

The answer to this came in the simple approach of this:

     5. Life with God

God told me that morning I needed to get things in order.  He wanted me to do life with Him.  To be in relationship with Him.  To ask Him each morning to show Him what He wanted to do with that day.  To not live for Him, but with Him. 
It was no surprise to me that the next week I went to church, and we spent time as a congregation asking the Lord what tasks He might have for me for 2014, that these were the ones He gave me:

  • Deepen my heart for Him
  • Walk with Him and not for Him
  • To be praying faithfully for others
  • To be faithful to my God, my husband and my children
None of them were active in I need to start this and go serve here and do do do all this FOR HIM.  It was all about relationship with Him and the people around me. 
When I was thinking about it this morning, I realized how this doesn't just apply to God, but to my family. 
 As a mom, this is how my mental checklist can sometimes come out:

  • make breakfast for my kids
  • Pack lunch for my kids
  • Clean the house for my sanity
  • Be the driver for my kids to get to school
  • Grocery shop for my family
  • wash clothes for my family
  • Empty the dishwasher for my family

I began to see how this list is a FOR FOR FOR.  Not a With. 
And this is where I need to change - and I know it will be hard for me, but it's a part of what He wants for me this year. 

My list needs to include doing these things with God.  And with my children.  And with my husband.  Being fully present - recognizing it's not the task that is nearly as important as the people that the tasks revolve around.  Recognizing it's not nearly as important to be doing things for God as it is to be with God, talking with Him and building relationship with Him. 
I know my Martha tendencies will fail miserably at times, but this is the change He needs to do in me, and I want to be open to it. 

I know this didn't cover all the intricate details of what the book WITH covers in these five ways we can approach God.  I wanted to take a moment to share what He is teaching me and I know hoping to grow in me for the new year.  As I continue into 2014 I am looking forward to what my life is going to be like, WITH my God. 


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