Last week I was the guest blogger over at my friend Joanna Weaver’s (author of Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World and two other fabulous titles) blog. She’s running A Year With Oswald series. Check it out and sign up to receive the series and join the discussion. I’m inspired by her authenticity and friendship.
VERSE: Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world–” John 18:36
OSWALD: “The great enemy of the Lord Jesus Christ today is the idea of practical work that has no basis in the New Testament but comes from the systems of the world. This world insists upon endless energy and activities, but no private life with God. The emphasis is on the wrong thing. Jesus said, ‘The kingdom of God does not come with observation…For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you…If You waste your time in overactivity, instead of being immersed in the great fundamental truths of God’s redemption, then you will snap when the stress and strain do come. But if this time of soaking before God is being spent in getting rooted and grounded in Him, which may appear to be impractical, then you will remain true to Him whatever happens.” (October 19)
MY THOUGHT: This post almost didn’t get written today. That is the truth. I’ve been pretty busy lately, you see. I work full-time writing Christian books–books that I hope will share God’s hope through story. I blog, too, because I know there are a lot of people out there who need encouragement. Last week, I dedicated myself to my family and we went on a family vacation. I never want them to feel as if my work and service are more important to me than them. We have three older kids, and an adopted baby. My 82-year-old Grandma lives with us. Why? Because the Bible says to care for the orphans and the widows. I should mention I run a week support group for teen moms, because they need to hear the good news of Jesus too? Oh, yes, and I can’t forget, as of last night we have five more people in our home. A young couple with three kids needed a place to stay for a while. Of course we opened our doors. How could we not?
All that seems pretty important right? It’s not.
Yes, it’s good to care and love and serve. I do feel called to write and to evangelize, and there should always be time in my schedule to help with the needy and spend time loving those God put into my life, but none of those things should take the place of God. Of spending time with Him. Of thanking Him for my salvation. Of filling up with His Presence.
I’ve been feeling weary and overwhelmed lately, and Oswald reminded me that I need to soak in God for a while. I need to immerse myself once again in the great fundamental truths of God’s redemption. In life there will always be stress, strain, things to do and people to help, but I’ll only be able to handle it when I’m rooted in Jesus and filled up with Him. Then His love can pour out to others through me, instead of me depending on my own strength, which never works.
So, yes, I’m glad I got this post written. Out of all the things on my to-do list today it’s reminded me where my focus needs to be. I’m off to soak in Him for a while.