Is your christian life becoming a chore?
I’m a list person. It’s how I function, how I remain motivated and how I get things done. I am happiest when I know that the most important things on my to-do list has been ticked off.
What I have to be aware of however is that this same practice that brings me so much joy in my every-day life does not creep into my walk with God.
Do you ever feel like you’ve accomplished things when you’ve done the following?
- Completed a devotional and spent 15 minutes praying & worshipping
- Went to church on Sunday
- Sent an encouraging message to a friend
- Prayed for someone that was sick & prayed for peace for the world
- Volunteered at church - eg. kids work, social enterprise
- Attended a bible study or women's group?
When we start ticking things off our ‘faith to-do list' (or even have a list) we are treading on dangerous ground. The religious leaders in the bible were great at ‘doing the right thing’ and lived their lives by ensuring they did not steer away from the letter of the law. Jesus however had a very different view of heaven for them.
- Matthew 7:23: And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
- Matthew 15:8: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honour Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.’
- Matthew 23:1-30: Read at home
One of the things Jesus says in Matthew 23:5 is something that really says it all for me. Verse 5 says: ‘But all their works they do to be seen by men.’
Maybe you don't think that you are doing it to be seen, but inwardly you feel you have to do these things in order to be a good Christian or doing it because of someone else.
Maybe you are just going through the motions without really having your heart impacted or changed.
Jesus however came for you to live life to the full and experience it abundantly (John 10:10)
Our faith walk was never meant to be a chore, it was never meant to be a burden.
When you live your life with God's perspective and you do things because it brings glory to God...with the purpose of turning people’s hearts to Christ then only are you living your life the way God wanted you to.
It all comes down to our heart attitude and the two people who know your intentions are you and God.
I know very well how easily it is to suffer from burn-out when we are running to and fro trying to get things done for the kingdom, but whenever that has happened to me - it was because I was doing it in my own strength and most probably doing it to please someone else. While their intentions are good, saying yes, when you are already overloaded - may not always be.
These were the times that I knew my heart was not in the right place because I was trying to fulfil an expectation that I was not strong enough to refuse.
God does not want you to burn-out, instead He wants you to live in peace. (Shalom - Nothing missing, Nothing broken & Nothing out of place).
God is a God of relationship
I know I say this a lot. But it’s true. Everything we do is for His glory. It’s so that your life is a testimony which draws others to Christ and it is so that you grow closer to His heart.
God wants to bless you and increase you in ways that are beyond your understanding.
Satan has a way of applying guilt, shame, worry and fear on us that makes us think that if we don’t check these boxes that we are not worthy of God’s love. But it’s time to do what James tells us in James 4:7 ‘Submit to God, Resist the devil and he will flee.’
Pray this now:
Father, Thank you for being a good Father. Thank you for loving me in a way that I don’t always grasp, but appreciate so much. I come to you today to submit my life to you. I lay down any feelings of guilt, shame, worry and fear that the enemy has placed on me and I receive your love, peace, grace and mercy. I resist the devil and all his schemes and will no longer live under the penalty of sin. I believe that Jesus died for me and rose again and in doing so, gave me freedom from sin, shame, guilt and fear. I live victoriously because of what Jesus did for me on the cross. Thank you for setting me free, in Jesus name. Amen.
A Different Heart Attitude
Now, when you do those things on the check list above - do them with a different heart attitude. Allow the Holy Spirit to bring time of refreshment and peace into your life so that you do those things with a heart full of faith, rather than fear.
- When you go to church, go expectant to hear from heaven
- During worship - expect the move of the Holy Spirit
- When you pray for the sick - expect them to be healed
- When you spend time doing your devotional, spend time waiting to hear from God
- When you read your bible and you’re struggling to understand it, read it in a different version which may bring fresh perspective - spice things up!
- When you’re taking meal to a loved one or friend who is ill - spend time praying with them believing with them for their healing.
- Find ways to encourage yourself in the Word
- Affirm scriptures over yourself
- Above all, Spend time with your Saviour and Friend, Jesus. Get to know all he has in store for you and go out and live your life victoriously.
Remember, you are Loved, Chosen and Redeemed to be a Mighty Woman of Valour.
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