Lately, it seems I am not sure if I am coming or going. I’m currently in a very full season. And yesterday, I started to feel very overwhelmed. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Things seemed to be going really well. I had even experienced a wonderful morning of worship and time with my Heavenly Papa and Jesus. But later in the day, I had the feeling of being overwhelmed creep ever so slightly to the surface.
I thought maybe it was because it was Sept 11th. I had watched a video earlier that morning remembering all of those who perished that day. I wanted to remember. I don’t ever want to forget the sacrifices made that day. So I thought surely it was just an emotional response. I let it go at that and went on with my day.
But the truth is this is a feeling that often shows up and there’s more to the story than just emotions. Well, the enemy told on himself big time this morning. I ended up in the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible last night. I didn’t really think anything of it relating to that “overwhelmed feeling” that was bubbling at the surface, not quite a full-on boil yet but more like a heavy simmer. I was in Chapter 3 when the Father revealed a lesson there for me. And I posted about it here.
Well, this morning, in my quiet time, I started reading ferociously through Ecclesiastes. At first, I was thinking, “Huh? Who even wrote this? What does all of this mean.” Do you ever feel like your reading the Bible and you’re not comprehending it at all? I have felt like that often, so much so in my early walk with Christ that I actually loathed reading my Bible. But then something phenomenal happened. I experienced the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I. Whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”
Matthew 3:11 (NIV)
Growing up in a Baptist church, I never really heard much about the Holy Spirit. He was kind of the third less popular member of the boyband or something. I now understand that Holy Spirit is also the most controversial boyband member. However, now, I cannot imagine my daily walk with Christ without the help the Holy Spirit brings. Before I was wearing blinders and could only see what was obvious and directly in front of me. Now, with the Holy Spirit, I see a full 360 view. Now, when I read my Bible, it makes sense. This is yet another reason that relationships with our Heavenly Father is imperative.
As I was reading in Ecclesiastes, I started to understand what it was saying and why I needed to read that very truth that very day. This life is uncertain, but our Father, He is Sovereign. He is the same today as He was then. And He will be the same tomorrow and 1,000 years from now. He is our provision. And He invites us to eat from His hand.
“I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.”
Ecclesiastes 3:14 (NIV)
The Spirit of Truth
“Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
Luke 24:45-49 (NIV)
The verse above is from the book of Luke when Jesus appeared to the disciples after His crucification and resurrection. I am sure you can only imagine the ‘shock and awe’ they were experiencing. These followers of Christ were about to be given one of the greatest gifts, the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised that, when He left them, He would make sure to send a helper.
“‘And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– the Spirit of truth.'”
John 14:15 (NIV)
Lately, the word ‘striving’ has been on my mind. Every time I hear it, even in passing conversation, it makes me cringe. For a long time, I thought I had to work really hard.
“My life must have meaning! I have to work really hard to impress my Heavenly Father. I must work really hard to impress my family, my friends, my followers. I have to strive to make money to prove my worth to this world. I need to gain all the knowledge and wisdom to be better. And I have to strive to prove my worth to the One who already proved His love and devotion to me long ago.”
There is nothing left to prove or earn. It’s already been DONE.
The truth of the matter is everything we build on this earth will perish. It’s literally like building a sandcastle and expecting it to survive eternity. I can easily get caught up in creating my own legacy, building my own empire, edifying my own name because that’s what the world tells us to do: Work. Strive. Pursue happiness and riches above all else.
When all we are called to do is sup with the One who made Heaven and Earth. We are called to do what we see our Father in Heaven doing. And we are called to do it out of a place of REST.
Not out of a place of toiling, striving, and exertion.
“In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat– for he grants sleep to those he loves.”
Psalm 127:2 (NIV)
The enemy knows my ole striving ways. He often uses them to taunt me. “You’re not doing enough,” he calls. Because he used to call—”YOU are not enough.” But I’ve come to know the truth about that dirty lie: I am more than enough. I am valuable. I bring value into the earth. So he moves along to a new lie. But still a lie, nonetheless. That overwhelming feeling? Yep, he was the culprit whispering quietly almost under the radar, “You’re not doing enough…”
“Your house isn’t clean enough. Your children aren’t loved enough. Your spouse isn’t cared for enough. Your bank account isn’t full enough. Your prayer journal isn’t written in enough. Your blog isn’t perfect enough.”
Ah, the musings of the evil one. Always trying a new angle as soon as he’s cut off at the pass. #nottodaysatan
Just writing this, I’ve had a breakthrough. I can hear the chains breaking, the walls crumbling. Our words are powerful. Let us speak life and truth!
Our Father is calling to us. He’s asking us to find REST in Him. This doesn’t mean we nap all day long or stay in the same space in our lives forever. It just means that, in the hustle and bustle of life, we are tied in closely to our Father. It means that we look to our helper, the Holy Spirit. And that we trust that what our Father has for us is greater, more precious, and more immaculate than anything we could conjure up here in this place. Because that is the truth.
It’s so precious that our Father put His Son on a cross to die so that we could access it.
It cannot be earned. It’s already yours, my friend. All you have to do is open your hands and receive it.
If you’re like me and you are tired of STRIVING and you believe that Jesus Christ is your one and only Savior, that He was sent here to this earth to die for you and your sins and that He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven to sit on the right hand of the Father—then pray this prayer:
Jesus, I believe and I know that You came to save me. I am a sinner, and You traded Your life for mine on that cross. And I am inviting You into my heart as Lord and Savior. Come, Jesus. It’s all Yours. My heart is Yours. My life is Yours. I believe with my heart and confess with my mouth this very truth. Amen.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on rebekadoesitblog.com
Featured Image by Kiwihug