Taking Time to Reflect
by Pastor Glenn
This week I've been challenged spiritually and relationally as I was communicating with someone, spending time in quiet & reflecting on some pressing issues, and reading an article by someone reflecting on this past year.
Each time I was challenged to ask:
Where is my focus?
Am I relying on my strength or God's?
Am I trying to fight the battle myself? In my own strength?
Or am I willing to let God fight it? (Take a good listen to BATTLE BELONGS by Phil Wickham. It's my favorite song this past month & been a great reminder.)
This past year of pandemic living has taught us that nothing is predictable. Things can change in an instant from things outside of our control. However, what I can control is the time I commit to connecting with God...the deliberate time I spend and laugh with my family...whether or not I "pick up" the "hot potatoes" others want to place on me or in my life.
We can look good on the outside but we can be messy on the inside. Just like a house, our relationships can look good from the outside but they can be messy on the inside.
I'm not suggesting we have to be perfect or have everything together, just that we need Christ and Christ calls us into a relationship with Him. So, what are you doing to live an intentional life with Him? Jesus took time to "retreat" and connect with His Father, even with the chaos and significant needs surrounding Him. To connect to our Father, to make time so we can retreat from the chaos and needs surrounding us as Jesus did, we need to ask:
Is there someplace that we need to address?
Will we and our family put everything back on the calendar that Covid took off last year?
What will happen relationally if we do? Spiritually?
What priorities do we have for ourselves and our relationship with God? Our relationship with others?
The stresses of life right now can feel like vice grips on my chest but when I take the time to offer it to God, take the time to get quiet, to breath slower, to sense and experience God's peace, presence, and renewal, my perspective changes (Isaiah 40:31). I'm reminded about the peace and strength we can receive from our awesome God.
My life situations haven't changed in the past couple of weeks. It's been one daily stressor after another at work, at home, at play...but my perspective is changing. Listen to this from Phil. 4:6-7 from THE MESSAGE:
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life."
So, as the weeks move forward and plans slowly return to our calendar, take some time to ask:
What petitions & praises can and do you need to give to God this week/month/year to let Him shape your worries so that a sense of wholeness will come and settle you down?
Where do you need to "Raise a Hallelujah" to our "Way Maker" to whom our "Battle Belongs"?
As you reflect, remember: God is good, He is kind, and He is faithful.