Monday, March 12, 2012

Tension: works versus the Holy Spirit

Today I am pretty tired. Paul’s alarm goes off at 5:45am each morning, normally I get up to pee, give him a hug and go back to sleep. This morning I woke up naturally at 5:40…and could not fall back asleep, even long after Paul got up. Finally I drifted off but felt terrible when I woke up at 8am. It took me 40 minutes to get out of bed. Ridiculous. A start to my day like this makes me feel fairly overwhelmed, especially in the light of my health problems and the constant pain radiating across my back and into my hip. It makes me question more.

Lately though I’ve been feeling very faith filled…and life has been great…and I feel like I’m really seeing God moving…but there are moments when I think I’m overwhelming myself…and I wonder where the tension lies between faith and over worked. When am I just tiring myself out with good things and when am I stepping out into God things?
Recently I read the following over at Stuff Christians Like and it really made me think.

“I’ve got a whole lot of religion, but very little spirituality.
For the last year, I’ve worked as hard as I possibly can on being a good steward of the talents I feel like God has given me. I’ve spoken all over the country. I wrote Quitter . I balanced my family and my dream and hustled more than I ever have before. And the truth is, I put blood, sweat and tears into my own effort-based natural results.
Hustle, I understand. If you work hard, certain things happen. If you work harder than the next guy, certain things happen. If you push and strive, good things can happen.
But, along the way, I feel like I lost touch with the Holy Spirit. I got so focused on my own natural results, of seeing the progress of my effort, that I lost sight of the supernatural.
My faith became mechanical and mathematical. Here’s the thing, though: I don’t want to live a life based on my efforts.
It’s exhausting. Before I was a Christian, trying to fix myself and numb the things that hurt was exhausting. Now that I’m a Christian, trying to make life work on my own is just as tiring.
I don’t want that kind of faith.
I want spirit-driven faith. I want deep, soaked-in-the-Holy Spirit faith. I don’t want to experience the best of what Jon Acuff is capable. That’s small and tiny and insignificant. I want to experience the best of what God is capable. A supernatural God who breathed life into me and set the stars in place and moves with as much mystery and creativity as he did when he wrote a message on the wall for a king or burned a talking bush for a prophet.
I don’t want to be in charge of my growth, with effort-based faith that hollows me out and leaves me shiny on the outside and empty in the middle.
I want Christ to be in charge of my growth. A Christ that didn’t say to the disciples, “Come and you will learn how to be fishers of men.” A Christ who said, “Come and I will make you fishers of men.”
If you and I believed for a second that the same power that raised Christ from the dead was in us, can you fathom how different that day would be?”

I need this reminder. Quite honestly, Tara Morgan can do a lot of things. On my own I can plan many events, I can love many people, I can strive and plan and create and really, using the power of my ADD, I can really get a lot done. But does any of that matter without the living power of God in it? No! I would hate to get to the end of my life and realize that I had glorified myself, instead of my God. To GOD be the glory. To GOD be all power. Not me, please. That is my prayer…I never know when I sneak in and take over…so God I need you to be in charge. I need your will to be done.

We are currently planning our Women’s Retreat, as I mentioned yesterday. This was our prayer – that as we planned and as we prepared that it would all be for God to move in power…to give him a place to move.
I don’t want to live a life that is exhausting. I’m prone to that regardless. I want to life a life that is peaceful and faith filled. To live in the tension of enjoying what God has called me to and seeing him move…without having to strive for it myself. I want to live a life based on His plans and His actions. A life that is in tune with the Holy Spirit. I love what Jon says above “I want spirit-driven faith. I want deep, soaked-in-the-Holy Spirit faith. I want to experience the best of what God is capable.” Now that is something worth aiming at.

It took me three attempts to get that last sentence correct because I didn’t want to say it was something worth STRIVING for, or WORKING for…but our culture, our conversation and my mind are so wrapped up in our works and our plans that it was difficult to get that down in writing in a way that removed my effort and was based on Gods work. Dang.

I have no idea what this looks like, I just have to believe that if my heart is turned towards God that in His power He will be in charge and that He will weed me out, in the best way possible.

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