This post is the first in a series of posts about “staying”. Oftentimes life forces changes on us. Sometimes they’re great. Sometimes it changes who we are, and sometimes that’s an okay thing to happen. But also, there is a sense of steadiness and rest that needs to accompany a season in our life. Oftentimes, we really just need to hold fast when we find ourselves in the middle of shifting winds. Oftentimes, our God is just saying, “Wait on me.” And in those moments, it’s surprisingly important in a you’ll-find-out-why-later type of way that we hold onto our hearts- that we keep holding on to the core of who we are and not let go of it just for the sake of changing. God is calling us to hold fast in many ways.
So. I hope this series of “Stay __________.” Encourages you. The first encouragement is to “Stay Important.”
Important (adj.): of great significance or value; likely to have a profound effect on success, survival, or well-being.
(It might be helpful to keep this definition in mind… especially the part about having a “profound effect” and “well-being”.)
MAKE IMPORTANT THINGS IMPORTANT
There are just a lot of things in life that aren’t as important as the things that are important. I need to keep that perspective and continually take time to sit down with God and say, “What do YOU say is important for me, right now?” Without a definite focus on what HE says is actually important for us, we lose perspective. We start making a big deal about things that we really should care less about. We start taking time on details of things that we don’t really care about. That’s a joy-sapper for sure. As God leads, ask Him what is important for you, and get rid of the rest. Get rid of the rest. I’m serious. Ask Him how. Ask Him when. Ask Him a lot of questions, but I’ve been finding more and more that I can’t live a life doing things that don’t matter. You’ll lose yourself in that. I lose myself when I do that.
I’m a ridiculously driven person. I thrive off of creativity and big ideas (so much that sometimes it’s hard for me to live my day-by-day). That’s balanced out in me with a willingness to obey God in each day and trust that what He says is important for me each day is important and enough. But, all the same, I know He has put this desire for importance and big ideas and doing things that matters in me, and it’s a part of His glory. It’s a part of being made in His image.
Yes, we need to live the day-to-day hum-drum well. That brings glory to God to be faithful in the middle places. It’s rough. But necessary. And character-building. But at the same time, that doesn’t mean that we need to lose our perspective of what’s actually important in the long-run while living out the day-to-day.
This balance takes God. Oh, it most definitely takes God. I’m not a balanced person, but I’m attempting to be an obedient person. And that makes a balanced person. By being obedient, I can be balanced without sacrificing the core heart of who I am and who He has made me to be. It is to His glory that we be our full selves. So. Let’s keep on making important things important and not lose perspective in the middle hum-drum.
There are some things that just don’t matter as much as quite a lot of other things. And it takes knowing God to sort out the fine line (and oftentimes large gaping gap that we just don’t yet have eyes to see) between the two.
KEEP IMPORTANT THINGS IMPORTANT
So when we’re talking about calling and purpose and making important things in life important (and unimportant things unimportant), it’s easy to get going in that direction, but then after a while, forget what important things you made some room for in your life and forget to keep them important and at the forefront.
A couple helpful verses come to mind about steadfastness and keeping important things important:
“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:4)
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,” (2 Timothy 3:14)
“You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?” (Galatians 5:7)
Persevere in the race to keep important things important. Don’t let random tasks and assignments and other loads that people put on your plate sidetrack you… unless you’ve sought God on it and know He has put it in Your path for a purpose. Oftentimes, once you get started pursuing purpose, the enemy brings a distraction in right away that, at first, might get you excited and you might think it was from God, but actually it was meant to pull you away from steadfastness. It takes a shrewd wisdom given from God to discern the difference between distractions and God-given opportunities. Ask Him about whatever opportunities enter your path. There are a lot of good, important things to do, but what we need to ask is, “Is God saying this is good and important for me?”
Let’s persevere in what He has told us is important for us. Don’t let yourself get cut-in on by the enemy?
WHEN YOUR "IMPORTANT" IS DIFFERENT
I’m a comparer. I do that. I compare my life to other peoples’ lives. I weigh and measure and hope mine’s going to be good enough.
That’s bad. That’s just bad. It means that my eyes are on others and not on God. And it means that I’m measuring my life based on my perception of other people, not based on exactly what God has told me.
I can only live my life. What God tells us is important for our own life is our only measurement of what is actually important.
He has the vision we need.
He has the truth we need.
He has the laser-focus that we need in order to live our small, beautiful, with-Him lives well.
So we need to keep Him the focus.
I might have a friend who is doing something important and beautiful that God has called him/her to do, but that might look VERY, EXTREMELY DIFFERENT than the type of “important” that God has called me to. We are different humans. We act differently. We have different needs. Different paces. Different seasons. Different long-term purposes. Different personal pitfalls and hang ups. Likewise, our “importants” might look different.
And we need to leave it that way.
WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS COME DOWN TO?
Daily relationship with God, asking Him, “What do YOU say is important? That’s what I want my heart, mind, and life to focus on this day. This very day, I’m yours, Jesus. Show me what’s important.”
Let’s pray together.
Jesus. First of all, we know without a doubt that You are the most important thing we could ever focus on. You are our life. Our salvation. Our focus and source of security in every changing season. You have ABUNDANTLY GOOD PLANS, and we couldn’t be more thankful for that. We trust You.
I submit my worries to You right now, with the help of the Holy Spirit, because I know that I’m too small to carry them. And because I know that You will use this time I’m spending with You to show me what is more important to focus on than these worries. Not that my worries aren’t valid or concerns, but I know that through being in Your presence, everything will get ordered out. I submit them to You. You are more than able. Thanks for bearing these burdens for me. I want to be freed from them so that I can do what You have called me to do without fear or hesitation.
I set this time apart for You to listen to what You say is important for my life. For this day. For this season of life. For the long-term purpose of my life and who I am. I submit to what You say is important. And I listen to You and also to the holy desires You have placed in my heart for doing something significant. That is not wasted. You ignite the fire within me for important, Kingdom tasks. Thanks for being with me, My Adventurer. You lead me more capably than I even know. Thank You. You are faithful.
You are important, Jesus. You are everything. We love you and want to revel in Your goodness. Oh, You are good. And You are ours. Thanks for being with us. All is Yours. All belongs to You.
Amen, beloved Jesus.