I overthink and over-complicate and over-plan nearly everything in life. Sometimes in a good way, but usually not.
I tend to overthink and over-complicate and over-plan my relationship with God, too. Definitely not in a good way.
I know that God wants what’s best for me, and He wants me to be my best for Him, too.
But the thing about me, is that I am a task-oriented helper who seeks to please everyone I come in contact with.
Let me tell you, it’s exhausting. I get tired of myself being this way, and I am only recently slowly but surely learning what it looks like to worry less about impressing, because navigating the complexities of life really is exhausting.
I tend to complicate my relationship with the Lord.
More time attending church, more solo time, more time reading Scripture, more time in devotions, etc.
Instead, what I know I need to be doing, is less. Less striving, less straining. Less doing, more being.
My friend Collin posted this to his Instagram story the other day, and it deeply struck me...
Be a human-being, not a human-doing.
What a concept!
I’ve heard it said before, “Do less, and make it mean more.”
So, that is what I am hoping to do. My word of the month is PRIORITIZE.
As I seek to prioritize work and life and balance, friendships and relationships and family and friends, health and wellness and a holistic approach to these things, as I seek to prioritize all of this, I know that it comes with a hard-to-swallow, hard-to-say word: no.
Saying “no” to something or someone is super challenging for me. But what I’ve learned, and hope to continue learning, is that a “no” to some things provides opportunity and space for a best “yes” to other things.
Now, if only I could apply this concept to following God in daily life, too. To prioritize my walk with the Lord, and to say a resounding “yes” to Him.
Say “no” to a complicated relationship with Him. Say “no” to striving for perfection. Say “no” to the exhaustion that comes from seeking. Say “no” to overthinking. Say “no” to feeling like I need to clean myself up prior to coming to Him. Say “no” to always having a task-oriented way of thinking. Say “no” to believing the myth of perfect.
There is so much to say NO to, in order to say YES to joy. Freedom. Peace. Provision. Space. Intentionality. Discipline. Encouragement. Truth. Prioritizing. Love.
Lately, I have been feeling like I’ve needed to clean myself up before coming to Christ. That I have to figure things out, figure everything out, before approaching Him.
The thing is, though, that it isn’t the healthy who need a doctor. No, it’s the ones who are sick that are in need of the assistance of a doctor.
So, I come.
I come with my over-thinking, over-planning mind and heart. I come with my mistakes and failures. I come with my strivings. I come with my insecurities. I come with my straining. I come with my drive for perfection. I come with all of me, and enter into His throne room.
In His majestic throne room sits the Almighty, the King of the world, the Creator of all. No wonder I thought I needed to clean myself up before entering in.
And yet, He is Father — comforting and kind. He is Counselor — listening and warm. He is Everlasting and Sovereign — there is nothing I can hide from Him, even if I tried. He is Love — extravagant and beautiful in the way He takes care of me and my heart, so delicately, so carefully.
I enter His throne room, and bow low. He rises up from His chair and lowers Himself to the ground to where I am, flat on my face. Just as He did when He came to earth as a baby, He humbles Himself, meeting me where I’m at.
He speaks over me, not words of judgment, not words of hate, not words of sadness or disappointment, for He doesn’t see my past, He sees His blood and an empty grave. He doesn’t look to my past, He looks to my future. And He urges me to do the same.
“You are strong, because I am Strength. You are enough, because I am Enough. You are righteous, because I am Right. You are who I say that you are; you are because I am, and I am within you.”
The complexities that I created in my head, the plans and the strivings and the complications, they all seem to melt away.
The essence of Emmanuel.
God with us.
The one word, in my mind and heart, that describes following God in daily life.
It isn’t about me. It’s about Him, and who that makes me, and what posture that positions me in.
I am with God, every hour of every day. Because I am with Him, because He is with me, I am strong, I am capable, I am courageous.
If I keep this as the main focus, if I remember WITH in the forefront of my mind, if I never neglect the essence of Emmanuel, then I am in a whole, sweet, good spot.
As I seek to follow God daily through life, I know that it requires less striving, and more with. Less seeking, less thinking, less impressing, less planning, less critiquing, less coordinating, and less complicating.
It all comes down to the truth of Emmanuel, the truth of WITH, and what I decide to do with that truth within my heart and my mind.
Will I believe it? Will I receive it? Will I accept it this simple, profound, beautiful truth? That is the beginning.
Will I live it out? Will I factor it into my day-to-day life? Will I accept it AND apply it? For this is where the wholeness, the sweetness, the goodness takes place.
Following God can be made into a complex thing in my human, sin-filled mind. Yet, following God can also be a beautiful, intimate relationship with a beautiful, intimate, good, good God.
Thank you, Jesus, for the presence of Emmanuel, for the gift of WITH. Amen.
Questions to consider:
Who do you personally believe God to be? Who then, does that make you? (Not sure where to begin? Look up a list of the attributes of God, and choose 3-5 that stand out to you most.)
What can you say NO to, even a small thing, even today, so that you can say YES to something better and more beautiful?
Look at yourself and the lifestyle you are living; are you a human being or a human doing? What elements of each of these contribute to your overall joy, freedom, and contentment?
Big or small, what is one of your favorite parts of this post? Slide into my DM’s on Instagram (@jessrsauer) and let me know; I’d love to hear from you!