“For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possession. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.” NLT 1 John 2:16
Are you aware that we are the modern day Israelites living in spiritual bondage wandering in the wilderness of what is familiar, keeping us distracted from our purpose?
I wasn’t aware of this until very recently. I have had questions come up in my head over the years, but I was always able to dismiss it and move on. It wasn’t until recently when I climbed closer to forty, and I was in a time in my life where my circumstances have settled for a bit, that this feeling climbed right back up in my soul.
I grew up most of my life chasing the dreams of success. Sound familiar? I had something to prove to the world growing up in subsidized housing with very little money, in a dysfunctional home. I didn’t want to be labeled so I worked my butt off to prove to the world that I have what it takes to be successful. And I did it! Here I am, against all odds, holding a B.S. degree from a State University, and regarded as a Senior Leader in one of the top 10 “Best 100 Fortune companies” in the bay area. My children are going to private school and I have been able to provide them with whatever their heart desires even as a single mother for years. I should be happy right? Quite the contrary.
I did everything the worldly book told me to do and for some reason I still felt this empty burrow in my heart. I took pride in my achievements and possession. But when I reached a certain point in my career, I had no desire to continue moving up. I witnessed and experienced things in the work place that didn’t make me feel good in my gut, and at some point I woke up and realized that I was living up to someone else’s expectation of me. I was spending all my time and energy working towards someone else’s dream.
Does your time and effort reflect what you truly value in life?
We are busy busy busy. We work our butts off to make ends meet. Our actions don’t match our priorities and we are constantly feeling like we are running out of time. Every year goes by in a blink of an eye and we are suddenly scraping pennies to put Christmas presents under the tree again. We don’t know how to stop until a crisis takes place in our life that offers a new perspective on how precious our life really is.
Why wait for the crisis?
Jesus says in NIV Luke 19:40, “I tell you, if they keep quiet the stones will cry out”. Jesus refers to the stones as our spiritual keeper. He is saying that if you conform to the ways of this world, our natural being will cry out. We cannot hide what our spirit calls for. We may feel empty, sad, confused, depressed, stressed, anxiety, etc. All of these are spiritual warning signs that eventually impact your physical state.
What if I told you you don’t have to work that hard to LIVE. No matter what your circumstances are or used to be, it’s all a matter of perspective. You don’t need to be rich in money. You need to be rich in spirit. Our mind has the power to heal and our spirit holds the power of truth. We must uncover the true desires of our heart by letting go of the false desires that hold us in bondage.
You were made for an extraordinary purpose. You and I have gifts that are waiting to be used. In scripture, God reveals stories time and time again of people fulfilling their purpose with his protection, provision and guidance. Yet for some reason we don’t believe this to be true for ourselves.
Wendy Blight from Proverbs 31 Ministries asks it best in a First 5 App devotional: “Who sits on the throne of your heart? Your boss, your husband, your teacher, your coworker, your celebrity? To whom do you give your allegiance? Your first best? Who do you want to please?”
Do you want to know what your connection is to the world?
Before God could bring you to know your purpose, you have to remove the things in your life that take the place of Him. That thing that you depend on for happiness. That thing that you get up every morning for and chase. The thing that you stress and get anxiety over. The thing that comes second to God. Like an addict who is so fixated on that thing that he loses reality of life. In my life the physical thing is success, money, recognition and promotion. In the emotional it is pride, impatience, anger and selfishness.
NIV James 4:13-14 says, “Now listen, you who say, ‘today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money’. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
Our culture encourages us to make decisions for tomorrow before tomorrow even comes. We live in an overconsumed society, where we purchase things before God has provided us the means to have it. Living this way not only suggests that we have the power to provide for ourselves and we don’t need God, but it also offers us up as a slave to the lender (NIV Proverbs 22:7). And as long as we are a slave to the lender, we will NOT be free. We will need to continue working that job, making that money so that we can pay off the lender. And once we pay the lender, we will wait for that promotion so we can pay off the future debts that we have yet to consume. I am exhausted just thinking about it. Yet this is reality and this is how we live today.
“Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.” NIV 1 Timothy 6:9
I am not suggesting that you leave your job tomorrow. Everyone’s journey is different. What I am suggesting is that you take a deep, hard look at what it is that is holding you back from fulfilling your destiny, your purpose, your legacy.
What is binding you from being well and happy?
When you leave this world, what do you want people to remember about you?
How do you want to respond when you are at the gates of Heaven when there is a recap of your life?
Our life here is temporary and we should be living each day with a focus on the eternal. We shouldn’t just talk about it, we should BE about it. Set the example. Walk ahead. Lead. Investigate and Discover His calling on your life.
Our provision doesn’t come from man – it comes from God. Once we truly believe this in our mind, body and spirit, our options will expand, and we will have choices before us that we never knew we had.
I choose to “walk by the spirit, and not gratify the desires of my flesh” NIV Galatians 5:16. Granted, this is easier said than done, but I still choose to Walk ahead, to Set the example, to Lead. It all starts with a choice.
What do you choose?