Read about why the guilt that comes with productivity is not according to God's will for your life
Like a quote from The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer says, "put your phone away, and let God take care of the world", we need to let go and let God. What does that mean?
God is God. HE is the one that needs to take and be in control of the world. And yet, so many times we find ourselves trying to fill His shoes. Either through the ways we want to achieve and make a change, inspire and encourage, be remembered. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but I feel like there's such a pressure to make a difference nowadays, such an incredible strain on one's life to what they've achieved and how they've improved the world they live in that you can forget to live altogether. What life have you changed? Who have you saved? What have you accomplished?
Our God says that our roles as humans are to 'be still and know that He is God' (Psalm 46:10). Again, HE is God. That means it is HIS job to change the world, HIS job to improve it and HIS job to save lives. The fact that he does it through us is a different thing entirely. Yes, we can change the world, but only when it's done through Him is it done for the better.
We're constantly asked: what life have you changed? Who have you saved? What have you accomplished?
God is the one who called Barrack Obama as a baby to later become president, and the one who coupled him with the esteemed Michelle in order to use them both for change in the United States. God is the one who gave Shakespeare his writing talents in order to downright mould and shape the world of literature we hold onto today. He is the one that gave Elvis Presley those incredible vocal chords and the inspiring lyrics that changed music entirely. You can say what you want, but God was first. HE assigned those people to make that change, to influence a new era, to use their God-given talents. Without God, they would've been nothing.
So if I want to change people or the world, I'll do it through Him. Or rather, HE will do it through me.
God is meant to do the heavy-lifting, so why do we blame ourselves when we feel like we aren't working hard enough?
Don't get me wrong, I don't want to change the world. I can hardly handle the pressure of committing to a full-time job and writing my novel at the same time, so handling a whole world is nowhere near my league. But my point is that He is God. He is meant to do the heavy-lifting, so why do we blame ourselves when we feel like we aren't working hard enough?
I, myself, had this incredible epiphany yet again today. And I was able to take such a deep breath of relief afterwards. I just blurted out, "Phew! It's so good to know I'm not doing something wrong." Why is it wrong to rest? Why do our lives have to be a machine that involves nothing but working at unbelievable speed? And the worst part is it tells us that if you're not going at that speed, and you're unable to keep up then you're nothing more than a washed-up failure who will never achieve anything. But be certain: that is far from the truth. We are not meant to go at the same speed as the world. For we are not of the world (John 15:19), Jesus chose us out of it: so our pace is God's pace. And that is slow.
The Bible gives us a place where God was a priority. Even if the world had forgotten Him, God still always had one person to count on to come and turn things around: like Moses, Paul, David. And when God was a priority, the way that lives needed to be lived were through trust and total release into who God was and what HE was capable of. And even more so, it always involved waiting and waiting until HE made the next move.
Time and time again, God came to His servants and disciples and said the same thing: "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." (Exodus 14:14).
Our God enjoys and lives to be in control. He lives to fight for us. Yet we've come into this mentality that if God fights for us, it means we are weak. It means we are incapable and not living up to our potential. It means we are nothing but worms on the ground, a waste of space, puppets that God has to constantly lift up and move every time in order that they may live.
Our God enjoys and lives to be in control. He lives to fight for us. Yet we've come into this mentality that if God fights for us, it means we are weak.
There is this lie that tells us we have no value if He helps us, and even more so, we don't deserve it if He does: we don't deserve for Him to come and rescue us over and over again.
But if that lie were true, then why does He tell you to "just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today" (Exodus 14:13)? The secret is that He wants you to let Him work. He desires to demonstrate His power to you. And even more so, He LOVES it. Because He loves you.
Personally, I'm not the most active person. Due to health issues, I'm unable to do what this world constantly tells us to do, what society deems as normal and expected for a 25-year-old. I can't push myself past breaking point, I can't work all day and all night without a wink of sleep and not regret it later. And what's worse is that my body won't even allow me to have caffeine (that involves energy drinks, even the healthy-looking ones). So I'm always stuck with this idea that I'm not working hard enough. I'm not putting blood, sweat and tears into everything I do. And I'm certainly not 'earning' my career.
The only thing I can do is live on the natural and limited strength and energy that my Creator gave me. Every time I try to break that boundary or push my limits, I suffer for it. Don't get me wrong, I've pushed it before. I've tried to use up an entire 12-hour day to work despite my body signals: I take what I shouldn't be taking, drink what I know I shouldn't be drinking. Oh, I certainly have the energy in the moment, and I hustle and hustle. And hustle harder. But what happens the next day? I crash. My body and my mind goes into panic mode. The kind that you have when you've been going 100 miles an hour for months at a time. A mode where your body refuses to even get out of bed, much less lift a finger to do anything. So what I then have to do is take up the next three days -- sometimes more -- to recover.
And so you see, when I try to keep up with the speed at which everyone around me races, I only lose more time than I would've if I respected my boundaries. And at the end of it all, I end up with nothing but guilt riding me up and down, eating my very core into stress and misery.
Many times I asked God why He made me this way. Honestly, I still don't have the answer. But what I do know is that there is one. God has a purpose for why He made you the way He did. It doesn't mean I'll never achieve anything, it just means that I'll always have to depend on Him for it. It doesn't mean I'll be tired for the rest of my life but it means that God always has a way to push me into the balance and vitality of taking care of my body regularly. And He will always remind me to live life at the pace He wants me to live it at.
So I encourage you today to meditate on what God's pace is and how to slow down without any guilt. To be the shepherd in the field like the Lord is our shepherd. To just stand there enjoying the bright blue sky, while knowing that our Creator is the one hard at work. And unlike us, He will never grow tired, or stressed or sick of our problems and situations.
And one more thing: Never believe the lie of the devil that tells you you are lazy, you are nothing, worthless, and that even God himself can't do anything with you. I've been there myself, and they are so far from the truth of your identity in Christ. He has made you for Himself. And in His time, you will fulfil all that He has promised you. And you'll do it through Him.
Some research done for this post involves the following two books:
Can't recommend them enough!
To Hell with the Hustle by Jefferson Bethke
The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer