Listen; Not In A Hurry
Ever feel like you're rushing around after things that don't always satisfy? Exam results; popularity; friendship groups; nicer things; a better career...
We're so honoured to welcome Rachel to More Precious, who has written today's article on what it means to listen, stop, pause - and turn back to align our hearts with the Lord.
In Hebrews 12:25, we read:
"See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?"
I don't know about you, but I entered 2018 feeling pretty blah. After a holiday season of travelling to be with family, partaking in festive foods, and experiencing a higher dosage of TV than usual, I found myself out of sync with the Holy Spirit and with His truths.
My rhythm of going to God with my heart, talking to Him throughout my day, and seeking His counsel was overtaken by that sneaky desire to do it all on my own. And what's more, as I thought about my intentions and goals for 2018, I found myself falling victim to wanting more earthly things like new things, new clothes, more experiences... more money for an "easier" way of life so that I don't have to rely on God to provide.
Oh yes, it spiralled quickly. All of a sudden, I was in a hurry and overwhelmed by the "to-dos" for the new year. All of a sudden, I felt behind. But by His grace, I stood convicted in my longings.
Not long after my husband and I returned home in Chicago in the New Year and were attempting to get back into the swing of things, I was working on my computer when the song "You Satisfy" (feat. Elyssa Smith) by Upper Room began playing. I hadn't heard it before, but I took notice halfway through the song when she sings,
"What do I have need of
Oh, what do I have need of
Oh, what do I have need of
now that I know you
'Cause every time I'm with you,
I never leave empty"
Mmm. How timely. How sweet a reminder for me that Jesus is all I need. He is all we need. Amidst the hustle and bustle we find ourselves and our world in, amidst all of our distractions and idols, and clamoring to "get ahead," we–as followers of Christ–are called to slow down, to not hurry, and to direct our attention to the one who will never fail us nor let us down.
2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us:
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" We have been called into a life of transformation, which requires us to tune in and pay attention to His voice.
The more we heed His voice, we are able to discern His direction for our lives. And the strongholds and struggles of this world dissipate as He strengthens us. It is a process, and grace upon grace is there for us as we change and transformed to be more like Jesus.
2 Corinthians 3:16-18 says:
"But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit."
This is a truth I am resting in - that as we abide in Him, we are changed to be more like Him. And when the world crumbles, those who follow Christ are part of God's unshakable kingdom!
They will withstand the shaking, sifting, and burning.
So when we feel unsure about the future, we can take great heart from this truth: no matter what happens here on this earth, our future is built on a solid foundation that cannot be destroyed–on something that cannot be taken away. May we put our confidence in Christ and his unshakable Kingdom.
Rachel is a photographer, and is passionate about telling stories, be they the houses she visits for lifestyle shoots, or the fascinating people for Our Chicago Stories, a project she co-created. She lives in Chicago with her husband Andrew, and loves capturing the beautiful in the ordinary, mundane and overlooked, her Maine Coon Ollie Dean, and making pizza.