Have you noticed that the world seems to be ever-accelerating? Just pushing us faster and faster… to achieve more, strive more, talk more, know more? It feels like we’re striving to fix our lives as rapidly as possible. To be better, to do better. Is it working? It certainly isn’t for me. If I’m being honest, I fall into this mindset of hurry way too often and it just seems to leave me feeling empty.
We can live a perfectly decent life, living like the world, without ever seeking a deeper relationship with Jesus. But this can leave us feeling empty. God has called us to more through our relationship with Him.
Paul shows us in Titus 2:11-14, “For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to the wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.”
The Message version says “We’re being shown how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life.” He has made us His very own people! How incredible is that?! But living that God-filled life is something that is completely our choice. God lets us decide our own story.
I don’t know about you, but for me, it is so easy for me to get caught up in this restless world. Signing my kids up for sports, running from work and school to church, or extracurricular activities. And never once allowing myself a moment to stop and speak to Jesus, and I definitely don’t have time to listen for His voice. Without intentional practice in shutting off the world, it is very difficult to grow closer to God. But the scripture says we should “live with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God.”
God has invited us into a different story. Allen Arnold, in his book “The Eden Option” talks about how we can live in a story where we practice the art of listening to the voice of God. This is the story we were made for. A way of life with God where we are fully seen, known, and loved. We can discover a way to live, speak, see, and rest in a restless world.
I’m a Christian, a believer who loves God deeply in my soul, but I spend way too much time in the wrong story, the world’s story. I’m sometimes really good at thinking about living the God story over and over again without ever changing my actions. Henri Nouwen says, “You don’t think your way into a new kind of living. You live your way into a new kind of thinking.” Woah… you live your way into a new kind of thinking. Ouch, I’m really good at thinking about it but not so great at living it! So how do we change our living?
It starts with exactly what we are doing through this Dwell series, reading and studying God’s word. Worshiping Him in our daily lives. Learning to talk to him in the mundane moments and the stressful moments. Just like it says in Luke 17:33, “If you grasp and cling to life on your terms, you’ll lose it, but if you let that life go, you’ll get life on God’s terms. We have to seek God’s active participation in our daily rhythms and let Him teach us how to live, rest and love on His terms.