Here’s the latest update from our FP intern, Scarlett…
This month, during one quite time of mine, I had the stark realisation that I'd been making everything in my life something to impress people with and prove myself in:
Leading kid's work,
And probably more...
These things had become less enjoyable for me the more I let the fear of responsibility replace my God-given peace. I'd associated them all with work, when actually they are opportunities I enjoy and am blessed to be serving in! But this made it difficult to differentiate between work and rest, making both less enjoyable!
My life had become about how I perform rather than how I see God, or how He sees me. I was doing "good things" but, without God's timing, they were not always "God things"! This is why I found them more and more exhausting, yet was still anxious to continue them!
This all made me realise more of why I enjoy being in and watching nature so much. It's because there's nothing I can do to make it more impressive, it just is. There's no way I can perform for it! I feel God's presence so tangibly there because I'm at rest whilst doing something I enjoy. And just like everything in nature, I was created by God for love, and to praise Him only!
So, I feel led to stop pre-preparing so much of my life, and trust God's leading. To just be and enjoy doing things with Him, then share them if the opportunity comes about and I feel the Holy Spirit prompt me to! It is not what I do but what God does through me - less of me and more of Him!
The last Saturday of this month I decided to dedicate the whole day to realigning my heart with God's. I fasted to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal my desires and show me more of Christ. I headed out of my house to be solely with God, and ended up on a 2 hour prayer walk hoping to hear how God wants to use me in His restoration plan. God broke my heart for what breaks His and I spent the majority of my time lamenting for the lost in our fallen world.
I dare to say I felt similar to Paul when he wrote: "I am speaking the truth in Christ — I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit — that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. (Romans 9:1–3)".
I resorted to sitting on a log praying God would turn every tear I cried into joy in seeing His Kingdom come (Psalm 126:5).
When I returned home I started reading Small Footprint Big Handprint by Tri Robinson. On the 19th page I was struck by what he wrote: "our physical life was isolated and basic, we quickly came to the reality that the complexity that robs one's peace doesn't solely come from a confusing world but rather from within. It was because of our desperation for truth and healing that in the solitude and simplicity of Robinson Canyon Ranch we discovered an authentic relationship with Christ."
Then on page 20, a quote from 2 Corinthians 11:3: "but I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ", followed by Tri's comment: "We have almost emphatically declared as a society that we do too much, own too much, owe too much - all without doing much about it."
I recall on the Thursday before this, sitting with Sally Mallard and Janet Halford telling them I do not want to acquire lots of possessions, for I do not want to be hindered when God calls me to go. But as Tri points out, it is not just things that contribute to us having complex lives which can get in the way of our devotion to Christ. It's also jobs, responsibilities, technology, money, hobbies. I do not want it to be true of me that I am "seemingly everywhere but present nowhere" (Tri again).
Similarly, something Andrew Bunt said, on our Student & 20s Weekend Away, that has stuck with me is: "you worship what you spend most of your time doing." Tri warns us of how time to enjoy God's presence can easily became an intentional discipline rather than a natural outflow of our lives!
God has continued to remind me throughout FP, especially I feel overwhelmed with tasks, that it is not what I do but who I am (when/if doing it). So, it's time to reassess what I am actually doing, and ensure I'm keeping the main thing the main thing (relationship with Jesus)!
Lastly, I am inspired by Romans 12:2: " Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is."
Thanks for reading, isn't God good!
If you are feeling discouraged at this moment in time, please let me encourage you to stop what you're about to do next and just be with God; for however long He desires to spend with you. He's the best thing for you right now, and always will be.