I find that when I’m in a state of weariness, downcast or just in a general funk, not really motivated to do anything, it is usually because I’ve fallen into the world’s thinking.
I’ve taken up the world’s value system of competitive, comparative, relative worth which causes me to compare myself to others.
I’ve engaged in the world’s game where my value is derived from, and the objective is having more and being more than others.
It’s a grim, brutal, loveless way to operate that pierces you through with many sorrows.
It is the reality of this world, but God.
But, God makes it possible to operate in a way that completely defies the reality of this world and still THRIVE in it.
It looks more like a mighty, life giving tree planted by the waters than a nice car and a big house.
“He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.”
“And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.'”
In God’s economy, a french fry cook, anyone, in their current position can lift up and give life to those around them.
To that person there is no higher pursuit than the Kingdom of God. That is the objective.
There is no greater joy than sharing it with others -inviting others out of the cruel world’s game into living safely in communion with brothers and sisters in Christ, bound by love in the unity of the Holy Spirit with the bond of peace. All the while, God supplies all of their NEEDS – not opulence (because that’s not our goal, after all these things the Gentiles seek -Matthew 6:32) (and, we obtain our needs through God’s means and mechanisms; the means being opportunity, the mechanism being the God ordained system to convert opportunity into provision: work).
So, I must lay aside the flesh, the thinking of this world that’s concerned about getting and what others have gotten.
I must walk again in the Spirit, putting on the mind of Christ where there’s great purpose and joy in giving what I’ve been given -life.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
Note: This is one something non-believers cannot cherry pick as they often do with principles gleaned from Scripture. A plucked branch from a fruit tree in a vase of water is not going to produce fruit. We cannot give life apart from God. We’ll quickly burn out in our efforts.
I must abandon my desire for the things of the world, despite what others around me seek and have, and trust God that He will provide all my needs through His means and mechanisms.
The things that make for our peace are often counterintuitive. Very often the remedy to malaise isn’t about what I’m getting but what I’m giving.
In everything and in every interaction, I’m looking to pass life along, which in the process, gives life to me, making my Savior all the more real to me. Jesus Christ is the Vine. I am the branch. That’s exciting.
“And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
I believe we are most content and experience the greatest joy doing what we were created to do: that is, according to our gifting, ministering life, which is our unique vantage of God, working in conjunction with fellow believers of different giftings, to edify the body and give others a fuller picture of the knowledge of God. In short, to make the Father known.
Let us use everything at our disposal in service to making the Father known and doing His will. That’s where we’ll find our joy.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”
Clarifying questions that I will ask myself when confronted with the trigger of apathy and lethargy:
What do you want most right now, praise from men or God? (John 12:43)
What is your chief concern right now, the things of men or the things of God? (Matthew 16:23)
Do you trust the Good Shepherd to lead, guide and provide for your every need as His sheep and as He has promised? Or, am I not satisfied with His level of sustenance? (Psalm 23, John 10:7-10, Psalm 106:13-15, 1 Corinthians 10:6)
Are you being a faithful servant? Are you living in the joy of serving the Lord? Or, have you been seduced again into false comforts and deceitful pleasures of this world? (Luke 12:42-48, Luke 21:34)