So I was driving into work today and God asked me to share a “note” I wrote on facebook back in May of 2010 on this blog. It was the beginning of many thoughts about God’s rest and how is grace propels us into action. I hope it blesses. I believe it is an extension of what God said in “Is this it?”Get this…Jesus Christ lived to the age of 33. His ministry began at 30. It only took him 3 years to change history; to become the greatest, most influential figure in all of time. What did Jesus of Nazareth do in those first 30 years? I think he lived. I think he ate dinner with friends, built a lot of things as a carpenter, and spent time with his parents (earthly and heavenly). I think he chilled and enjoyed life. He knew his purpose on Earth but he never became anxious or rushed the Father. He waited and thrived and loved before he pursued overt ministry. No pressure, right? He was just sent to come to Earth and save mankind from the curse of the law. No biggie. Think if we knew that we possessed that same purpose. We would be trying to force that to happen before its time. We would be making it happen in our own efforts to fulfill the call. All Jesus did was wait on the Father and he accomplished all that was needed in 3 short years. His time on Earth was never wasted or thwarted by the enemy. Jesus lived. He not only lived but he lived a perfect existence. He completed His destiny.
What does this communicate to me?
I need to live and stop thinking that this life is a race; a finish line and I am wasting time. God is not sitting on His throne with a stopwatch and a clipboard expecting me to have IT all done before I am 33 years old. What does Matthew 5 encourage us to realize? Tomorrow will take care of itself. Today is meant to be lived. Jesus prayed this, “Give us this day our daily bread.” We have this day and this moment and it should be lived. It should be lived to its fullest and those you encounter should be loved without restraint or demand. We dwell on tomorrow requiring and pressuring ourselves to measure up to an invisible standard, an ideal that is usually unattainable. Many times we are pursuing a goal that only increases the void we are trying to ignore. We throw ourselves into a pursuit of the wrong thing: raise at work, more prestige from the community, fancier clothes, higher priced vehicle, admiration from our friends, etc. We missed today working on tomorrow. What life was missed while running to the wrong cause? Life is found in the subtle. A whispered “I love you” from your child, the hug from an old friend, a good cry when you hear an old song, or the opportunity to tip an extra 50% just so you can see the look on the waitress’ face. What laughter or emotional rush was forfeited because you were too busy “doing” instead of “being”?
I am beginning to take the demands off myself and more importantly off other people. You truly begin to live life when you choose to love. Why not love beyond yourself? Who cares what you need. Find your needs met when you meet the needs of others. Take the demands off people. Speak the truth in love but let people live. Let people reveal who they are at their pace. Let them be honest and vulnerable and do not require them to communicate and process life like you. Seek to know them and receive them. The phrases “you need to do…” and “I need you to be…” must be removed from our lips. We must receive not require, embrace not demand, and admonish not ridicule. Expectations should be placed on you but not others. You cannot change people but you can change the world by changing yourself.
Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father. He conquered death and possesses the keys of hell. He provided free access between us and the Father. He became the way, the truth, and the life and He loves me enough to make ME His place of habitation. He lives in me. Christ, the Hope of Glory lives in me. He changes me. Why do I need to demand anything of anybody? I have all I need.
Summary: Live and love today. Reflect on each day as your head hits the pillow and relish in the beauty of today. Learn from the bad and rejoice in the good. Relieve the pressure from those in your life. It will all get done. His perfect plan for your life WILL be accomplished not by your strategizing but by your waiting and receiving.