We’re taught to do hard things, step out of our comfort zones, and rebel against low expectations.
We do hard things to bring glory to God. To share Jesus’ love. To honor Him by faithfully honing the talents He gave us.
But I have a confession.
Sometimes, I work hard to bring glory to myself. Sometimes, I think that God won’t pay attention unless I do hard things. Sometimes, I think He only sees me when I work hard and serve others.
Maybe you feel that way too. But when we do, there’s something we need to remember:
God’s grace is enough.
We don’t need to work hard to make God pay attention to us. The Bible tells us over and over again how much He loves us.
God knew everything about you before you were even born (Psalm 139:13-16). He saw your whole life while He was making you in your mother’s womb! He saw you then, and He sees you now.
Before He even made the world, He chose us to be holy and blameless in His sight. He did this out of love. He predestined us to be His Children through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:4-6).
Now you may be thinking: Fe, I know those verses. I know God loves me and sees me, but I keep trying hard to earn His love. I know His grace is enough–but I’ve been trying so long, I don’t know how else to live.
I feel you, friend.
Here are three ways you can start living by God’s grace today:
1. Sit at Jesus’ feet.
In the Gospel, we see examples of people who sat at the feet of Jesus. We see the woman pouring perfume on his feet. She knew she couldn’t do anything to earn his love. She knew she couldn’t redeem herself, so she cherished Jesus right then and there.
How about the bleeding woman? She was bleeding for years and no one could save her. Not the doctors. Not the priests. And certainly not herself.
So what did she do? She touched Jesus’ garment. She knew that if she could just be in his presence, she would be healed. And she was, from that day on.
My favorite example is Mary. She sat soaking in Jesus’ teaching while Martha was working hard in the kitchen. Martha was serving the disciples and making sure everything was in order. She was so caught up in it, that she thought service was the most important thing.
She says to Jesus, ” Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me. ”
We point fingers at Martha, but don’t we do the same sometimes? We work hard trying to look good. We work hard to get God’s attention.
But here is what Jesus says to Martha: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke:10:41-42).
It’s good to serve. But it’s not the most important thing. Being with Jesus is the most important thing. That’s what Mary chose.
When you’re having one of those days when you get caught up in serving till you feel drained, sit at Jesus’ feet. Be in his presence. That is more important than whatever you’re worrying about.
2. Read His Word.
A lot of times, we complain that we can’t feel God’s presence, or that it seems like our prayers only reach the ceiling.
Maybe we can’t hear God because we aren’t really listening.
Before you start your day, read His Words to you.
You may think you need to perform to be successful in his eyes, but he says you can depend on him. Yes, you can work hard, but even then, depend on him. (1 Corinthians 15:10)
You may think you need to be strong all the time, but he says that in your weakness, his power is made perfect. When you depend on God even though you’re weak–no, especially when you’re weak–THEN you are strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
When you’re constantly putting these verses in your subconscious, you will begin to stop trying so hard. You’ll start trusting instead.
3. Continue to Turn toward Him and Be HONEST.
If there is one thing Martha did well that day, it was this:
She went over to Jesus and told him what was on her heart. She shared her frustrations with him. And Jesus answered, gently. He pointed her to the truth and taught her the right way.
In Psalm 32:8, God promises,
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”
God is full of grace and truth. He wants us to pursue holiness. He wants us to be more like Jesus, yes, but he does not beat us over the head. He guides. He instructs. He loves.
Yes, Martha complained to Jesus. Yes, she was focused on the wrong thing. But Jesus set her on the right path. Jesus lovingly helped her pursue holiness.
When you’re so busy serving, just turn. Be honest with Jesus. Tell him what’s wrong. He’s listening.
One Day at A Time
Don’t put yourself down for trying too hard. Instead, trust God. Each day, make the decision that you are going to trust him. That you are going to believe in His Word and not in the lies of this world.
I hope you take action! I pray you will delight in his presence. That you will sit at his feet before anything else. That you will read His Word and soak in truth before going out into the world. That you will keep turning toward him.
You don’t need to strive for his attention. He’s there for you. Always.
Your fellow rebelutionary,
Fe Eugenie Batoon