Deepening Dependence

“But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.”  Micah 7:7 (NASB)

This age is one filled with busyness — seeking, striving, working, overworking, constant, non-stop pursuit.  And with it comes so much stress and pressure that never let up.

Because if we do, then everything will fall apart.  Right?

At least that’s what we tell ourselves.  At least that is what the evil one wants us to believe.

But the truth is that we need to stop.  The truth is that we need to rest.

The truth is that our bodies need rest — that our bodies crave rest — in order to be at their best.   And our souls need to rest in order thrive … perhaps in order to survive.

Why?

I cannot say for sure.  But it is incontrovertible that God built into our very being a need for rest — on all levels.  When we are awake for extended periods of time, our body begins to shut down for sleep.  When we exercise a particular muscle group, we then need to rest it in order for it to heal, grow and strengthen.  When we study intensely for a period of time, our minds then need a break in order to assimilate the information absorbed.

And our souls need rest from the constant striving in order to deepen our dependence on God.

When we rest in the Lord, we acknowledge that we are not in control … that the outcome (of whatever it is we are striving to accomplish) is not dependent on us alone.  We acknowledge that all things are actually in the hands of the Lord.  We admit to our frailty and limitations and surrender to His strength and all-sufficiency.

God says: “wait on Me.  Depend on Me.  Trust in Me alone.”

When we rest, not only are we taking care of the bodies and souls that God gave us, but more importantly, we are depending on God and honoring Him in the process.

For me, I learning this to be true:  deepening my dependence on myself isn’t get me very far … but deepening my dependence on God will take me everywhere I truly want to be.

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Seasons

“There is a time for everything; a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NLT)

My favorite form of exercise is cardio. If you were to ask me at any given time what type of exercise I’d like to go do, 90% of the time I would choose a cardiovascular one. However, right now I am in a season of trying to add muscle mass. So, right now, I am in a season of having to increase my weightlifting time and decrease my cardio time. Right now I am in a season of having to make choices that go against my natural tendencies.

Is it a choice I make begrudgingly? Oh, on some days, perhaps. But on most days, I choose it willingly because I truly desire the alternative outcome and know it’s best for me. I choose it willingly because I have the long-term objective in mind, and this is a necessary season for me to go through in order to achieve that objective.  (See also Long-Term View, October 2, 2014 post).

There are seasons in our spiritual journeys too. Sometimes we are in seasons of deep Bible study because we need more of God’s Word implanted in our minds. Perhaps other times we are in a season of needing more to live out the Word we already know instead of gaining more head knowledge. Or perhaps you are in a season where you need to cut back on the external activities because you really need to do some deep soul work. Or maybe just the inverse — maybe you have focused enough on your own soul and need to focus more on the souls around you.

The seasons of the soul that God takes us through are necessary to form us into image-bearers of Jesus. Some seasons may not be our favorite. But if we keep the end game in mind, we just might start to embrace each season because we know it is integral to that which we really desire — becoming a better reflection of Him.

So what season are you in?