Living out the day to day Christian life can feel…challenging at times. Trying to balance reading our bibles, the newest devotional, church, small groups, prayer life, and then whatever else the world is throwing at us can feel nearly impossible at times. We are quick to turn our walk with Jesus into a competitive sport. Comparison can get the best of us. Thoughts like “I can’t pray like she does” or “Well she has more time than I do” can quickly takeover. Our need to feel “accomplished” can lead us into the checking boxes mindset. 30 mins of prayer -check; loved my neighbor- check; didn’t curse-check’. We strive to be perfect Christians and end up failing at becoming more like Christ. We are worn out…lacking in the fruits of the spirit. We are going through the motions to say we did but in the end we are shortchanging ourselves of a real loving relationship with Jesus.
What are we doing?
Nothing about this striving life sounds joyful, peaceful or graceful. It sounds a lot like duty instead of love. And no where in the bible does duty come before love. Obedience is always birthed out of our love for Him. (John 14:15)
Now don’t get me wrong, I believe in spending time with Jesus every day to satisfy our longing souls and I believe in pouring into your home church and having the best prayer life possible. All of these things matter deeply to the heart of God. But I believe in all of this, if and only if, our hearts are in the right place. We must do everything in love. (1 Corinthians 14:15). Everything. We cannot strive our way in to Christ-likeness. We cannot work our way into salvation. No amount of checked boxes can make Him love us more. He just wants US. He wants our whole heart.
Let’s not overcomplicate this walk with God. Lets not overschedule it, overanalyze it or try to over-perform it. When it is all said and done His request can be boiled down to one simple statement every morning:
Just walk with me again.
Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. – Matthew 11:29 MSG