Earlier this week I wrote Part 1 to this two part blog. If you haven’t read it yet, check it out here. I started writing in response to a devotional I had read and what God was telling me through it:
“Listen to Me continually. I have so much to communicate to you, so many people and situations in need of prayer. I am training you to set your mind on Me more and more, tuning out distractions through the help of my Spirit. Walk with Me in holy trust, responding to my initiatives rather than trying to make things fit your plans. I died to set you free, and that includes freedom from compulsive planning. When your mind spins with a multitude of thoughts, you cannot hear My voice. A mind preoccupied with planning pays homage to the idol of control. Turn from this idolatry back to Me. Listen to Me and live abundantly.” ~Jesus Calling
In Part 1, I talked about the importance of creating the space in our day and our schedules to be in the Word and become aware of God speaking into our lives. As my pastor says it, and he says it much better than I will, clearing the alter in your life so that He can come in (Check out his sermon A Fresh Movement of God). And how is that applicable to my life? By making my quiet time with Him a priority. But what about in the moment to moment? Every minute of every day?
If you’re at all like me, you live by lists. I love them. They make me happy. Getting to check those boxes off one at a time just makes me smile. My husband still doesn’t understand this “dark side” of me, but he recognizes there are benefits to it. That’s the way God made me, and it is a gift. I am able to accomplish a lot because I am driven by my lists. It’s the New Yorker in me. I don’t mess around, I get stuff done. But that’s just it. I can let myself be driven by my lists. And when I let my life and my thoughts be controlled by my lists, and my daily accomplishments, I am making that an idol in my life. That idol of control rules my thoughts. My life. Last time I checked, the bible didn’t say, “Your lists are the way, the truth and the life.” Umm, not so much. John 14:6 says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
When I allow my lists to control my life, I am not making room for God. I’m usually not even present in the moment because I’m thinking about everything else that needs to get done on my list. But God is in the present. He is in the moments with you. By not living in the present, we are missing out on the peace that it brings. No regrets of the past, no worries of the future, just God’s overwhelming peace. By living in the present, we experience gratitude because we become aware of God’s presence and how He is moving in our lives. “For in Him we live and move and breathe” (Acts 17:28).
If I allow my lists to be an idol and a constant distraction, I will miss out on this amazing gift of peace God wants me to experience. The gift of living in the present with Him, every moment of every day. I don’t believe for one minute that God is asking me to stop making lists. I do think He is telling me there is so much more life to experience, a life of peace. What is that distraction in your life? That gift turned idol? God is inviting you to break free from that idol and experience a life of peace with Him. Receive that gift.