So I’ve been ankle deep in this study on what it is to be still and what it is to be intentional, since God placed these words in my heart. The silver lining of it all is that He’s led me into it right at the time of advent, and it seems perfect that I’m re-exploring how to wait at the same time we wait in expectation for the celebration of our Savior’s birth. God has a way of connecting the dots, doesn’t He?
Here’s one big thing I’ve seen in the past few weeks:
Being still is the precursor to being intentional.
In other words, I must first be filling up on God through being still, if I want to be able to pour out anything with intention.
Be still, and know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.
– Psalm 46:10 (NLT)
All too often I get caught up in the to-do lists in my life, and forget this very thing. So I’ve been sitting with God and making lists of what being still looks like in my life:
- Quiet time
- Bible study
Not all of those things happen in the same way, at the same time, everyday. In fact, I’ve found if I really want to be intentional about any of the above, I can’t fall into “routine.” Because routine is where I spend 10 minutes with God in prayer and go through the same prayer list I always go through. And it’s where I read a bit in my Bible and check off that I’ve been a good Christian girl today.
None of that is really what God is after, is it?
And none of that is really going to lead to the victorious life in Christ He died to give us, will it?
When I’m doing things that way, I’m sad to say I’m living on my own strength just as if I don’t know Him at all.
So in this season of being still, I’m reminded that it really is about a full dependance on Him. Not just believing in Jesus. If belief is as far as I’ve gotten, then I’ve barely stepped into a life of faith. Now I’m to be following Jesus, and to do that He tells me I must live in Him as a branch to a vine.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. – John 15:5-8 (NIV)
Just as a branch needs to stay attached to the plant to survive, I’m to be attached to our Savior every second of every day. And how that manifests itself – whether it’s in sitting quietly with Him for a few moments or longer everyday, seeking Him in His Word, worshiping, praying, watching a message online, or reading a book about Him – might look different everyday.
The important thing is that I’m seeking Him, and that I’m doing it will all of my heart. Ready to receive what He’s waiting to pour in.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)
This renewed stillness is really exciting for me. I’m not going to lie to you… I love Jesus. I think about Him all day, and if you know me well you know it seeps out into my conversation, my relationships, and I hope all I do. But do I really offer myself to Him? Do I sit at His feet everyday and give Him the best part of me, not just the leftovers at the end of a long, tiring day? That’s another story.
In the past month, God has filled journal pages with notes of things He’s whispering into my heart and soul, and I’m reminded that being still can feel like breathing oxygen after hours in a stuffy room. I’m being filled up to pour out, and my feet are being set on solid ground.
Hope all of you are well!