and we have piles of it.
..and so it is spiritually with us.
Our calendars and lives are loaded with chaff
and the evidence of a fruitful harvest is virtually non-existent.
We feel useless-pointless and fruitless
because we are slaves to the chaff and lose focus on the harvest.
We spend our minutes and use them to put out fires rather than pouring into others.
We take our days and and spend them
idly instead of intentionally.
We spend our lives on ourselves rather than
...and we have piles of it.
" For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10
So let's take a look at the big picture! Here are 3 ways to walk toward abundant living and leave the chaff behind.
1. Ask God to show you what He has specifically called you to BE.
It's all about priorities and God knows the order that He wants your life to take. Ask Him to show you 2 primary callings that need attention. What are they? If today was your last day-what would sum up your life? What would be said about you? Would you be known for your compassionate, generous heart and kind words who took time to care about the little things?--or would people remember an angry, frazzled and stressed out mom who spent more time on Facebook than in The Book? What counts?
I would encourage you to start at the very beginning. Is it your family that needs to experience seeing you as a Christ centered woman of God?
Are you married with kiddos? That is your calling!!! It starts at home. That relationship is the highest representation of Christ and the Church. So many women search for fulfillment and meaning outside of the primary relationships that God has called us to. What good is having a huge ministry if your husband and kids get the left-overs of a wife and mommy that is frazzled? Living in the gray areas always costs something--it just depends on who gets to pay.
Single? God has given you the gift singleness so that your time can be focused on His purpose and plans. The mission field He has called you to needs your full attention. Is your light shining with your co-workers? Do they even know you are a Believer? Are you taking time to share Jesus with your friends? What good is climbing the corporate ladder or being the "employee of the month" if your light isn't shining brightly for Jesus.
2. Let go of everything that doesn't line up with that calling.
Once you have narrowed down to the 2 primary callings that God has gifted you with it is time to check off the chaff in your calendar! Learning to say "No" to people and activities that put a drain on you is a freeing thing. What are the essentials in your life? Narrow the scope of your involvement in things--maybe choose ONE church position that is your passion rather than doing 3 things that stress you out. Your "no" leaves room for someone else to say "yes"!
Involved in lots of outside church activities and children's events? Narrow it down. Try one sport per child per year...one outside activity that builds up your family and doesn't take away from your spiritual walk. I hear you groan and say that is is impossible to do. I hear you. I know. But if sports replaces church--and your activities draw you away from your family you can bet your bottom dollar that the enemy has fertile soil to sow seeds...and believe me-that harvest is painful. You have an enemy that is using your crammed calendar to wreak havoc and the harvest won't be seen until it is too late.
Social media? Get serious about getting rid of time wasting activities. Complaining of not having enough time with the family or being behind at work and yet spending hours surfing the net or staring at the TV is a bit ...well... ridiculously obvious. You are spending time watching others lives rather than living our own. ouch. Try a media fast for 1 week and see how your stress level decreases and your free time increases. Unplugging actually recharges you!
3.Radically consume Christ.
Time spent in the Word helps you sort the chaff out pretty quick. Scripture gives you vision,empowers you to fulfill your calling and is an outlet for every burden and care that weighs you down. Let's face it-if you clean up the calendar and discipline your time you will automatically have more time to spend in prayer, study and reflection. It cultivates a grateful heart and a produces eternal fruit. You can begin to see the difference between the chaff and real fruit and it becomes easier to say "no" to opportunities that can drag you away from joy and contentment.
As you learn to chase God with abandon the breath of the Holy Spirit blows the chaff away. Only God can set you free from the slavery to chaff in your heart, home and life. Somehow when God gets bigger in your life-you begin to see the chaff for what it really is. Jesus becomes real and you trade being a slave to chaff for being a daughter in Christ. All made possible by Grace Incarnate. Grace.
So, what is God talking to you about today? Can you hear God singing over you with His unmerited, daily sufficient Grace? Grace that knows about your slavery to chaff and has made provisions to replace it with abundant harvest. Grace that gives you the strength to let go and Grace that holds on to you while the Holy Spirit breathes life back into these weary and worn out places. GRACE!!! The offer of a harvest is free for the taking when our hands open. Sweet release. Sweet rest.
Father, help me to open my hands. Help me to realize that you will reward only what you have done through me and pardon that which I have done in my own strength. You know my chaff and that I am powerless to see it in myself. God show me where there is no fruit, where I need your Grace to set me free. Help me to let go of the things that rob me of your joy-of the things that plug my ears to the music of your living Spirit. Lord, let the breath of your Holy Spirit so invade my inner spaces so that the chaff is driven away by your sweet songs of deliverance. Your Word says love casts out all fear. Give me the confidence and assurance to boldly take the next step to freedom so I can extend grace to others-for my good and your glory. Amen.