Friends, I just finished Vacation Bible School. What a blast I had with 8 very energetic 4-6 year-olds!
When You’re Out of Your Comfort Zone
I’m going to admit something to you, though. I’m really tired. Some ladies have the wiring and personality to pull off VBS well and even thrive in it. I don’t do it too well. Maybe I’m a rare woman who does not flourish at multitasking. My brain likes to be on one thing and one thing only. When I’m pulled in lots of directions over the course of several days, my brain needs extended time to refresh itself. I used to get down on myself about that, but I have learned to accept that I have been wired this way for a reason.
Even though I normally try to stay within my sweet spot of serving, I do say yes to very important opportunities to serve outside of my comfort zone. During these times, I need to be careful to take the time to fill my mind and heart with God’s Word. When I’m tired, a bit too busy, and a bit uncomfortable, I find myself more susceptible to wrong thinking and spiritual attack.
Are You Tempted Toward Wrong Thinking When You’re Uncomfortable?
What about you? Are you susceptible to attack when you are out of your comfort zone? What is it that gets you?
Questioning your worth? Questioning your abilities? Assuming what others think of you?
Friends, maybe you’re not doing VBS this week. Or maybe you are and you’re really good at it and are thriving! Maybe you have some other challenge ahead. Is it something you feel you’re not equipped to handle? Are the challenges real or imagined? God has given us great imaginations, hasn’t He? Have you taken into consideration the truth that your God is with you? Have you used your wonderful imagination to think upon the breadth, width, length, and height of God’s love?
Some Wisdom from Bunyan on this
“There are heights also that build up themselves in us, which are not but to be taken notice of: Yea, there are a many of them, and they place themselves directly so, that if possible they may keep the saving knowledge of God out of our hearts. These high things, therefore, are said to exalt themselves against the knowledge of God (2 Cor 10:5); and do offtimes more plague, afflict, and frighten Christian men and women, than any thing besides. It is from these that our faith and spiritual understanding of God, and his Christ is opposed and contradicted, and from these also that we are so inclinable to swerve from right doctrine into destructive opinions.
‘Tis from these that we are so easily persuaded to call into question our former experience of the goodness of God toward us, and from these that our minds are so often clouded and darkened that we cannot see afar off. These would betray us into the hands of fallen angels, and men, nor should we by any means help or deliver ourselves, were it not for the one that is higher. These are the dark mountains at which our feet would certainly stumble, and upon which we should fall, were it not for one who can leap and skip over these mountains of division, and come in to us (Song of Sol. 2:8, 17).” (John Bunyan, All Loves Excelling)
Are you carrying around destructive opinions that are swerving from right doctrine and thinking?
Our challenges are big, but they are not higher than God himself!
“For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.” (Colossians 2:9-10,ESV)
There is an enemy who would like to use challenges, even good ones, and our thinking about them, as stumbling blocks or high places that might set themselves up in your mind against the knowledge of God’s love. It is then that I…we…must turn away from wasteland thinking and turn toward Jesus, His grace, and His kingdom.
Turn with me, again, toward Graceland!
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV)
Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus.
This is about Him, not us.
Let’s fix your eyes on Jesus.
He takes our feeble efforts and multiplies them.
Let’s fix your eyes on Jesus.
We’re pointing people to Him, not ourselves.
Run with endurance, He is with us. He has gone before us blazing a trail through pain, challenges, and difficulty toward the joy waiting in heaven
Will you allow yourself to be revived by Him who revives?
“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,
who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place,
and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly,
and to revive the heart of the contrite.“ (Isaiah 57:15 ESV)
I could keep writing on Bunyan, but I’m in need of a blogging break in order to ramp up for some new projects. I’ll be taking a break from regular posts for the next two weeks but hope to be staying in touch!
Here are links to the previous posts in this series:
Would you like your own copy of All Loves Excelling?
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The best way to understand God’s infinite love is through the study of His Word. My friend, Arabah Joy, has a great study on HOW to do that.Do you want to be more passionate about studying God’s Word or making time to study it? Click here!
Linking up this week with these encouraging blogs: