Friday, March 18, 2016

slow your pace... check your pulse

It is so easy to become anxious, isn't it? It's easy to feel rushed and pushed around by everything going on in our lives. We want to please our family, our friends, our employer, our church. But as Christians, we also desire to grow spiritually and know God intimately. Sometimes it all feels like too much to handle. For how can we love others well, produce excellent work, find encouragement, offer Christian fellowship, and yet continue our quest toward eternity - all the while remaining still and knowing that Jesus is God? There is nothing "still" about our life. So, how can we live relaxed in God's grace while finding enough time to pray, meditate, study, and memorize His Word?

This past week, I found myself in a conversation with someone who clearly had better Biblical retention than I. They whipped out verse after verse of Scripture and incorporated many truths into our conversation. However, rather than allowing my heart to rejoice in agreement over the Word being recited, through the course of our conversation I found myself feeling anxious, inadequate, sub par.

As days past, I felt compelled to rush and learn more Scripture... and fast! Otherwise, I wouldn't measure up. I wouldn't know as much. I wouldn't be where I "should be" spiritually. But how could I possibly fit more in? With my busy schedule and life commitments, how could I really take more time to know God's Word, well... MORE? I felt overwhelmed.

Mind you, I am regularly in God's Word. In fact, for several weeks I had been taking my time chewing over some truths from a particular section of Scripture that the Holy Spirit had laid on my heart to study and learn. However, because the depth of my memory did not satisfy my selfish ego during one simple, friendly conversation, I now was anxious and dissatisfied. I took Satan's bait and began assembling an ideal of what I "should be" spiritually... and right now! As a result, I felt that the time I spent hovering in this one little passage wasn't going to get me "there" fast enough. The pace of my soul was not at rest.

I began pulling several Bible studies off my bookshelf and even purchased more online. I had ridiculous notions as to when I could actually absorb all the data I was accumulating, but that didn't seem to matter. Clearly, I was spiraling out of control - moving farther and farther away from where God had requested my attention. All because I wasn't quite good enough. All because I could not recall or recite more. But, by golly, I was going to get there. I was going to be soooo spiritually adept that everyone I'd meet would be amazed and astounded! Yep, cause it's all about me, right? It's all about how much of this Bible stuff I know. It's all about how awesome a Christian I am! It's all about... wait, is that what it's about?

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." (Psalm 46:10)

Ladies, there is nothing wrong in taking as much time as you need to intimately know every aspect of the Savior. He is not keeping tally as to how many verses you can recite without the aid of your Bible. Nor is He concerned with how much data you can absorb in one sitting. I am convinced that if we each steadied our pulse to match His generous, patient, loving heart, our pace would slow down so that we would simply know and love His Word so deeply that our whole life would be centered around following the Shepherd where He leads... and when He leads. I forgot this for a short moment and was overtaken by selfish idealism spurred on by an enemy that wishes me dead.

In retrospect, I'm amazed at how quickly Satan convinced me that I was inadequate. Rather than meeting God right where I was, and resting still in what He wanted to show me... I started speeding by all the destinations that Jesus had intended for me to linger with Him at. Had the Holy Spirit not pointed it out, I would have missed precious moments in His presence. I would have overwhelmed my life while ignoring my King's still small voice. Rather than drown myself in numerous Bible studies, I was reminded that where and when the Savior calls me to pause, I should do so. I should remain still and breathe.

So, today I am back in that small passage He originally led me to. I am absorbing every sentence... relishing every Word. I am no longer concerned about how long I will stay in this particular Scripture. I am not worried about how well I could be graded on my retention amount. No, what I care most about today is that I fully learn what God is teaching me. I want to absorb all that He reveals and love Him by living in accordance and obedience.

Let's not get ahead of God. He has paved a path for us to walk beside Him and will teach and guide us along His Way. We must not only hear and retain His Word... we must listen to His voice. We must remain close and ask Him to abide in us. For when we abide in Him, we are exposed to His glory - a glory that is undeniable, unchanging and unforgettable. I encourage you to learn from my "humble stumble" and slow your pace to match His pulse.

This is the day to abide in the Savior and rejoice. This is the day to restore your soul and wade in His calm, holy waters. Be still for as long as you must. Take as much time as you need to pray, meditate, study and memorize every topic, every promise mentioned in God's perfect Word. He wants you to know Him. So, still your heart exactly where you are... pause as long as you must so that you may live in complete and satisfied awareness of His presence. Take the time to relax and know your faithful, loving, mighty, good God. He is right here - in every day. He is ready and willing to restore your soul. Slow your pace... check your pulse... and rejoice in the glory of God.

Blessings!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

2 comments:

  1. I love this. It speaks perfectly to my heart and relationship with My Lord and Savior.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This post is so honest and I love it. This is something I struggle with every day, feeling inadequate when it comes to my knowledge of the Bible.

    ReplyDelete

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