Stop Trying So Hard
I am a results person. If there is no end goal or destination, or tangible result, I have a hard time motivating myself. It was with that mindset that I often approached my discipleship to Jesus.
I had always thought, or at least hoped, that the longer I followed the life of Jesus, the better I would be at living like He did. It is as if following Jesus is a mountain that I am climbing. The faster I run and the harder I climb, the better I will be, and the easier life will become. As if I could apply enough force to my life to make it work, and one day turn around and be able to see how far I have come.
Now, I realize that the life of a follower of Jesus is full of growing, and maturing, and climbing further than you had before, but we will never, in that sense, arrive. We will never have accomplished enough to see the final result, to conquer the metaphorical mountain. We grow in our spiritual maturity, but the struggle against sin will always be real.
I am not sure if you have ever been in the place of trying to prove yourself to God. I, almost daily, catch myself trying to work for God’s approval - trying to achieve the result of holiness, and almost as quickly, God reminds me that it isn’t about how hard I work. It is during these times that I have to be still. I have to stop journaling, stop reading commentaries, stop listening to podcasts, and simply be still before Him.
In Matthew 11:29, Jesus tells his followers “walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.” In other words, STOP WORKING, and be still. Discipleship is about finding the unforced rhythms of grace.
My heart longs for intimacy with Christ, but the thing is, the harder I try to achieve it the harder it is to experience. So, instead of striving, and experience Him in the stillness.