Today is a “home sick watching old movies and drinking herbal tea” kind of day for me. Yes, my lungs are still congested, and my cough is quite heavy. My ears/nose/throat are sore and I’m exhausted from the toll that has been taken on my sinuses and lungs. There is worry in my household that I may have developed pneumonia. Yes, pneumonia. Sigh. But thankfully, I’ve been able to pause and rest. As such, my body is slowly improving despite the occasional setback. For example, right now my breaths are quite labored. Congestion fights against me. Congestion suffocates my air flow. Congestion halts my “chi” (as they would say in some cultures). And while I am not interested in promoting anything outside of Jesus Christ, I also cannot deny the universal truth that God created each of us to live in open and healthy unity with His presence... moving productively forward into His holiness and for the sake of His glory... always flowing in the direction of His love.
As such, today I’m realizing how congestion has always been a nemesis - both physically and spiritually. Clutter, distractions, disorderliness, confusion, undisciplined and selfish motives... yes, my own human habits without the presence of Jesus’ guidance inflames my life with unnecessary sorrow and gives Satan a foothold to make me messy and thus, ineffective for God’s kingdom.
So often we find ourselves at the beginning of each new year asking how did we get so off track and misdirected away from God’s will? How indeed.
Currently, my pastor is leading our church through a study on stewardship. How fitting. For as January comes to a close and New Years Resolution’s begin to grow lax, how important it is to re-assess and regroup once again. To take pause in God's rest and healing as we once again measure and evaluate our intention with His direction. It is here in His safe care that we quietly must ask ourselves:
- How are we overseeing what God has given us to manage?
- Have we allowed room for His love to move freely and unhindered in our lives?
- Have we prayerfully made the commitment to clear out whatever is holding back His sufficient grace... whatever is suffocating us from His breath.
- Are we living simply and contentedly so that we can showcase His richness and generosity?
- Are we opening every space and passageway, no matter how uncomfortable, in order to afford His promises room to bloom, flourish, and flow?
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20)
Folks, when we hoard after false gods and false securities, we suffer. We stagnate. We hinder our effectiveness and drown our ultimate happiness. We struggle and gasp for the true Breath of Life. To this I say, spit up and cough out whatever is keeping you unhealthily away from God’s living and active Word. Remove all sinful obstacles from your life. Throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let's run with perseverance this magnificent race marked out for us!
Our goal is Jesus.
Our hope is His Kingdom.
He is the treasure.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 22:1-5)
Our healthy flow depends upon His Life, not our own. For alone, we will remain sick and congested and overwhelmed. But when our choices are directed solely for His purpose and glory, we must steward differently, mustn’t we? We must run toward His blessed future. We must decrease so that He can increase and fulfill us in His grace.
Without Jesus, there is no true life, only false “placebo” substitutions leading us to death. I don’t know about you, but I want to go with the flow - where the real medicine is... where true life lives and flourishes! I want to be full and satisfied and blessed with His cleansing NEW in this brand new year! Sure, trouble always will come on this earth. But where your confidence lies in troubled times is everything!
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. (Jeremiah 17:7-8)
So today, allow my sick-but-in-recovery-self to encourage you who feel far away or blocked from God to simply stop and prayerfully rest in His freely given grace of renewal. Pause in His peaceful presence. Most importantly, fill yourself with His life-giving Words as you seek first His hope of restoration. He will revive you. He will teach you how to live consecrated in His purpose instead of congested in this world's corruption. Yes, today, let's allow God’s Spirit all room to refine and cleanse us into His Holiness... toward His Healthy New Life... into the loving arms of The Savior, Jesus!
He is ready.
He is able.
He is waiting for ALL of us.
© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson