Yesterday I sat down with my Bible, planner, Powersheets and deleted social media from my phone. For too long, I have allowed Sunday rest to become a side note. Instead of resting and enjoying the gift of soul renewal on Sundays, I have used the afternoon to get ahead for the next week. Instead of planning my days and asking what God wanted me to do, I went forward without a good plan and simply was overwhelmed. At the beginning of this year the Lord led me to make a commitment to be a "Well-Watered Woman" and many of you joined me in that resolution. Well-watered women are not addicted to planning or making themselves known, but choose what is best and first sit with Jesus each day and revolve their schedules around Him. God is calling me to come back to this. Isaiah 58:11 describes a well-watered woman this way:
"And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water whose waters do not fail."
Each time I read that verse, I want to scream "YES, Lord!" That is my desire! I don't want to live like a dried up well. I want to be a "spring of water whose waters do not fail." My guess is you desire this as well. However, this promise in verse 11 is cushioned by verses that are calling for our obedience. Isaiah 58:1-10 describes the what true fasting looks like in the eyes of the Lord. True fasting is not self-centered, it is obeying the Word of God in humility and worship. This is what the life of a well-watered woman looks like (taken from verses 6-7):
-- "to loose the bonds of wickedness"
-- "to undo the straps of the yoke"
-- "to let the oppressed go free"
-- "to break every yoke"
-- "to share your bread with the hungry"
-- "to bring the homeless poor into your house"
-- "to cover the naked"
-- "to not hide yourself from your own flesh" - (OUCH! How easy it is to hide!)
Following these commands are a long list of "thens." These are the "thens" we want to live life swimming in! "Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer, you shall cry, and he will say, 'Here I am..." We can't skip to the "thens" of Scripture without first taking a step back and evaluating if we are obeying first.
After the incredible word picture that Isaiah paints in verse 11, he goes back to his list of if/thens and part of this list is that we delight in the Sabbath. Did you read that? Delight. The Sabbath isn't a drudgery. It is a delight, a gift from the Lord to refresh our weary hearts!
I was dizzy and dazed...
I could barely put one foot in front of the other. I longed to live in the "thens" but I skipped the "ifs." Boundaries were erased in an attempt to get more done in my own strength. My husband and I moved in the midst of crazy snow and ice and traveled several times. We both were in over our heads. And instead of running to the Lord for rest and relief, I kept trying to push through and just got dizzier.
You may be dizzy and dazed from the past month, but welcome to a brand new chapter. God's grace is new in this day, this month, and this season! Instead of living life in the fast lane, dizzy, distracted, and discouraged, let's direct our gaze back to what matters most - knowing Christ, making Him known, and enjoying God each day!
Proverbs 4:25-26 is the command I am living by this month:
"Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure."
Fix your purposes on Jesus. Establish yourself in the Word. Don't allow social media to replace your time with the Lord or steal the abundant life He has for you today. Christ didn't die on the cross for us to live dizzy lives. He died so that we could have a new determination - to enjoy Him!
Putting on the glasses of the gospel today and directing my eyes toward Jesus!
Friend, let's do this, for the glory of the Lord.
- Gretchen -