by Kasia Kedzia
There are times when I feel burdened by life, when life seams to be moving too fast and too much is going on for me to take it all in; process it and respond the right way. Instead, I can react and try to get things under control on my own strength. When I feel like I am being crushed under life’s burdens it is often an indicator of my self-reliance and lack of trust in God. My anxiety, the feeling of pressure to fix things or get things under control are good indicators of how I have pushed God out and placed myself over him as my idol. In those moments I am saying, “God I need you but I also need X. I know you got most of everything, but I need to take care of X because it’s too much for you.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV) 28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
AW Tozer put it best when he wrote:
“Let us examine our burden. It is altogether an interior one. First, there is the burden of pride. As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal there will be those who will delight to offer affront to your idol. How then can you hope to have inward peace? The heart's fierce effort to protect itself from every slight, to shield its touchy honor from the bad opinion of friend and enemy, will never let the mind have rest.[…] Such a burden as this is not necessary to bear. Jesus calls us to His rest, and meekness is His method. The meek man cares not at all who is greater than he, for he has long ago decided that the esteem of the world is not worth the effort.”
When I read Tozer’s words I was convicted. I am my own idol! This idolatry results in a focus on me and a lack of love for others. It exposes my lack of humility in my walk with God. When I allow things people say to affect me, when I strive for self -protection or self-preservation, when I hold onto wrongs, allow my feelings to be hurt easily, or make plans to put my needs before others, I am serving the god of me. I run from situations where I truly need God, and go towards quick fixes and answers. In my pride, think I can lead someone’s life better than they can. I decide what they can and cannot handle and I make myself the standard over Jesus. By doing this I also omit grace.
1 Peter 4:8-10 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.[…] Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others; faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
I can recognize the gifts that God has given me but I must do so in the right perspective. I need to see that they are gifts he has given me much like the color of my eyes or the texture of my hair. They are ultimately his. It’s not about relying on or seeking security and affirmation from my talents or others praises. God wants to use our gifts so that he can be glorified.
John 5:44 “How can you believe if you accept praises from one another, yet make no effort to obtain praise that comes from the only God?”
Instead of seeking self or something from others I am called to desire God with all of my heart instead of trying to fill my heart with other things. When I worship God and place him over myself I desire to fill all my needs with God alone and I allow Jesus to give me rest and take on my burden. It does require great humility. It requires me to care more about what God thinks than what others and I think.
When I step away and worship God it allows me to give to others more freely, to put their needs before my own without seeing it as a burden. I don’t care as much about how I am perceived. I don’t need to make my point heard because making my point is less important than God speaking in the situation. It becomes more important for me to give God room to move than for me to have the answer. I recognize that my view and my impact is limited and God’s is greater. I strive to listen so much more to what he is saying and those he is using to speak to me. I can see that he is all I need. I don’t have to make my point, I don’t have to be right, I don’t need that apology to forgive, and I don’t need to react, respond or hold on to wrong things done against me because God is just.
Tozer puts it best when he described the believer who truly gets this point:
“He knows he is as weak and helpless as God has declared him to be, but paradoxically, he knows at the same time that he is in the sight of God of more importance than angels. In himself, nothing; in God, everything. That is his motto. He will be patient to wait for the day when everything will get its own price tag and real worth will come into its own.”
God’s purpose for my life is for my life to be all about him. When I make it about me I make myself the idol. I may not overtly replace God with myself but I start to shift my thinking into believing that I need God and X. I begin to believe that there are parts of my life that are “too hard” for God.
How well I take a hit to my ego or to my emotions also exposes my idol. Sometimes God answers but the answer is not to my liking. In those moments I can return to the idol or continue to cling to God. Walking humbly with God means I go to him before I make a decision, not after. I go to him for help and ask what I should do, I seek and take input from others, I assume the best of others and most importantly, I rely on God instead of people to meet my needs. Sometimes it requires great patience and self-control to just wait on him, knowing that ultimately, it is always worth it. It’s not about moving past the moment or running the hypothetical scenario reel in my head. It’s about trust in His greater strength and provision.
1 Peter 4:11 “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.”
"'Winging It" from
The History of the ChoirRead Article »
Since those first days, I have made it out of the Projects, finished my Masters degree in International Development, and moved to DC to work in my field. As a young single Christian woman my struggles today are a little different than they were when I first came to know God, but who am I kidding, not much. It's the every day battle for my heart to be pure before God, to strive to please him, and help others to seek and know Him.
Over my years of a faithful walk with God I have received much grace and compassion and have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams. Through out it all one thing has stayed consistent: God's word. Through His word I have been inspired and it has kept me faithful even when faith seemed like a foreign concept and God seemed deaf to my prayers. I started emailing my Quiet Times which helped me stay accountable as I shared my struggles and fought for understanding. Some wrote back and said they too were inspired and could relate. I hope some of my times can help inspire others who are seeking and fighting just like I am, to get to heaven and take as many as possible with me along the way.
Like what your read? Check out my blog: http://stronggirlforlife.wordpress.com/
Receive the newest devotional each week in your inbox by joining the "Quiet Time" subscription list. Enter your email address below, click "Go!" and we will send you a confirmation email. Follow the instructions in the email to confirm your addition to this list.