When Church Doesn’t Make a Difference

We all go through seasons.  We all have our struggles. We all go through times of fire and deserts and harvest in our lives.  One day we’re on a mountain top and the next we’re in a pit.  As I continue in my own journey,  I’m learning and relearning many different thing.  God is throwing many new reminders my way;  things I know all too well but am quick to forget as I get distracted by my own flesh and heart.  

A few Sundays ago while sitting in Church, I felt the Holy Spirit pressing into my soul these thoughts and wanted to share… 

“It’s easy to be with God but not understand. God wants us to truly rely on him. You can still be in a place where your praying to God, being with him and he may even speak to your heart but yet you are still not relying on him. Being in a place where you are exhausted at trying because you are the one doing the trying. For a people-person who is a people-pleaser who is taking on what others want from me or what I want to give but not having it come from the Lord, I am left drained and exhausted.

We kid ourselves thinking that a couple of times in the Word a week plus a church service is going to make a difference and give us the strength we need to do all we need to. Constant pouring out but not being connected to the vine leaves us dry and alone. Then in a season of feeling like all you want to do is isolate yourself, you end up hurting other people without realizing it.

Leaning into God isn’t enough. Lately my dog has had trouble sleeping at night and been full of anxiety it seems. Since she’s in her cage all day while I’m at work and I have a king size bed to myself-she sleeps with me at night. On nights where she’s anxious she goes from just sleeping next to me or leaning against me to trying to literally climb on top of me to curl up. She also wants to be face-to-face with me (which leaves her panting in my face). Being next to me or leaning on me isn’t enough. She wants to be “in my spot”, on me, embraced by me, face to face with me. THEN she feels safe. Then she can cease to feel anxious. I also think about little kids at night who end up crawling in bed with mommy and/or daddy.

Am I just sitting next to God? Am I just leaning into him? When I go through seasons of fear or anxiety or exhaustion, it’s like I want to crawl right into him–right into his presence!I want to rest in “his spot” because it brings me comfort. But how and why does that happen?

I’m not sitting with him constantly that’s how. I have tried to help others out of my own strength. I have had my agenda at my center instead of God’s. I have tried to be the one holding everyone together that I have not dealt with my own struggles and hurt so then I am left completely exhausted. I’m left lonely and longing. I’m left feeling a mess. I’m left with little to no strength to be the body of Christ for others.

There is no shame in needing to step back from things in seasons. And I realize how much like the Israelites I am as I feel like I continuously need to learn the same lessons. I continuously pull away from God in my heart thinking I can handle the things in front of me without being constantly plugged into him. My heart is deceived. My heart grows heavy and feels lost. My heart grows exhausted. It is uncertain and feels like it’s being suffocated. I can’t enjoy God the way he has designed me to. I can’t enjoy my community, the body of Christ the way he has designed us to.

Be still. Be still with God. Don’t feel like your walk with him needs to look like anyone else’s. My love language with God is and will look different than anyone else and that’s okay. I doesn’t have to be as complicated as I think it has to be. It can and will be what God wants it to be–it can and will be what I need it to be. When I’m in a constant, healthy place I get to function to the fullest that God wants me to. I don’t have to be isolated. I don’t have to fear. I don’t have to be in a place of desperation and exhaustion. I don’t have to be a slave to my own anxieties and guilt.”

My circumstances may not change for my healing and restoration. But that’s the beauty of my God.  His power and presence transcends my circumstances and my flesh.  I can be encouraged and stand firm with that and so can you! 

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