EarthBasic. Take care. Bless many.
Read |Luke 12:35 -36|
We are on the GO! The earth rotates on its axis at about 1000mph. The earth orbits the sun at approximately 67,000mph. Not only that, apparently, we are part of a solar system speeding around our galactic center at over 500,000 miles per hour. And as if that were not enough, scientists claim our whole Milky Way galaxy travels at about 1.3 million miles per hour. But despite all of this alleged movement, we can find ourselves in a rut. As we begin the new year, it’s good to consider what keeps us stuck. Why are we not ready to accomplish the goals and aspirations that God wills for us? How can we steady ourselves and press forward? How can we ‘Bang’, GO in the name of Jesus?
Command: “Be dressed ready for service”.
Question/Complication: What prevents us from being ready?
Over Christmas and the New Year my siblings and I, with our respective families, gathered from different points of the earth to our parents’ home. There we embarked on various joy filled adventures. One particular morning, our family was to head out on such an adventure, but got stuck! Why? A room in chaos! Suitcases thrown, clothes strewn - some dirty and even wet from the beach the day before-were everywhere impeding our exit and subsequent entrance to our grand adventure. After identifying the issue and assuming responsibility for its effect on our time together, we began the laborious cleanup. At the end, when order was restored, we found ourselves in a state of readiness and able to embark on our journey.
God has prepared for us a great adventure, characterized by loving service carried out in the power, love and sound mind of His Holy Spirit. However, when we sin and do not quickly repent, we create a mess. The mess impedes our capacity to experience God’s liberation from bondage and from accomplishing our Godly purpose. We enter the frustrated space of being called and yet stuck; of being beloved and yet burdened.
But, God is gracious. No matter the mess, He desires to and will faithfully clean us up. St. John writes, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 CSB). And what is more, God desires to remove our burdens. Hear what Jesus says: “Come to me, all you who are weary and loaded down with burdens, and I will give you rest”. (Matthew 11: 28 ISV).
Beloved sisters, we just have to ask Jesus with genuine submitted hearts to clean us up. Once we do, we are put in a state of readiness and dressed ready for service.
Command: “Keep your lamps burning.”
Question/Complication: What prevents us from being steady?
Answer: Not being Christ-centered.
There is the call: “On your marks” (Ready). The athletes get into their position. “Get Set” (Steady). The athletes lean forward in anticipation. And then ‘Bang’, off they go! Have you ever wondered what would happen if there was not the call of ‘Steady” - that period of stability? Certainly, there would be a lot of false starts!
It is the same for Christians as we enter the good race. Once we are ready or dressed for service (saved and washed clean by His grace), we are called to keep our lamps burning. This is a call to be steady or persevere in the good works we were once eager to do-good works compelled and sustained by a heart at one with the heart of Jesus. Steadiness requires asserted, disciplined and committed effort on our parts. We need to keep our focus on Christ.
As we start the new year, let us think of ways to improve our focus on Christ. Let us ensure we have committed prayer times, consistent devotional and Bible study sessions and a discipline of assembling together with other Christians for worship. Here what the Word says:
Command: “Open the door for Him.”
Question/Complication: What prevents us from going?
Some months ago, whilst in church, there was an invitation for persons to come forward and give a testimony towards the beginning of service. I felt the prompting of the Spirit to go forward. But, I didn't want to go. I don’t like to do anything I don’t prepare for, and my insecurities screamed at me. I started to tussle with the Holy Spirit and make excuses. Why on earth would it be helpful for this obscure experience to be told? I am just going to make a fool of myself. Ok someone else has gone up, no need for me to do so. These were my thoughts in response to the prompting. The result was, I did NOT go forward.
As the service continued, the Scriptures read and the sermon given, I understood why I had been prompted. My “unspoken” testimony was perfectly relevant to the theme of the service. But I was disobedient to my Lord and Saviour. I missed out and I caused others to miss out.
Now why didn’t the Holy Spirit haul me out of the chair and push me to go forward? It is because the Holy Spirit respects our will. Master God’s way is not to slavishly control His servants. (That is the devil’s way.) The Holy Spirit was sent to guide us, but we must exercise our will in obedience to Him. We must still choose to act in faithfulness to God.
Let us, sisters in Christ, enter into this new year with a heart of obedience to Christ. Let us boldly take those steps when the Holy Spirit prompts us to GO. Let us open the door to Him, ready for the service he has asked us to embark upon. Let us accomplish those purposes for which we were placed on this fast-moving earth to do.
Father, let me dedicate-
As Be-Held Women we believe that true self-care is accomplished in a lifestyle of intimacy with Jesus Christ. We take care by drawing near to God through seeking and living the truth of God’s Word, by the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit. We are confident that in living the truth by His Holy Spirit we will be transformed into women who bear the image of Jesus Christ in spirit, soul and body-women who are empowered to bless many. Dear Be-Held Woman, seeking, living and being transformed by the truth of God's Word, we offer you this Bible study guide to support you in your endeavors! Apply it to this week's Scripture readings.
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is an educator, Christian education youth coordinator, author, singer, workshop and retreat leader, speaker and founder and president of EarthBasic. However, she is first and foremost a daughter of God, with a passion for encouraging women to embrace the fullness of God's love for them in Jesus Christ. You can connect with Carolyn on facebook, Instagram and here.