I don’t have a degree.
I am not the prettiest, smartest, or the “best” anything.
I still mess up; I still doubt; I still walk away at times.
I have a track record of quitting just about everything I’ve ever started.
But I do have Jesus.
In Him I have a calling, a purpose, a good future.
Degrees, talents and accolades: not required.
Just a willing, obedient and fearless heart.
“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” 2 Corinthians 4:7
Yesterday, while running errands with my kiddos, I took a detour through the neighborhood I grew up in, just 20 minutes or so from where we now live.
As we drove I relayed memories of friends who used to abide in the old, modest homes that line the streets.
My son asked, “What kinds of things did you used to do with your friends, Mommy?”
Memories began flooding back. Images of long-hours spent playing at the neighborhood park and riding our bikes up and down the hilly roads without a worry in the world flooded my brain.
That was 20 years ago, though.
Back then we didn’t give a second thought to our safety. Every afternoon kids took to the streets to meet up and play until our parents called us home- and not by phone, of course.
These days we are bombarded with story after story after story of attacks, outbreaks and evil that threaten our safety. The news rolls on and on with endless information, and we glue ourselves to our TV screens every evening to find out what new tragedy has taken place.
Now, I don’t have cable, but I get a good enough dose of news through social media these days.
Brutal murders, outbreaks, perversion and lawlessness.
An increase of these over the past month has turned my mind to contemplate these evils that run so rampant and what our response, as Christians, should be.
We believe the Word of God is 100% true. We profess this, we tout this.
So my question is this: Why are so many of us responding to these events with fear and anger that looks no differently than unbelievers?
After all, we live in a fallen world with evil and disease brought on by our own sinful nature. Furthermore, scripture foretold thousands of years ago that these things would take place before Christ returns.
Jesus himself said that the end days would be like those in Noah’s time which the book of Genesis describes as “wicked” (def. evil or morally bad).
As Christ-followers we are called to live and respond differently. Now more than ever it is crucial that we let our lives shine, lifting up the name of Jesus- instead of perpetuating fear and evil.
Pay close attention to and take to heart the words found in 2 Timothy 1:7:
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and oflove and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.” [AMP]
The evil is real. The risk is real. But do not give in to the fear-mongering.
You see, we’ve become too attached to this world which the Bible says, “is not [our] home” (2 Peter 2:11)—but our hope should exist in Christ alone who is our peace.
Friends, the world needs us to be sound-minded in the midst of chaos. What does that look like?
Do not be angry.
Do not be worried.
Do not be surprised.
Do not perpetuate fear.
Do not give into the sin that surrounds you.
Do not let fear control your emotions or your decisions.
Let’s stand against the tidal wave of culture--
The News that only aims to get us to watch more news,
the companies making profit off of fear,
the individuals using evil circumstances only to validate their viewpoint.
Let’s exercise that spirit of power, love, calm, well-balanced mind, discipline and self-control that God has instilled in each and every one of us, starting today.
“…in the last days there will be very difficult times.
I want you to think with me for just a moment --
Say your spouse (or best friend) came and sat next to you, read a couple chapters in a book about you, then talked at you for a few minutes before hurrying off to take care of other important things.
Now say that, for some time, this has been the only connection between the two of you.
That friendship would probably fizzle out pretty quickly, right?
So I ask: Why do we think that is sufficient when it comes to God?
We say God is our friend. We know in our hearts that He wants a relationship with us— yet we treat him differently than we do our very best earthly friends.
What do you do with friends?
Yet we approach God like a subject to be learned, an authoritarian figure to be pleased, a genie to wish upon.
If you grew up in the church like me you were taught how to have “quiet time” with the Lord...
Devo book? Check.
Journal & Pen? Check.
Then fifteen minutes later we “check” it off our to-do list for the day, thinking we’ve satisfied God’s desire (Oh- but only if it was first thing in the morning.)
Reality check: Real relationships are not “checked”.
I don’t “check” time with my husband every day--
“I love you.” Check.
I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t make for a long-lasting, fulfilling marriage.
No— real, fulfilling relationships grow organically out of mutual attraction, interests and time spent together; and our relationship with the Lord should be no different.
Over the past 6 months my “quiet time” has been completely revolutionized as I began to understand God’s desire for intimacy, not religion.
Some days I read my Bible— but not every day; sometimes I read old journal entries and thank the Lord for His faithfulness through all seasons.
Some days I write. Writing is my calling and as I use the gifts and talents He has placed inside of me I am worshipping Him.
Some days I read many verses; some days I meditate on one.
Some days I even take a nap…right in the middle of it all; relaxing in the presence of the Lord and letting His peace wash over me, removing fear and anxiety.
I converse with the Lord: Sometimes out loud, sometimes via journal; I ask Him questions and sit quietly, waiting on a response (He never fails.)
God— the God who created everything out of nothing— wants a relationship with us…
And we feel obligated to spend time with Him?
Or we boil it down to a mere box on our to-do list?
This is unthinkable.
It’s time to leave behind the “this-is-how-we-do-it” format and get real with God.
It’s time to abandon the checklist and pursue a no holds barred intimacy with Him.
Converse with Him,
Relax with Him,
Dine with Him,
Coexist with Him…
Exchange “quiet time” for quality time and experience relationship with God like you never could have imagined.
A little about me...
Hi, I'm Katie!
Wife to Craig, mom of three, author, writer, Rooted Moms founder, Jesus-follower, Bible teacher, and coffee enthusiast.
Follow me as I follow Christ and share my heart throughout the journey.