carrying the world on your shoulders

It feels like everything is converging right now—John’s posts on befriending our selves, meeting God in crisis, being a sheep, and letting God parent us. It’s all of a piece! And I find I am able to receive all of it when I just stop trying to figure it out and just be.

St. Francis of Assisi was quoted as saying, “Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.” This gets me every time I hear it, because it indicts my flesh at every turn. I can say all sorts of things, great and wonderful things gleaned from much greater minds than mine, and it means nothing if the Life isn’t in me. If I have to tell people that I am different from the rest of the world, then there might be a problem.

A life powered by the Resurrection Life of Jesus Christ is not normal. Like an alien in a three-piece suit, people will notice it. When I have been at my least capable in just about every way, THAT is when I experience the move of God and witness the reaction to Him. Usually when that happens, I try to codify the experience in order to repeat it. “Okay, so the key to letting the life of Christ reign is…” Ridiculous, right?

That’s ME trying, always trying. But more and more I have grace to just BE. Something bad is going to happen? “Okay, Lord, what do You say?” I can’t control anything, I can’t stop anything, I can’t manipulate anything. I have absolutely no power – within myself – to play superhero and fix the world. I can’t even assume what it is that God wants me to pray over a situation!

Grace is somehow moving more freely through me, allowing me to BE. I am discovering what it is to be still and wait for God to speak. I am discovering the unbelievable freedom in acknowledging my limits without shame, and simply saying “yes” to God—whether I understand fully or not. The world doesn’t rest on my shoulders; it rests on His. “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace” (Is. 9:6 NASB).

So where am I going with this? The more I am freed from the lie that says I have to be on top of everything because God won’t show up, the more I am able to enjoy HIM. The more I look at Him and listen to Him, the more I learn who He is. And in that ever-deepening relationship, I find out what He thinks of ME. It’s a beautiful paradox that the less I look at ME because I’m looking at Him, the more I discover about the new-me that God dreamed.

This is a need we all have.  Little kids love to hear their “origin” story! We all want to know that we are unique in some way. We want to know the circumstances of our birth. We want, more than anything, to know that we were loved and wanted – that we have purpose. Our Father holds the entirety of each one of our origin stories, and it’s His great pleasure to reveal them because doing so reveals His great Heart. And I want and need a constant, new revelation of God’s Heart—for me, for His Body, for the world.

God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family
by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ.
This is what He wanted to do,
and it gave Him great pleasure.

Ephesians 1:5 NLT

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    • Irene

      Oh Jennifer! Yes, yes, yes.

    • Susan

      Very nicely expressed and understood Jennifer! Shalom

    • Stephen

      Thank you Jennifer! I’ve been spending too much time looking at my failures in the flesh after it has crept up on me! I see from what you said, that I need to turn my attention immediately back to the Lord and the new man in me, and not dwell on that awful flesh and all it’s failure!

    • Tina

      Yes Jennifer, this sums it up… “And I want and need a constant, new revelation of God’s Heart—for me, for His Body, for the world.” Thank you for being a vessel of Christ to remind me of this simple necessity.

    • Tina

      It is so wonderful how the river of life flows. So many times what I receive in living anointing and truth from all of you is then given back out in perfect timing to those whom the Lord gives opportunity. As I partake of His life, His bread and it nourishes my spirit it is life to share with others who are hungry. To God be Glory!

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