“How do you do it? How do you manage to oversee leadership development at church, while finding time to work at your family’s coffee shop, spend time with family, and remain content and not go crazy?”
These are some of the the questions I get asked lately. Looking outside in, I suppose it’s a common question for us pastors and leaders.
Honestly, I don’t consider myself a “driver”, nor I can say that I’m a super organized person, with superb time-management skills, though I may seem like it (in all seriousness, come and take a look at my desk and you will know!!!).
Often my first response is “it is God’s Grace.” The more I meditate on it actually, I’d say there is no other answer but JESUS. I am not that smart, nor driven to accomplish things, with many areas in me that need to be worked out.
If you see me driven outwardly, it is not by achievement, but because of Jesus’ love for me! He liberated me from sin and darkness that were holding me back. What drives and settles the core of my being? It is Jesus’ loving presence, power, and provision. And in everything that I do, I utterly depend on Him.
I cannot say that all this happened overnight. Truly, who said that a life with Jesus is a microwaved journey to great purpose and fruitfulness?
It all started when Jesus stepped into my reality 17 years ago, while my life was meaningless, emotionally chaotic, and with a huge void that needed some God-reality. I lived life overwhelmed and in despair, seeking for love to fill my life.
If I were to draw it, my life was a small circle then, with many smaller inner pockets/circles representing my family, studies, job, recreation, and aspirations, but none of them made sense. I wanted to make it all better on my own and organize such pockets so they made sense.
One day, at the sight of Jesus, the One magnificent and beautiful God, I surrendered and let Him overtake my circle.
Once I let Him step inside my circle and I into His, everything inside of me became completely new. I was in Christ, as I slowly allowed Him to be the center, He did what I could not – he put everything else in place.
Jesus touched every area of my life, and I became whole, life made sense, my heart was healed, my emotions were settled, my purpose started to shape up. I started to live a life that was “steeped into God-reality” as the Message Bible translation puts it in Matthew 6:33.
My last few years have been a journey of being in Christ, abiding in Him, remaining in him, connected to Him. What does it look like to have Jesus in my everything?
Practically it does not look like me enclosed in a room spending 10 hours of prayer daily (though it’d be amazing to be able to do that), but an ongoing conversation with Him throughout the day; nor reading God’s word 24/7 (unless God calls me to a monastic life) but taking sips of His Word, and pondering upon Him, while living out my week. Don’t get me wrong! We do need to spend solid time in prayer, and studying the Word, but in rhythm.
Having Jesus in my everything is allowing him to be in my waking, in my sleeping, in my driving, in my working, in my relationship, in my conversations, and in my decision making. It is allowing Jesus to lead every part of my smaller circles. This is how I can probably “do so much” like people say, and keeps me focused on the right priorities. Here are few things that you can ponder upon as you allow Jesus to be in the middle of your life circle:
1. Allow Him to be your all in all.It is so safe to allow Jesus to be your all.
- He loves you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3)
- In Him you can trust because He’s got you in His hands (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- Jesus can make your path straight (Isaiah 45:2)
- In difficult times, Jesus has got your back and He is moving on your behalf (Deuteronomy 1:30)
- When there is so much ahead to do, He is charting the way ahead of you (Deuteronomy 1:8)
- When you feel overwhelmed, His grace is sufficient in all (2 Corinthians 12)
2. Follow Jesus and hang on to Him. There is no greater thing than to be behind Him and hang on to the tail of His coat. If He goes straight, or left or right, it is safe to hang on to Him and He will lead you to your destiny (Matthew 6:24; 16:25).
3. Steep yourself in His presence.(Matthew 6:33) God as center of our being – means to remain and abide in Him and His Word. Abide in Him and He will abide in you (John 15:4). As we spend time with Him in our walking and talking, his fragrance of love, peace, joy, rubs on us. He makes us fruitful, in the work of our hands.
Let His love captivate you. Once you spend time with Him in your waking, in your sleeping, in your everything, His love and power will permeate every part of your lives, then everything will fall into place. His smell will become your smell, and those around it will sense it. Let Him be the center of your life!