The struggle is real. Life is hard. Following the plan that God has for us is a challenge. Discerning God’s voice and being obedient to what we feel He is saying adds an element of fear knowing that things are out of OUR control. Following God is a journey that entails constant surrender to His will, constant trust in Him and perseverance knowing that God is on a slow walk instead of a fast sprint.
As I travel this journey of life, I continue to learn. God does not allow me to be comfortable for very long. In His grace and mercy, He allows rest in between times of work and trial, but I’m pretty sure that He continues to show me that He’s not necessarily concerned about keeping me comfortable where I’m at.
I love what Paul writes to the church in Philippi. He says, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Philippians 4:11-12). Paul shares in that passage that he has learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…wow! That is a huge statement and one that I aspire to every single day.
Content in any and every situation. That means that we are to be content when our bodies are sick. Content when it feels that our lives are falling apart. Content when our families are breaking up. Content when we are lonely, longing, full of despair. Content when disaster breaks out and when the wheels have fallen off the bus. Content when we experience loss, rejection, or abandonment. Content when we are in fearful situations or when our plans have been wrecked. To be content in ALL situations.
Is it possible? Is it attainable? I think so. I really think so. I don’t think it’s easy and I think it’s a journey, but it’s a place that my heart yearns for. A place where I take my eyes off of my circumstances and put my eyes looking into the eyes of Jesus. When our eyes are looking into the eyes of Jesus, we are not looking around us at the waves or the storm. All of our attention is on Jesus. The One who saves us. The One who died so that we could have life…life to the fullest (John 10:10)
So, I recently came across a song called, Nothing Else by Cody Carnes. The first time I listened to it, I listened to it eight times on repeat. The words just fell on me and spoke straight to my heart. The song revealed to me something that was hindering my walk with Jesus and I didn’t even know it!!! It’s such an awful feeling knowing that I’ve been thinking a certain way and didn’t even realize it! The line in the song that struck me is “Jesus, You don’t owe me anything.” This line hit me like a ton of bricks. Confession here: For one reason or another, I’ve been thinking that Jesus owes me something! It’s terrible. I hate even writing it, but in order to bring that darkness to light, I am publically confessing. I am sharing this because after confessing it, I have experienced huge freedom.
It’s forced me to think about Jesus and ALL that He has already done. Jesus experienced the pain, the suffering, the humiliation, the loneliness, and the death on the cross. The way He took on my sins and the sins of those I love (the sins of the WHOLE world) so that we could be in the presence of the Father in heaven. How dare I think that Jesus owes me anything! He suffered and paid the price for MY sins. I’m sorry Jesus…I’m so sorry!
I’ve included some of the lyrics to “Nothing Else.” I’ve highlighted the lines that struck me so powerfully and then convicted me to ask for forgiveness.
Oh, I'm not here for blessings Jesus, You don't owe me anything More than anything that You can do I just want You
I'm sorry when I've just gone through the motions I'm sorry when I just sang another song Take me back to where we started I open up my heart to You I'm sorry when I've come with my agenda I'm sorry when I forgot that You're enough Take me back to where we started I open up my heart to You
Jesus, help me to keep my eyes fixed on you and not on my circumstances. Help me to see the way you see and love how you love. Sorry for coming to you with MY agenda and sorry when I forgot that You are enough. Help me to bless you instead of looking for blessings. Jesus, you don’t owe me anything. You are enough. Amen.