Apologies for the fact that you’ve been blog-less for 2 weeks. I always try and fit in blog writing around my job but the last few weeks have been pretty busy with last minute services that I have had to write and an influx of wedding enquiries (which is nice!).
Sometimes life seems like a juggling act and it’s not always easy to keep all the balls in the air. We can be quick to start feeling guilty about the things we can’t squeeze in, especially if it’s ‘Jesus’ stuff. My pastor said something a while back that changed my thoughts about where Jesus should be in our lives. I always thought He should be number one. That makes sense, right? But then, when life crowds in and the baby’s crying, or your boss needs you to do overtime, or you’re just so tired, you end up feeling guilty because Jesus is no longer in that number one slot. Rather than placing Him on a list that He can slip down, the best place for Jesus to be is central; right in the middle of all you do and that way you are not shuffling your priorities- Jesus is actually part of all you do.
There’s a freedom in Jesus being central, a freedom from guilt and pressure and it’s freedom I want to talk a little bit about today. This has been on the back burner for a few weeks because of my schedule but as we say in our Gathering: delayed but not denied!
I was listening to UCB (again!) back in February and the presenter was talking about the things of this world that stop us living in the freedom Christ gives us. He spoke of the world as being our temporary home, a stepping stone if you will to an eternity with God and as such, our life here is not something that needs to be too weighed down with wordly things. We shouldn’t need to worry about how much savings we have, or how big our house is, whether we have the latest this or that or if we’re successful or popular.
He likened our wordly life to going on holiday to a wonderful foreign resort and being offered the chance to stay there. The few weeks holiday would be wonderful. Time to relax, enjoy the places of interest, the food, the welcome of the locals, but would you be happy to stay forever? Your home is not there, nor your friends, your family or all the things that you love. The resort is not where you belong, in the same way that the world is not our eternal home.
This struck me as I have often felt a sense of un-belonging, a desire to be somewhere else, but I never really knew where that place was, so this radio guy’s talk really resonated with me. My home is with God and that is where I belong. Hebrews 12: 1-2 tells us to run the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus. He is our destination. How often do we read about the transience of this world in scripture? Paul tells us to not look at the things that are seen for they are temporary, but at the things that are not seen, which are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18). Even Jesus said, ‘Heaven and Earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.’(Matthew 24: 35).
How much lighter could we feel if we stopped weighing ourselves down with things that have no bearing on our walk with God, how much more free could we be if we weren’t so concerned about how other people see us or whether we have the latest phone or what’s happening in the next episode of that drama we’ve been following!
As we are told in Galatians, ‘It is for freedom that we were set free, stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.’ While Paul was talking about not being subject to the law, Jesus sets us free from all bondage. Keep your eyes on Him!