Day in and day out, I write on this blog.
Monday comes. I write.
Tuesday. I write.
Wednesday. I write.
You get the point…
When God goes about calling,
one is wise to go about doing the following.
We all know that, right?
Three things normally happens when one listens to God:
1. They learn things shocking about themselves or become shockingly healed.
2. They get a chance to break their selfish bones and regrow more humble.
3. They find themselves falling in love – more and more with Christ.
So, what confounds me is – if there are so many wins about serving God,
why do I sometimes feel I am running a losing game?
One where I get dry-heaving on a track that never ends
and all the same never gets me past my personal victory line?
It sometimes feels like an endless cycle of wanting – more?
Is this how God intended it to be?
When I began writing, each morning, I prayed. I asked God to give me the right word for the right person at the right time. It need not reach millions, just one. I sought his heart over mattered. I worked accordingly.
I listened. I expected. I believed.
Yet as time went on…
Little voices started to out-speak God. Other megaphones got louder, and his soft whisper got muted. Other’s progress got apparent and mine looked lousy. Other holes of insignificance and insecurity developed within me, and I demanded writing fill them.
I rushed. I hurried. I doubted.
I planned and agenda’d. I saw futures, perhaps, he didn’t. I told people to get close to God, when I myself, was existing not as close to God.
I sounded a little like this: “ I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.” (Luke 18:12)
Recognize the voice? It is called: Pharisee.
Pharisee = One who talks God but walks far from God.
Pharisee = One who tells others, but can’t hear himself.
Pharisee = One consumed with facades and not the face of his heart.
Pharisee = One driven by power, not powerlessness before the Powerful One.
Pharisee = One who resembles purity on the outside, but looks like dead and flaky sin on the inside.
Do you look something like a Pharisee?
In work? At home? With kids?
With your husband? In life?
In a way we all do.
Little tip: Admission and confession is the first way to stop Pharisee in its tracks.
Jesus had these kinds of words for Pharisee-types: You Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses are in for trouble! You’re nothing but show-offs. You lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. You won’t go in yourselves, and you keep others from going in. (Mt. 23:13-14)
Wow! Them are hefty words! Certainly, Jesus won’t shut out believers, but we can certainly shut the door right on his face!
Clearly, Christ warns – he doesn’t endorse this kind of behavior. It never does, nor never will, get his stamp of approval, his blessing nor his push behind it.
And, if it doesn’t have Jesus, I don’t want it, do you?
Really, receive this word for a moment – If it doesn’t have Jesus, I don’t want it.
Do you believe that? Live that way?
Jesus stands at the door and knocks (Rev. 3:2). Will we open it and welcome him in? Not voices, not pressures, not demands, not schedules, not editors, not pride, not progress-climbing, not one-upping, not social climbing, not ambition – but Jesus? Love.
Love in. Love poured out.
Humility restored. Humility abounding.
Grace upon grace. Grace upon grace dispersed.
Open arms. Grabbing the likes of our poor soul – others who need help.
Jesus always brings wins (see number 1-3 above for reminder), when we abide in him, with him and through him in every moment of our limited moments that make up this thing called – life.
Let’s not outpace the champion, for I fear, at some point, we might look back and see we ran the race as – the loser.
We don’t want this. We want to live in Christ’s victory. We want to go – with Him, because he is the way. The only way. The winning way. Every. Single. Time. Let’s hold on to that.
God, I am sorry. Please help me. Help me and then help me some more. You are all I need. Amen.
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51 CommentsLeave a comment
Amen my sweet sister! The struggle is real and sometimes I get so caught in the traps of the blogging life and have to just take a step back to spend time alone with the Lord to re-evaluate my call and purpose. Thank you for speaking truth!
I agree Sarah. It is a constant threat that needs to be in continual check.
I get trapped in this cycle time and time again. I really believe it’s the plight of all counselors, writers, and teachers. My One Word this year is “know”…as in to know who He is! I never want to lose sight of why I entered this crazy world in the first place.
He changed me.
This is such an important post today Kelly. Thank you!!
Praise God that he has us and is changing us and growing us. May we just move right into his tracks.
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This was such a blessing to me… not that you felt like you were winded on a run, but that you were open enough to share that working and working and working sometimes feels lonely, too. Funny thing, I felt like I could never keep up with the writing and so I stopped for a while. I decided not to link up ( even though I have one on my my blog) because I didn’t want to ‘market’ my words. Then I realized, how much I missed the words and others words and visiting other blogs and reading the heart of others like I was laying my own out there. And I think we all feel that way at times, lonely in the wandering, but He has provided a door. Jesus. And that door is always open for us to walk through.
Interestingly that verse in Revelations talks about the door that is influenced by the 4th Hebrew letter, Daleth, which means door. And it is significant because the other 3 letters before it from Hebrew are Aleph, Beth, and Gimel.. the Father the Son and the HS are the doorway that leads to life. 🙂 Isn’t that kinda cool?
I think you are an amazing writer and I have always been blessed to visit here. Keep plugging at the journey friend, you are touching lives with your obedience and that is all He asks us to do. Like you, I don’t want it if Jesus is not in it and that is what sets your pursuit apart.
Your honesty today is one that I need to embrace too. I have had moments where I hit publish praying someone is encouraged by my words only to realize that the words were meant for me because of my weakness or lack of faith in that moment. It’s easier at times to encourage others than it is to believe ourselves. Thank you for this Pharisee moment to teach and help me to regroup. Blessings friend!
Such wisdom here.
We work from the outside with our little Pharisaical paint brushes and wall paper when God want to change us from within.
Thanks for calling us out today.
So true! Love how you say this.
Thank you! Be blessed Laura.
Kelly, when I saw today’s post title, I just HAD to click and read it right away. In the midst of needing to make a big decision that would take me down an unfamiliar path, your words and insight here bring comfort. Praying for you friend – your ministry and your true calling. I appreciate your prayers, as well. Blessings:)
Needed that reminder this morning as I rush from one thing to the next. Jesus is all I need and to follow his calling on my day. Thanks, Kelly.
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This–> “Let’s not outpace the champion, for I fear, at some point, we might look back and see we ran the race as – the loser.” Got me in the gut, Kelly. Thank you for your candidness and encouragement to run the race course God lays out for us, not one we create on our own. Blessings, friend!
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I’ve been in a rush a lot lately. These words are exactly what I needed to hear. It’s time to stop rushing, hurrying and doubting. Wishing you a blessed week!
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Blessings for you, Kelly, for being brave and writing words hard to hear but needed all the same. This is my nudge today as I make some decisions this week that I could have almost missed His prompting over… thank you, thank you. Could hug you through the screen…. 🙂
Thanks for sharing so transparently here. Yes, I can be a Pharisee too! Definitely. Just yesterday I was reading in Jen Hatmaker’s For the Love that often our concept of “calling” is really centered on ourselves, but the real calling of each Christian is to love God first and to love our neighbors.
Yes! That is real calling. True word, Betsy, true word.
I understand every word! This week I surrendered my blog to the Lord. I have bulging discs in my neck causing my typing arm to be numb. And so I needed to take a break and come to the place of surrender. To let go of pageviews, future goals and dreams and focus on the now. On my heart. On Jesus. To make sure I’m not being a Pharisee. And although I surrendered through tears and told God if he wanted me to stop blogging, I would walk away from it tomorrow…I discovered He just wanted me to have a surrendered heart. A heart that doesn’t worry about writing or stress about my progress. I’m so glad I read your post today.
I love that you surrendered it. Way to go. He has this!
Kelly, this is how it was when I first started blogging. It was so pure and innocent. All I wanted to do was listen, learn and share. And I had so much to say! Then, I found linkups, and I was so excited to find community! Now, it seems I write to expectations–what I think I’m supposed to write. And perhaps my friends–my first readers–miss the simplicity of my roots. That’s why I’m taking a blog break, to follow my heart and finish my novel without thinking about, “Oh, I have to post and linkup and comment and encourage.” I love doing all that, but it can become just another thing to check off the to-do list, while ignoring the voice of the one calling us. I’ll be back at some point. Perhaps even visit my friends from time to time. I don’t want to lost that wonderful blogging community. Best part is though…you all are always here! Blessings!
Oh Mary. I will miss you friend. But, yes, we will be here. You are a gift; I respect your decision greatly. Go and spread your wings. I am here if you need prayer!
Your honesty points others to freedom Kelly, thank you. Confession is the first step toward victory. So thankful for His grace, patience, and forgiveness.
Yes! It is so true. Confession is our way to life. Let’s keep going there until Jesus takes us home.
Kelly, I hate when my inner Pharisee rises up. Thank you for the reminder that admission and confession will stop it in its tracks. Less of me and more of Him has to be my daily prayer. Thanks for this important reminder and for hosting each week. God bless you!
YES Deb! I am right there with you. Let’s go!
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He stands at the door and knocks ~ mmmmmm, so good, such love and faithfulness. We’d all do well to saturate the verse deep within and allow Jesus to lead the day. Thank you for putting here, in front our eyes, Kelly.
He does. Oh, may we open the door Kristi!
I always enjoy how honest and heartfelt your messages are, Kelly. Thank you for hosting and hope you have a wonderful week! Blessings 🙂
Thank you Kelly. I think we are all in search of real these days; I try anyway.
Kelly, thanks for this reminder to crucify that Pharisaical spirit that rises up in my flesh. It’s a daily death.
May we rise up to the love that he is brewing within us.
Great post to keep us on track and focused on what is true, right, and important! Thanks.
Thank you Lord!
Kelly, such timeless truth you share here. I’ve gotten caught up in listening to other voices over God. I’ve walked the Pharisee road (sometimes, I still find myself on it for periods of time). I’ve run ahead of Jesus. And too often, it’s been that whole comparison thing that has driven me to these places away from Jesus’ side. I so appreciate your reminder that anything apart from Jesus doesn’t matter. It’ll be empty in the end.
Staying close to Him is where I want to live each moment I have left.
Let’s stay there Jeanne. So agree.
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Oh, Yes, Kelly! Your heart was very close to mine this morning, as I wrote about the same thing… if it’s not from Him, and for Him, I don’t want it!
Love to you, sweet sister!
Amen! Minds in service to Christ – think alike! Woot!
Strong and convicting word, Kelly! I loved it! I was feeling the same way before I took a week off decompress and be with family and God. It’s so easy to get caught up and competitive, but it’s fruitless to chase after someone else’s goal! It’s so important to stay focused on our individual missions.
Wow this really eye opening and excellent.
I think I need to do a pharisee check.
Thanks again Kelly:)
God bless. I will be praying for you:)
So wonderfully timely (should I use to ly words.in a row?) Since I have started ‘seriously’ writing I have struggled with all the advice from others-have a schedule, read lots, be present on social media, and on, and on. I lost sight of the fact my calling was not writing, it was following. This week so many things pulled me away from the keyboard. I just threw up my hands in surrender. I did what lay ahead instead of lamenting all the ‘wasted’ time. It was perfect! This was what I needed to do all along. Follow. The words that came as a result were marvellous. Thanks for writing. It confirms God’s words in my heart.
“When God goes about calling,
one is wise to go about doing the following.”
AMEN, AMEN, AMEN! I am going to print this off and post it somewhere in my office. What great conviction and perspective. <3
Really heart-touching message! Thanks for sharing your brightness in the form of your beautiful thought. God bless us!