I’ve had the blessing to get away to a friend’s tranquil home in the country this week for what my husband called a “praycation.” I was coming off of months of a packed schedule and intense preparation for a recent True Identity Retreat and felt a bit burned out and spent. Fortunately, the timing worked out perfectly to take a break, get away to rest, have some concentrated time with the Lord, and be refreshed.
As I have been able to slow down, shut out the world a bit, and sit quietly at the Lord’s feet, I have been struck by how easy it is to get caught up in “doing” instead of “being.” It’s a bit on the heels of what I wrote in last week’s blog about getting off the crazy world roller coaster and “coming closer” to the Lord. In coming closer this week, I contemplated the issue of “being” versus “doing.” I realized how easy it is to get caught up in the doing and get anxious and worried about all the details of the doing. My focus of starting my day in a peaceful connection with the Lord is swallowed up in the tyranny of the urgent; my mind, upon waking in the morning, immediately racing through a checklist of all the things I have to do that day. I launch into the day already stressed and concerned about whether or not I will be able to accomplish everything on the list instead of basking in the assurance of my being in my Heavenly Father, which is far more significant than what I accomplish in any given day.
“For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” Acts 17:28 (ESV).
We cannot avoid “doing.” Life requires a lot of it to survive and exist, but when our sense of worth or identity comes from what we “do” instead of who we “are,” we have it backwards. We are human beings, not human doings. When we know WHO we are in Christ, and WHO He is in us, our identity does not come from what we do. It’s not performance based, task oriented, or from what we can attain from all the “doing.” As the verse in Acts says, it is in first recognizing that our every breath is a gift from God- it is in HIM that all we are originates. It’s crucial to make the time to just BE. Jesus was a master at this and modeled it for us. He did not rush to every need or demand. Often He withdrew to just be with His Heavenly Father. He knew that was His lifeline as it should be ours.
Our “doing” is greatly impacted by the source from which it comes. When we are operating from our core being, our TRUE identity in Christ, our activity should flow out from that. We will have a different perspective and attitude, approach, and response to life. If I am rock solid in who and whose I am in Christ, I can lead a ministry not motivated by the need for approval and affirmation. I do not need to try to manipulate others or situations to keep control and always come out on top. I can be a true servant leader because I am not looking for my identity in my occupation, status, or achievements. I can more easily see others through God’s eyes, be loving, generous, kind, patient, faithful, and self-controlled. (In other words, exhibit the fruit of the Spirit.) It frees me to delight in who God made me to BE, what HE’s called me to do, and where He leads and places me.
I also recognize that learning to “be” is letting some, or much of the “doing,” go. For a change, ask God what He DOESN’T want you to do. What are those things that aren’t important, significant, or crucial? Let them go. When I started asking this question; I was amazed at the many things I thought were a priority but in reality were sucker shoots taking my focus off the things that mattered.
As you take the time to BE, reflect on all God has put in you. How He so uniquely made you, gifted you, has given you very particular strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, and placed you in this time and place to live. Ponder how much He loves you and so masterfully shaped you to best be His to bring glory to Him through your being. These are all questions I am contemplating right now as I have this quite time away. As I have taken time to shut out the noise of the world and just BE, I have discovered it is there that I am recharged and refreshed to then go out and do.
For His glory,