I sprawled out on my bed, happy and a little weary from a productive day.
Why not channel some of the day’s momentum into prayer? I thought.
As I jotted down a list, I began to feel guilty for not praying for these people more. I had listed my friends, coworkers, and family members.
The need is huge and tends to overwhelm me. So I prayed, “Lord, I need you to teach me to pray better. I want to be effective.”
So many of my thoughts swirl around this idea of effectiveness. I want to make my life count. “Don’t waste your life,” reverberates through my my mind on a daily basis.
I listen to podcasts and can’t stop reading books about productivity. It’s become a little idol I regularly bow down to. I often dupe myself into believing spiritual effectiveness resembles the kind of effectiveness we all strive for in our careers.
See, I want to do so much for God. Maybe you’re the same way, and you sometimes worry that you’re not doing enough.
Not sharing the gospel enough…
Not praying for extended family enough…
Not loving your neighbors enough…
If you’re like me, you’re struggling to scrape in a few prayers breathed at the kitchen sink or exhaled as you fold laundry.
That day God answered my prayer for effectiveness, and I was so glad I was lying down. As I begged God to make me a more effective Christian, an ineffable voice whispered something like this:
“You’ll be effective when you know you’re loved.”
After a moment, Love piled on me like an avalanche. My breathing slowed and I felt the weight of God’s love. I laid there several minutes buried in that truth, tears squeezing through eyelids.
I can’t love people the way I want to unless I’m living in His love. When His love is my reality, my countenance changes and a little bit of God’s effervescence shimmers through.
When I get into overwhelm mode, only love can rescue me.
Only love can snap us out of our striving. It’s the only thing that can snatch us off the hamster wheel of trying to please God in our own works.
Only God’s love has the capacity to truly change our hearts. This love sets us free, blessedly free to be who God created us to be.
God—who is Love—vanquishes our fear and supplies us with courage and endless grace.
In God’s love, we wake up every morning with hope, and it’s the same love that tucks us in each night in peace. His love helps us endure.
In a culture so obsessed with productivity, only love can prevent us from building little idols to our own achievements, even the spiritual ones.
Love came down and bestowed so great a kindness on us that we don’t have to rest in our achievements or our productivity. We are loved just as we are.
God’s love redirects our focus away from our own effectiveness toward the accomplishments of His Son.
You are loved as you scroll through this post. Yes, you know this. But do you really believe it?
Do you know how to consistently live in the light of His love? Only when we take time to let Jesus baptize us anew with His love can we ever hope for effectiveness.
Only when we know we’re loved, can we walk as He walked and live with the kind of connection to God that we long for.
Your are deeply loved, dear reader. Don’t forget it.