By Jan Rawlins – Kernersville, North Carolina
Whaaaat? I can hear you laughing, but there is a point to the question!
When I was a very new Christian and so excited about the newness of life God had given me, I was eager to do all, be all, and participate in all things biblical and spiritual.
I filled my days with “good works” with the intention of growing and developing in my relationship with God and Jesus Christ.
I was following the model the world had taught me: “Anything worth achieving is worth overachieving.” I didn’t understand that my focus was misplaced.
The caption for this photo reads: “Overachiever….there’s always one.” Photo by Lisa Oullette
All true good works are God-planned, God-inspired, created in Christ Jesus, not in ME. I was not abiding in Jesus. With a full-time job, volunteering, fellowships and classes, burn-out was inevitable, leading me to my question, “Well, when did Jesus do his laundry?”
“I am the sprouting vine and you’re my branches. As you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you—but when you live separated from me you are powerless.” John 15:5 TPT
These verses also speak to us if we sense we are going through a time of spiritual “drought” when fruitfulness is not streaming from us. Jesus continues later in this sharing:
“I love each of you with the same love that the Father loves me. You must continually let my love nourish your hearts. If you keep my commands, you will live in love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands, for I continually live nourished and empowered by his love.” John 15:9-10 TPT
Jesus gives us the answer to both extremes—drought and overachieving—and everything in between.
“My purpose for telling you these things is so that the joy I experience will fill your hearts with overflowing gladness!” John 15:11 TPT
Hand Over the Keys
An English pastor and evangelist who lived in the late 1800s named F. B. Meyer said it well: “I gave Christ the ring of my will with the keys on it but kept one little key back…” The joy of the Lord begins when we hand over the last key.
How do we realistically (true to life) acknowledge Jesus as Lord and live in union with him?
The sheep that are My own hear My voice and listen to me; I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27 AMP
Jesus Christ is our way, our road. The entire Bible was written about him. He is all in all in all.
He tells us that he gives us eternal life! Further, he says that we will never perish, and no one can snatch us out of his hand (John 10:28).
Expect that kind of relationship with Jesus. His lordship affects the way we think, speak and act.
CLAIM his lordship in your life—over your thoughts, what you say—over all of your activities. It is not an intellectual exercise! This can give you victory over mental and verbal actions in your life as well as the challenges you may face.
With Jesus Christ in your heart nourishing you with his love, it changes everything. And as you change, your life will continually change.
Don’t be hesitant about pressing in for more in your spiritual life.
“Not that I have already obtained it [this goal of being Christlike] or have already been made perfect, but I actively press on so that I may take hold of that [perfection] for which Christ Jesus took hold of me and made me His own.
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14 AMP
You may have accepted Jesus as your Lord many years ago, but there is never a better time than now to reaffirm his lordship in your life.
You can pray like E. H. Swinstead did. He was a youth worker from England in the 1880s, who regularly opened his home to groups of young people for evangelism, fellowship, and Bible study. He asked Jesus to be:
Lord of every thought and action,
Lord to send and Lord to stay;
Lord in speaking, writing, giving,
Lord in all things to obey;
Now and evermore to be.
Jan Rawlins and her husband, Chris, serve on the CFFM Pastoral Care Team in North Carolina. They have been married almost 40 years and have one daughter, Amy.
Jan loves to pray for, laugh with, and minister to others — sometimes all at the same time! Hear more of her style of wit and wisdom through the CFFM Sunday Service You Have Purpose.