Friday, January 8, 2016

How to get your (insert body part) Firm


Let's be honest, we all want a certain part of our body to be more firm. You and I have talked to people who grab that lower part of their arm and wiggle it just for you. They want to get rid of their jiggle. This curious way of isolating a body part and wanting it to be more firm can be applied to our inner lives. How so? It's called being "Steadfast."

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." I Corinthians 15:58 (NKJV)

Steadfast is a such a great word but what does it really mean? It means making that jiggly body part Firm. Here's another Bible translation to this same verse:

"Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." I Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)

Steadfast is my one word for 2016. I like this word but I am also challenged by it. I like it because I am juggling lots of things right now but I know that my main purpose is to serve God and my dear family.

I also like this word because 1 Corinthians gives me the encouragement I need to keep doing all I do outside of my home. I've told you many times that the real life of this real person is not glamorous and ministry is not all sparkly and grand. It is the unwavering work of a heart who loves God and yearns to please Him. Then you throw humanity in there and that my friends, makes every way more interesting.

The challenge to be Steadfast also gives me much needed structure and margin. How so? I know I can't get distracted. I can't start watching 5 new TV shows because I have a family to care for and I have a ministry unto the Lord. The challenge to be steadfast guarantees that I rest daily so that I can "abound in the work of the Lord." How I need Him daily!

Back to body parts. There isn't a shortage of advice on how to make different body parts firm. My personal belief is that most of the advice is to cause us to "click mindlessly." It seems that gravity and long years cause outer things to be wobbly while the spirit remains strong if it's anchored in the Lord Jesus.

I wonder if a certain part of your spiritual life feels wobbly and can use Steadfastness. I am sure God can help you mature in that area.

I thought I had this Steadfastness thing figured out until I went to Bible Study this week. I was challenged to face this new year with a giving mindset. For many years I set my goals and start the year with the pervasive thought that I need to accomplish and become. This year I learned that I can also have the thought that I have something to give.

What will I give in 2016? If God is leading me to be Steadfast, I hope to give stability to my family and the organizations I work closely with. I hope to be the reliable one. I hope to do my job well and with a good attitude. I hope to know that at the end of the day, I have pleased the Lord who called me to be work for Him wherever He leads me.

Just to pull myself back to reality, I can't escape from how unglamorous (but wonderful) most of my life is. I can use Steadfastness when I'm doing dishes. I can use a big dose of Steadfastness when I start different routines with the kids such as nightly devotionals. We all get tired some days but these are the years I need to stick with it so they can benefit in years to come. I can use some Steadfastness when it comes to investing in my marriage. To me that means going back to Christian Counseling and scheduling some bonding time together. I can also use some Steadfastness when it comes to my writing. Last year I told you I was after quality and not quantity. My prayer is that whoever reads these words is filled with abundant hope.

I appreciate your prayers as I continue to walk in this new year with this Steadfast approach. I wonder if you too can use some this Steadfastness that God provides. 

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