Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Going Through the Motions

One of my favorite songs right now is Every Good Thing by the Afters.  The first line really gets to me, "I tend to be busier than I should be... Sometimes I take for granted that it's a beautiful life we live."

Taking life for granted...stuck on the crazy roller coaster of stress and accomplishments and running from here to there and doing, doing, doing...

Until I get to where I'm going through the motions of all the important stuff.

Hurrying through my Bible study... if I even make time to do it.

Not taking time to pray when someone asks me to, like I used to.

Making a to do list in church instead of giving my full attention to the sermon. 

Going through the motions... not listening to Caleb when he tells me about his day or just shaking my head when Wallace says something.

Going through the motions...

But I don't want to go through the motions.  I want to live life to the fullest.  I want to live... every moment. 

In Chapter 11 of her book Stressed Less Living, Tracey Miles crams lots of information into a few pages.  She gives us ways to "reboot" our systems when we realize we are going through the motions. 
As I'm looking through them, I realize that it is all something I need to do... starting today.

  1. Realign your life to God’s word.
In order to do this, we have to know what is in God's Word.  This means getting in there every day, and actively reading it... active being the key word.  Thinking about how it applies to your life.  Thinking about how you can relate it to what you're going through.  Taking that Word from all those years ago and demonstrating that it is true to life today.

2. Recognize your need for God’s help.
Sometimes when we are going through the motions, we start becoming self-dependent.  We go and go and go and forget where our strength comes from... but in truth, we need Him. And until we recognize it, we keep going through the motions.

3. Adjust your focus to God, not your circumstances.
It's easy to look at the looming trials and the battles we are facing and get scared.  Think about Peter walking on the water... until he looked around and saw the storm.  Today I was watching a video session for Priscilla Shirer's Gideon, and she was talking about Gideon being in the winepress, cowering from his enemies.  He was looking at the circumstances, "Who, me, a mighty man of valor?" But God sees our potential, not our present circumstance. And when we focus on Him, and what He can do in us, we don't have to dwell on our circumstances.

4.Be filled with the Holy Spirit. (Remember the one who’s praying on your behalf??)
We're told that the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in us.  With man, it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible. We just need to allow Him to empower us...and He'll do the work.

5.Be faithful in your prayer life.
Praying is not just for us.  It's obedience, and God desires obedience. More importantly, He is all about relationship, and that is the only way we can have a true relationship with God.  He already knows what you need, but He is honored when we ask.  He desires our praises, our questions, our petitions.  Prayer changes things.  It doesn't have to be some big formal process.  We can pray without ceasing... that is, pray throughout the day, just like you'd talk to your husband or friend or parent.

6. Believe God is Who He says He is.
This one is pretty much self-explanatory.  Believe.  He is the Great I AM.  The Alpha and Omega. The Beginning and the End.  The Creator. The Word Made Flesh. My Rock.  My Deliverer.  My Strength.  My Strong Fortress. 

If He's who He says He is, then I'm who He says I am. Chosen. Wonderfully Made.  Put on Earth for a purpose.  Eternally loved.

When I believe who He says He is, and believe who He says I am, I stop going through the motions. As I prayerfully seek Him, choosing to see Him and not my circumstances, and digging into the Word to guide me on my daily life, I start living... being.  Not just doing. 

And His grace is sufficient to keep me moving, without just going through the motions.



    Love this song thanks, had never heard it before!!

    1. P.S. Love your blog post!!! so right on!!!

  2. Thanks Laurent for reminding me of what is important. Great post.

  3. Lauren, I am so encouraged to know of His Faithfulness, even when I am just going through the motions!

  4. Great post Lauren,sometimes we aren't aware that we are just going through the motions until something happens and we realize we haven't been reading our scripture, haven't been praying etc. Thanks for the reminder of what is important.

  5. Such a great song, and a fabulous post! <3

    Melissa S OBS Group Leader

  6. "When I believe who He says He is, and believe who He says I am, I stop going through the motions."

    Powerful words Lauren, and they really put everything into perspective! Thank you again for all your wonderful posts.

  7. Great post, thank you for sharing!!!