Friday, November 20, 2009

Okay, So Anyway...

by Kathy Lay

This Week's Verse: 2 Peter 1:10-11, "Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."(NIV)

Devotion:
We see references to it on facebook multiple times a day, we hear it from people’s mouths, and we say it ourselves: I just can’t get motivated. I really should be doing so and so but I just can’t find the wherewithal to do it. I don’t feel like doing anything.

See, I know what I’m talking about because I have a propensity to be easily overwhelmed. And when I get that way, often my coping mechanism is to shut down and not do a whole lot of anything. I allow myself to be paralyzed in times when I should be productive.

In some areas of life that may not be a big deal. If the dishes sit overnight they’ll get done the next day. If the floor goes unvacuumed no one will probably even notice—at least for awhile.

But what about when God has clearly called me to do something and I have said yes to Him? I’m fueled by excitement at first, but feelings fade. Eventually, I’m left to carry out obedience even when I no longer want to because it’s hard or boring or confusing.

I’m referring specifically to my writing. God made it clear that I am to write fiction for young people that will draw them into a closer relationship with him. Fun, right? Not so much anymore. And then I ran across this little excerpt from Cynthia Ruchti:

As in marriage, feelings come and go. (But) devotion and commitment hold us to the task. An author lays fingers to the keyboard whether emotionally full or emotionally empty. That's where miracles happen. God responds to our obedience and commitment by restoring the feelings we thought were dead.

It's all about writing *anyway*.

•No one will ever buy this dribble. *Write anyway.*
•Even I don't like the story anymore. *Write anyway.*
•Laundry looks mighty tempting right now. *Write anyway.*
•I've been writing a very long time with no visible success. *Write anyway.*

It's natural to write when we feel it. What a sweet victory (and testament to God's power at work within us) when we write when we don't feel it!

How remarkable is it to be faithful when the words come easily? When your mate is adorable? When your boss just gave you a raise?

(But) how *divine *to be faithful when your mate did something unkind and the boss doesn't appreciate you and the words come hard!

Now, that's remarkable.

These words hit me right between the eyes. I have to be obedient to my calling and not let doubt or distraction or yes, even being overwhelmed, become strongholds for the enemy who wants to thwart God’s plan.

It’s easy to serve when everything is roses, when life’s going our way, and when our motivation skyrockets on pure emotion. But it's commitment to God and perseverance in our "anyway" that grows us closer to God as we serve him through the dry spells.

Father God, forgive me for doubting your call or dragging my feet with it just because things get tough. Help me to be faithful in my follow-through. Lord, my desire is that you find favor in my service because you know you can count on me to do your will. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Application: What’s your “anyway” area? Is there something you know you’ve been called to do but haven't yet? Make a list of anyway statements similar to Cynthia Ruchti's above. Resolve to fulfill your calling by persuing it anyway.

Power Verses:
2 Peter 1:3-4, "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires."(NIV)
Hebrews 10:36 , "You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised."(NIV)
2 Peter 1:5-8, "For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."(NIV)

4 comments:

Melissa Milbourn said...

That was AWESOME Kathy Lay. I constantly want to quit when things get overwhelming.

But God always gives me a word to sustain me.

Thanks for this good Word!

Jane Ann said...

Inspiring words, Kathy.

I've hit the same roadblocks with regards to music, and it's heartening to know others have been there, too.

I need to start borrowing your words, "Write anyway!"

Thanks!

Marsha said...

Great job Kathy! Thanks for your obedience and inspiring messageS!

Be blessed GF!

Molllie Thompson said...

Every time I read this it goes a little bit deeper, a little bit broader. Sometimes it just echoes in me. "Keep putting one foot in front of the other and stay on task and don't get sloppy. It takes more energy when you get sloppy." Thank you for a confirming message that doesn't become outdated.