Tag Archives: Busyness

Growing Intimacy and Union

2017 was a year that was marked by a season of one thing. Busyness.  Early in this decade of excavation and journeying to become good soil, I learned that busyness kills intimacy with God. This past year, I was blessed to be a part of some cool things as I and some brothers launched a new men’s boot camp modeled after Wild at Heart. What a fruitful time it was. In the midst of all of that, I was finishing a Masters degree in Counseling and continuing my full time work at a company I have been with the last 12 years. This was most definitely a year of busyness.

With the exception of a few posts and my personal journal, I intentionally did not write much this past year. There was no room for it. I was honestly, barely making room for God in my day-to-day and at times, felt stretched so thin. On top of the busyness, there was other warfare going, especially early in the year. In a span of 3 weeks, I took a baseball to the face,and my middle son, the next week got a concussion, and then the next week  a seizure caused by low blood sugar. He is Type-1 Diabetic. My Bride, Amber, and myself, were at our limits at that time.

Despite the challenges with the warfare and season of busyness, God showed us some beautiful things. It helped Amber and me reconnect on a deeper level in our marriage, particularly in how we deal with warfare together. We’re still learning here, but God has certainly delivered us and shown us how we have matured through how we handled it, bring it to the feet of Jesus and bringing the cross of Christ between us and what the enemy was trying to do.

With the busyness, I believe Abba has lead me to realize, not just from reading, but from experience, just how much busyness kills intimacy with Him. Just after Thanksgiving, my friend Dallas, issued a challenge to seek one word from God, that will help set the tone for the coming year and beyond. I pondered that, and by the next morning, the word was obvious. Intimate.

So what does intimate mean? There are 3 definitions I found.  1. Closely acquainted, familiar, close. 2. Private and personal. 3. A very close friend.

So what to do with that? Well, it was obvious to me. Learning to walk more intimately with God and using this time to learn and practice spiritual habits or disciplines that will help cultivate greater initimacy. In conversing with God and meditating on this word, I realize how God used used this year to really show me how busyness has disrupted initimacy with Him. As  Jim Winney said, “When I am busy, the Father is quiet.” This became so true in 2017. I see it from years past as well, but didn’t really have the context or knowledge to deal with it.

liveintheday-01So now that we have begun a new year, where does this leave me? I now realize just how much continued work that I have to cultivate this greater intimacy. I look forward to sharing this journey, or at least, what should be public. As I heard from an interview that Dallas Willard gave, we need to continue cultivating an interactive relationship with God. That is essential in this “with God life.” The enemy’s number one purpose is to separate us from God  and the madness and hurriedness of this chaotic world is trying to do the very same thing.

I love the way God continues to work. If we keep our hearts open to Him, He can use any circumstance in a way that pulls us back to himself. As I’ve written before, this is a continued decade of excavation and He I using all of these moments to uncover unyielded places of the heart and His faithfulness and continued molding and shaping is pretty awesome to see and live out. It all leads to union with Himself.

Allow For His Gift of Time

I have come to a realization that I have been hard charging so much following the Father’s calling, that sometimes I have to sit and wait for my soul to catch-up with me.  Morgan Snyder, at the Become Good Soil Intensive last month, shared that the most beautiful thing God does is take time.  I’ve thought about that a lot in the last month.  We often get so fired-up about new ideas and new directions that it’s easy to hard charge in.  I’ve worked my tail off with this Counseling degree the last year looking to get through the end of the program and begin to truly work with people, putting all of these new skills and ideas to use.

I was on campus at Liberty University last week for my second of three intensives.  Sitting in a group discussion the Lord put on my heart that I needed to be okay with time.  I don’t need to charge ahead 100 miles per hour.  He helped me to realize that I needed to just relax.  Growth, both as a counselor and in my faith is a life-long journey.  He told me to be okay with the process and the journey.

I realized something.  What a real gift time is.  It will take a whole lifetime for me to grow remotely close to who God created me to be.  What I can do now and continue to seek Him out and knowing that there will bumps in the road.  He’s growing me up right now just as He seeks to grow us all up, but that growing takes time.  John Eldredge wrote, “It takes courage to seek God, and courage to wait for His reply.

I’m thankful for the time the Father has taken for my life and for my growth.  There is so much grace to be received, there is so much that the Father has in store for us in the life to come and we will spend the rest of our lives here in this world trying to seek that out.  Perfection won’t come in this life.  The Father is using time to grow us, to mold us into who we were intended to be.  To shake free from the old and come into the new.  This takes a lifetime.

So let’s slow down.  The world will tell us time and time again that we need to go faster and faster.  Everything needs to be done yesterday.  This is a sure fire way to be taken out and I have seen the carnage of this happening all over the place.  Good people completely taken out by busyness and the rush and demands to be done now and done faster.

Slow down.  The Father is not in any kind of a rush.  The goal of our lives and in growing with God is union with Him and the fruit is intimacy with the Father.  Busyness is the enemy of intimacy.  Jim Winney said, “When I am busy, the Father is quiet.”  While the world has gotten itself in a big hurry, the Father hasn’t, and we don’t need to either.  This is a hard lesson for me, that I have to remind myself about over and over.  It is soul killing.  Don’t let that happen.  Allow for the Father’s gift of time to truly grown you the way He intends.

Don’t Let Busyness Kill The Soul

As we start the New Year, I was reminded this week about something that is very critical for all of us in this day and age.  I have been blessed to spend these last couple of weeks home with the family to enjoy the Christmas and New Years holidays  and some good down time from work and between semesters in my counseling studies.  What I was reminded of is the need to unplug from the matrix.  The need to slow down, be still, and spend time away from the chaos and noise of this world and what often encompasses our lives.

I was listening to a recording from Ransomed Heart Ministries the other day called “The Spirit of the Age.”  John Eldredge talked about how each age, each period of time is defined by something.  The spirit of this age we live in now, of this world, as John says, is drivenness or busyness.  We are in a world of now, now, now…go, go, go.  We are constantly plugged into social media and the news.  We spend our days trying to fill time with things to keep going.  We always feel like we have to multitask everything. Multitasking by the way, is the ultimate myth.  You cannot be fully present in any situation at any time to two or more people or tasks.  As the Christian musician Propaganda says, when multitasking, “You ain’t doing anything good, just everything awful.”  Lot’s of truth here.

We live in a very driven world.  We are always on the go.  I’ve been guilty of everything I’ve listed and more.  I have grown to believe that this driven nature.  This need to always stay busy is soul killing.  It is pulling us away from the priorities in life.  Not just in our families but also in our walk with God.  In our ability to have a real conversational relationship with the Father.  In our ability to really dive into His Word and study and get to know all that God has revealed to us.  busyness-01

Why do we always feel like we have to be so busy?  Why are we so driven to go, go, go?  Why can’t we unplug from the matrix?  Why can’t we put our phones down and just be present?  I believe it’s a scheme of the enemy.  He uses this need for busyness to keep us distracted.  Then when everyone else is always going, we feel like we have to do more and more to keep up.  It’s soul killing and it’s just what the enemy wants.

Look, I’m not saying it’s bad to be busy, but what I’m saying is that when it runs your life, and this day and age it does, with so much noise all around, that becomes a problem.  Like I said, this is something I’ve been guilty of.  I’ve been out at a restaurant with Amber and often times I have my work phone and my personal phone sitting right there.  How many of of you do the same?  It’s called a lunch break for reason, yet we never fully take a real break away.

I look at the life of Jesus when I think of this.  Jesus constantly had crowds following Him.  People wanted to be healed and have demons cast away.  Jesus could easily have just spent his time healing non-stop, but He didn’t.  Look at Mark 1.  Jesus heals Peter’s mom and then more and more people come for healing.

In verse 35, Jesus did something many of us don’t do.  It says, “In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.”  Jesus left to be alone.  To be in solitude and pray.  Peter and the others find Jesus and tell Him everyone is looking for Him.

Now at this point, Jesus could have done what many of us do.  Do what others expect us to do.  Do what the world wants us to do.  Stay plugged in and keep busy.  Not Jesus.  You see He did not conform to this world and showed us that we don’t have to.  In verse 38, Jesus says, “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for.”  Jesus left.  He was not going to let the demands of others control what He was doing or deter Him from what the Father sent Him for.busyness-the-thief-of-prayerblog

You see, busyness and constantly doing what the world expects will drain us completely.  It will take us away from what really matters in life.  This culture we live in will suck the life out of us if we allow ourselves to let the world consume us.

Paul tells us in Romans 12:2, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”  This is so important.  We cannot live a life driven and controlled by the demands of this world.  Part of coming to faith in Christ is allowing our hearts and minds to be transformed.  We need to be renewed daily, as well, so there is a real need to find time away from the busyness of this life to just be present with God.

Just think about this as you start the New Year.  Think about the priorities of your life.  It is so vital that we find time to unplug from the matrix.  It is also vital to understand that you do not have to maintain the crazy pace the everyone else thinks you need to.  Slow down and live.  Be still and find time to be with God.  Find time to be completely unplugged.  Find time to converse with God daily.  Find time to be fully present with your family.  Don’t be conformed to this world and don’t let busyness kill your soul.   You will miss so much if you stay plugged in and let the busyness run your life.