Kristin Schmucker » Equipping Women in the Word

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Cultivating Affection For Christ

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Aren’t we ever on the search for the best way to do things? It seems like a common step to google, search Pinterest or research the best way to do anything these days. The most effective way. The top 3 things you need. The best method. We want to get it right. 
To be honest I have approached my walk with the father this way. It comes from a good place but, I have thought that if I have the best morning routine, the best journals, apps and podcasts on my phone I will be set. I will go deep. So I spend hours scouring the internet for the right things and then I have my time with Jesus squarely set. Checked off and planned. But it’s not enough, my heart still is a bit restless.

 

To be honest ladies, I have come to a place in my walk with the Lord where I feel like I am missing the secret sauce. Where I see women around me flourishing in freedom and passion and it’s so inspiring. I crave that beautiful peace that I see across their faces.  While my head gets the freedom that the Lord has provided by giving His son for me, my heart isn’t always free. While I feel that freedom in fleeting moments, I want more. More of getting in tune with God’s amazing plan for my life, more freedom, more peace.

 

Yet it can be crazy discouraging because I often find myself getting caught up in the latest and greatest. I find myself spinning and scrolling my worth away at the end of the night. Yet, I did my devotions that morning, I checked my list of Jesus to do’s. Why before I go to bed I am still searching? Am I doing it right? I want to do it right. My heart cries.

 

Can any of you relate? Feeling like your missing that one thing? Or repeating all the  “if only I had”….statements?  I come before you bearing my weaknesses because y’all the Lord has given me a word for us. In the last weeks of preparing this he has been lovingly nudging my heart to share truth. For now just breathe this verse in.

 

“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;[a] Acts 17:28 ESV
I believe the Lord is calling us, especially woman to experience him in our every breath. Truly experience Him in our moments, and most importantly in consistency. In a steady stream of live giving water. Not just a drink here and there. In the mundane. In the car, in the laundry, in our meals.  Now before you get all up in arms about how you don’t have another moment left to give, just hear me out.

 

I don’t want to add ONE more thing to your schedule. I want you to look at your schedule a little backwards. I think we have this crazy disconnect about how to connect with our Jesus. We have been taught that if we have a set quiet time and prayer we are good a-ok! Yet we are a bit bewildered when we get caught up in the flesh the rest of our day. Also, we spend our time being obedient to our scheduled “thing” (bible reading app, devotion, study book, quiet time) instead of digging deeper into falling in love with our Jesus. This excerpt from a Matt Chandler Sermon (I am the True Vine), has ROCKED my world.

 

What I’m called to, is to work on and grow in my love for Jesus Christ. That in turn will affect my obedience. Not to work on my obedience in order to love but grow in my love so it will straighten out my disobedience. 

 

I think what this means for Christians is that we want to fill our lives with things that stir our affections for Jesus. That’s bottom line. I want to fill my life with stuff that stirs up my affections for Jesus. Simultaneously, I want to cut out of my life anything that robs me of those affections, because if I’m first called to love Jesus, and then in loving Christ if that straightens the crooked paths, then the best way to spend my energy, my time, and my efforts is not trying not to do bad things but rather giving myself over to a growing love for Jesus Christ.

 

I think a good right exercise for you would be to spend time paying attention to what stirs your affections for Jesus and what robs you of that affection so that you would have a working knowledge of how God has wired you. What I’m convinced of is for all of us that involves the Word of God and prayer. Then outside of that, we’re all over the map. -Matt Chandler

 

Let’s all start there. Paying Attention. Y’all this isn’t rocket science if we pull back a bit and get perspective. This was a complete light bulb moment for me! THE LORD intimately created each of us. He created our personalities, our gifts, our quirks. What are you good at? Where do you feel your affections stirred for Jesus? Or where you feel like you are fulfilled or most proud? DO MORE OF THAT. Why? Because the LORD MADE YOU to do just that. To give him glory in your own unique ways. I agree that time in the Word of God and prayer is never wasted, but we often don’t connect that doing what we are good at for the glory of God is connecting and loving and walking with Jesus.

 

Our time with Him will look different for each of us, and that is amazing and beautiful. It’s how we are the church. We all have different pieces of this grand story that He is writing. Doesn’t that lift such a weight and FIRE UP your soul! It does mine.

 

Y’all the planner in me, my check list queen mentality shivers in fear when I think of applying this truth to my every moment. Because I can’t exactly plan it. I seem to put my head down into my current activity or to-do and push through. Not looking up, Not stopping for much but to finishing the goal. But yet, even when I write this I cringe.  I don’t want to live my life this way. And I don’t think we were meant to.

Life with our heads down all the time just accomplishing tasks isn’t a life of abundance. It isn’t a life of joyful cheer. Yet the beauty here is that I don’t have to change everything I do or add 3 more hours of quiet time into my day. I just need to get aware. Aware of my heart and where I am at and invite the father in. We need to identify and chase after the things we know stir our affections for the Lord. For me. Being outside, Late night reading, Hot showers with worship music, mentoring others, photographing joy in others. What are yours? I am truly interested and inspired how God made you friend.

 

So, in short praise the Lord for answered prayer. I really do believe this is where the secret sauce is. “‘In him we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28a ESV. Our lives are too short to miss on the sweet abundance that the Lord has for each of us, so let’s get after it friends. Not with a heavy heart or burden ahead, but just excitement in uncovering more of how we are made and growing in LOVE for the Father who made us. It’s going to be great.

– Gina Zeidler
Originally published in Be Still Magazine Issue 1

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