In our Christian walk, even good things can get in the way.
I've taught Bible study for seven years now. I’m not the best at it. There are others who know more than me. I still talk more than I should. Follow up with all those ladies requires a lot of work. I constantly struggle with following the plan and yet letting the Holy Spirit do His work.
Still, I love being a Bible study teacher. God reveals Himself to me and these days I sit in awe almost every time I read from His Word. These ladies, they make up my tribe. If I’m ever thrown in the lion’s den, I want them thrown in after me. Maybe that didn’t come out quite right...
This summer, God tapped me on the shoulder. Not an actual tap. Spirit taps I received from several sources over a period of weeks. In His own way, He communicated something clearly to me.
Bible study is good but it’s time for you to take a break.
So I am. It feels weird. I spend a lot of time each week mentally preparing, carving out time to do any homework and make discussion notes. For six weeks, I’m not doing any of that.
Our enemy, the roaring lion, has already started trying to wreak havoc with my mind.
They won’t come back, he says.
When you jump back in, the next study has a ton of homework and they’re going to balk at that, he says.
I’m sure these ladies could find way better things to do on Wednesday nights, he says.
Now, I’m used to his voice in my head. He’s been lurking around for years. I hand him right over to Jesus.
Something else has occurred to me though. A surprise. I’m feeling like I’ve lost a big part of my identity and seem a bit lost. That speaks volumes to me.
As a teacher, I remind folks all the time, we must find our identity in Christ. If we remove all our titles, can we still honestly say it’s enough to be His?
To the parents all wrapped up in making sure your child has an adequate social calendar. Who worries if they’re reading and writing and mathing enough right smack in the middle of summer vacation. You are His.
To the grandparents who wonder if they’re involved enough in the lives of their family. Who try to find the balance between retirement, hobbies and babysitting. You are His.
To the adult child of aging parents. With each passing year, you grow more thankful for all the sacrifices your parents made for you over the years. You worry about the choices you’re facing for their well-being now. You are His.
To the teachers who find themselves in the rhythm of learning and teaching. Repeat. The one who cares so deeply for each and every student seated around the table or at their desks. You are His.
To the choir member, worship leader, pastor who hates to miss a single Sunday. You argue that you're needed but sometimes you wonder in the back of your mind if it’s because you’ve grown to need the audience. Who starts to think maybe the service might be missing something if it didn’t have you in it. You are His.
To the deacon making such important decisions for Christ’s church. All those hours put in with little recognition. Who can so easily become convinced the church would fall apart if you didn’t spend more time doing your work. You are His.
Good work. Worthwhile titles. But when it’s all stripped away, we must rest in this:
Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete. (2 Corinthians 1:20-22) The Message