Is there anyone you have a lot of confidence in? For example, if that person is involved, you know that things will succeed? Who is it?
A few people come to my mind, each with their own lane of strength. If my husband is involved in a project, I know that it will be done with integrity. He is a rule-follower. I admit, I am not. I have a friend who is deeply empathic. If she is involved in a project, I know for certain that the people around her will be well taken care of. There is a leader I served for a season who is secure in empowering people around him. I am confident that when he leads a project, those involved will be free to take ownership of their roles.
What about the flip side? Are you ever trusted in this way, where someone puts confidence in your involvement in something? How does it feel to be trusted?
Over the years, my most fruitful, creative, and powerful expressions of ministry and leadership were in contexts where I was trusted. The more confidence that was put in me, the better I performed. In environments of trust, I found myself spreading out wide, leaking creativity, and motivated to explore the potential of my contributions. In those environments, I was often the most surprised at the success of what was birthed. I did not know the capacity of what I was carrying until someone else put confidence in it. Trust liberates people to their potential.
Walk with me for a moment on this topic to Jesus.
Then they asked him,“What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:28-29, NIV) / Believe (Strongs 4100) = to have faith, i.e. Credit; by implication, to entrust.
This verse is striking to me. Consider that in the same way that our confidence in a person liberates their expression, our belief in Jesus liberates the work of God in our lives. God is longing for us to trust Jesus more deeply, to throw away every other crutch and discover a whole-hearted dependence on the Person of Christ.
Do you have confidence in Jesus’ involvement in your life? Do you trust that if Jesus is involved, success is imminent?
These questions emerge from my own devotional times in recent days where Jesus is asking me to trust Him with very sensitive lanes in my own story. As He invites me into deeper trust, I am discovering again the liberty and empowerment that trust unlocks. The work of God is performed in our lives where our trust in Jesus is whole-hearted.
Friends, it is time to embrace a deeper trust in Jesus; to insist that He is on the scene with us, enjoying the confidence that breeds in our story. Make more room for Jesus in your process.
Take hold of His hand.
Let go of all others.
And, expect the best as a result!
This is the work of God.
To trust in Jesus.
Guarding your heart during a challenging season can enable you to increase in radiance and strength through difficult times. Here are 5 guideposts for that process!
(1. Determine your leader
(2. Don't judge others
(3. Exercised gratitude
(4. Process honestly
(5. Seize opportunities
Reflection: Which of these guideposts challenge you most? How can you incorporate it into your week?
The quiet has always drawn me in. I do not fear it, despise it, or resist it. Actually, I love it. In the “quiet” I find the most profound noise; sound I would otherwise never hear. The silence after a stunning performance, the stillness of water free from motion, the solitude of the deep woods – these are the places where my personal history with God was forged.
In this season of quarantine, there is an unsettling form of quiet over the land. It's eerie, it's lonely, it’s threatening, it's afraid. This unnerving “quiet” is more like a mute button than an invitation into deeper sound. It feels like a barrier, not a liberator. It is odd, quiet.
Easter is approaching.
Our world is plagued by an eerie quiet.
Churches are closed.
But, are they? What even is church? What are the sounds of Easter? If Easter has no sunrise service, performed music, parades, eggs, or gatherings, what is it? If Easter is quiet, what are we left to discover about Easter?
In the Easter Story (The Passion of Christ) there is an underscoring narrative that takes place in quiet. It is the story of Jesus and His Father co-laboring in suffering love unto redemption for the whole world. Moments of solitude, intimacy and silence lace the explosive power of the salvation story. Quiet has a role to play in Easter.
I believe that the spiritual quiet place is our invitation this Easter. The deeper narrative of Easter is inviting you and I to be washed. Those who enter into it with fresh eyes will experience waves of baptism making old things new. You and I are invited in a unique way this Easter to swallow hard on the heartbeat of this epic story, release its traditional flare, and therein find that it is intimacy with God, not an institution, that both erected and hold this timeless history. You and I are the church. Jesus is our King. Quiet intimacy with the Father is the underscore of His story, and ours. Let's dare to enter the quiet layers of Jesus' narrative - embracing - a quiet Easter.
Reflection: What are you doing on Easter? Can you carve out time for intimacy with the Father? Write down your plan.
p.s. Below is a downloadable prayer guide for Easter Morning! It is purposed to help facilitate intimacy with God as a unique celebration of Easter together. I invite you to set aside 90 minutes on Easter to join me and others in this prayer journey! More information @ ConnectUp.
You cannot force a bud to open.
You must wait for it.
If you wait well, you will be rewarded -
color, shape, scent.
If you pry it open prematurely,
the very gift that is in bloom may very well break your heart.
The destruction of control does not easily repent.
God's timing, friends.
Reflection: What timing have you been anxious about? Can you release that worry to God today? I invite you to stop and open up your hands in front of you right now. Pray this with me from Psalm 31:15, "My times are in Your hands." Release your worry about timing to Jesus, physically let go, and ask, "Jesus, what do you want to put into my hands instead?" Jot down what you sense from Him.
Katie Luse is a speaker and writer who is passionate about navigating life with eyes on a hunt for beauty.