September 19, 2018
The Christian Life Shouldn’t Be So Hard
Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them” (John 6:44 NIV).
Friend to Friend
The entire Bible from Genesis 3 to Revelation 22:21 is a record of God’s passionate pursuit of the human heart. Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, a string of kings, both good and bad, intermingled with prophets wooing and warning God’s people. We end the last chapter of the Old Testament with silence. And then 400 years later, God breaks the holy hush with the cry of a babe in a manger as the story picks back up in Bethlehem.
From God’s first question, “Where are you?” until Jesus’ final words, “It is finished,” we see God drawing mankind with cords of kindness that sometimes appear anything but kind—drawing people back to Himself with ties of love (Hosea 11:4). We’ve wiggled and wrangled trying to break free of those cords, but He continues to lasso us with love and draw us in again.
Passionate pursuit. He’s pulled out all the stops. Moved heaven and earth—literally—to win us back, to reestablish the glory that was lost in the Garden. As Tozer said, “The whole work of God in redemption is to undo the tragic effects of that foul revolt, and to bring us back again into right and eternal relationship with Himself.”
Most of us feel that we have to pursue God continually, as if He is hard to find. And as long as we believe that, our faith journey will be difficult. It will be arduous.
But didn’t Jesus say, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30, emphasis added)? And yet, easy and light are not words that come quickly to mind when women explain their faith journey to me.
Make no mistake about it. God always makes the first move. Where do you think this glory ache comes from? God put it there! He is wooing you, stirring you, awakening a longing for Him in your soul.
Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, (John 6:44). He tunes the violin and pulls the bow across the strings of your heart and waits for you to recognize the melody wooing you into relationship with Him.
God has had His eye on you since before the foundation of the earth. Peterson’s Bible paraphrase, The Message, says it this way: “Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settle on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love (Ephesians 1:4 MSG). My heart resonates with the words of Simon Tugwell: “So long as we imagine it is we who have to look for God, we must often lose heart. But it is the other way about—He is looking for us.”
Pay attention and note ways that God is wooing you today.
Dear LORD, thank You for wooing me, for pursuing me, and for romancing me. Forgive me when I make my faith journey too hard. Help me to recognize the melody of Your wooing, and see the moments of sudden glory where You make Your presence known.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Let’s go back to Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-30 for just a moment: “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 emphasis added).
Would you describe your relationship with Jesus as “easy and light”?
What do you think He meant by that?
Here’s what I want you to do today. Rather than trying so hard to have a relationship with Jesus, simply acknowledge His presence throughout your day. Practice “in Him we live and move and have our being.”
More from the Girlfriends
Do you long to feel close to God but feel like there’s something missing? That you’ve missed that mysterious formula to make it happen? Do you have a glory ache—a persistent longing to experience God’s presence and working in your life, but you’re not quite sure how to make it happen? If so, my book, A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More, is just for you. Join me in discovering how to erase the lines between the secular and the sacred and experience a deeper more intimate relationship with God than ever before. While you’re there, you can download a free chapter or watch a video book trailer.
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Originally published Wednesday, 19 September 2018.