Since Jesus came to call sinful people like me to repentance, it's really import to get alone with Him long enough to consider His Word and let Him show me where my life is dirty. Solitude is the spiritual discipline of creating time and space to be with God, allowing Him to change and refill me, so I can be with people. Today at Scripture Dig I'm writing about my outburst on the beach and the Solitude that came from it.
When I get alone with the Lord, He shows me what I'm falling in love with more than Him. He points out how I'm trading Him for idols, obvious and subtle. He shows me what weighs me down.
I know what it is to be encumbered ... because Jeff and I have done some backpacking together. (Love the company, could do without the load ...) I also know, because I drag around some of life's burdens and hang ups. I speak from experience when I say both weigh us down. Can you relate? I don't want to bend under their weight. I want to live free.
Jesus said that to follow Him, we have to be unencumbered: ready to deny ourselves, take up our purpose, and follow Him. By doing this we lose things in this life, but we gain real life. That's the life I want. In fact, He says He wants me to be so unencumbered that I love Him more than life or the people of life; He wants me to be so devoted to Him, that my heart is ready to renounce everything, in exchange for Him. (Check out Luke 9:23-25 and Luke 14:25-33 to read for yourself.)
As I have been getting about the business of living 2011, I have found myself tempted to get caught up in all that I hear I could/should do, comparing my life and its content to that of others. I want to leave "BE" in the dust and get on with "DO" that makes ME feel better ... but Jesus wants me to let my contentment and trust be totally in Him. Unencumbered.
When I spend time in Solitude with the Lord, He whispers to me, calling me back to what He wants me to BE, more than what He wants me to DO. He wants me to be unencumbered: "Blessed rather are those who hear the Word of God and obey it!" (Luke 11:28). God wants us to unencumbered by idols, so that we can Be Obedient.
Are you an unencumbered disciple? Tomorrow ... a glimpse from my kitchen that reveals God's standard of obedience right out of the Gospel of Luke.