I’ve been wrestling with a tough decision lately. It’s tough because it means facing the reality of what’s on my plate and the fact that it’s overloaded. The truth is, I’ve done it again. There are so many things I want to do, that I say yes. Yes, yes, yes.

Lord, let me keep doing. For you. That’s my mantra.

Sometimes my motivation of doing for God is really more about doing for myself. Or doing so I can please others, which is really about protecting myself, which really isn’t about God.

Ever been there? Thinking you’re doing something for God when really it’s about what you get out of it? Yeah, me too. Deep breaths.

Competing opportunities cause me to step back and reflect. It causes me to sort through the reality of what is. Face it. Act on it.

I need a reality check for what causes overwhelmed feelings of never doing enough.

Reality Check for the Overwhelmed

When I look realistically at all I’ve put on my plate, I do so by writing it all down. All the projects, the plans, the ideas, the like-to-dos, the want-to-dos, and the wish-I-was-doings. This helps me see the truth of what I’ve stacked there. What’s overflowing and falling off.

If I keep doing what I’ve been doing, I’ll keep getting what I’ve been getting. What I’m getting is uncompleted projects which stir my heart with passion on a consistent basis. Daily, for months and years. I believe these are the ones God has not only put on my heart to do, but is equipping me to get done.

A reality check means choosing acceptance for the reality of what is and letting go of the fantasy of what I assume will just be. Somehow.

Looking at life with the eternal perspective of, “it will all work out” isn’t all that helpful when it comes to living by faith. Yes, the positive note of this phrase helps our brains turn away from negative thought patterns. This is helpful to an extent. But it can, and often does, limit our brains from engaging in thoughts and actions that positively impact our stuck patterns of living.

We need to take it a step further.
 
If we simply assume, “It will all work out” and stop there, the working it out is left in the hands of God and others. We’ve given up our right to make our own decisions and take wise action. This is not about striving action in order to make all things work out, but wise action that goes further in thought and deed.

Action led by God, in faith, taken by us.

Spirit-led action relies on the Holy Spirit’s voice and the gifts He gives.

We then take steps towards what we believe we’re hearing from Him, with a heart supple enough to surrender one direction for another when the Spirit prompts us to do so.

Perhaps this example will better illustrate this concept.

As I wrote down all the things I desire to do, the things I’m actually doing, and the things I believe I need to do, the list was incredibly overwhelming. Having a list that is too (self-designed) full prevents me from doing what is faithful.

A reality check helps take a look at the real boundaries of time, commitments, family and personal needs, and physical limits. We can’t run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and expect to live well. Or live at all.

I’ve been taking my list of items and asking God to speak to my heart.

God, here are all the things on my heart and mind to do. What is it you want me to do?

Help me to say no where I need to say no. Give me faith to walk into the hard process of completing what you’ve already asked me to do. May my heart and motivation be flexible enough to change direction when and if you lead. Amen.

The thought of saying no to something I could do and feel obligated to do seizes my whole body. Yet, when we do the hard task of facing the reality that we can’t do all the things, we find peace for our souls.

(BTW, doing all things through Christ as referenced in Philipians 4:13 does not mean doing all the things.)

I will be taking a hard step today. Will you be doing so too? Is there something God is nudging your spirit to say yes or no to and you keep putting it off?

May we find the courage to act so we can find space on our plates and see God work.

 

CULTIVATE LIFE:

Choose to accept the reality of what is happening versus what you wish would be happening.
Allow God to speak to the uncomfortable places where the two are not the same.
Choose to take one step today to follow what God is nudging your heart to do.
If you don’t think you can hear from God, simply talk to him about what you’re noticing and ask Him to speak. Ask Him to help you notice His response.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

 

overwhelmed christian

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