Are you often tired and exhausted after a long day’s work, feeling you have not accomplished nearly as much as you anticipated? Are frustration and the desire to give up ugly companions in your daily life?
I can give you reasons to laugh at those companions, to quieten down, to rest and achieve more than before.
You probably didn’t think it possible for success to take place when being still the right way.
All your life you heard that success results in hard work with a prospect of early death.
To work hard and gain wealth is an aspect of capitalist societies. I’m not against hard work at all. I do work hard. But I have also realized that hard work brings exhaustion and often not the results I could have had with a different strategy.
Hard work needs an ingredient that turns your effort into effortless success.
I had worked to exhaustion to accomplish the many ideas and tasks at hand. Most of the time, I ended up frustrated because I lacked the wisdom to do the right things at the right time.
While reading a well-known passage in the Bible, enlightenment hit me (I believe it was a revelation from the Holy Spirit).
The passage is from John’s gospel chapter 15 verses 4 and 5. I quote from the New International Version of the Bible.
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
All fruit grows over a season. There is a season for fruit to grow, and there is a season to harvest fruit.
Patience helps you to wait for the fruit and not give up.
There will be sunshine and rain, figuratively speaking; this means good days and bad days. Both are necessary for the fruit to ripen.
There might be times when you are impatient, uncertain that your efforts will pay off in the end.
There might be times of insecurity, the fear of failure, and the wish to let go and depart for a never-ending holiday.
No problem. It’s OK to think or feel that way.
In that passage, Christ is the vine. We are the branches.
The fruit grows on the branches.
Growth happens by itself. The branches are part of the vine. They draw all they need for fruits to come forth from the vine and its roots.
There is nothing to be done for the branches other than to remain on the vine. Isn’t that amazing?
It is contrary to what you and I learned all our lives.
Combine these insights
Putting those insights together, we have the following sentence:
Position yourself (remain – hold still – be available – enjoy static peace) and keep going (move – make progress – pursue your goals – advance – production will flow).
This wordy sentence is full of contradictions, and I love it. It gives me the idea that trusting God has nothing to do with my personal, culturally acquired understanding. That God has higher thoughts than I, thinks differently, has more creative ideas than I do, gives me a sense of security even when everything threatens to fail and fall apart.
God who created heaven and earth out of nothing but His own words will be more than capable of creating something new and beautiful, innovative and singular out of our mess.
Let me show you another verse from the Old Testament.
“Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”Psalm 46:10, taken from the New International Version
Being still and being focused on God will bring you the revelation that God is whom he says He is. God is always for you and on your side of the game. He has good thoughts for you about a life worth living.
(I am talking about the God of the Bible, the God who created all there is and more than we can know. The God who sent Jesus Christ paid the price so that we could go free. The God who delights in humankind and longs to have a heart-to-heart relationship with every single person on the globe).
You might have started your project, your business, your ministry. You might have a clear idea, or you might need more as time goes on.
Inevitably you will hit the place of stumbling, of exhaustion, of wanting to throw it all in. It’s normal. Fear of failure, questions of “Will it all work out?” and frustration might come along.
It is high time to come and sit before God quietly. Do not come with your plan, no bible-study, no prayer-requests, but just being there for Him. God delights in having fellowship with you. The Bible tells us that God created humankind for his pleasure and for having companionship.
In so doing, you are resting. You are still in God’s presence. A simple prayer could sound like this, in either your heart or spoken out loud.
“Dear God, I am here for you, only for you. Speak to me.”
Most people need at least 15 minutes to quieten down, to leave their concerns behind, and focus only on God.
I’m not speaking about emptying your mind but about deep listening, a concentrated focus on God, giving Him all your attention, and not being concerned about your issues. It is the time for God, the time for being with God. It is a time of restoration in his presence, a time of experiencing all that He is and He has. Joy, peace, love, no concerns, freedom, and everything else He is and has.
Insights leading to the next steps
It is often during these times of being quiet and focused on God that I gain fresh insights about the following steps to take, be it in business, in ministry, subjects to talk or write about, or understanding the help and support my family needs the most right now.
God might show you a change of direction or lead you to the right people at the right time.
You might suddenly gain knowledge about witty ideas, directly from the throne of God, tailored to your original and authentic person. You will find direction. And know how to make an impact. God will direct you. Your life will be different. As a consequence, people’s lives will become enriched. You will become a world changer, person, or group of people at a time.
With God at your side as your guide and helper, you will make a difference in the world.
The world will instruct you to work very hard, to put every effort into what you are doing. Yes, we should work hard. But we still need to rest.
With God, it is easy to rest and to be successful.
Try it out. Start today.
I wish you many still times to turn your passion into a huge harvest for yourself, for God and the world.
Bible verses are taken from the New International Version, used by permission