Recently, I was recounting to someone how Father had asked me to pull back and be still for a while. The person’s response was, “If you are in a position to do that, fine!” As I tried to explain, it became apparent that the person did not ‘get’ the notion of stepping back, much less waiting on God to see what He had to say. I walked away from the conversation, feeling like the person thought perhaps I had lost the plot. Worst still, that the notion of pausing and being still was simply a luxury one could not afford in this day and time, especially with our bulging to-do lists, roles and responsibilities, distractions, etc – all which would seem to keep us busy for eternity.
The Busy-Driven Life
The conversation got me thinking about our journeys as Christians. Life is so fast-paced, even in some of our churches (dare I say) that there is no thinking space, much less time to pause. I remember speaking to a group of ladies about the notion of the ‘Sabbath rest’ and they just fell to pieces laughing at me. Judging by their reaction, I was convinced they thought I was from another planet, because they looked at me in bewilderment and said, “What about church?” By that, they were not referring to the attendance of church but ‘running church’, as they were all very much involved in one way or another.
All the responses I have mentioned so far don’t surprise me, however, as this seems to be the norm or status quo. The work/life/church balance for many of us is out of whack! If we are not exhausted, running ragged, running on empty, disillusioned, stressed out, falling apart at the seems, perhaps we think we need to be working harder. We are just simply too busy living and serving God that there seems to be no room to check in with the One we claim to love, serve and follow. Ask me, how do I know this?
Benefits of Pausing
Notwithstanding, I am an avid proponent of walking in step with God, like two close friends. For this to happen, we need to slow down, press pause and sit at His feet. This in itself has a two-fold benefit. One is that we get to experience Matthew 11:28-30 firsthand, by taking our cues from Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Secondly, we get the much-needed guidance and instructions for the next phase of our journey – be it for our Christian walk, our professional or personal lives. As an advocate and regular participant of pausing and being still, I know only too well the benefits this brings.
Without this, we run the risk of running ourselves ragged, missing out on the wonderful benefits of Matthew 11:28-30 and on the joys of the John 10:10 life. Worst still, we run the risk of relying on our own strength, wisdom and understanding whilst (foolishly) trying to navigate the journeys of our lives, when in actual fact, God is the One who needs to be at the helm of our ships, navigating us through the high seas, stormy seasons and everything thing else life throws at us.
Questions To Ask Yourself
So my questions to you are as follows:
- When last did you take the time to pause and listen for His Voice? Just in case you are wondering, He still speaks!
- If our Father were to speak to you now, would you recognise His voice? (PS: God has 101 ways – and that’s being modest – of communicating with us, in addition to dreams, visions, nature, songs, movies, etc.)
- And here is the biggie: What if Father were to tell you to pause, come aside or change direction, right at the height/peak of whatever it is you are doing. Would you drop it all in answer to His bidding?
You may want to prayerfully reflect on your responses, as there is a chance He may have been trying to catch your attention. Also, your responses give an indication of the true state of your heart.
I encourage you not to fall into the trap Judah did, when God warned them in Jeremiah 6:16-17, which says:
“Go stand at the crossroads and look around.
Ask for directions to the old road,
The tried-and-true road. Then take it.
Discover the right route for your souls.
But they said, ‘Nothing doing.
We aren’t going that way.’”
God has a route and pathway for our lives, and it is down to us to seek it out by remaining close enough to Him. So let us not think we have all the answers, because our greatest illuminations pale into insignificance when compared to God’s own wisdom (Isaiah 50:10-11). We need to remain in Him to grow and be effective (John 15). Better still, our salvation and strength only come when we return to Him, rest in Him, and confidently trust Him (Isaiah 30:15-16). Brother/sister, it’s the only way!
So, take some time out to stop, pause and ask for directions for the way ahead. You don’t have the answers. Listen out for the voice of your Teacher, and He will direct your ways (Isaiah 30:21).
Written by Gladys Famoriyo – Speaker and Author of: Bounce Back!; Quit Hiding, Start Living!; Healing A Discouraged Heart, and Overcoming Emotional Baggage. www.gladysf.com