Just Ask Jesus: Why is trying to serve you such a struggle sometimes?
One of the ladies in class today shared a story of how she had been trying so hard for 5 months to get access to some services for her elderly parents. Every time she tried to get somewhere with this national organization, she was given the run around or simply ignored. She was crying out to God about why this had been such a struggle, and He reminded her that she had left Him totally out of this project. After she repented of that, she surrendered this situation to Him. God took the reins and immediately she was able to talk to the right person to get things rolling in her parent’s case. It reminded me of my own life lesson about striving in my own strength versus resting in God’s power. I was crying out to God one day about how much my ministry felt like a struggle.
Jesus, why is trying to serve you such a struggle sometimes?
The Lord answered; “Let’s look at two different types of people; strivers and resters. Imagine that you are at the ocean with a sailboat. The land represents the physical world, the ocean represents the spiritual world, and the shore is where both worlds connect in your service for Me.”
“All your life you thought that being ‘passionate’ about something was important to life satisfaction. But, that’s not quite right. Passions are selfish motivations that originate with you. They are things that you care about. They are what you want and what you want to do. Strivers begin with their boat on the on land, with their passions, and drag it to the ocean against the wind and the waves. With excessive effort they try to accomplish wonderful things (even for Me and in My name) but they keep getting pushed back by the wind and the waves. “Surely the Lord will come along side me”, they think, “because I’m doing all of this for God!” Burn out and discouragement follow and strivers begin to believe the lie that they will never accomplish much of anything in this life.
Satan rubs his hands with glee when he sees well-meaning strivers because he knows they will not bear the fruit that I had planned for them.
“You got me right in the gut with that one Lord.” I confessed. “No wonder I had so much trouble with the Roundtable Ministry. It felt exactly like that. It was always such a struggle. I worked so hard and it just didn’t work. I had such a strong passion to serve You in that ministry and it was perfectly in line with my gifts. For Your sake and in Your name I tried and tried and worked so hard and there was virtually no fruit. I remember praying, “I have a passion for this God. You have gifted me in this area and I have experience doing this kind of thing. You know how badly I want to serve You with all my heart. Why isn’t this working?”
The Lord answered, “You were wanting Me to come along side your plans. That’s not how it works. My plans are always better than yours, and they are Not your plans. You need to come along side My plans. Not the other way around.”
The Lord continued, “Resters on the other hand begin way out in the ocean with their sails down, waiting and listening. There is always movement in the ocean; sometimes gentle, sometimes turbulent and powerful. The ocean represents the Holy Spirit. Resters tune in to the movement of the ocean.
“They abide in the Holy Spirit.” I offered.
“Yes, they learn to discern My heart and allow Me to speak through the eyes of their heart by showing them dreams and visions of what I want for them. They listen with the ears of their heart and hear My edifying, comforting and shepherding voice. They tune into My mind as I share My unlimited wisdom. Resters agree with My will and decide in their hearts to obey My perfect direction.”
Then, when I have made the rester’s heart ready, I blow. I pierce their heart with something that is breaking Mine, moving them by My compassion. My breath is the heart of compassion that connects with the rester’s heart and compels them to move into service. The wind of My breath fills the rester’s sails and the boat moves toward a swelling wave. The rester needs only to hang on to that sail and allow the wind and the waves to carry the boat all the way to the shore where My will intersects with a need I want the rester to fill.
‘”So resters are tuned in to all of the senses of the inner man.” I clarified. They receive messages from You with the eyes and ears of their hearts and then use that information to tune into your mind to receive Spirit-led wisdom, then they purpose in their hearts to agree with Your will and then the emotions of Your heart motivates them to step out in faith and act with Your strength and power and not their own.
“Ah.” I said, “So that’s what it must feel like to live out Matthew 11:28-30 …28“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29“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. 30“For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.””
“Yes, let Me do most of the work. Become a rester! I will move you to the shore. Then, your job is simply to obey and do what I instruct. I will motivate your heart to act. I’ll show you exactly what and how to intervene to have the impact I have planned.
“So that’s what it looks like to live inside Your will.” I said. “It sure sounds more satisfying than striving.”
“Remember, the Lord summarized, “If you are trying too hard and not bearing fruit, it may be a sign that you are a striving. If you notice Me opening doors and making things happen easily for you, you are a resting in Me. Proverbs 3:5-6 instruct us to “5Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” Thank you Lord that your Word promises that I don’t need to strive. Help me to abide, to listen and wait for you to pierce my heart with something that breaks your heart. Help me to listen and allow you to move me with your heart of compassion toward the shore of my impact for you. In Jesus Name, Amen.
If you would like to be able to Ask Jesus questions like we do in many of our blogs and have Him answer back to you personally, we can show you how. Please see our foundational teaching on 4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice. If you already know how to have these conversations, join the discussion and share what Jesus is saying to you!