‘Try harder.’ That was always on my mind when I was running, lifting, jumping, bicycling. If I didn’t feel semi-terrible or always out of breath, I wasn’t trying hard enough. That mindset is HARD to get rid of; but I’m not saying we need to TOTALLY get rid of it. My mind definitely had to be renewed and changed to want to try harder for recovery, than trying harder to define myself by athleticism or how ‘strong’ or fast I was.
It’s about resting. It’s about waiting on the Lord. It’s about remembering that my identity is not in the workouts I do or in the work I do. I love to work. I love moving. I love all of those things, but my body is finite. I’m not infinite in my strength, and I NEED rest.
You need rest too if you’re reading this. There is bondage in thinking that it ALL rests on you, in thinking that you HAVE to be enough, you have to be sufficient, you have to try the hardest so you can be a worth while human being.
This is one huge lesson I’ve been learning lately. If there is not liberty and freedom and worship in the way I’m working out and moving that is not the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:17 says, ‘Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.’
It can be hard to discern sometimes, because it seems like trying harder isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when it becomes an obsession it is. It’s an idol. It starts to consume me. It starts to become the center of my life. And I can’t stop to see any of the beauty around me and appreciate God’s precious gift of rest, peace, quiet.
There is freedom in walking beside a still river, listening to the gentle sound of the ripple, meditating on the perfect peace Jesus, the Prince of Peace, came to bring, not this continuous striving to make ourselves better, because He knew we couldn’t make ourselves better by ourselves.
He knew He could.
I have to ask myself.
‘Are you believing that Jesus is sufficient for these things?’
‘Is the blood of Jesus MORE than enough to cover all your unworthiness or are you trying 2z2zźzz2
”Are you trying to make yourself a good person when there is none good, no not one? Are you trusting the PERFECT righteousness of Christ that covers you, the blood that washes away your sins, your failures, your insufficiencies?’
The biggest reminder here is, ‘Who are you looking at?’ Yourself? You aren’t perfect, but Jesus is.
He is worthy. And His worthiness has made you redeemed, washed, cleansed, whole.
His blood has made me a new creature.
It’s Jesus who is the reason. Jesus who is my hope. Jesus who is my worth.
Even My Relationships (because those are imperfect)
My Cooking or Baking
(These are all things that I love, but I can’t try HARDER at these just to make my life worthwhile or worth living. I get to do these things because God made me and do them for Jesus who redeemed me and called me out of darkness, but I don’t need to feel this great burden of being enough or trying hard enough, because Jesus is ALREADY sufficient.)
I’m preaching to myself, because honestly, y’all, I’ve been struggling with this. I’ve been wanting to get it all right. I’ve been wanting not to mess up in my relationships. I’ve been wanting to work hard enough, be a good ‘enough’ example of recovery, and I keep seeing that I’m depending on ‘me.’
And then God’s Word hit me again right between the eyes from 2 Corinthians 3:5, ‘Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God,’
I’ve been looking at it as the sufficiency coming from me, and I keep falling short.
Jesus doesn’t fall short.
Human beings always will.
God knew that. He sent His Son Jesus, the second person in the Godhead to make it possible for us to stop trying to bear that hopeless burden of being sufficient enough, of covering all our guilt, of doing away with our sin ourselves, because He knew we couldn’t.
That’s why Jesus came, and that’s what I’m preaching to myself today.
If any of you needed to hear this too, I pray that it goes to the core of your heart and encourages you to look to Jesus today.
Do you ever struggle with the ‘I just need to try harder’ because it depends on me mindset?
How have you learned to rest more in Christ Jesus and His work in you?