This past year, I went on a mission trip to Africa. It was a life changing experience. I forged life-long relationships with some incredible people, caught a small glimpse of the beauty of God’s creation, and, hopefully, planted some seeds of the love of Jesus Christ in a part of the world that desperately needs it.
While I am truly grateful for all of those experiences, the most amazing thing I experienced in Africa was simply how close I was able to walk with God in my own personal relationship with Him. My cell phone did not have service over there. We barely had internet service. It was just me and five other members of the mission team, and our only focus for those seven days was to love God and love others.
I can’t even begin to describe the peace that I felt during that week.
It was something that I had longed for my entire life. I was able to discern God’s voice so clearly. Tasks that might usually fill me with anxiety, such as speaking in front of a large crowd of people, I was able to approach with joy. When my alarm went off in the morning, I did not hit the snooze button. I hopped out of bed to go spend time in God’s word. I received a true glimpse of what Jesus was saying in Matthew 11 when he proclaimed,
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Walking out this scripture in our every day lives can be challenging.
This is something that I personally struggle with. I have to be very intentional to ensure that I am walking out my every day life yoked with Christ. Here are four examples;
I have to…
- be intentional about spending time with Him, and reading His word.
- set aside time to just be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46: 10).
- turn off my cell phone for a couple of hours when I am feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities.
- And if I am at work and I am about to give a presentation, or have a difficult conversation with someone, I have to take some time beforehand to just pray and ask God to guide me.
A good friend once told me about a week in which every single day when he came home from work, he turned off his cell phone, turned off his computer and his television, and he just spent time time with God through worship and prayer. He said that week changed his life.
Sometimes the most productive action we can take is to be still and know that He is God.
Stopping in the middle of a busy or stressful situation to be still and listen for God’s voice might seem counterproductive, but that is exactly what the word of God tells us to do. Therefore, it is quite possibly the most productive action we can take.