As a mom you know the scene very well.
You creep out, in the stillness of the early morning, hoping and praying no one hears you, or wakes from their beds. You long so desperately to spend a few minutes in silence, with a cup of hot coffee and Jesus. The day before had been crazy nonstop chaos from the moment your feet hit the floor till your head hit the pillow. Let’s be honest, not just the day before, but the entire week had been that way. Between kids, school, baseball, dance, meals, and everything else that a mom does durning the day, you had no time to spend in the word or even pray, for that matter.
Yet, you longed to. You often think, ” How does everyone else do it? How does everyone else do it all, spend time in prayer, and read their Bible? Why did I have such trouble getting up in the morning? After all isn’t that what good Christian women do?”
I have been there. I felt as if I was bending and breaking under the pressure of keeping the rules and the laws, afraid that my messy life would be exposed. I was wearing my achievements like a badge of honor, while at the same time afraid that I would expose my mess; I really wasn’t what I seemed. When the craziness of my life was stripped away you find fear, worry, longings and insecurities. Underneath the facade of perfection was a woman who believed a lie of unworthiness.
Some days I allowed that lie to overtake me and I was left feeling shame and guilt.
There were days when I cracked under the pressure of keeping it all together and would scream and yell at my children. I would then collapse in a puddle of tears before The Lord because I had really screwed up that day. Condemnation would come like a flood. Guilt and shame would strike my identity. Instead of embracing the grace of God and the words of his promises over me, I would condemn myself and allow the enemy to speak lies. I would leave my time with the Lord developing a new plan as to how I would discipline my children. I would begin the next day trying even harder to overcome this anger and feeling of unworthiness I felt inside. I was determined to just try harder… I was tired.
I was living under the approval of others rather than from a place of being deeply loved by God.
Guilt and shame has, in some aspects, harnessed every woman, I am sure of it. I have never met a woman who has not struggled with guilt and shame in some aspect of their lives.
I lived years as this woman.
The moment I sat down with coffee in one hand and Bible in the other, I hear a child coming down the steps. I think, ” Are you serious it’s 6am! I just want a few minutes. Just a few minutes in silence.”
For years I fell under the guilt of not spending enough time in God’s word. For so long I felt like I needed a special plan to read the Bible, or that I needed to be sitting down in a totally quiet room with no interruptions to approach God,and with four kids that never seemed to happen enough. Until one day The Lord whispered a phrase into my spirit, “Eat when you are hungry.”
Jesus said, “You who are now hungry are blessed, because you will be filled.” (John 6:21)
We would never let our physical body starve then why do we let our spiritual body starve? So often, as moms and women, in general we are starving our spiritual bodies because we think we need to follow some system to enter into His presence. However, it is quite simple, just eat when you are hungry.
In Matthew 12: we read an account of Jesus restoring access to His presence at anytime. Restoring us back to the garden where Adam and Eve had perfect communion with the Father. It was a defining moment when Jesus revealed to His disciples that anyone could eat of His presence AND whenever they were hungry.
“His disciples were hungry and begin to pick and eat some heads of grain. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “look your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!” (Matthew 12:1-2)
Don’t you love when guilt, like the Pharisees, speaks up and says you are doing it all wrong.
Jesus began talking about how David and his men entered the house of God and ate when they were hungry. It was unheard of to the Pharisees to eat the sacred bread. The bread that David ate was the bread of the presence. The bread of Presence, in the Old Testament, served as a picture of God’s presence and only the priest were allowed to eat it. The bread was left on the table in the Tabernacle representing the fellowship He was extending to His people was always ready and available. (Exodus 25:30).
David was performing a prophetic act of what was to come when Jesus tore the veil in the temple. We do not have to perform to enter into His presence. All are welcome!
Jesus was proclaiming eat when you are hungry!
Today, Jesus wants to release guilt and shame off of women. Guilt and shame is not from God and He does not want His daughter feeling as if she does not measure up, or that she needs to perform to enter into His presence. He wants to break off the lie that His presence is confined to our “quiet times.”
If you are a child of God he says, “Come all who are weary and heavy burden.” Jesus simply says come, come just as you are. There is no formula to entering into His presence…just to come and sit at His feet.
Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “ If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive.” John 7:37-39
I have come to believe that His very presence, much to my surprise, is located within our daily living, not limited to our formulas. We are inhabited by His spirit. Literally, He is our helper that activates our dead spirits to life. He is the very one who brings life to our everyday tasks.
The Spirit sustains us and nourishes us. Invite Him into your everyday activities. Pray and commune with Him throughout your day. Pray in the shower, while you clean, in the car-pool line, or while you cook. Speak to Him while you are washing dishes.
As we saw in Matthew 12, it’s the law that will tell us we need to pray or enter into His presence a certain way. When you are hungry for God’s presence, eat! Put worship music on, read the word out loud to your children, or carry verses in your pocket. All you need to do, girlfriend, is to continue eating and He promises He will fill you. Know dear friend that your King is well pleased with you. He loves you!
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