“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” -Ephesians 6:11-12 (NIV)
Have you ever felt like you needed to take a step back from your responsibilities?
I certainly have. In fact, that is why this newsletter is going out a bit late this month.
It’s so interesting to me that, while I often experience bursts of immense productivity and consistency, there are times when I just suddenly “lose my mojo”. Often, it may be triggered by a challenging or discouraging experience that I need to work through but, sometimes, I can simply wake up one morning and feel heavy and unmotivated, for no obvious reason.
Thankfully, I’ve learned that when this happens, the best thing for me to do is to step back, draw nearer to God, slow down and reflect.
And I’ve noticed that I’ve needed to do this a lot more often in the past 13 months.
In the midst of so much confusion, loss, frustration and forced adaptation I have come to understand (particularly among the Body of Christ) that we need to allow more time to reflect, connect, share, pray, grieve and generally honour our individual processes during these troubling times.
However, as a solo-preneur and someone who devotes a fair bit of my time to ministry and being a support to others, I don’t always trust or apply that wisdom right away, especially when I’ve made a commitment to others or I’ve been building momentum toward a specific project or goal. I worry that, if I take time away, I’ll be letting others down or that it will feel like an uphill climb all over again.
As you might have guessed, this happened to me in the past two weeks. I had several time-sensitive commitments to honour and yet I didn’t feel I had the mental capacity to focus on any of them properly. In one instance, I’m part of a small group within my church which handles a specific set of time-sensitive, administrative responsibilities. Sadly, our leader had already stepped back due to the recent and sudden passing of her brother. Under normal circumstances, it is my nature to step forward and pick up the slack but, in this case, I wasn’t confident I could do a proper job within the tight timeline we are usually given.
As I inquired God for His wisdom, asking Him to restore my strength to complete my tasks, I could feel Him encouraging me to slow down and to shift my focus away from my responsibilities and onto Him. While I didn’t expect my group to have any problem with my request for more time, the response of encouragement from our leader (who had lost her brother) came as a revelation to me. I have been reflecting on it ever since and was inspired to share it with you via this devotional newsletter:
“The work and ministry things will always be tertiary when measured to the importance of feeling a sense of stability in what God is allowing us to process through – and depending on the severity of what He’s shifting in us, it sometimes requires us to take a step back to ensure we’re adjusting our armour before getting back into the battle, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.”
Does that resonate with you?
In particular, I was struck by the emphasis on “adjusting our armour” because I realized that the intensity and frequency of these ‘phases’ I’m going through had increased due to the current context of our worldwide situation and the “battle” each of us is waging, both individually and corporately.
I don’t know about you but lately I have felt a sense of urgency in the way that God is developing me and shifting me. He is preparing me for something and wants my full attention. Because of this, I have to be deliberate and intentional about where I put my energy so I don’t miss His call. For that to happen, however, I must make sure there are no gaps in my spiritual covering.
I realize that there’s a lot to unpack here so I’m going to leave you with the encouragement to read through Ephesians and reflect on verses 10-18 and answer this question:
In what area(s) is God asking for your full attention? What might you need to step back from to protect yourself from being inattentive to His call?
Tracy & Born to Fly team