The first time I heard this phrase was several years ago during my final semester of college. In a time full of anticipation, planning, and needing to know what would come next, these were very valuable words of wisdom. I took them to heart and committed to enjoy and invest all the time that I could because soon enough, my college days would be over and I would have moved on. During that time, as I waited expectantly for God alone to direct my next steps, He drew me closer to Himself than I could have imagined. To this day, I consider that season one of the most precious times of my life. No, I did not know what was to come, but how sweet it was to cling to the One who holds my life in His hands- who has promised me a hope and a future. As I spent those months falling more in love with Him, He was faithful to lead me exactly where He intended and I experience such a wonderful time in my relationship with Him.
So what does this mean for my life now? As one of my favorite hymns says, “Here I raise my ebenezer…”. An ebenezer is a stone of remembrance. To raise a stone of remembrance is to remember God’s faithfulness. And so I recall this sweet season of my life to remember God’s faithfulness in the past. In a season of longing to be used by Him and desiring to know what is to come, I claim the truth of His faithfulness- for His glory and for my good. I have an ever-increasing desire to be part of His plan rather than my own… to be spent for His good purpose, not my own… to bring success to His mission, not my agenda. Guess what. He doesn’t need our help! When we submit to Him, we get to be used by Him. But if we think we are helping His plan along, we are wrong. “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21). What a humbling place to be: seeking Him and submitting to His purpose. The truth of the matter is this: I am nothing- and He is everything!! My needs are temporary, and the needs of His kingdom are eternal. “Your will above all else, my purpose remains. The art of losing myself in bringing You praise...” This song is not just about losing oneself in a worship experience, but about putting oneself aside in life for His purpose to reign! Worship is not about me. It is about Him! My life is not about me. It is about Him! The crazy thing about this truth is that it is so familiar. And yet, I seem to be discovering it for the first time.
In Matthew 6, the question is posed “Why do you worry? Don’t you know that your heavenly Father will meet all your needs?” I must confess that I do not live as though I believe that. The command that follows is this: Seek. Him. First. His kingdom. His will. His purpose. His righteousness. And all the things that you need will be provided. Do not worry. Do. Not. Worry. It’s a command. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. AND the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7). The command is to not be anxious but to pray. The promise is peace.
So the truth that is pressing on my heart is this. Be all here. Wait expectantly for His purpose. His direction. His plan. But do not worry about tomorrow. Allow His purpose to prevail in you today. Seek to know Him better today and this will be the case.
Daphne Social Worker