Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How to Uncomplicate Your Life

Life is extremely complicated. Living out this life as a full-time working mom, wife, mother of three, daughter, volunteer, servant gets messy and I don't always do it well. It can so easily become unbalanced. Schedules get full, obligations (both real and made up in my mind) take over and I become overcome with anxiety. I lash out, I stress out, I gain weight, I stumble. I want to fill all my roles well. I am doing important things. Yet, I often find myself completely exhausted and I just need a pillow and some rest. However, it seems I just don't know how to do that. To stop. To rest. To just be.

Yet the solution is simple and it is uncomplicated.

Stovall Weems, pastor of Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Florida provides an approachable, easy to digest guide for applying the biblical principle of putting God first. 

I'm sure you are familiar with the verse Mathew 6:33 that tells us to seek first the kingdom of God. But how does that apply to your daily life? How does one seek God first?

In The God First Life - Uncomplicate Your Life God's Way, Weems explains how to change

our priorities to live out the life we were designed for.

The new priority of our lives is to truly put God first above our own desires, hopes, challenges and circumstances. It is a commitment to living your life God's way. Weems says, "The primary thing we should wish for, crave, diligently seek is God. And when this proper order is restored, the blessing is released into our lives." (28)

The God First Life outlines how to practically reorder your priorities every day to put God first and foremost. He aligns each principle with scripture and includes examples from the early church and believers of this age. Weems says God First living comes out of seven key decisions:

  • I will make God's family (the Church) my primary family
  • I will engage in the community life of the church
  • I will be filled by the Spirit
  • I will worship God on my own and with my church family
  • I will spend time with God through prayer and His Word
  • I will give of myself and my means
  • I will experience freedom, joy and blessing that God offers

Weems goes on to unpack each of those decisions through vivid examples and practical application. He reminded me of how it felt to be a new believer totally in love with my savior. And he encouraged me to be engaged in a long-term commitment to total personal transformation (sanctification) for Christ. He point's out that God gave us the sculpting tools to enact this transformation - His Church, His Word, His Spirit, His presence, His son. 

Reading this book opened my eyes to the bland faith I have been living. Working each day for God's Kingdom at a Christian PR firm, it is easy to believe that I'm living for God but the reality is that He has not been a priority.  The busyness of my life, the life stage of my young ones, has put Him on the back burner. Though it will take some rearranging and dedication, I must reorder my life so that I am tapped into the One who can truly give me rest, and who has a plan for me. Plans to prosper me and not harm me. Plans to give me a hope and a future. 

His plan is better than my plan. 

Only one thing can hold me back - fear. Giving our trust to the Lord is a leap of faith. Living life is like being blindfolded and behind the wheel of a mini-van full of children. To make it through, we must trust that God has the map for our journey and completely rely on Him. step-by-step, to provide clear directions to our destination. If we try to steer on our own, we will surely crash. 

But perfect love casts out fear or put another way, "only an act of true love can thaw a frozen heart." Jesus's act of true love on the cross can cast out our fear and lack of trust. So, I choose to put on the spirit of power, love and sound mind, as well as that blindfold, and commit to anchor myself in Him who directs my path.

About The God First Life - Uncomplicate Your Life, God's Way
A simple and sustainable path to a deep and satisfying walk with Christ There are thousands of how-to books for improving various areas of life---self, relationships, finances, fitness, business, marriage, family. And there are nearly as many books written for believers offering a framework for the 'right' approach to a new life in God. What if it were possible, Pastor Stovall Weems asks,to boil it all down to one practical, un-complicated principle that would yield the vibrant, purposeful spiritual life so many are looking for? What if, in our relationship with God, we had one simple and sustainable touch point to experience a deep and satisfying walk with Christ? In The God-First Life, Weems shows that true success in our walk with God and in life in general is not an issue of need, but an issue of order. Brilliantly unpacking the simple Scripture in Matthew 6:33, Weems gives a fresh and practical perspective on what Christian 'discipleship' is about. Bringing clarity, depth, and simplicity, Pastor Weems makes clear core truths that have been misunderstood by many Christians and non-Christians alike.

About the Author
Stovall Weems is the founder and lead pastor of Celebration Church in Jacksonville, FL. Celebration is a global, diverse, growing multisite church, with more than twelve thousand people in weekly attendance. As a pastor, teacher, writer and sought-after conference speaker, his ministry focuses on building the local church, reaching people with the gospel, and developing passionate followers of Christ. Stovall and his wife, Kerri, have three children, Kaylan, Stovie, and Annabelle.

Disclosure of material connection: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free in the hope that I would give it my fair review. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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