Don't Waste Your Summer: Reliving and Living
During the busy summer season, we’re taking some time to look at some ways we can strive to use our summers intentionally, for the glory of God and the good of others.
Here’s what we’ve covered thus far:
- Don’t Waste Your Summer
- Plan Your Seasons
- 4 Ways To Vacation Well
- Rest Rightly, Rest Well
- Reliving And Living
Throughout the book of Deuteronomy God is telling His people to look back, remember and reflect on what God has first and foremost done for His Glory but on His people's behalf. For example [Deuteronomy 5:15; 7:18; 8:2; 8:18; 9:7; 15:15; 16:3; 16:12; 24:9; 24:18; 24:22] to name a few. In these verses we see examples of God calling his people to remember that they were once slaves before God intervened and brought them out of slavery. We also see examples where God calls the Israelites to remember where they once were and who is their true God to trust in who brought them out of slavery.
As Christians we are called to the same reality. To remember where we once were, slaves to our own sinful passions but we are now free because our God brought us out of slavery by the cross of Jesus Christ. This constant remembering that God calls his people to is a wonderful way for us to be humbled under the reality that we did not accomplish where we are now on our own and that our lives are ultimately products of God's beautiful grace in Jesus Christ.
This summer we spent a significant amount of time writing about ways to not Waste Your Summer. But this blog series we rolled out this summer wasn't only for the season of Summer. These blog posts were written to help anyone, no matter what season of the year it is.
This final blog post we will help you remember where you once were, look at how and where you have grown, and how to plan for the next season of growth.
Where You Once Were
Do you realize that if you are in Christ you are counted as a son or daughter of God? But with that identity, you must remember that you were purchased with a price. A price not paid by you but a price that has been paid in full by Jesus Christ alone.
We are enslaved sinners by nature and it took a perfect rescue plan by God himself to see to it that humanity would be brought back into a right relationship with him.
"In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son...to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons." - Galatians 4:3-5
As a Christian you must realize before Jesus saved you from your own sin, you were men and women of wrath. You were enemies of God, destined for hell, corrupted by your own sinful passions.
To be thankful for what you have in Jesus, you must remember where you were before Jesus. How to do this, take some time to reflect on the past. Reflect on where you were before Jesus captured you. Reflect what it would be like not to have Jesus as your King, Ruler & Sustainer. By doing this, you will have a sense of humility and thankfulness towards God because of Jesus Christ.
Where Has God Grown You?
A few years ago, I was dealing with some pretty bad anxiety. I remember getting really worked up when I looked at my life, and would see how I would fail at being a disciple of Jesus. Or get mad when I felt like my payer life was terrible. What I didn't realize is that within these struggles God had been slowly changing who I was. This was evidence of His grace, working to make me look more like Jesus.
Our struggles are usually the first things we look at because they are very present and they affect us deeply. But what often times happens is we forget to look and reflect on how God has been changing us over time. We tend to forget to see the small glimpses of growth happening in our lives. We tend to glaze over the reality that God is forever changing those who are in Christ. Teaching them about their sin, idols, struggles and helping them see their greater need is Jesus.
When you are sitting down and planning out the next season, it is key to first reflect on where you once were before Jesus snatched you up and also reflect on what God has been doing over the years to change you. If you don't reflect, you will always feel discouraged because you will never remember all the times God was working on changing things about you.
Remember to always reflect on the evidences of God's grace.
Plan For The Next Season Of Growth
Now that you have remembered and reflected on where you were before Jesus and what evidences of God's grace show up in your life. It is now time to plan for the next season of growth. I firmly believe that you cannot grow deeply unless you have a plan. When people go on trips, they know their destination. When people have vacations, they know what they want to do for rest and relaxation. Why then, when we look at the next season, do we feel like we don't need to plan?
The best way I have found to be helpful is find the different areas that I want to grow in. Maybe it's leading my family, maybe it's growing in a specific doctrine, or maybe it's just growing as a friend and write out what you plan on doing to help cultivate these specific areas. Have goals that are quantifiable and reachable. You don't want to say something like, "I want to grow in Scripture memorization!" and your subgoal within that is to memorize the entire Bible word for word in a year. That goal just isn't reachable. But what you can say is "I want to grow in Scripture memorization!" and your subgoal could be something like, memorize one verse every other week for 6 months. You see the difference?
Planning is not devoid of the Spirit. God works through many avenues and for my brain when I have goals specifically written down I feel like I won't forget them and I can reach them by God's grace. You see, planning isn't the thing that will grow you, but it is one of many different tools that will help as God continues to grow you. The goal in planning isn't to make yourself better, the goal is to grow more in love with Jesus.
The fall season is right around the corner, so take some time to look back on where you once were before Jesus. Take some time to remember the many evidences of God's grace that you have seen. And then move forward by planning out your next season.