Happy 4th of July! As an American patriot, I’m so grateful for today. I love a day when we can turn the calendar back and remember why our country was originally founded. The Revolutionary War was grounded in a desire for freedom. Freedom to govern ourselves. To have a say in the laws and taxes. To worship without fear. I know that’s simplified, wars can hardly ever be summarized in a few sentences. But it’s safe to say the colonists wanted to be free from the control of a king who didn’t seem to care for their best interests.
I can’t help but think of the similarities between the first American’s desire for freedom and God’s desire for freedom for us.
Freedom is something we have to fight to maintain. That’s why we have brave soldiers around the world defending our freedom today. My deepest thanks go to those who live out the command of Jesus to offer their lives for another. This thanks applies to their brave families as well.
For the rest of us, even we have to fight for our freedom. Without a struggle, we will fall into bondage of some kind, because we have an enemy who is constantly on the prowl. The problem is he is incognito and makes bondage looks pleasing. So why not stop fighting for freedom if the alternative is pleasant? It’s only after we’ve missed out on God’s best that we see the devil’s schemes for what they are.
Scripture says, “… Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” (2 Cor. 11:14b)
I had a pastor who used to say, “You will never drift into ____.” You can fill in the blank with words with whatever good and godly thing you desire. Things like “getting out of debt,” “having more time with your spouse or children,” and so on. Doing the right thing requires effort.
What does this mean for us on our American Independence Day? Well, it’s also the release day of my next book, and I can see the similarities clearly.
My book Doing Busy Better, deals with the issue of over-work, and the resulting problem of a lack of rest. You see, it’s not just enough to say we need to rest more, to be still more and in the moment more. For some of us, that’s a band-aid. Some of us are in bondage to being busy all the time, and without addressing the reasons why, we will never enter in to the rest God promised us.
In my devotion today, I shared some thoughts about God’s heart for work and rest, modeled at creation. Not only did God model the healthy balance of work and rest, but then He incorporated this structure into the Ten Commandments.
With every good thing God gave us, Satan comes in with a lie about why it won’t work. Here are a few lies: 1) You’re too busy to rest on the Sabbath. 2) That’s not really work. (when it is) 3) It won’t hurt to miss one week because you have a big project due on Monday.
And when we believe him enough times, we become in bondage to over-work. And for any of you who have tried to rest when you have a to-do list screaming at you, you know it’s a struggle. Hence we have to fight for our freedom.
Friend, if you are worn out from working too hard, if you feel like a victim of your schedule, if you resent others for the amount of work “they cause” you … then my book is for you. It’s for the driven, hard-working, exhausted woman who wonders if anyone cares about how hard she works and if she will ever get a break.
Yes, sister. Someone cares. First, the Lord sees you and loves you. No amount of effort you expend, no late nights or early morning are ever overlooked by your heavenly Father. And I see you with my heart. I even wrote a book for you.
GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED
**Congrats Tammy Sternberg, you won the giveaway. Please check your email for more details.**
I have a fun giveaway bundle to celebrate my launch day! I’ve included a copy of Doing Busy Better, a pretty to-do note pad and a Be Still Journal (in my devotion I wrote “planner” – it is a journal).
To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment below and I will choose one random winner on Friday, July 7, to receive the bundle (U.S. Addresses only please). If you like, tell me how you are celebrating your freedom in God’s gift of rest today. (If you are reading this in email, please click here to leave a comment.)