These words resonate with me so very much. I have been thinking that same thought pretty much every day of my parenting days.
Is it Satan trying to get me to doubt all the efforts I make?
And why do I have a habit of doubting my own self…especially with trying to do something extremely urgent???
Satan’s attacks, along with all the put-downs we shovel on ourselves, can weigh us down to the point of thinking we should quit, give in, and stop trying to live for God.
It ain’t easy…. especially in this world!
So, I want to fill your empty “cup” with hope.
Please stay with me a few minutes as I give you a couple of reminders to encourage you.
The doubt of wondering if you are really making a difference in your home is something all of us moms ask.
I wonder this myself after a hard day of working and being with the kids, possibly trying to teach them something holy, but feeling empty and even alone at the end of the day.
There was a time I wondered this every day for years.
That feeling is draining.
So much effort. So much planning and preparation.
Shouldn’t it have gone better???? I ask myself.
After all, I’m trying to be on God’s side.
Was anything I did any good for God?
And what’s even more defeating is when that pain lingers on and on.
Or maybe we find ourselves waiting each day for that perfect opportunity to preach to our children.
Guess what, though?
All this happens to the best of parents!
How do I know? As I’ve gotten close to my mom friends, I’ve seen them at their best and…well, at their most humbling, worn-out, “just-can’t-do-it-much-more” times.
But…. I’ve got good news!
As Christians, God has given us many great tools for tackling everything that happens in life.
God cares for us, and He knows what it is like to be a parent, in this world, with kids of all different sorts.
He understands, and He hasn’t left us to figure out parenting, or anything in life, alone.
Let’s talk about just one of those tools.
Christians have this extraordinary advantage to life called the Holy Spirit that lives IN us.
“We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts.”
― A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine
We tend to think of all the “visible things” God created, but there is an invisible world too. God loved us so much that He came to dwell among us.
As believers, our confidence and security can be exponentially impacted, knowing that God is with us all the time by His Holy Spirit living IN us.
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. Romans 8:9 ESV
This past week, I had a sort of revelation while I was studying the book of John. John is the book soooo many experts point people that are interested in learning about Jesus.
I see why now!!!
I re-read this short passage that I’d probably read a hundred times:
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. John 1:1a KJV
It hit me that Jesus (God) loved us (you, me) soooooo much that he left his perfectly perfect home in Heaven to come down to earth to live with us.
I already knew that.
I knew Jesus came here because he loved us.
Here’s what hit me: The magnitude of how much He loves us.
You see, in the original Greek, “dwelt” means tabernacle. The tabernacle (we read about in the Old Testament) is where God’s presence was. We get our word “sanctuary” from that. But here’s the kicker: another name for a tabernacle was “tent.”
Side note: I don’t know if you’ve ever gone tent camping, but let’s just say this: you are roughin’ it. Yeah.
Really. It’s the opposite of luxury. In fact, it’s in my sincere opinion that sleeping in a truck seat is comfier than a tent. I’m sorta biased because the last time I “tried” to tent camp was when I was 9 months pregnant with our second kid, in the summer, during a rain.
So maybe it would be better for you to just picture a tent as a small tarp draped over a tree branch and the hard, bare earth underneath.
Alright, sorry for the flashback, but now let’s take that vision of a basic tent and look at that verse.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. John 1:1a
Jesus loved us so much that he came down here to live in the equivalent of a tent (compared to his heavenly home) to live among us.
There’s a lot in just this opening to John. A LOT.
We are gonna stay right here for a sec because I want to go back to the question: I wonder if I’m really making a difference for Christ in my home?
When I hear these words in my brain that make me question what I’m doing, I’ve really got to answer that, in one way or another, I am making a difference for Christ in my home.
I’m either being pro-Jesus or anti-Jesus.
Do we ever, ever get that uncomfortable for other humans?
No, we don’t.
Even if we have to sleep in a twin size bed with a kid part of the night, it’s just incomparable LOL.
There really is nothing to compare that love with.
I could even give a visual of someone going from living in a 2,000 acre gated resort-like haven with a 20,000 square foot house, complete with servants, to living on the streets of Skid Row in L.A., but it wouldn’t be enough.
We can only imagine how glorious Heaven is. It was Jesus’ home, where it was perfectly holy. And the earth was imperfect and messy and mostly uncomfortable.
So whatever it takes to visualize, put yourself in that picture to just attempt to see the love He has for us (you and me) when Jesus came here to dwell with us.
Just think about that a minute.
Jesus had to live an uncomfortable life here on earth. Still, he demonstrated how to live for God, contently, and proclaiming the gospel to everyone.
He’s been our example.
As Christians, we love Him and believe in his message, and want the world to know.
Telling the world is the hard part, isn’t it?
How about we keep working at that, but concentrate on your little world right now?
What do I mean?
I mean YOUR FAMILY.
Yeah, your kids mostly, but let’s don’t leave out the hubs too.
Let’s commit to being pro-Jesus first in our home.
Let’s start there.
Let’s stay there. And then branch out into the world.
Whether you are a veteran Sunday School teacher or a newly baptized believer, there are those of us that have just not shared Jesus enough with our family.
We can NO LONGER put that off.
Would you like the world to put only its ideas into their precious heads? And hearts?
Because the world already is.
The question is, are you putting what you know as truth into your kids’ heads and hearts?
Are YOU making a difference for Christ in your home?
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24
We were never created to handle this life we have alone. Jesus is right beside us…at every step.
And He wants to. He loved us SO MUCH that He wanted to come here to walk with us and experience the ups and downs and messiness of life as a human.
If you want to get super technical, He’s been here with us humans since the beginning. Now, I’m not trying to make the Holy Spirit appear to be an actual “tool” because He is a real person.
As a Christian, He, the Holy Spirit, lives in you, and He is there to be your guide.
If you are in tune with the Holy Spirit in you, you’ll notice what the Spirit is saying to you. He will guide you by warning, correcting, convicting, encouraging, pointing, etc.
Jesus was both fully God and fully man, and His Holy Spirit that lives in you will be your guide in life.
Jesus/God/Holy Spirit lives in us.
How much more personal can He be?!!
Why does it seem like I’m repeating myself???
Because Satan wants you to think God is far off and concentrated on bigger things. That’s a total lie!
If you are like me, you will get convicted (or firmly nudged) to do something. There are lots to be done while on earth. As a mom, you’ve got a kid (or a few of ‘em) to shepherd through this dark world we live in.
Just keep moving to the cross. When things get heavy, or you’re out of ideas or frustrated, go to Jesus to get back on the right path.
Listen to the Holy Spirit in you.
Get out that dusty Bible and make it your new BFF. Put it all over your house…one in every room, even in your car.
Put that Bible App on your main Home screen!
Jesus has a plan for you, for your children, and we can be filled with joy and peace when we walk beside Him. We can do things we couldn’t do before without Him and stop doing things you need to stop doing with His help.
Jesus is camped out with you. Don’t forget that. He decided to live in a messy, old, dirty tent with you.
Make Him the one that your whole life is grounded on. Make Him the one that your kids are filled with each day by you.
Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:20-22 ESV
Take a step towards a new way of parenting. Make discipling your children your priority!
You aren’t alone in how to do this!
Right now, pray for God to help you. He knows what you need and knows you feel like this will be a monumental task.
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Galatians 5:13 ESV
Quote by A.W. Tozer: “We need never shout across the …. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/414309-we-need-never-shout-across-the-spaces-to-an-absent