In the movie Groundhog Day, the main character keeps reliving the same day over and over again. He tries everything to break the cycle, but until he learns what he was meant to learn he is stuck repeating the same things over and over again. While we may not actually repeat the same exact day again and again, I bet most of us could say we have felt stuck in some way and unable to get to the next level.
When I need a break from work, I play a computer game. I had been playing the same level for what seemed like forever when I noticed something I hadn’t noticed before: a tool. When I used that tool, I was able to complete the round and move on to the next challenge. The harder the level, the more rewards you collect. I find the same thing true in my spiritual walk. As I try to grow and mature, I find myself stuck only to find that the tools I needed were there all along.
This week I have been reading two devotional books, one for writers and one on giving your dreams to God. Thursday they both had the same general message from two different angles about committing your work to the Lord. Then I listened to a podcast that talked about working from a place of rest. When I hear the same ideas or verses of scripture coming from multiple places, I have learned to take note. Here’s what I learned:
First, if we want to move to the next level spiritually, we have to do the work, but not just any work.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.Ephesians 2:10
While works won’t save us, there is still work to be done. This verse points out that God already had a plan for our lives, a work we were designed to do. When we fall in line with God and pick up his yoke, we find a satisfaction and enjoyment that exceeds anything we dreamed of even when the going is difficult or the work seems mundane.
Once we find the work God has us to do, we have to commit it to God:
Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:5Psalms 37:5
4 Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel. 5 We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the Lord fulfil all thy petitions.Psalms 20:4-5
Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.Proverbs 16:3
When you dedicate your dreams to God, you have to trust Him and let go. It sounds simple and easy, but it’s not. We humans have a hard time trusting and letting go. He is a good Father who only wants the best for His children, so He is trustworthy. When we do let go, God always gives back more than we ever dreamed. Too often we try to hedge God in with our small ideas when He has much bigger things planned.
When we have committed it to God, then we can work from a place of rest.
For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.Isaiah 30:15
When we let God set our boundaries, we can do the work that we were called to do but at a sustainable pace. Too often we allow the world to set the pace, one which is not healthy or meaningful. They call it a rat race for a reason. If we will let God show us which opportunities to take and which ones to let go, we can work from a place of rest knowing we are doing His will.
Then, we can look at each day as a chance to start fresh. Unlike the movie, we don’t have to repeat the same level. We can take the next step in our journey, the next level: we just need to remember:
This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.Psalms 118:24
So, let’s take each day one day at a time. If nothing else, the last year taught us that while it’s good to make plans, those plans can change. When we let God have the reins and lead the way, we know we will be going in the right direction and can just enjoy the ride. We can rejoice and be glad.
When you feel overwhelmed by your To-Do List, take a step back and lift it up to the Lord. Ask Him to show you what He wants you to do. You may find that some tasks need to come off of the list, or you may find that God makes a way for everything to get done. Either way, the road is a lot smoother when we take up His yoke instead of dragging everything by ourselves. He wants to give us the life of rest we truly long for if we will only let Him.
Is there something God wants to take off of your To-Do list?
2 thoughts on “The Next Level”
I often think of life as a series of big boss battles. Video games often mimic life. I love playing and often find myself struggling to level up. It typically happens after some training and battling, and acquiring special skills. Even the most solitary of protagonists can go it alone. My favorite video game of all time, Shadow of the Colossus, provides the trusty Agro to assist Wander in his quest. For all the starkness of the surroundings, there is the light of the sword to lead the way. There is so much spirituality in this game. Ah! I love it!!
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I love the “light of the sword to lead the way.”