Last night I had a dream:
I was at my Parents house at the top right corner. I remember my Mom coming up to me and saying that she wanted to spend time with me (Earlier that day in real life she asked me to go to lunch today but I couldn’t because I worked). When I told her I couldn’t spend time with her, she was furious. So then she proceeded to tell me that she took everything I had and wouldn’t give it back until we spent time together. I was outraged so I went to my room and I looked and saw almost all of my stuff gone. For some reason, I began freaking out, having a nervous breakdown and it was so bad that I woke up from it.
As I processed this dream throughout the day I realized what it was about…or so I thought. I posted on Facebook about my dream and how I realized this dream symbolizes God as my parent taking everything from me until I spent more time with Him. This seemed like a plausible answer. These last 13 months have been nothing but one thing after another being taken from me. Certainly I have not spent enough time with the Lord.
On Thursday night, right before I preached, we were in worship and I was desperately going over my notes in my head (You can listen to it below). Then I began to think about this and that. My mind was consumed by everything other than Jesus. And that’s when the Holy Spirit spoke directly and said, “Just be with me.” It was an important moment for me. For 13 months I’ve been trying to do everything and anything to be at this moment: to preach. For 13 months I’ve been trying my hardest to do something for the Lord. For 10 years I’ve been training myself, building up new skills, learning how to be a more effective minister, and doing everything in my power to rid myself of one small lie: I’m not good enough.
There is truth to the dream: I haven’t spent enough time with the Lord (or my mom for that matter). But that dream was revealing about my own flaws rather than God’s character. I believe that if I don’t do something enough, if I’m not good enough, if I’m not this perfect super-Christian, I’ll never get out of this God-forsaken season. But the reality is that God doesn’t give to me based on how good I am. No amount of good works can ever amount to me receiving a certain position or amount of money. I will always need to do a better job of following Jesus. There will always be room for improvement in different seasons of life. But God doesn’t give based on God works. God gives based on His love for us through the blood of Christ.
This week Empowering Hope is focusing on Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am the Lord. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.” We often like to quote this verse and make it seem like a peaceful comfort. Most people don’t even quote the last ⅔ of this verse. But this verse is birthed out of war. As the Psalmist writes vv. 8-9, war is in the forefront of his mind. But in the midst of that chaos, God says, “Be still and know that I am God.”
This week I want to challenge us to spend more quality time with the Lord. Despite our own chaos, wars, circumstance, or whatever you’re facing. Spend more time with Jesus this week. Not to get something from Him or for any other ulterior motive than to simply spend time with the one who loves us abundantly. I don’t know what that looks like for you and I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. Especially when we go through rough seasons it can be hard to spend time with our Creator. And the goal isn’t to come out of it with some special revelation. The goal is to be rejuvenated knowing that the God of the universe loves us so much and so intimately that He is willing to spend time with us. Each person has their own way of spending quality time with Jesus. My only suggestions area to get out your Bible and unplug yourself from the world.
About Justin Boothby
Justin is a lifelong student who loves to travel, film, write, design websites, and life coach. Most importantly he loves to Pastor in all different kinds of ministry settings. He’s also an avid pizza lover, metalcore listener, and shot glass collector.