Sunday, January 26, 2014

Weekend Worship—Discipline versus Freedom—Not Really Opposites

I press in toward the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

Freedom and discipline may seem like opposite ends of the spectrum. But recently I’ve discovered, through experience, how related those two terms truly are. For those of you who follow my blog regularly you’ve noticed a common theme in my Weekend Worship—stress due to saying yes to often.

There are many reasons I tend to automatically say yes instead of no. 
Some of them may strike a nerve with you as well.



  • I don’t want to disappoint someone.
  • It feels good to be needed.
  • I don’t want to be left out.
  • I enjoy that particular task.
  • I feel God has called me to do this. 

Some are good reasons to say yes, most aren’t. The order of the list above is purposeful. I put the reasons in this order on purpose—not because that’s a good order, but because it’s an honest one.

All too often I put God’s calling last…not first.

And I’ve found that doing things for the wrong reason enslaves my time and doesn’t leave me free to fulfill the call God has put on my life.

Over-indulgence—even to serving others—is an exercise that leads to slavery. It’s NEVER a demonstration of freedom. A hard lesson that this people-pleasing girl must learn over and over again.

So today I’m continuing my resolve to pray first, wait on God and PRESS ON to His goal for me—no matter the consequences. Care to join me?

15 comments:

  1. Honest and true, Edie, and so, so common a problem for many of us. Thank you for challenging us to ask "Is this God calling me?" first, not last.

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    1. Pam, thanks for stopping by! Blessings, E

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  2. It's so easy to do the urgent but not really important things first. By the time I'm done, I've no time for what's most important. What helps me is to have a daily morning quiet time as I study the Scriptures and pray. This sets the tone for my day and keeps my awareness of God throughout the day. I pray for those divine appointments that at first seem to be interruptions.

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    1. Debbie, great thoughts! Thanks so much for sharing, Blessings, E

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  3. You're absolutely right, Edie. I've fallen into the trap before, specifically #1 and #2. And, predictably I burned out. It was a hard lesson but I learned that sometimes we have to say no.

    When we say no to something, it gives someone else the opportunity to serve.

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    1. Ellen, you're so right. Sometimes saying yes is the selfish thing to do. Blessings, E

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  4. Great post, Edie. I likewise struggle with this. Something I try to remember as I make every decision is "If I say "yes" to this then I'm saying "no" to something else." This is a well-known law of economics that applies to all of life. Each time we say "yes" we need to be careful and discerning as to what we are really saying "no" to. This exercise of switching my perspective from "yes's" or "no's" helps me stop and evaluate my priorities...

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    1. Allison, that's a great way to look at these decisions. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! Blessings, E

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  5. I have learned the hard way that a good thing is not always a God thing. We can always find lots of good things to do, but I've found that waiting on the God things is what brings us the most joy and a sense of fulfillment and purpose. Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. Andrea, I love that! "A good thing is not always a God thing." Thanks so much for taking time to share! Blessings, E

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  6. Pray first. I'm with you, Edie. I know that's the way to freedom.

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  7. Thanks Edie for the list -- a "checklist" for whether the Spirit is moving or I'm moving or someone else is moving!! Turning the statements into questions, if I pause and pray, will answer the questions and I will find a "check" in my spirit. I find that when I respond to a good thing (not necessarily a God-thing as Andrea put it so well), that I can complete the job but it is mechanical and not fulfilling as a Spirit-led task is. would be.

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  8. Great post! I used to rush through morning Bible study and prayer to get cracking on the "real" work of the day, especially if, say, a writing deadline was looming or a client was waiting to hear from me. Then I realized--hello!--that my time with Him IS the real work of the day. Now meeting with Him is my first order of business, the first and most important meeting of the day, not something "extra" to be squeezed in if and when I have the time. I treat it as seriously as any other meeting, taking as much time as necessary (and sometimes that's a long time, if He and I have a lot to go over), but time spent with the Lord is NEVER wasted.

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  9. Thank you, Edie, for this blog post. Thank you, everyone else, for your comments! I find myself confirmed, affirmed, corrected, and encouraged all at once! Does that make any sense? This truly helps me in sorting out God's calling on my life and the cumbersome good things that rob me of what I should be doing. Lots to chew on! God bless!

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  10. I have been diving into this passage as well. Love adding your thoughts on "yes-itis" to the mix.

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