“I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered…” Jude 1:3
Do you ever have a word or phrase that sticks out to you? Maybe personally it just hits the right emotion, describing exactly how you feel. Or maybe it is the encouragement, the inspiration, the reason to continue forward… Contend seems to be my word lately. A few weeks ago I was at a conference where the last message was titled “The Contender”. Pretty much it was exactly what I needed to hear because, well bluntly, in some areas of my life I was on the verge of giving up or being burnt out. I was running on empty. Worn. Tired. You name it and it most likely describes me then. My situations were not even necessarily bad, but I am still in a place, in my heart, where I know God has way more for me than where I am now. This doesn’t even have to do solely with my jobs or my location. It has to do with the matter of my heart and soul and what I am letting God do in my life. I want more. Simply put, I need more. But sometimes- rather most of the time- I don’t know where to go or what to do. Complacency has been my enemy lately. Weariness from being alone in ministry. And yes, even loneliness from being single. Call me crazy but I believe we were created to have that connection of the soul and body. I long for my Beloved, whoever he is- to live life with him in ministry, in community, and share God’s love wherever He leads. On top of that, desire for more with my life has been distracting me from my current obligations, commitments, and choices. Basically here is my struggle: I want to do my best with where God has placed me now, yet I want to prepare for where God is taking me- and I want to get there now. Here’s the deal…
So are you, in case you weren’t aware of that detail. God has instilled in our hearts desires and dreams, that when paired with his heart and direction, honestly anything is possible. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE WITH HIM. But often we get distracted usually because we become complacent and settle for whatever we are doing wherever we are doing it. We become okay with mediocracy. We become fine with doing just enough to get by. But God not only calls us to more, but he beckons us to invite him into our lives so that we can really live. So we won’t quit. We won’t give in and just settle. It doesn’t mean that we won’t struggle. In fact, we will struggle because once again we are human. But the key here is that we are not alone in any of this. God is with us desiring to be a part of our every breath and movement.
Let’s look back to my word… CONTEND. God has been showing me so much with this one word. What does it mean really? To contend means that you push forward against struggle, you continue swinging especially when getting hit in the face with life, you get back up when you have been knocked down, and you don’t give up when you feel out of energy and are weary. To contend means that, sometimes against all odds, you rise up and continue. That verse at the top is perfect for this… we need to contend- fight for and never give up on what God has called us to because of Jesus having paid it all, giving us the strength to do anything in his name.