The Abundant Life... 3 Tips For Flourishing

It's been my observation that other than a mosquito -there is nothing more useless than chaff to a farmer. In order to bring in our harvest though-we have to deal with it.  Like it or not.  Chaff yields no benefit to the farming operation other than it just sits there in piles--accumulating.  It ruins the landscaping and when the breezes blow, it makes for a bad hair for the cranky farm wife.  

Harvest brings abundance-but along with it comes the chaff.

Harvest brings abundance-but along with it comes the chaff.

And so it is spiritually with us.  Have we traded Christ for nothing more than chaff?  It seems as though our stuffed calendars and crazy schedules are bulging with it.  We let chaff pile up all over our spiritual landscapes and we are losing focus on an abundant harvest.  God has a good work that He wants us to do.  But, in this day and age we seem completely distracted and way too busy to intentionally seek His specific calling on our lives.  So, instead we settle for a million big or little things to fill in the spots.

We spend our minutes and use them to put out fires rather than pouring into others.

We take our days and and spend them idly instead of intentionally.

We spend our lives on ourselves rather than sacrificially living.

Chaff....and we all have piles of it.

How do we begin getting rid of useless chaff and run toward the works that God has called us to? How do we discern what He has for us?

1. Ask God 

It's all about priorities and God knows the order that He wants your life to take.  Ask Him to show you 3 primary callings in your life.   What are they?  What counts?  Who do you hold closely?  Who  in your world needs to see a Christ centered woman of God?  Maybe it's your husband, your kids, your co-workers, your friend...maybe it's even the person who has caused you the deepest pain imaginable?  God has given you the lovely and the unlovable to speak truth, love and grace into their lives.  Take some serious time in deep prayer and ask Him where His heart is for your life.

2. Let go of everything that doesn't line up with that calling.

Once you have narrowed down the 3 primary callings that God has gifted you with, it is time to check off the chaff in your calendar!  Learning to say "No" to people and activities that put a drain on you is a freeing thing.  What are the essentials in your life?  Narrow the scope of your involvement in things.  Your "no" leaves room for someone else to say "yes"! 

Are you involved in lots of outside church activities and children's events?  Narrow it down.  Try one sport per child per outside activity that builds up your family and doesn't take away from your spiritual walk.  I hear you groan and say that is is impossible to do.  I hear you.  I know.  But if sports replaces church--and your activities draw you away from your family,  you can bet your bottom dollar that the enemy has fertile soil to sow some deadly seeds.  Believe me-that harvest is painful.  You have an enemy that is using your crammed calendar to wreak havoc and the bitter harvest won't be seen until it is too late.

Social media and entertainment?  Get serious about getting rid of time wasting activities. Try a media fast for 1 week and see how your stress level decreases and your free time increases. Complaining of not having enough time with the family or being behind at work and yet spending hours surfing the net or staring at the TV is a bit ...well... ridiculously obvious.  Actually living your life rather than watching someone else live their life is pretty amazing!  Brainstorm a list of activities that are inexpensive and interactive.  Leave the phone at home!! Actually be together with the people God has given you to influence.

3.Radically consume Christ.

Time spent in the Word helps you sort the chaff out pretty quick.  Scripture gives you vision, empowers you to fulfill your calling and is an outlet for every burden and care that weighs you down.  Let's face it, if you clean up the calendar and discipline your time you will automatically have more time to spend in prayer, study and reflection.  It cultivates a grateful heart and a produces eternal fruit.  You can begin to see the difference between the chaff and real fruit and it becomes easier to say "no" to opportunities that can drag you away from joy and contentment and "yes" to God's best.

As you learn to chase God with abandon the breath of the Holy Spirit blows the chaff away.  Only God can set you free from the slavery to chaff in your heart, home and life.  Somehow when God gets bigger in your life-you begin to see the chaff for what it really is.  Jesus becomes real, and you trade being a slave to chaff for being a daughter in Christ. All made possible by Grace Incarnate. 

So, what is God talking to you about today?  Can you hear God singing over you with His unmerited, daily sufficient Grace?  Grace that knows about your slavery to chaff and has made provisions to replace it with abundant harvest.  Grace that gives you the strength to let go and Grace that holds on to you while the Holy Spirit breathes life back into these weary and worn out places.  When our hands open and the chaff is gone, we get more of God. Sweet release. Sweet rest.

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