Do you feel overwhelmed, worn-down, not enough? Is life coming at you fast and furiously, leaving you beat up and burdened? Do you struggle to answer the question, “How are you doing?” because your honest answer feels too raw to even speak?
I know the ache of a weary soul pressing on with a painted face.
As a life coach, I’ve learned how to hear the words not spoken. And I confess, it was a silent script I knew all too well. For years I lived worn-down until I discovered how to proactively tap into soul-deep nourishment. Turns out, it’s not as complicated as you might think. These four steps, put into action over the long haul, can be your ticket out of the worn-down life.
Step 1: Surrender to Pruning
There was a time when God called me to lay it all down. I walked away from blogging and gave up ministry, even though it looked like it was just beginning. I let go of attending Bible study at church. Yes, even a good Christian girl can do that.
In a season of being pruned, God was impressing upon me to seek Him first.
No ands, ifs, or buts. Just Him.
But to find that time, there may be a need for some pruning. Maybe you need to hear God whisper to your soul that there are too many bushes in your rose garden and too many blooms dying fast, like He did for me years ago.
I had a choice about whether I would surrender and allow Him to do His work. It felt like God whipped out His spiritual pruning shears and reshaped my entire life. The cuts felt harsh at the time — laying down my ministry, giving up my writing, stepping back from my dreams.
Notice the “my” focus of all that was pruned. It was a messy season of bleeding out my ego.
But God used this painful process to renew my heart and establish a firm foundation of faith for future growth.
Step 2: Switch Your Focus
I eventually became void of “me” as I learned how to focus on Him. That required diving deep into His Word. It was time in the Word that convicted me of the priorities by which I needed to live. I came to accept the truth that I can’t be all things to all people. Not today. Not ever.
It was time to live only for Him.
Galatians 1:10 NIV
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
I can’t do all things well. I wasn’t designed that way. And neither can you. We need to live in the moment. Bloom where we are planted. No longer striving for the next season that might come.
Ephesians 5:1 NIV
…making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
God changed my thinking (Romans 12:1-2), and then He changed my living.
Slowing down and thoughtfully applying the truths of the Word opens the door to living won over by God instead of worn down by life.
Step 3: Stay Alert
Satan is about the business of wearing us down as he pulls us away from having our lives centered solely on Christ.
Daniel 7:25 ESV
He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High…
Satan takes all the good we do for the Lord and makes it even harder with each obstacle and nuisance coming our way. He takes what God says is good and points out the effects of the fall — in each one of us — with an onslaught of critical words from others and self-condemning lyrics replaying in our minds. His wearing down comes in fiery darts, like “you must, you should, you ought to, you’ll never succeed, never measure up, never be liked that way.” He takes the body of Christ, which was designed to work together, and splinters us apart in debates, divisions, and petty disagreements.
We forget that we’re living dead center in the enemy’s target.
We battle with the flesh when we should fight in the Spirit with the Word as our sword. With every little rejection, redirection, distraction, and trial, we’re worn down with despair over our inability to perform at a truly unreasonable standard.
We live deceived, thinking that we ought to have it all together and finally be without trouble. Oh no. Trouble is promised, friends.
John 16:33 ESV
. . . In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
The question isn’t how to avoid trouble (although that is something worth considering). The more pressing question is: How do we face trouble?
We have to shift our focus from our circumstances and onto God.
Step 4: Get into the Word
We have to be on guard about our focus and make sure that God’s character is where our feelings reside. But the problem is that we tend to live out our faith like a newbie with an unfamiliar camera in our hands. We feel like we can point and click the new gadget alright, but we lack the skill necessary to capture a beautifully focused object with a dynamic depth of field.
Instead of zeroing in on the Lord and His character as revealed in the Word, we focus on the surrounding backdrop of our lives and succumb to the enemy’s attacks.
When we live with a misplaced focus, the enemy of God is able to feed us lies about our identity, worth, and purpose in the kingdom of God.
So if you are . . .
tired of feeling burned out
tired of backing out of your commitments
tired of feeling like you’re not enough
tired of coming up short
. . . then it is time to give up trying to be more and embrace the One who makes you more like Him. Shift your focus off productive and onto being present with God.
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May you fight the worn-down epidemic by seeking God with all your heart, mind, and soul. Yes, it’s time to seize the crazy cycle to soak up the Truth found in His Word. And don’t quit until you invite the Holy Spirit to fill you with the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead.