Last time I wrote how being driven by distraction causes us to respond to impulse and urgency to the detriment of self care and relationships. This has a domino effect in that, when self care and relationships are not adequately met, we find ourselves driven by needs. We often do this unconsciously – how many times do we just need to take a break, go for a walk or rest but instead we decide to eat something? Even though needs may go unnoticed they do have a strong influence on our decisions.
Another effect of meeting needs unconsciously is that this causes us to supersede making decisions based on our values—those things we say are strong convictions in our life. Instead we just do what will bring comfort or peace temporarily. Finally, when we are driven by needs and urgency this usually means that our plans and actions are based on our own power, strength, wisdom and thinking rather than the Holy Spirit. So how can we change and build a foundation where we are operating from a Holy Spirit directed life?
As Christians our first and primary need is intimacy with God. This is expressed beautifully in John 15 where Jesus calls Himself the Vine and we are branches drawing life and nourishment from Him to bear fruit that lasts for the glory of God the Father. Jesus reminds us that without Him we can do nothing. Did you read that . . . He said nothing. The Greek word for nothing has the connotation of worthless, meaningless or unimportant. The phrase “cannot do” has the idea of “capability to accomplish” and is the same word from which we get dynamite.
Now we all do things and accomplish all types of things every day, right? So how is that possible if Jesus said, ‘Without me you can do nothing?’ I believe what He was getting at is that we can accomplish nothing of eternal value or significance, the fruit that lasts for God’s glory, apart from Him.
So that leaves us with a choice. We can do lots of work and expend energy and effort without Him and perhaps have some success to show for it but it will not be empowered by God and will not last. “Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.” Psalm 127:1 (NLT). Or we can seek Him first in a genuine, authentic, Holy Spirit guided relationship.
We also see this in Matthew 6 in the Lord’s prayer where Jesus (states) that the way to commune with the Father is not rushing into His presence with a list of my needs (wants) or shooting up a quick prayer as I’m rushing out the door for work, school or another appointment. Rather it is to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. It is to acknowledge Him as sovereign, the Ruler, and the King over my life today.
In his book Transforming Prayer, Daniel Henderson states, “Communion with Christ changes us. This is no superficial rearranging of the activities, approaches and attitudes of life. This is inside-out change—transformation.”
So let me challenge you to stop the distractions in your life and begin real self care. Stop being driven by needs. This starts with an authentic, intentional relationship with God.
Michael Pfau is a Professional Certified Coach and leadership trainer at CrosswaysLifeCoaching.com who specializes in career and retirement coaching.
For Christian coaching resources visit www.coach22.com