The fresh brewed life is a journey from beginning to end. It is a spiritual wake-up call. God and only God can take us deep enough to awaken our sleepy souls.
I could not rouse my sleepy soul alone. I could not keep the pilot light of faith lit consistently enough to make the kind of difference my heart longed for.
I’ve tried getting up at four-thirty in the morning to have a quiet time with the Lord. Trust me: it was quiet. I have fallen asleep on God more occasions than I can count. I have tried to memorize chapters of Scripture only to conclude that I must have killed off so many brain cells with artificial sweeteners, trying to be skinny, that I’ll never be able to be holy. Somehow I mistakenly thought that Jesus said, “Come unto me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you more to do than you had before!” My constant struggle to be “godly” left me tired and questioning.
And then a season came bringing a gentle stirring in my soul, like a whisper prompting me to lay it all down. “Jesus came to give you life.” Life? Don’t I have that? What is life if it isn’t running all the time? Peace—real peace on the inside, from all this climbing, striving, and worrying. Joy? Unabashed delight in life, regardless of the circumstances joy? What about Love? Foundational, unconditional, never-ending love? I didn’t have them; but I didn’t have to work for them; I had to surrender to them. More simply, I had to stop long enough to let them overtake me.
I let go. I surrendered. I gave up being in charge of my spiritual goodness, because I could freely admit I didn’t really have much spiritual goodness. I had worked for God for years, and yet withheld my full heart from Him. I’d sought to please Him, treating Him like a father who is hard to please, missing, or ignoring that He was pleased with me.
I tried to do so many things for God that I missed being with God. Where was the goodness in that? I was the keeper of the covenant. I was the one making the sacrifice. I thought what Jesus did for me would be repaid by what I was doing for Him! God himself must have grown sleepy watching my spiritual calisthenics.
If we just roll up our sleeves and try harder, we are not walking with Jesus at all.
This first cup of fresh-brewed life is crucial. A bigger spiritual “to do” list or a calendar full of church activities will not change our lives. When we give ourselves to God—mind, body, soul, and spirit—He changes us.
We cannot change ourselves. We don’t have enough spiritual stamina to change an entrenched habit, let alone our full hearts. But when the walls come down and God is given access to the deepest parts of who we are, His love courses through us and over us in a cleansing, holy, life-changing, way. Our souls become stronger, deeper, and more robust. And by His spirit–we are transformed.
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A bestselling author, performer, and motivational speaker, and FOUNDER of SEASONS WEEKEND, Nicole Johnson has been making audiences laugh and cry for over 25 years. With humor, compassion and wisdom, Nicole communicates using her unique blend of drama and speaking skills. She addresses issues drawn from the comedic struggles of our daily lives to the deeper questions that arise from our personal tragedies. Whether she is performing one of her original sketches on motherhood or breast cancer or sharing simple lessons from her own life, Nicole leaves each cup filled with a Fresh-Brewed perspective that brings Hope to the Daily Grind. Nicole lives in Santa Monica, CA with her husband Roy, and their two children.
To learn more about the author visit Nicole Johnson