We live in a “Fallen” world. As beautiful as it is. As many opportunities as we have at our disposal. As many “good times” as we will experience in it, we must not lose sight of the Truth, that this world is passing away. Yes, in all of its advancements, intelligence, sophistication, and splendor, it is still decaying, along with everything in it, and there is nothing that can stop it from its pending destruction. This is why the Bible instructs us not to become attached to it.
“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave.”
1 John 2:15-16NLT
When I read these words, it is clear to me that I am not to set my affections on this world. Most of us know this in our heads. So the question becomes, have we settled these truths in our hearts? When I look at my own life, and when I look at the culture around me, I can see that it is becoming increasingly more enticing to set our affections on this world. To anchor our hope for the “abundant life” that God has promised us, by desperately chasing the achievements that matter in this world, and by gaining the material symbols that testify of these achievements.
Attached to the “cares of this life,” is being distracted by busyness, striving, and toiling to have enough, do enough, and BE ENOUGH!. See, the more attached we become, the more accomplishments we work for, the more notoriety we seek, and the more we sacrifice what matters to our well-being. The more we believe that our value is directly attached to our achievements and possessions, the more we will chase after these two things. And in this endless pursuit, we will relentlessly try to gain the approval of other humans, or even the approval of ourselves, at the expensive fee of neglecting the the standards of the One, who alone, has the authority to speak the “Well Done” that our hearts so deeply desire.
I want to be clear, I am not talking about people with evil intentions. Deception is unnecessary for those who already have evil at the core of their intentions. The opportunity for deception is greatest for those of us who believe that our intentions are noble. Those of us who deeply believe that we are fulfilling Purpose in all of our straining, forcing, and exhausted living.
I am speaking to those of you who are doing a lot of “Good” things.
What I have learned is that “good” things are not necessarily GOD things. Moreover, establishing that some thing is a GOD-thing is not enough in itself. We must press deeper because God-inspired things must also become GOD-consulted and continuously GOD-led things.
Last year, I discovered that though I had been participating in many really “good” and meaningful pursuits, overtime, I had slipped into performing for the applause of people. I was so busy “dancing” and “juggling” this and that, that I did not realize the shift in my motivation. While my motivation started out devoted to pleasing God, it had become increasingly carnal.
Unbeknownst to me, I had succumbed to what the Bible speaks of as “divided loyalty” (James 1:4-7). I wanted God to be glorified in my actions, and I also wanted people to approve of me. I could not have imagined how grossly impossible it is to have both! One August afternoon last year , as I unsuspectingly sat in a leadership conference, Holy Spirit sounded the alarm that would awaken me.
As I listened to a speaker discuss the futile idea of “hustling for Jesus.” I realized she was talking about me. As I listened, I realized that with the best of intentions, I had put myself on a path of destruction, I had wandered away from my regular God-consultations, and God-led habits, exchanging them for human applause, and social media comments, likes, loves, shares, and increased numbers of followers, and virtual friends. I meant well, good things were happening, but I was out of alignment. Getting back to a healthy place started with me learning the beauty of surrender. I had to subscribe to what I call, FILTERED LIVING.
The process of filtering removes all unwanted elements and it lifts the quality of something to its purest form. I had to learn to filter every good idea, invitation, and endeavor through God’s standards. I had to learn to hold everything under the lens of God’s written Word, and His Divine wisdom. Instead of giving quick confirmations of my involvement, I learned to require people to wait, so that I could wait to hear God. If I did not sense Divine Peace about it, I did not participate. The pressure to always say “Yes” , to always be available started to lift. I also had to learn to accept, which was not easy, when people did not understand when my decision was “No.”
I chose to share a little of my journey this week because I want to invite you to subscribe to FILTERED LIVING. If Divine Peace is what you desire, this kind of living will unlock it. Filtered Living is about nourishing our relationships with God. It’s about desiring His Heart, His love, and His Presence MORE than the things He can do for or give us. While the things are great, they are passing away with this world that we live in. Therefore, if our relationship with God is centered on what He can do for us here on earth, there will be nothing left that has eternal value when the temporal passes away.
Ultimately, Filtered Living is a life without compromise. Early one morning God awakened me from my sleep with this thought ringing in my heart,
A life without compromise is a life filled with the Presence of Divine Peace.
Each time the opportunity to compromise is introduced, and we take it, we surrender a portion of the gift of Peace Jesus gave to us (John 14:27). When we sense that unsettled feeling in our guts, but we proceed anyway, we hand over a bit of our gift. Compromise is a relentless chisel, and over time it will chip away every bit of our Peace, until all we have left is the chaos and confusion of striving, performing, and yes, “hustling for Jesus.”
I must tell you my beautiful, creative, and intelligent Sister, You are the daughter of the Most High God, The King of Kings, the Everlasting Father, the God of “MORE THAN ENOUGH!” You are not a HUSTLER. The enemy will always offer us what the world esteems as valuable in exchange for our inheritance. Hustling is an admirable characteristic that is highly celebrated by the world. This is why we are enticed with it. However, the thought of you and I “hustling” our way into God’s best for our lives is a counterproductive and counterfeit mindset.
The way we get to God’s best for our lives is through surrender. We must Seek the Kingdom of God above everything else, denying ourselves and our desires in favor of becoming like Jesus, in character, in sacrifice, and in obedience. We are not going to receive the Divine, while using the process of the carnal. This is why the Apostle Paul passionately admonishes us,
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
Romans 12:2 NLT
Why must we subscribe to Filtered Living? Because the difference between what’s “good” and what’s “God” can be so extremely close that the two cannot be accurately differentiated with the naked eye. The Bible says,
“There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.”
“It seems right.” Have you ever gotten involved with someTHING or someOne that “SEEMED RIGHT?” I know I have time and again, and I also remember the devastation involved in realizing I was wrong! For me, the end result was consistently death. It may have been death of a project, death of an endeavor, or even death of a relationship, but it was death just the same, and this tells me that nothing is off limits, EVERYTHING must be sent through the Filter!
So are you in? I will caution you, this is a process that will include some trial and error. You may not get it right every time, but the more you lift up all of your opportunities, responsibilities, and creativity to the lens of God’s written Word and Divine wisdom, allowing the filtering process to run its course, the more your gift of discernment will be sharpened and become more aligned with God’s Mind. I will also tell you that like me, when you start this way of Intentional Living, you may feel alone and insignificant. In these moments, don’t run back to what is familiar, instead, I encourage you to accept this invitation from your Lord,
“Be Still and know that I am GOD…”
It is in the stillness that we quiet ourselves under the authority of our Lord, and we reacquaint ourselves with the magnitude of His Glory. Once we see Him, we will remember that there is no lack in Him, therefore there is no lack in us. We will rest in the Truth that there is no failure in Him, so there is none in us. We will know that He has nothing to prove, so neither do we. And most importantly, we will remember that He, our Perfect loving Father, will not withhold anything good from us!
If you missed Part One
be sure to check it out. I welcome you to share this message of Hope with those around you if you have been blessed by it. You can also subscribe to our blog.
Before you go, check out our upcoming events page HERE
to find our virtual meet-ups for the month of September, so that we can continue to go deeper in this discussion!
I would love to hear your thoughts, please feel free to respond in the “comments” or you can email us here.
I love you, and I am praying for you!
Delanea Davis founded Kingdom Daughters United 5 years ago, and she serves as the Lead Facilitator of the community. She has been married to her husband, Dock Davis IV, whom she affectionately calls her, “Favorite Human,” for 14 years. Known to many as “The Hope Reviver,” her chief purpose is to resuscitate hope in the lives of those who have found themselves on spiritual life support. With her purpose in mind, she passionately serves the women of KDU by loving, encouraging, supporting, and holding them accountable to keeping their hope living, as they pursue their life’s assignment. You can enjoy more of her writing by visiting her personal blog, ThoughtsByD.