I’m going to define the meaning of striving for you in two ways. What the dictionary says and what God’s Word says.
Dictionary: make great efforts to achieve or obtain something.
Bible: All the labor of man is for his mouth [for self-preservation and enjoyment], and yet the desire [of his soul] is not satisfied. Ecclesiastes 6:7 (AMB)
When we strive by making great efforts to achieve something that God has not called us to obtain, we are chasing after idols, and that will always leave us empty.
In 2011 I had a nervous breakdown. Self-reflection on my life revealed I was striving to satisfy my soul with worldly possessions and achievements that left me empty every time I achieved the next great “thing.”
One of my greatest realizations in life is that nothing is more important than God.
One day Jesus was teaching to large crowds. He noticed two empty boats with empty nets beside them (which meant the fisherman didn’t have a good day at work because they didn’t catch any fish). Jesus stepped into Simon’s boat and asked him to push it into the water. Jesus continued to teach from there. When Jesus finished speaking, he told Simon to go out into the deep water and let down his nets to catch some fish. What’s funny about this is Simon kind of pushes back and tells Jesus, we have already done this, and fished all night and didn’t catch a thing. But something in Simon trusts Jesus, and he let down his nets anyway. Guess what? They caught an overflowing amount of fish! (Story found in Luke 5: 1-11)
Do you know what this story teaches me? Spend time with Jesus before you work, and your nets will overflow.
So many times, I jump out of bed, go right to work, and forget about Jesus. But, if I will stop and take time to listen and spend time with Jesus, my day will go better.
Here are five signs that pop up in my life when I know I’m striving.
Taking on extra responsibilities and work just to prove I can do it AND because I believe I can do it better. (Not delegating properly)
Ignoring the priority areas of my life, like my marriage or children, to focus on work instead.
Feeling exhausted even after I have taken the proper time to rest and restore.
Not being grateful and satisfied with the goals I have accomplished and immediately moving on to the next big project. (Not taking time to celebrate the wins)
Duplicating or trying to copy other people in my industry. Comparing my accomplishments to theirs.
I also found this article to be extremely helpful if you want to do some more reading.
As I mentioned in my post today, your nets will overflow when you spend time with Jesus before you work. My favorite way to do this is to dig into a good devotional or Bible study.
Right now, Fearless is hosting our $5 off all devotional sales.
It's just in time before Christmas as well. Staying accountable to time with God can be hard when we are striving after the world. So, double the holiday gift; grab a devotional for you and a friend. A gift for her and an accountability gift for you! Head to fearlesswomenshop.com now to participate in the sale. No code is needed. The sale ends Sunday, December 11th, so don't miss out!