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Shedding the Stuff That Weighs You Down

Politicians wield power, but the political world is messy. And the temptation to look to it for answers is tempting. For most of my life I’ve been a news junky. But the news is usually bad and weighs me down. So over the last four years, I’ve been weaning myself from it. Unfortunately this week,…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Politicians wield power, but the political world is messy. And the temptation to look to it for answers is tempting. For most of my life I’ve been a news junky. But the news is usually bad and weighs me down. So over the last four years, I’ve been weaning myself from it.

Unfortunately this week, I couldn’t help myself and I stayed up past midnight listening to the Georgia senate election results. This morning, I’m confessing my bad behavior. I want to live free in 2021. I want to live free. God has promised abundant life for you and I if we’ll allow him to lead.

He’s made it clear what we have to do and he promises to guide us. He says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” (Psalm 32:8) But he has some preconditions – he wants relationship with us; he wants to talk to us about it.

Not a vending machine

God’s not a vending machine. He gives us minds and asks us to practice discernment and to prioritize him. He says, “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you.” (Prov. 3:5-6)

One of the crucial first steps in getting guidance from God is a practice that some call “shedding.” W.G. Michaelson says, “Shedding is a spiritual commitment to leave behind all our preconceived ideas, arguments, agendas and biases while asking only one question: ‘Am I indifferent to everything but God’s will?’”

A pilgrimage helps 

Going on a pilgrimage (the term I often use is “kingdom journey“) is a wonderful spiritual discipline that can help us practice shedding the things that encumber us and keep us from hearing God’s voice. When we send young people out on the World Race, we tell them that their journey begins with the step of abandon.

Just by leaving friends and home for an extended time, you vacate your normal life and put yourself in a place where you may be a candidate to receive God’s grace. This happens because by leaving behind the noise and distraction that normally fills your life, you position yourself to better hear God’s whispers. By prioritizing him and his guidance over all else, you are in effect leaning into him.

If you find yourself in a place where you long for God’s guidance, consider the practice of shedding. “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matt. 6:33)

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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