Back to Basics: 30 Dates in November 2015
I’ve been struggling with depression and anxiety. Yes, I just admitted that. I know I take a risk saying that before my major challenge of the year. This summer, I took time off from my job to focus on the basics. I felt God saying for me to focus on things that I love: my husband, my family, writing, cooking, music, etc. While I did do some of these things, I inevitably became distracted, unmotivated, and lazy without clearly defined goals.
Recently, I quit my job working in the school district. This decision didn’t come easy, but through much prayer, searching Scripture, long, sometimes-tearful conversations with Adam, and my own soul-searching, I decided it was for the best. I finally want to pursue my original goal of the summer: getting back to the basics.
This years’s theme for the 30 Dates in November 2015 challenge is: Back to Basics. When I was searching through Scripture for an appropriate theme verse that encapsulated this, I thought back to the first commandment: You shall have no other gods before me [Exodus 20:3]. The problem I faced this summer is one all of us face at some point or another in our hearts, marriages, and lives: putting other things before God.
We make idols of work, school, friends, family, spouses, money, time, pleasure, etc. Idols inevitably break us because they can’t fulfill us in the way that only God can. This is why we fight for more, more, more, and hold onto things tighter, tighter, and tighter because we don’t want to lose the things we’ve invested our time, money, heart, mind, and soul in.
This is why Jesus says these words in Luke 10:27, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind; and, love your neighbor as yourself.” John writes in 1 John 4:19, “We love because He first loved us.”
There is freedom in these words. You are free to love God deeply and love your husband passionately because God radically loves you, pursues you, and desires relationship with you. When you love God first, you are free
- to set aside worthless idols – things that eat your time, resources, and energy, but things that offer no real, deep, lasting satisfaction, joy, and pleasure
- to pursue things you are passionate about and things you love because you let God direct your steps
- to love more deeply and radically because you intimately know what love really is
- from guilt, shame, depression, anxiety, and fear
How did God show His love to you?
“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10
What happens to God’s love?
“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:12
How does God live in you and how do you live in Him?
“This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:13-16
How is love made complete? What is love not?
“This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:17
What is your response this November?
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God… we love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:7, 19
How can you pray:
Use this passage to direct your prayer. Praise God for His radically freeing love. Confess any anxiety, worry, or fear you may have. Remember these feelings are okay. They are human. King David spent a huge part of his life depressed and anxious as we read in the Psalms. But don’t let these emotions drown you. Don’t let them hold you back. Don’t let them dictate your worth. You are worthy and loved in the eyes of God because of the radical love of Jesus Christ and His precious sacrifice for you. Thank God for defining your worth. Thank God for His ultimate sacrifice – a gift of love to you. Allow God to work in your heart and mind this November. Ask God to fill you with a deep desire to know Him more. Ask God to fill your heart with His love so it may outflow to your husband and all those around you. Ask for His protection against the lies of Satan. Ask for motivation for the days you feel defeated and want to give up. Ask for the desire to love your husband more passionately and purposely.
This November, join the BHE community in committing to get back to the basics: love. Learn more about how to sign up here.