Cleaning the Stove of Life
(Ephesians 1:3-6): The more heated life becomes, the more gooped-up it feels. But Jesus called you before the foundation of the world for a different purpose.
I refreshed LinkedIn.
I was waiting for a response from a job application and couldn't contain my clicking.
Due to some family health issues and some needed change, I had invested months of upskilling, connecting, and applying to land a great new job.
And I often found myself waiting.
Waiting for someone to discover me. To call me. To take me into their wings.
Though I eventually found a new role, I later realized how much I had enveloped my sense of self-worth and calling into the career search.
I had given it too much power.
The anxiety pot is spilling
I'm not alone.
Two-thirds of Americans have been "interested in switching jobs" since the pandemic, according to a 2021 poll.
What's fueling the change?
Well, a massive pandemic. Frustration at toxic work environments. Pure necessity. Some want something new. Many have reexamined how we are spending time.
Either way, these times of stress foment our fears. They stir the anxiety pot, spilling the over-cooked noodles onto the stove-top of life where it seems impossible to lay things down because every surface is hot, goopy, or crowded.
And that sums it up right about now: Life's a goopy stove. It's hard to clean.
You may have struggled — like me — with your sense of worth this year. Or maybe you've felt panicked at the stove of live, dropping what you love to keep things cooking.
Well, it's time for us to un-goop life.
Cleaning the stove of life
We've explored select passages from an amazing book of encouragement: the letter of Paul to the Ephesians.
So here's another dab of Scripture from Ephesians. It comes from Paul's opening greeting to the church at Ephesus. He wants to encourage them. To un-goop life. To help them refocus on their calling in Christ...
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
Ephesians 1:3-6 (NIV)
Paul just ladles the encouragement here. Let's unpack it with him.
As believers in Christ we are...
- blessed with every spiritual blessing through Christ
- chosen before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless...like Him
- predestined out of His love to be adopted through Jesus into God's family
- receivers of God's glorious grace He gave us so freely through Christ
And all of this part of God's good "pleasure and will" and brings glory to God!
A life set on Him
Paul wants the Ephesians to know on Whom their lives stand, through Whom they live and have salvation, and by Whom they are empowered to live holy lives.
Now, reflect on this for your own life as a child of God through Christ. What's fogging this simple focus? What's shrouding your identity in Christ?
And here's the crazy part: You were predestined before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless through Christ. But the world is screaming in this moment to conform to its desires and priorities.
I had let the tension of the job market sweep over my soul. My worries reflected where my heart was. Yes, it was an important move, but it had influenced me. It diluted my identity in Christ.
"Paul wants the Ephesians to know on Whom their lives stand, through Whom they live and have salvation, and by Whom they are empowered to live holy lives."
So, let's clean off the stove of live. Let's put our scattered worries away and scrub our stained identities.
After all, God chose before any mountain existed to be like Jesus.