If we’re not willing, He’ll find others who are. This is a thought that has been pressing in on me this evening. Earlier today I was reading about how our desires often cause us to sacrifice our relationship with God for something more physical, more tangible. If we’re working towards something, we can be so fixed on the end, that we cease to serve God on our way to the end. And when we reach that point, we have a new point on the horizon. We can live our entire lives working towards something bigger and better. We leave God in the dust and don’t take the time to serve him using our talents. If we fix our eyes on God and spend time with Him. If we truly believe what Christianity teaches, doesn’t it follow that God will make the rest of it fall into place?
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4. If we follow God and His ways, He will bless us. How? By changing the desires of our hearts from greed, materialism, and selfishness to desires that fit in with His will and way. The things that mattered before will no longer matter, because we will know in the deepest parts of our hearts that what God wants for us is infinitely better than anything we could ever desire for ourselves.
So, if we’re so focused on ourselves that God gets kicked off to the sideline, He can’t use us. He can’t use us if we won’t pay attention to Him. It’s like a child, insisting they know best, and then burning their fingers on the stove because they didn’t want to listen to Mom when she said it was hot. Sadly, this is often how we learn. Rather than learn from the mistakes of others, we have to try it out ourselves. We so often turn from God or put him on the sidelines because we feel we know best. But then he can’t use us! We need to pay attention!
And like a sports coach, if we aren’t there to pay attention and do what needs to be done, He’ll find someone who will. While he’d rather use his children, those who acknowledge and love Him, He will use those who don’t believe to make his plans come about. I feel guilty about this, as I often am the one shunting Him to the sideline. I often say, “Here I am Lord, send me…just not to do that.”
But tonight it is laying heavy on my heart that I am not my own, but belong body and soul, in life and in death, to my faithful saviour Jesus Christ, who has set me free from the tyrrany of the devil. Because He offers me this salvation, I ought to live a life of thankfulness and service to Him, not because I have to, but because I want to.
What does that mean for my life? What does it mean for me to no longer be ruled by the world around me?
A couple of year’s back I went through a book with a group of my friends called “When People Are Big and God is Small.” One of the first things I need to recognize is that it’s not about what others think as much as it is about what God thinks. This is a constant struggle for me. I constantly seek people’s approval, even though if you asked me sometime, I’d probably say that I really don’t care what other people think. It’s simply not true. There are some people that I genuinely care what they think about me. But God needs to come first again. I’ve got my priorities mixed up. The first step is recognizing it, right?
Then, I need to learn to be content with what God has planned. I’m looking at a rather major life shift by applying for a new job that would start in the fall (my boss doesn’t know this, and I don’t want to freak her out, so no telling. I don’t even know if I’ll get it). While I would love to take this position, I have to look at why I am applying for it. Is it purely selfish? Do I truly believe I could be of service to God there? It would be a leadership position in which part of my job would be to mentor young adults in their faith walks and in their lives. Can I truly do this to the extent that God would ask of me? Am I in any sort of position to apply for this job when my faith walk is so often weak?
These are the same questions I asked when I took over the youth group at my church. Me? God wants to use me? And sometimes I feel like I’m failing miserably. Other times I see glimpses of hope. But I still don’t feel like I was the right choice. However, I was the only choice. I was the only person who would say “yes” to taking it over. I hope that means something. The bad thing about teens– or maybe, in light of this post, the good thing about teens– is that you can’t measure yourself by what they think of you, because they themselves are still so all over the place. It’s a challenge though. But I have to believe that God is doing something through me there. I don’t know what it is, and I don’t see it, but I have to believe. I have to.
I guess now all there is to do is turn to God, acknowledge my failures, hand them over, and say, “Here I am Lord, use me. Wherever that may be.”