Originally published Monday, 02 May 2016.
Day in and day out, I blog.
Monday comes. I write.
Tuesday. I write.
Wednesday. I write.
You get the point...
When God goes about calling,
one is wise to go about doing the following.
We all know that, right?
Three things normally happens when one listens to God:
1. They learn things shocking about themselves or become shockingly healed.
2. They get a chance to break their selfish bones and regrow more humble.
3. They find themselves falling in love - more and more with Christ.
So, what confounds me is - if there are so many wins about serving God,
why do I sometimes feel I am running a losing game?
One where I get dry-heaving on a track that never ends
and all the same never gets me past my personal victory line?
It sometimes feels like an endless cycle of wanting - more?
Is this how God intended it to be?
When I began writing, each morning, I prayed. I asked God to give me the right word for the right person at the right time. It need not reach millions, just one. I sought his heart over mattered. I worked accordingly.
I listened. I expected. I believed.
Yet as time went on...
Little voices started to out-speak God. Other megaphones got louder, and his soft whisper got muted. Other's progress got apparent and mine looked lousy. Other holes of insignificance and insecurity developed within me, and I demanded writing fill them.
I rushed. I hurried. I doubted.
I planned and agenda'd. I saw futures, perhaps, he didn't. I told people to get close to God, when I myself, was existing not as close to God.
I sounded a little like this: " I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get." (Luke 18:12)
Recognize the voice? It is called: Pharisee.
Pharisee = One who talks God but walks far from God.
Pharisee = One who tells others, but can't hear himself.
Pharisee = One consumed with facades and not the face of his heart.
Pharisee = One driven by power, not powerlessness before the Powerful One.
Pharisee = One who resembles purity on the outside, but looks like dead and flaky sin on the inside.
Do you look something like a Pharisee?
In work? At home? With kids?
With your husband? In life?
In a way we all do.
Little tip: Admission and confession is the first way to stop Pharisee in its tracks.
Jesus had these kinds of words for Pharisee-types: You Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses are in for trouble! You’re nothing but show-offs. You lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. You won’t go in yourselves, and you keep others from going in. (Mt. 23:13-14)
Wow! Them are hefty words! Certainly, Jesus won't shut out believers, but we can certainly shut the door right on his face!
Clearly, Christ warns - he doesn't endorse this kind of behavior. It never does, nor never will, get his stamp of approval, his blessing nor his push behind it.
And, if it doesn't have Jesus, I don't want it, do you?
Really, receive this word for a moment - If it doesn't have Jesus, I don't want it.
Do you believe that? Live that way?
Jesus stands at the door and knocks (Rev. 3:2). Will we open it and welcome him in? Not voices, not pressures, not demands, not schedules, not editors, not pride, not progress-climbing, not one-upping, not social climbing, not ambition - but Jesus? Love.
Love in. Love poured out.
Humility restored. Humility abounding.
Grace upon grace. Grace upon grace dispersed.
Open arms. Grabbing the likes of our poor soul - others who need help.
Jesus always brings wins (see number 1-3 above for reminder), when we abide in him, with him and through him in every moment of our limited moments that make up this thing called - life.
Let's not outpace the champion, for I fear, at some point, we might look back and see we ran the race as - the loser.
We don't want this. We want to live in Christ's victory. We want to go - with Him, because he is the way. The only way. The winning way. Every. Single. Time. Let's hold on to that.
God, I am sorry. Please help me. Help me and then help me some more. You are all I need. Amen.
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