When people are impressed with us – or when they see the “value” in something we are doing – we tend to bring them readily into our circle of supporters. Jesus, however, knowing all things — took a different route — one that should be taken note of.
Instead of allowing the praise to go to our ego — we must take a step back and remember the nature of men. One minute, they love you — the next, they don’t. A man’s heart — yes, our hearts – are deceitfully wicked and not to be trusted. Because we cannot know what lies beneath the praise that man gives — we would be wise no to entrust ourselves to men – instead we must get and stay firmly in the grip of God’s unfailing grace.
Jesus had no issue discerning the hearts of men – because He knows every man and because of this, He did not put His confidence in their faith … only in The Father.
Please Father, do not allow us to be deceived by our own pride when people rush to praise us because of what they see us do. Remind us that it is You, who is at work within us – to accomplish ALL that we do. And that it is You to whom the glory is due. Remind us of our own hearts so that we might judge well the hearts of others. Help us to put ALL of our hope in You. Humbling ourselves as we wait for Your perfect exaltation!
As I have been on this journey with my King, I am continually learning what it means to lay my will down for His. I have learned that laying down my will does not always mean that I am choosing not to sin (though that is a choice I make daily) — but that I am choosing to do things His way; for His glory.
Sometimes it’s an issue of whether or not I answer my phone when I know someone needs me to do something I don’t want to do. Sometimes it’s having to leave me house in disarray because I need to get out of the house for ministry. Sometimes it is holding back from rescuing a person – so that they can learn from their issue. Living according to His will all the time is not easy to do, but it IS simple.
Each day I will make the choice to depend upon Him to guide my words, thoughts and actions; when I commit to do this I have found that my will and my way are the LAST things I think about. For me, it looks like waking up each day and going to the Word of God first (my Ghana pastor** used to say “No Bible, No Breakfast”)
This simple decision – reading the Word in the morning before I interact with any person or any situation; hearing what He has to say to me first will help me to be less frustrated during the day and help me stand firm against the temptations that I am sure to face throughout the day.
Simple– practice giving ourselves to Him each day; decide to rely totally on Him each day and we might just find that we are walking in His favor and we might just experience what it feels like for Him to take pleasure in our lives. Ask Him for direction in all things (thoughts, actions, words); I believe we will find that our lives are richer, fuller and less stressful. I’ve tried it – it really does work! **Thank you Pastor Steve Asante!
Do we ever think about what it means when we, who believe in Christ, just believe and do nothing to show the life of Christ to the world?!?! Christ tells us that this kind living is useless!
Unless we are living out our righteousness in the world by sharing the truth – by showing others the way to Christ … we may as well just STOP!!
We may be a preservative for some — keeping the hand of the Lord from the wicked because we are here keeping good alive and active. We are meant to cast out darkness so that people will know in Whose name we have come. In the words of Fred Hammond, “not called to sit upon a shelf”!
Our salt and light are meant to preserve goodness and illuminate this world with the light of Christ … Not Just To Sit Upon A Shelf! We are not keys hidden to ourselves.
Father, Help me to see the importance of giving my life to the people of this world. Use me to show many the way to Christ. Have mercy on the people who worship other gods, who worship the enemy. May an encounter with Your children be an encounter with You. May our lives be lived in such a way that people have no doubt Who we serve!
It is almost impossible to for us to say, “The Lord needs”. We have relegated ourselves to t faith that places no responsibility at all on us because we say that He doesn’t need us, but He chooses to use us. If that were true, it would mean we could neglect the work of the Kingdom. In fact it would mean that we were useless to the Kingdom. But, the Word reminds us that we colts have a part to play in lifting the King and carrying Him in to places where there is need for Him. Oh! that we would learn that He has need of us!
Our Lord has dominion over each one of us … He can use us when and how He chooses to. Who He is (Our Lord, King of Kings, Lord of All) – takes a great post over – who we are (Servants of God, Children of God, New Creatures).
When He has an occasion for our service, we have to learn and submit to His place as our Savior, Our Lord. We are supposed to be ready to allow Him to use us as soon as He needs us to carry out the task He created us for. I know for myself that this world tries to convince us that each of us is supposed to be this amazing servant of God that is known. But that’s just not the truth. Not at all! Our Lord uses the mundane, small, and ordinary! I mean come on! If He had them to say “The Master needs it” regarding a donkey, He can certainly use you too!!
This missionary heart of mine is pleading that the Lord will move all of our minds and hearts to hear Him and submit. I’m praying that Our Father will help us to stop using His Word as a way out of Kingdom work. I’m praying that He will remind us that there is a need for us to do what He has created us to do … no matter how small, mundane or ordinary the task may be! I’m praying that we will, each one of us, cry out to Him to use us and give us willing hearts … obedient hearts.
I grew up in a house where I was taught – AND TOLD – to obey. Not just to obey God, but to obey all elders in my family. Generally speaking, I was a good girl! I seldom did without anything at all that I desired and I was never pushed away from the family. When I entered my teen years, this did not stop. I obeyed, mostly; and when I didn’t, my desire was hardly kept from me … I even got a car at 16, as I requested … and their love for me did not decrease. When I became a grown woman, I still had to obey my parents and all elders in my family; I did that … mostly! 🙂 But when I fell short, nothing I desired was kept from me and no one cut me off from the family.
What I’ve experienced not that I am in ministry is that all that is for the sake of His glory … he leads us to do. He guides us to know what we should do and what we should think; in how we should walk and how we should talk; in where we should go and what we should see. As a missionary, I’ve seen that going in obedience was coupled with what we were to do when we got there. And as we said, ‘YES’ to what He told us to do, we saw amazing victories over and over again! He opened our eyes again and again in ways that we could not ever have done on our own.
When we yielded to Him, there was not a ministry failure to be faced. We wanted everyone near us to see Him, and not us; for that He was glorified and He was was pleased with us – we knew it because we felt it in so many areas of our lives that could only have made it with His touch. But … we weren’t perfect!
There were times when we heard someone else, and did what they felt was best. There were times when we just felt like we couldn’t, and moved another direction. There were even just a few times when we truly did not listen completely. Each and every time, once we repented to Him … we could feel His forgiveness and love and were, once again, blown away by His work in the ministry that is His! He never took His joy from us! I bless His name for that!
I do want to encourage your heart today. As His children, we surely do reap great joy and peace when we walk in the way He tells us to. But, as His children, when we fail Him and feel the distress and despair; we will feel it fully that our joy and peace will not be taken away. We only have to repent to Him, not to any man. We only have to fall before Him admitting our faults, and the forgiveness will be felt. I’ve heard of people that hold grudges against people for a lifetime!!! But, Our Father does not do that.
Walk in righteousness … walk in Him. This brings peace and a feeling of safety. When you walk in Him, you’ll know that falling into anything that is not of Him, cannot take away His hand from your life!
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.--Romans 8:38-39