…to be like Christ?
It's a question that's been bothering me lately.
After all, my Word for 2013 is DIRECTION.
And that's what I've been seeking – God's direction for my life.
But lately I've been thinking…
What am I really asking?
And what I've really been asking is "Lord, what do You want me to DO?"
It's not a terrible question. And I do believe it's one that has validity. A believer who is truly following Jesus ought to have a sincere and compelling desire to do God's will. They should possess an urge to couple their faith with action.
After all, faith without works is dead.
However, I wonder at this conundrum –
Are we sometimes so busy "doing" God that we forget that we are to be like Christ?
God doesn't need anything from us. His plan will be accomplished without our cooperation. His Sovereignty and Omnipotence guarantees that.
I am pondering these words from A. W. Tozer:
"Almighty God, just because He is almighty, needs no support…So lofty is our opinion of ourselves that we find it quite easy, not to say enjoyable, to believe that we are necessary to God. But the truth is that God is not greater for our being, nor would He be less if we did not exist. That we do exist is altogether of God's free determination, not by our [deserving] nor by divine necessity.
Probably the hardest thought of all for our natural egotism to entertain is that God does not need our help. We commonly represent Him as a busy, eager, somewhat frustrated Father hurrying about seeking help to carry out His benevolent plan to bring peace and salvation to the world; but…[the] God who worketh all things surely needs no help and no helpers."
We are not without importance, however – God chose to send His Son to die for us.
So, yes, we play a part – but only because God chooses to use us.
Tozer continues with that thought:
"For the blessed news is that the God who needs no one has in sovereign condescension set Himself to work by and in and through His obedient children…our inner fulfilment lies in loving obedience to the commandments of Christ...
He needs no one, but when faith is present He works through anyone."
This is what I've been contemplating lately. We can do a lot of wonderful things for the Lord. We can serve Him in a multitude of ways.
And this is good - it is part of our calling.
But sometimes I wonder – are we too busy?
Busy, busy, busy. Sometimes frantic, sometimes exhausted, sometimes burned out.
Sometimes so involved in the "work" that we forget the faces. Sometimes so caught up in "serving" that we forget to feed the hearts.
And I wonder…
Are we so busy "doing" for Him that we cease to be like Him?
And if so, WHY?
Do we busy ourselves doing the "outside" work because we want to avoid the "inside" work?
Is it because it's easier to be busy serving Him than it is to be sanctified by Him?
(I mean NO judgment or condemnation here - I'm only offering up what's been percolating in my head lately).
God said something powerful to me a couple of weeks ago.
"Right now, Sharon, what I want you to do is to BE with Me."
Life has been challenging lately. Dealing with new responsibilities with my parents, an illness that refuses to go away, and a general sense of *tired*.
After spending two weeks with my parents, I was really looking forward to coming back to my mountaintop home. I think I had a greater sense of appreciation for its quiet solitude.
And I am thinking that God wants me to embrace that.
I think He wants me to seek peace.
I think He wants me to find HIM.
To dig deeper…
The other night, sometime in the middle of the night, I found myself in that middle-ground place somewhere between sleep and wake. And I prayed, something along these lines:
"Lord, I'm tired of trying to figure out what You want me to do. Actually, Lord, I'm just plain tired. All I want right now is to know You. That's all. I. JUST. WANT. TO. KNOW. YOU."
I woke up with that thought reverberating in my spirit.
Yes, I just want HIM.
I went to church, and listened to the message. And this one statement struck my heart like an arrow:
"When you talk to God about what He wants you to do, He may talk to you. But don’t be surprised if it’s not about what to DO, but about who He wants you to BE."
A holy and timely confirmation of what He was saying to me.
God has a purpose for us, yes. The Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts to accomplish those purposes.
But first and foremost, my dear friends, we must never lose sight of the fact that we are here to glorify God, to become like His Son.
Sometimes that might mean setting aside our busy-ness, and concentrating on who He is.
It might mean setting aside our goals, and setting our minds on getting to know Him.
It might mean stopping the endless urge to compare our "ministries" to the work of others, and seeking His Presence – alone.
Sometimes the best thing we can do is to empty ourselves of our selves.
"It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me." (Galatians 2:20)
God may not "need" us – but He loves us. And perhaps the very best thing we can "do" for Him is to desire to know Him – just for the pleasure of His Presence.
To relish in the wonder and fulfillment of relationship with an Almighty God.
A God who desires our fellowship – not because He needs it – but because He wants it.
He died for it.
Maybe the very best thing we can "do" for Him is to love Him…
…and to be like His Son.
All for His glory.
"No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8)
"And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the LORD your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul." (Deuteronomy 10:12)
Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches.
For apart from me you can do nothing.
Is there something God wants you to be - does it maybe require putting aside something you do?
"I am the true vine. You never have to worry about fruitlessness if you let Me live in you. When you rest in Me, fruitfulness will happen. I will spill out of you and affect those around you. Trust Me and see. I am the life that flows through you.
I call you to be before I ever urge you to do."
(From a recent devotional reading - guess God really wants me to hear this!!)
Linked today with:
Joan at SHARING HIS BEAUTY
Michelle at HEAR IT ON SUNDAY, USE IT ON MONDAY
Tracy at WINSOME WEDNESDAY
Charlotte at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"