So after an abnormally long break, I'm back, and this blog should return to its weekly update state. Yay!
When is the last time we considered the state of our spiritual lives? We often say we rely on grace and God's strength, but is it something we truly believe and follow through with in our lives? How often do we find ourselves doing something good in order to curry God's favor? We may not be doing it for salvation's sake, but it is very easy to fall into the trap of "if I do X, then God should respond with Y." This turns God into a gumball machine, where we put in our quarter of goodness and get a prize for our sacrifice.
That is not how God works. Not anywhere I can find in the Bible, anyway.
In Luke, Jesus tells the apostles "So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'"
That, to me, seems much, much easier to say and/or read than actually live out.
You see, we serve the Father out of love for Him. We serve so that the world may know and glorify Him. We serve so that His love may spread and more people will know Him and how He gave of Himself to save mankind.
...but we also tend to serve in order to get our gumball.
I find myself doing it all the time. If I work hard then things will go well. If I mess around on Facebook or something else too much things will go bad. While this may affect things in our physical world, God does not work on these terms.
He calls us to be wholly devoted to Himself and serve the best we can with all we have. He calls us to trust that He will take care of our needs in Luke 12. He tells us to cast all our anxieties on Him because He cares for us in I Pt. 5:7, right after telling us to humble ourselves under His mighty hand.
So maybe its time for a reset.
"Lord, burn it down. Burn it all down to ashes so it can be remade. Change the state of our lives so that we can serve you how we ought. So that we can follow you in truth and power."
Let us do the best to empty ourselves of this notion that we are working for God's gumball. For some, that may be burning our own ideas to the ground so that God's ideas can take root. The end of Hebrews 12 talks how God is a consuming fire.
Perhaps we should let Him consume us, then.
We need to let go of our preconceived notions of how God works if they do not match up with what the Bible shows. Let us be consumed in the fire, that our faith may be pure. Let us burn all our desires, all our hopes, all our thoughts of what should happen to ashes, so that God's will alone is left standing. What He builds cannot be destroyed. Let us see what remains when we rid ourselves of ourselves, so that we can know what is His. So that we can find how to open ourselves to His power and working in our lives.
We need it. Now more than ever.