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Sunday, 13 October 2013

I must do more so people acknowledge and appreciate me

So I have just come home from leading an evening service at my church on the topic of resting in God, and taking time out from the busy world we live in today which says that more is better... less is weak. 
One of the illustrations in the service was this... "Burn out is not a spiritual gift... So why has it become a rite of passage?". This spoke to a few of us, and definitely is something which I think about regularly. 
I have often, & often still do, find myself stuck in the lie that the more I do, and particularly Christian work and service, the better a person that makes me. The more people will appreciate and acknowledge me, and the more highly I will be thought of by those around me and ultimately by God. But this is exactly that... another tactful lie the deceiver uses to trap us into never spending real time developing our relationship with God which is, lets face it, what it is all about in the first place.

If I am completely honest with you and with myself, the fact of the matter is that I am full of pride, and I crave the praise of those around me, and not very often the praise of God which is what I should actually be striving for. If we continue to get our gratification in this way we will be so utterly deflated and crushed when those we are looking to for encouragement either don't give it to us, barely noticing the extra 'stuff' that we are packing our lives with, or worse... they criticize us or put us down. You, I, we... are setting ourselves up for an almighty crash. 
Certainly we can fill our lives with things which are good and pleasing to God - and some of the busiest of people that I know I am sure God looks at and says "Good and faithful servant with whom I am well pleased", but we need to look at why we are doing all the 'stuff' we are doing. 

For some it might be to distract from the thoughts in our heads which we fear if we stop and take time to think about, then they would cause us to explode and perhaps we would never get ourselves going again.
For others it might be a simple need for approval which perhaps we don't feel we have had in our lives thus far.
Still for others it might be a need to be needed. A search for worth and value in a world in which we feel we have very little purpose or reason for being in. Or perhaps there has been a loss of someone or something that for a long time really needed you, and now you are at a loss as to who you now are.

Whatever the reason you might feel the need to fill your life with 'stuff'... If that reason is not to solely glorify God... if it is not in line with John 3:30 'He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less', Acts 5:29 'We must obey God rather than man', and Colossians 3:29 'Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people'... Then you (along with me) need to realign your desires and your motivations with that of Christ, and take some time away from the fast paced world you are caught up in, and get to know God again, afresh.

Galatians 1:10 says 'If pleasing people where my goal, I would not be Christ's servant'. I for one need to constantly remind myself to stop playing the 'christian martyr' working all the hours God sends in order to please others, to frantically find meaning and purpose for my life, or to hear those words "Well Done" from human lips which don't even always come and when they do are fleeting. I am on a long journey of accepting that I too deserve rest, and that God wants me to sit with Him and spend time with Him.

God too wants YOU to rest in Him. He wants YOU to listen to Him and give Him your whole heart daily. He wants you to work out of a place of rest, not rest out of a place of work. And He wants to be your priority. Make Him more in your life. Give Him a higher place. Pick up your Bible now... stop what you are doing. Talk to your heavenly father who created you, loves you, knows every little thing about you, and wants to talk back to you if only you would take the time to listen.

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