Recently, I witnessed a scene that caused me to consider how easy it is to digress from a powerful and vital relationship with God to simply putting together programs and pulling off events. I usually refer to this as “check the box church,” which I am convinced has little to no kingdom expanding power.
Okay, back to the scene. There was a group gathered together and everyone was busy. It was obvious they had a mission and purpose. They were all willing to complete the task and were glad to be working for the Lord. What was made abundantly clear as I watched the scene unfold was the absence of the presence of God. Though the task was for him, it really wasn’t about him. It wasn’t fueled by faith, passion, or love for him. They work was fueled by other motives. It was at that point that the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to this thought: people are making ministry/ service their lives instead of using their lives to serve. I know it sounds like a conundrum, but think about it for a moment. We often get so focused on performance and accomplishing tasks (especially if we say they are for God) that we forget the most important thing is our relationship with the Father. Ministry is a gift from God and does not replace the cultivation of an intimate relationship with the Lord or holy living.
God doesn’t simply look at the works, but the heart of man. Works that are not motivated by God and surrounded by faith are pointless. A sacrifice given from an unclean vessel is unacceptable. This is a major contributor to a believer’s inability to live at the next level. We must accept that God first calls us to him then to service.
Our lives are a gift from God. We are strategically positioned to reveal his glory. Be careful that you are being who God wants you to be more than doing what you “think” will please him. Be careful not to fall into the trap of offering God your works when what he really wants is you. God doesn’t need another program, event, or offering placed before him while your heart remains far from him. In the course of your busy life remember to dedicate and guard your time for personal prayer, renewal, and growth. Honor the Lord by the way you live every day. Your service will be more powerful. You’ll also experience more personal joy and fulfillment.
The word of the Lord is: “to what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? I am full of the burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beast; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of the goats. What the Lord requires is: to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep his commandments and his statutes.”
Don’t try to give God a sacrifice before you’ve first given him your obedience.
Blessings to you!