Give it up
What are we willing to give up for God? It’s a question that convicts so many people today. Yet let’s consider a paradoxical twist to this question.
If we believe we are giving something up for God, have we truly accepted God as who he is? Have we really placed all of our hearts, minds, and souls to the belief that He is Lord, and His Word is true? Jesus said; “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” Mt 16: 24-26
What does he mean, “deny themselves” and “whoever wants to save their life will lose it”?
Surely there are so many proclaimed believers today. Millions of people “Give up” an hour or two every Sunday to attend a service. Many others even give up a few hours on occasion to serve a breakfast, or attend an outreach. Truly a blessed sacrifice. Corporate worship, study, and praise builds the body of Christ, and strengthens our faith. Serving others and being involved in outreach in the name of Christ glorifies the Father. We should do these things for sure!
Yet, are we doing these things to achieve a place in heaven? Are we consciously thinking “I better go to church?” or “I should go to that outreach”? And while we are there, are we thinking; “Well look at me with my hands raised” or “hey get a picture of me with this homeless guy”?
Are we proud of what we do for God? Or are we humbled by what God is doing through us?
This has been my conviction, or at least my fear. I feel my pictures and videos of outreach and events have focused on the doers, and not on God’s work. I have been careful to avoid pictures of myself, but I have just been hearing this word;
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Mt 6:1-4
I definitely have to listen to the Holy Spirit here, I need to surrender to my beliefs, and to my God. He has led me to this ministry, and he has provided always for this mission. He leads me to promote the Coalition, and he leads me to seek donations, but he is leading me to another way, away from self-promotion. I will keep taking pictures, but I will focus on God’s work, on what God is doing. I will still seek help for my mission, But I will trust in God completely to lead me.
I am a sinner. That I know for sure. Yet what makes me break down and fall to my knees, is what God does inside of people. When the transforming of minds leads people to labor over having to “Give up” His work, to do something worldly. “I want to go serve the homeless, but I need to work, or I need to mow my lawn” sometimes it seems like an excuse to get out of outreach, yet as we are transformed, it becomes painful to leave God’s work for anything else. Let us pray that we can all be so transformed. That we all seek to serve god not to achieve his blessing, but because we have received his blessing. Lord God, transform our hearts and our minds, place in our hearts the desire to only serve you. Strengthen us to lose our lives, to save them through you. In Jesus’ Name I pray.
I want to thank Kyle Idleman, and “Not a Fan” for opening my mind to the Holy Spirit today.