Father God has given us each a free will. He has given us a beautiful choice to show love and honor to Him and others. Most often, we think we do this pretty well. Nonetheless, our hearts still contain impurities revealing self-focus and unhealed wounds.
Learned behaviors we thought were normal affect our daily lives. Ingrained habits plague us. We raise our voices at our children or siblings. We avoid those who rub us wrong. Or perhaps we find ourselves doing things to fulfill the need to be useful, or we assert ourselves wrongly to feel in control. Maybe we busy ourselves to avoid painful emotions.
Even in the many struggles we have, Father God is working to refine us into vessels of His love as we yield to Him.
We want to be ones who seek the heart of God, showing selfless love to all who we come near. Jesus confirmed this call. When asked about the most weighty of the Commandments, He said that loving God with all and loving others are the two from which all others stem (Matthew 22:36-40).
We realize our attempts to love remain tainted with self-serving. Showing love and honor is not automatic. Because of our tendencies toward selfishness and sin, we must seek to be intentional. We must be mindful of those around us.
If we ask, Father God will reveal ingrained behaviors and help us replace them with the fruits of the Holy Spirit. We must seek to be a blessing in every situation. It will take allowing Him to show us the depths of our souls.
This is a new chapter. The landscape of our local fellowship is shifting from church as usual into what God desires for us.
I find myself also thinking on how my own life’s landscape may change. I’ve begun to wonder if I have put myself in a box in any way, and what advancing God’s Kingdom is truly meant to be for my own life.
When it comes to our God-given purposes, things may not look like what we think they will. When I was a new Christian, I first thought this would be through worship leading in a church setting.
Then it was as a worship leader and intercessory missionary in the house of prayer, which I still long to see in fullness… but at times I wonder if I have put myself in a box per say? I want to stop comparing myself to others. I want God alone to define me, along with every why and every what.
Nonetheless, the expression of the church is changing. We are not a building, but people who are the temple of the Holy Spirit. A new wineskin is being given those who truly want to follow the Lord’s leadership. It is for we who will let go of our own ways, wants and agendas.
Recently I have embarked on another level of spiritual growth on the issue of being versus doing. God has shown me how often I was grading my relationship with Him based on how I feel or what I accomplish. Likewise, I have realized the Body of Christ as a whole tends to struggle with this issue.
As Christians we often declare that life with God is about relationship not religion. But we have often replaced relationship with another form of activity, one of seeking for results. Religion’s traditions, rituals and rules have been replaced with a striving to produce and see results.
In our quiet times with God, we often grade ourselves. Did we feel His presence tangibly, did we accomplish a lot in prayer or studying the Word? Often we do not even recognize we are viewing our time based on what we feel or accomplish ourselves.