by David Brenneman
What we do in this life as Believers is not for the furtherance of our careers, not the pursuit of happiness even. It's not about our creativity or our celebration of our achievements. It's not about accolades and things like wonderful times.
Pursuit of things that aren't in accordance with the will of God in our lives are deemed selfish. What does the Bible say?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Doesn't say you will get what you think that you want.
Let's go further. Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart." NASB
We read in the New Testament that we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that we might walk in them.
We have a purpose in this life, regardless of how we view it, to live for the One who gave His all for us to be saved.
So many want to have their cake and eat it too. Thinking that there MUST be some way to live for self and live for Jesus too.
Can two people drive a vehicle at the same time behind the wheel? But what does the Bible say? Jesus said you cannot serve two masters. You will hate the one and cling to the other. Love the one and despise the other.
Look at our world.
Time is growing short. We soon may be in the presence of Jesus and what will our lives show? Will it show us as doing our best for our Savior, or show us as doing our best for ourselves?
What is the will of God for you and I? Our sanctification. Our becoming more like Christ Jesus is His will for us. We were created in the image of God. We were created for a right relationship with Jesus. Sin broke that relationship. Jesus became the cure for that.
What He's done made a right relationship possible. Is your life filled with an attitude of gratitude? Is much of your prayers just repetition without heart, without feeling, behind it? Are your activities really mostly you complaining to God about not getting this or that?
Jesus Christ didn't live a sinless life, die a horrible death on a cross, endure separation from God the Father, raise from the dead, all for us...just so that we can live a carefree life of personal wanton pleasure. His sacrifice wasn't so that after coming to Christ we now get to live as we want to, as we see fit. Our life in Christ is to mean what He defines it to mean. The Helper, the Holy Spirit, sets each Believer in the body as He sees fit. We don't decide what we're going to or not do for Jesus.
We don't pick our career and then basically tell Him to live with it because that's all we're going to do.
We don't tell the One who sacrificed everything that we won't sacrifice a thing for Him and what He did to save us.
We don't spend our time not reading His Word at all. We don't cozy up to the world and make excuses to continue in sin. We don't put our peace and contentment ahead of what He wants of us to become in Christ.
What He's Done all glory to the Father and the Son. My sins are forgiven, my future is Heaven. I praise God for what He's done...
Look up that song. Read in Hebrews of the hall of faith. Of what all people did to serve God. Of how that was more important than what the world offered them.
Satan offered Jesus the world. Just bow down to him and He wouldn't need to go to the cross. He would give Him whatever He would desire if He would just do that.
My Dear Reader, Satan offers you the same thing. You don't need to put up with difficult people, just take up this offer or that "good" thing that he presents to you and he will leave you alone. You can coast through life. Satan is a liar and the father of lies. He's the destroyer of life. He's the enemy of God.
So many Believers think that God's intentions are for their health, wealth and prosperity because of passages of the Bible taken out of context. God's will is our sanctification FIRST. We are promised, PROMISED, mind you, that all who desire to live Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer.
When you look at your surroundings, your possessions, indeed you might say you are blessed. But are those things you have, that you are surrounded with, are they at all causing you to live in a right relationship with Jesus? Are you spending quality time with Jesus? Are you making excuses for why you haven't been?
Can a person draw water from the well of Christ Jesus without an effort to put the bucket down into it first? He is the vine, we are the branches. His Father is the vine dresser. He prunes the branches to get them to bear more fruit.
We are workers in His fields, reaping His harvest. Which means we do what He has for us to be doing in Christ. Not what we want in those fields. Not what is safe by our standards.
Take a look at your life. Does it reflect a life lived for the One who saved you? As Dr. Charles Stanley has mentioned often...is your character becoming more like Christ? If your character isn't then you're making one or more wrong choices in how you live life. When we give an account of our lives before Jesus, everything that wasn't done for Jesus will be burned up. Will be shown to be WORTHLESS. Selfish ambition nets us nothing in Christ Jesus. The generation that will be, is the one that is now, when Jesus returns. Lovers of self. Don't take my word for it, read it.
"For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, slanderers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness although they have denied its power; avoid such people as these." 2 Timothy 3:2-5 NASB
Watch Facebook video's, watch YouTube video's. They are filled with people such as these.
Satan is even getting Believer's desensitized to this list of qualities. People everywhere are being programmed by our media outlets to downplay sin. Downplay living for Jesus. Downplaying the consequences of sin. Calling it just a mistake, a bad choice, bad luck. Mistakes, bad choices, bad luck are not what held Jesus to the cross. Those things aren't the reason He suffered and died. Sin was. Our sins were.
We owe Him way more of ourselves than we do.
Jesus promised us life, but not just life, life more abundant. This isn't an implication of health, wealth and prosperity. It's higher highs and lower lows than a life without Him. It's going to be painful trips that seem like the valley of the shadow of death to us. It's going to be standing on the mountain tops looking down at how far we have come in Christ Jesus. It's going to be our becoming more like Christ Jesus...not us being all we can be for ourselves.
Pray today that your eyes would be opened, that you would objectively see your life as it is, not what you think it appears to be. Ask Jesus to show you. You might be surprised by what you find out. Jesus told His Disciples that nobody who's given up their lives for Him and the sake of the Kingdom who won't get more than they ever thought possible in this life and the life to come.
Open the eyes of my heart Lord open the eyes of my heart...
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