Have you ever just gotten tired of doing good? Have you ever just felt tired of being thankful? Has it ever crossed your mind to be selfish and think . . . I'm in it for me right now? Have you ever shaken your fist at God and said, "I just don't get what You're doin' in my life right now!!"?
If you are honest, deep-down, gut-level honest with yourself . . . only yourself, because your response to me really doesn't matter a hill o' beans. If you are honest with yourself, you will acknowledge that at one time or several times in your speck of a life here on this earth that you have felt entitled to more, needed physical evidence of God's presence more, wanted more to be "thankful" for, and wanted to do less for it all.
We are all human. That's how we're wired. We are all sinners. That's how we were left on this earth -- as sinners in need of a Savior. I mentioned in my "mish mash" that I've been flitting between the camps of "faithful believer" and "faithless pagan" who sees no need for continuing to do good with no immediate, visible reward.
I was commisserating with a friend the other day that if I were not a believer I would have no qualms about my behavior. I would feel no remorse for my bad choices and no need to repent for doing wrong. I threw out the idea of racking up tons of debt, not worrying about leaving this earth with an enormous bill trailing me to the grave. I was whining -- big time. I was wrong -- big time.
Just like always, when I get wrapped up in my needs, my desires, my wants, my lack of, my disappointment, my discouragement . . . let's call it what it really is -- MYSELF -- just like always, when I search Scripture -- God has His perspective for my little pity party.
Galatians 6:7-10 (NIV)
"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."
I reap what I sow. When I am ungrateful and gripy toward what I don't have and what I don't get, and what is hard to bear, I am reaping destruction -- maybe not for eternity, but certainly in the here and now.
Verse 9 says not to become weary in doing good. I've found myself quite weary lately. I've found my friends to be weary, too. The verse goes on to say that at the "proper time" we will reap the harvest. It doesn't say in a week's time. It doesn't say after a month. It doesn't say after three years of suffering, then you will reap. It says, "at the proper time". God determines that proper time just as He knew the exact time you would come to Him in salvation. He knows what the proper time for the harvest is, and He will not forget you in the meantime.How do we manage in the meantime? How do we get our eyes off of ourselves and our needs, wants, desires, discouragements, disappointments, and struggles? God leaves us with a message for that part, too. He speaks through Paul when he says in verse 10:
" Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."
I don't know about you, but I find it terribly difficult to continue to focus completely on MYSELF when I am taking care of the needs of others. I am praying for myself to be more others focused, in order that my eyes be realigned with God's perspective. I am praying for opportunities to present themselves in which I might put the truth of Galatians 6:10 into practice in my life.
One tangible way I can turn my eyes on Him is through gratefulness and authentic thanksgiving. I am thankful this week for:
1. Second, third, and fourth chances: I've actually lost count, but I am so grateful my Jesus forgives me and lets me start fresh and new every day.
2. Rest: What a renewal I find when I have rested well. I am grateful God gives rest to the weary. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
3. Music With Words: I love both kinds, but the words have spoken to me so much lately.
Let God Arise
Hear the holy roar of God resound
Watch the waters part before us now
Come and see what He has done for us
Tell the world of His great love
Our God is a God who saves
Our God is a God who saves
Let God arise
Let God arise
Our God reigns now and forever
He reigns now and forever
His enemies will run for sure
The church will stand, she will endure
He holds the keys of life, our Lord
Death has no sting, no final word
(PRAISE JESUS! THERE IS VICTORY OVER THE GRAVE!)peach's addendum
4. New Life: Yes, I know Easter is all about new life, resurrection, and sins forgiven. I am all about that, but my thanks is even more simplistic. I am just so lovin' all the green around me. I've decided my new favorite color is one God invented . . . Spring Baby Leaf Green. If it doesn't already exist on somebody's paint chip list, it should.
5. Eternity: I've been given a new vision for this real place. I fear not, for I am headed to my home, and I can do whatever my Father says I can do there. It is HOME, where I can finally be all He created me to be. I can kick off my heavenly "shoes" and jump on the heavenly sofa if He says it's ok.
6. My Children: They teach me more every day than I can ever hope to teach them.
7. My precious DP: He hangs in there with me day in and day out, regardless of my moods, my faith, my "rightness" or "wrongness" in any situation. He loves me, and I am so thankful.
8. Glory: I see God's glory displayed everywhere I look, from the ant hill to the majestic oak to the crying child who needs a forever family. He has made it all. Glory be to Him alone!!
9. Criticism: Not usuallly welcome at first, yet when I've had a chance to mull it over -- necessary and useful for growth and maturity on all levels. Thanks.
10. Resurrection Power: How awesome is our God! The same power that raised Christ from the dead is available to us each and every day. He is worthy to be praised!!
Now, I know this was a long post today. If you managed to make it to the end, I salute you and ask you to go thank the Lord today for the ways He has blessed you. Take it to your site or give me a couple examples here in the comments. I would love to hear what God is doing in your heart.