Getting down to the nitty gritty of the gospel isn’t just about what you’re willing to do for your church. It doesn’t matter how many times you stood outside handing out pamphlets in 95 degree weather, how many broken things you’ve repaired on a building or even about how many outreaches you’ve been a part of. It’s also about the lengths you’re willing to go through in order to please God in the little things first (even if it seemingly doesn’t benefit you at all). It’s about treating people, as He wants you treat them. Like doing your best to leave all the human pettiness and personal feelings behind even when it’s exceptionally hard to do. It’s about demonstrating honesty, integrity, credibility and selflessness on a regular basis. That’s what being held to a higher standard is really about as Christians. No matter what our job is in the body of Christ, it applies to all of us.
Taking up your cross is not easy of course, but in order to truly follow Him as He says, it’s necessary. When we made the decision to accept Him, we were also accepting the fact that things are no longer about us. Yes we aren’t perfect and we will fail time and time again, but if the core of our actions (whether in our personal lives, in our ministry or both) is directly centered on fulfilling our own personal egos, then we really haven’t taken up the cross yet. And therefore, we are still trying to be in control rather than fully surrendering what little control we have, over to Him. Things will simply never work that way. For example, if you’re a pastor and someone leaves your church that you’re aware of, so be it. Send them off with genuine, authentic blessings and love. Appreciate their time there, whether it was for one week or twenty years. Focus on what everyone can take from the situation and pray for God’s will only in their lives. We are all but just small pieces of a grander puzzle. Therefore, we cannot believe that God will only work as far as we can envision Him to in the lives of others. His plans always go much further beyond what we can see.
That’s why it’s so important for us to continuously look in the mirror and pray for Him to search our hearts.
Back to the point – We can’t put God’s name on our own personal agendas. It’s has to be either His way or ours. His will, however, will always be best. His ways will always be above our ways and His thoughts always above our thoughts. This is not a sometimes, maybe thing. It doesn’t depend on how we’re feeling that day and it isn’t based on who did what for us this week and who didn’t. This is an always thing! So why not just fully surrender everything to Him? We need to get out of His way if we truly want to witness Him work like never before. Again, we all fall short of His glory over and over again (I am the queen of imperfection). The bible says all of our deeds of righteousness are as filthy rags. What?! Thank God we have an awesome and perfect Savior who came to our rescue, right? We are a hot mess and then some. But nevertheless, we need to be able to discern our flesh from His desires. Otherwise, we are playing with fire. However, let’s be mindful of the fact that there’s still hope. That’s the God we serve, a God who is our hope. So let’s keep our hearts wide open in order for Him to work on us daily.
Let’s start with this prayer:
Father, we thank You so very much for Your Word. Thank You for loving us the way You do and for sharing small fractions of Your wisdom with us. Thank You for opening our eyes so we don’t continue to walk in blindness and stumble over the same obstacles. You could have left us the way we were but You didn’t. We pray today that You give us a deeper discernment of what it truly means to deny ourselves and take up the cross. We know we won’t always get it right, but we ultimately want a heart like Yours. Anytime our natural selfishness or negative emotions creep up, we pray You reveal it to us and help us take the necessary steps to become more like You. We believe You will help us in this area and take us to the next level so that You may glorified in our lives! In Jesus name, amen.
Thank you so much for praying with me today. I know I personally needed to pray that. I’ve been guilty far too often of allowing my emotions to rule me. But it’s all about recognizing the issues, receiving the truth that we need to change and then growing from that moment forward. It’s always a journey with God…a beautiful, challenging, wild, incredible journey.
I pray you have a super blessed day and that you remember just how unconditionally and deeply loved you are by your Heavenly Father!
Until next time… <3