I came across this quotation as I am doing my morning’s devotion:
“Men are deceived in thinking they are serving God when they are serving themselves and making the interest of the cause and work of God a secondary matter. Their hearts are not consecrated. The Lord takes no pleasure in the services of this class.”
Some time ago I wrote in my book, “The Addict’s Devotion” the difference in “Care Taking and “Taking Care” and how they’re distinguishable by motive. The same could be applied to this situation mentioned in the quotation.
One is accomplished by obligatory purposes while the other is done in love. For example, I hate giving money. Just hate it. Yet, when I see there is a need and could benefit someone, despite my “hatred” of giving money, I do it. Why? Because that person is blessed as a result. it’s not for me, but for them, and ultimately, I’ve done something God has determined needful in answering the prayer of this individual, whatever has transpired between them. Now, where do I come in? I walk away knowing I have been used, by God, in the relieving of someone’s circumstance. My heart becomes cheerful in knowing and believing in God’s Word that He will supply my lack–now, because until then, I didn’t have a lack. This is where trust and faith comes in, and my relationship with Him grows deeper which in essence produces a cheerful heart knowing I’ve just worked with God–period. It’s not about me but always about Him.
This is a work in progress. Of late, when either walking or riding in a jeepney, for example, what occurred no more than two weeks ago, I call them “gypsies” because of their dress. These “gypsy’s” jump into a jeepney and place an envelope on the leg of everyone and then proceed to play on make-shift drums or a child sings a song. It is not my intention to give anything, as most likely everyone else sitting there, but I hear His voice saying to me, “Give him 50php.” I do it. Or, I’m sitting in church and I hear Him saying, “Put 500php into the basket.” And I do it. He’s asking and I’m complying and there is no “Bro. Roy” factor involved. I do it because I love Him and He’s asked, not asking, as if there is really a choice in the matter. I think you might understand the distinction here.
He is my Master and I’m His servant. He commands and I follow. It is only by this relationship when I take “me” out of the equation is when I have learned to put Him first. Should I ever consider my own situation, how what will occur is going to make me feel, regardless if it is good or bad, the point is, I’ve placed “me” in front of Him, and this can never be right. Serving God can never be about what I get in return whether in blessings or a warm fuzzy feeling for having done someone else good. When this is the concern, then selfishness has stepped in.
I was once in a situation where a brother asked for something I was planning to eat. I didn’t want to give it to him, but the Lord said to do so. When the brother saw it was my last, he attempted to give it back. He even asked, “Oh, man, this is your last one, isn’t it?” I agreed, it was. He then asked me, “Did you want it?” Of course, I did. Then I heard my own voice say to him, “I’m being taught about giving, my brother. You see, giving something from plenty is not giving at all. When you give someone what you intended to have and wanted, well, that’s true giving. Enjoy it!”
He did and I didn’t meaning he enjoyed the snack and I didn’t get a chance to enjoy it at all, but I walked away knowing I pleased God, and whatever else, well, that’s secondary. It’s not about how I feel, but have I done what He’s asked me. So, now you can see how truly this was definitely a “hard one”!
October 21, 2014