Thursday, October 19, 2006

In the mirror

I looked in the spiritual mirror tonight, and to be honest, I was disgusted with what I saw. Selfishness and self-centeredness rampant in my heart, in my thoughts, in my mind. It's revolting. Is this what God called me to? Is this the level of dedication to Him that He's called me to? When I looked in the mirror spiritually this evening, I found myself deeply saddened that, rather than focus on glorifying Him, my focus has been on doing what is convenient and easiest or best for my own personal agenda. Where does He fit into that agenda? On the periphery, at best. I'm reminded of the message given by Dudley McAlister at the beginning of the year - indeed, at our very first Paradigm meeting for the Baptist Student Union. He asked usto consider where God fit in our lives: were we living lives with God, or were we living lives for God, unto God? Honestly, looking back - looking now - I'd have to say that the majority of the time for me, it tends to be and have been life with God, not for Him. And that's a tragedy. It's certainly not what He has called me to, and it's certainly not the best of what He has for me. No, instead I ought to be operating in lowliness of mind; I ought to be looking out also for the interests of others (Phil. 2:3-4). Above all, I ought to be seeking to glorify the name of Christ Jesus in everything I do. Nothing else is even really worth living for.

And as I stopped - and stop again now as I write this - to consider that, I'm also struck by this: how much greater a difference can we make for the Kingdom if we'll just get over ourselves? I find myself increasingly saddened by the fact that we as Christians allow ourselves to be so spiritually impotent by becoming so focused on ourselves. I let Paradigm be about me, I let my personal study be about me, I let the Adams-Johnson Bible study I help lead be about me, I let Trinity be about me, I let worship be about me, I let praying be about me, I let everything be about me! Enough! The call of the cross is to die to ourselves. The Holy Spirit enables us to do it. So why aren't we? Why am I not dying to myself? God's glory and His kingdom deserve my attention. Worship is about Him. The Bible study is about Him. Paradigm is about Him. Trinity is about Him. Prayer is about Him. We do these things to see the Kingdom of God advanced, and to honor the name of Jesus Christ. If we're doing them for any other reason at all, then we're doing them for the wrong reasons. Especially if we're doing them to better ourselves.

Will we ultimately benefit from doing the things that God has called us to? Yes, we will. Should that be our reason for doing them? I have to answer that question with a resounding, Scriptural, "NO!"

Praise be to the Holy Spirit for His faithfulness to bring me conviction. I pray He bring you peace and grace, and that you walk in the wisdom from above, which is foolishness to man. God bless, and good night.

- Chris

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