I was talking over lunch with one of the pastors at my church about areas that I felt weak in regarding areas of service. I believe that service in the Body is a key opportunity for me to demonstrate my love for God with action, so I always approach those opportunities with enthusiasm. However, I also realize that we are not all spiritually gifted with the same gifts (nor all the gifts), therefore there are times when I serve in an area of which is not really aligned with my strengths. This presents a little bit of a problem for me as I sometimes overextend myself and my energies in areas that I'm not well suited for.
The usual outcome of serving in an area not aligned with my Spiritual gifts is the achievement of the "Peter Principle" (that being rising to a level of incompetence) in fairly short order.
When talking to my pastor he mentioned that wherever God puts us, whether it be an area where we can offer significant contributions, or in areas where we are basically a "warm body" worker, we should continually endeavor to be faithful and patient. Doing everything faithfully in God's timing as well as not trying to run ahead, in our desire to please Him.
For those that do not know me, I am impatient. And not just for the things of God, but for just about everything, I constantly have to work on my self-control balanced with my discernment. To clarify, I need to know when God is calling me to action and when God is calling me to wait, and respond accordingly.
That got me thinking about writing a series of articles on the idea of everyday faith. Yes, I realize that everyone and their parakeet has written something on that subject, but God has laid it on my heart so I will follow through as best I can.
Everyday faith is not a routine, or an exercise, or a program, it is a transformation that takes place from the inside out when you grasp a basic truth and actually begin to live that same truth. The truth is only four words long and should not come as a surprise to any believer, but the quantum leap between knowing the truth and living according to the truth, I fear, is far too daunting for most of us. So without further ado, here is the truth:
All for His glory.
Too simple? Probably, but coming to that truth has been a long road for me. Perhaps many of you discovered it long ago, but it took me some time. See, I believe in the inerrancy of the Word, but I still sometimes can't see how some things add up.
When I ask questions, I feel sometimes that it is construed as a lack of faith in the Word, but it isn't at all.
When I ask questions, many times the response is one of "There are things we just will not know until we reach heaven." Perhaps that is the case, but I have a hard time believing that God would inspire authors to specifically document something that God did not intend to use in our lives while we were here and needing it so desperately.
One of the things, I, and many I'm sure, have a problem balancing is the Fall. Not so much that man would exercise his freewill to be disobedient to God. Every single one of us have that problem, it's called sin, and "all have sinned and fallen short." My question is why did God let the serpent crash the party anyway?
Oh wait. I think I have an answer.
All for His glory.
Perhaps it's a stretch, and I am likely to be proven wrong by some highly trained theologian out there lurking around, waiting to rebuke me for my naivete. That being said, what if God knew that the only way that man would stop exercising his freewill to rebel and start exercising his freewill to surrender to God's mercy and grace, is to evidence that man cannot reach God on his own.
The Fall is a classic example, to my tiny brain, of self-reliance, Adam and Eve thought that by their action, they could become like God. But man was not created to be like God, if that were even possible; humans were created to glorify God. I know, you're thinking, wow God must be pretty vain to require all that glorifying glorification, but God does not require it, we were created to do it.
I like milk, I appreciate that some people are lactose intolerant, so this may not be a great example for everyone. Everywhere I go, I see signs proclaiming "Got Milk?" from the "Dairy Council" or some such thing. And there are famous people with milk moustaches receiving exposure or being paid to appear in these posters (I personally have never been approached to do such an ad so I have no idea what the motivation may be). Now are there some kids and adults that are looking at these ads and thinking, "Hey Mr. Superstar Athlete thinks I need to drink milk, so I will", sure. But, in linking this to the original truth, I would think that God doesn't value that outward show of milk's goodness as much as He values the drinker that, without any influence of endorsements, drinks some milk on a hot day and thinks "Wow, that is fabulous and delicious."
Eh, not so hot an analogy. But it may not complete miss the mark. I believe that God is pleased when we get a measure of knowledge of Him and just stand there in slack-jawed awe of His glory. Does He need it? Absolutely not, you can no more glorify God to greater heights as you can curse God down a few notches. It just doesn't work that way.
And as to vanity? I urge you to look at the creation account or His questions to Job, and then think "Who really deserves all the glory?"
Now to everyday faith. With some notable exceptions two role models for everyday faith jump from the pages of the Bible, Abraham and David. Abraham's every day faith was credited to him by God as righteousness, and David was call a "man after God's own heart". How did they do receive that enormous praise? Well, back to my original assertion (and with the caveat that there are some notable exceptions like lying about your relationship with your wife and the whole Bathsheba episode), being that David and Abraham lived, day to day, with a mindset that every choice and action they made was to be:
All for His glory
How do we, as mere mortals, do that? Read on for some ideas.
Suffice it to say, when was the last time you asked yourself: Is what I am doing right now, or the choice I have to make, for my glory? Or is it: