What type of effort is God interested in?
His gift demands that in everything we do, everything we say, we do it remembering that his gift requires that we lay it on the alter for the One who loved us first as a living sacrifice. His gift requires that today’s best is an example of growth and of being stretched even if just a teensy little bit!
When we begin touting the things we can do to make an impact, the good deeds we can do, talking about just doing something, one good act a day, how valuable we are, we have possibly just moved from Him to us. We have also quite possibly, not always but sometimes, begun offering sacrifices that are more like Cain’s than Abel’s.
In fact one may ask oneself what was the difference between Cain’s offering and Abel’s offering. Was it about not offering a lamb or was it all about offering first fruits? Was it about the attitude in which they were offered, perhaps the motivation? Really look.. does it say that God was unhappy with Cain’s actual offering, the fruit?
Perhaps in the answer to those questions is found the problem with Cain’s sacrifice and most of ours today. Are our motivations possibly betrayed by other words or actions?
Everyone has exhibited a lack of enthusiasm, daunted spirits, loss of energy, made statements like “I’m just not passionate about that”, “I don’t feel like doing that”, “that does not inspire me,”‘ “nobody’s going to see that,” “I don’t feel my gifts or giftset is being used properly or fully optimized,”
How many of us have offered up statements like “I gave you time I did not have” or “I did this for you?” Have we not all to some degree participated in actions that resemble dirt digging or gossip or undermining or critiquing when things don’t go our way or someone does something we do not like. When others try to hold us accountable we question, we get angry, throw insults!
Where is the difference in statements and actions like this and Cain’s reaction to God’s rejection? Do they not also betray our motivations?
What Motivates You!
Often we find ourselves more enthusiastic by what we know others will see. We play the comparison game, we play the attaboy or attagirl game. All of us desire to be noticed, recognized and responded to in a positive way. We desire cheerleaders and to be surrounded by those who inspire us. We begin to believe that if we just do one act of kindness per day we have settled our quotient ratio for God in serving him.
All of us are guilty of this! If there has been a central theme that God has hammered home with me in the last month, which has included having someone I met for the first time while discussing these things hold up a sign that said “It’s Not About Me,” though she was speaking in general it confirmed the message that God has been hammering on me for the last month.
It’s Not About Me!
You know we are all guilty here but you know what else God understands, he knows I am dust.
Which should inspire us all the more to a purer motivation? What is that pure motivation? It is the awareness of my own depravity and awareness that because of the ever growing awareness of my own depravity it then makes the knowledge of “He Loved Me First” the purest form of motivation. Which is why Paul said “It is our reasonable service to offer our lives a living sacrifice.”
Let us inspire to, challenge, encourage, motivate, push ourselves and those around us to go beyond and to stop telling the half-truths of here is a list of good acts, here is one little good deed you can do today, just smile. Which resembles much of what the world would teach and have us live.
Wait, “what is wrong with these things?”, you ask. It is not the acts or the single act that is wrong, just as there was nothing wrong with Cain offering fruit.
It is the half-truth that comes from statements like “just to do something, after all something is better than nothing! That inspire us to half-lives lived for God! That refuse to hold us accountable and enables us to settle for random, luke-warm efforts, actions that resemble nothing more than spectators who desire not to be fully involved participants!
We must never forget that Satan would rather we settle for doing just one thing or some random acts than being totally sold out! For that is the opposite of what God has called us to! Remember God said either be Smoking or Chilling, not Settling.
By pushing beyond just doing something or a good deed it can, should and will become more about:
“Lord I offer myself, everything I have, Everything I am, Everything I do, you gave me the ability to do and now I give it back to you so that I may offer my life as a living sacrifice because it truly is about you Lord.”
A Side Note!
Keep this in mind.. God may or may not call you to what you are passionate about or what you think you’re passionate about! He may not open doors for you to serve in an area in which you feel you are gifted in. He may simply show you a need, and then lay a desire on your heart to do something about the need. While doing something about the need you may discover two things take place:
1) You become passionate about serving that need!
2) You discover gifts that you never realized you had and find yourself going “now where, did that come from?”
For it is work that is done in areas that we may have believed we had no passion for or were weak in or were not gifted in that God has the greatest opportunity to work in and bring about His glory! For if we only work in areas of passion or strength then the temptation and opportunity for our glory becomes easier and shines brighter!
Just Some Thoughts!
Pastor Pat Badstibner – lives in South Carolina, USA, with his wife Becky and is the proud father of two grown daughters, Jessica and Michaela. As Senior Pastor of World Prayr Ministry he is kept very busy. He is an inspiration to many in mentoring and sharing scriptural insight and understanding. “God is allowing me to serve with a great team in creating a unique ministry and service for his kingdom.”