Thursday, August 22, 2013

Blessed to be a blessing--not a boaster

I saw two paths in my devotion time this morning.  One I often take fall onto by default, and another I desire to trod more consistently.  In Jeremiah  45:5, God said to Baruch (a co-laborer with Jeremiah),

"Do you seek great things for thyself?  Seek them not:  for behold I will bring evil upon all flesh saith the Lord. but thy life I will give unto for a prey in all places wither thou goest."

The Word pierced my heart with clarity that self-centered Christianity is easy and common. How do we forget that this Christian life is not about us?   Even in the church, we pander to our comfort, to our preferences, and to our 'feel good' works.  We celebrate our goodness and knowledge, forgetting we are to worship God alone!  It makes us unlikeable and disagreeable with one another.  It dishonors God.  What starts as seemingly good is perverted by the fact that it is rooted in the flesh.  Faith is the call to the Christian...anything not of faith is sin (even 'good' stuff wrongly rooted).

Daniel shows the better way.  We meet him as a young prisoner of pagans being offered all the pleasures and riches of the world.  He chose instead to pursue the honor of the LORD.  Every choice Daniel made evidenced humility born of Godly reverence.   Such a focus elevates others too.  Daniel did not pompously flaunt a self-righteous attitude.  He listened to the concerns of those affected by his choice and trusted God to meet those concerns.  Daniel did not seek great things for himself, and when God gave his great things, he never hoarded them.  He lived to bring others to life.

When we are seeking good for ourselves (instead of the glory of God), we tend to criticize, to tear others down, and soak in our superiority.  Seeking good for ourselves brings death--to ourselves and others.    Oswald Chambers speaks eloquently on the cure:  "Get to the end of yourself where you can do nothing...that is where God does everything." 

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