So many times I sit and wonder why we do what we do how we do it....Is it to get recognition? Is it because we are trying to get our point across? Is it maybe because we are working towards a personal goal?
I'm reminded of the story of the Pharisee praying aloud in the courtyard where everyone could hear him praying thank you to God for not making him like the others that have a lower social status than he did. He went on to publicly announce what he was doing and giving supposedly for God. Now when I say supposedly, I mean that he said he doing and giving those things for God but he wasn't, he was only doing them in God's name with a self righteous intent. How many times have we done that???? We do and give for God only to fulfill a selfish desire. I can say we because I know at times that has or had been me....I can only be honest..... (See Luke 18:9-14 and Matthew 6:1-8)
This past week I was on a cruise and was definitely impressed by the service I received. I do not even think that I really saw who provided my room service until the last day. They came in quietly while we were away to dinner or shows and took great care to turn down our sheets, leave chocolate, clean the bathroom, make a stuffed animal out of towels and didn't ask for anything. Their main goal was to provide the best service they could without bringing any special attention their way. They always want to exceed our expectations for service but they didn't leave us any notes asking us to only put towels on the floor in the bathroom or to not leave trash on the floor or counter. How many times have we treated God that way? Doing our best for Him, giving Him our best service and not asking for EVERYTHING in return?
God rewards what we do privately openly, not the other way around. For someone who manages their time wisely to accomplish their tasks, he may reward with a managerial position. For someone who manages their money wisely, he may bless with a job as a banker. Why do we try to do things out in the open with an audience and expect God to throw an extra large public blessing on top? He tells us that as much as we have done to the least we have done as much to Him. Sometimes we throw ourselves into solving our problems thinking that we are on the right track when we are so way off that we do not even realize that we have lost sight of the track.
This past weekend I heard a very respected friend of mine preach and she definitely was parking on a lot of toes including mine....she called us all to not let the things we go through steal our joy of doing things for God...and that is so true..
I thought about all the times I have gone through valley-like situations and have momentarily lost my drive to do anything for God. The past few years have been the greatest faith stretchers to my life....now, I cannot say that I have done everything right, cause I know that I have not, but I can say that I have tried to get it right or at least get the things that are in my control. God has allowed situations to come into my life that I would rather have not even wished on my enemies and I had to get honest with God and say "Really God???? You just had to let that happen....I'm not even trying to hear you...." and believe me, I was not trying to listen, not one bit. I was bitter about coming to church, I felt depressed, disappointed, alone, and all at God's hands...and here I am thinking, "God, I prayed, cried, fasted and for what? For THIS???? Nope, I am done...for real, I am done." Now it could have just ended there but no. I found that the only things I found joy in were the ministries that God put me in...I am not even kidding....I did not want to show up at church if I did not have to be involved in those ministries..and in being there to uplift my brothers and sisters in Christ, it pushed me to put my own issues to the side. Now I have faith in God to do certain things in my situation but I had to change my thinking. I could not think "God I STAYED in my prayer closet, so I need you to blast out this situation by doing it BIG!!!" God is not going to automatically bless me BIG or blast out my situation just because I was doing the smaller things that He called me to do regularly in PRIVATE in the first place.
We need to make sure that when we do things for God, we do them because we love Him for what He has already done for us. We should not do things expecting a future payoff. Now I look at my situation as every day is a new day, I find more ways to trust God, but not because of what I THINK He should be doing for me....I cannot go through my day thinking, "God, where is my bonus?" I should just be like the cruise staff....doing what I am supposed to, trying everyday to exceed God's expectations of me and not expecting anything in return......cause He has already done enough for me already....
Love you all..