Saturday, March 12, 2016

It's not about me

When I was in 5th grade I got baptized and shortly after I read a book called “Don’t Waste Your Life” by John Piper which is a pretty intense book for a young person to read. Well I’m not going to lie to you, the book made me totally angry. It was actually the most frustrated I’ve ever felt towards God because the book told me something different than what I had grown up hearing about in church. The book wasn’t about “Jesus’s love for me” which was what I thought following Jesus was supposed to be about. Instead the book was about how my life purpose was to glorify God with everything I did.

This made me angry because isn’t a God that creates me for His own pleasure selfish? He created millions and millions of people and he names us all and makes us each uniquely for Himself? I couldn’t wrap my head around how this could be the same loving God who I had heard about for so long. The God who holds our hands, our dreams, and our tears, who pursues us, could it be that He really created us for Himself?

I decided that I didn’t want to serve a God like that. Because I didn’t like the fact that I couldn’t do what I wanted, pursue my own ways- my own dreams, but instead my life would have to be all about Christ. I didn’t like that following Christ meant that I would literally have to surrender EVERYTHING.  I wondered if it was worth it- if following Christ (this God who created me for His own glory?) was worth my life.

The story of Job begins with the most righteous man of his day who diligently seeks and loves God. Satan goes to talk with God and tells God that Job only loves Him because of God’s blessings for Him. So God somehow, for some reason lets Satan mess up Job's life- totally mess it up (kill his children, give him a terrible disease, take away his reputation, prestige, and live a life of pain). And after all this suffering, when Job questions God, He replies like this “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself  like a man; I will question you and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know…. Who provides food for the raven when its young cry out to God and wander about for lack of food?” (Job 38: 2,3,41)

We can accuse God all we want too for the suffering in this world, for letting it happen, for the injustice (because He gave us choice and we created sinful consequences). We can place ourselves on pedestools and look up at the Master of the Universe and say “I will never serve you” and He will look down at us and remind us that He gave us this right also. We can ask God how dare he create us for his own glory or we can recognize that selfisness is a result of sin and will never make anyone happy.

Yet when we will realize we are mere mortal sinners whose poor decisions lead us to a destiny of a fiery death. When will we recognize that we were created out of dirt and will go back to the dirt? That without God we have no hope. That this life is not about us (who can die any minute; who sin all the time) but about a bigger purpose- about a more just King, a better reign, a heaven to come.

If this life was all about me, then I would have to worry about death, about my influence on others, about my reputation, career, ect. Because my life is not about me I can find joy rejoicing in the best thing this Universe has. I can find joy in Christ. I can rejoice in the fact that my life is not significant but that His reign is. 

The Fact that this life isn’t about me changes everything. Glorifying God frees me from the bond Satan has over me. Glorifying God puts my eyes on the true Savior of the world instead of the deceiver. Glorifying God is the only way my heart can truly be filled from the inside out and I can experience the love of service that Christ died for me with. Glorifying God gives me purpose and peace beyond my own life.

How often we have it all wrong. The world teaches us to look after ourselves, to establish ourselves with a top position in a high paying career, to win the most sexy husband or wife who will help us live the life of our dreams, to spend money and buy buy buy striving to obtain for ourself. Yet as we try to take and get and receive and earn, we strive for things that are useless and wind up in a rat race never feeling content with ourselves, our own hearts, or each other. We become depressed and stressed trying to measure up to expectations. It is from this selfish heart and sinful consequences that God offers us freedom from.

Service, humility, and sacrifice change everything. By glorifying Christ, we are filled with a new love, transformed into a new lover, and we are changed into a new, truly set free daughter or son of Christ. It’s not about me. Jesus does love me but the question is do I love Him? Am I ready to glorify Him? For until I can give up my selfishness, my sin that Satan has captured me in for so long, I am not fit to walk with Christ. 1 Chronicles 16:29 Give to the Lord the glory that He is due to His name, bring an offering, and come before Him, worship Him in the beauty of His holiness.

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