[don’t miss part one!]
Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. —Matthew 6:1, ESV
I have this desire to be used by God. I think that’s common for most of us – we spend most of our lives searching for purpose even though we barely know how to define it. I want to dedicate my life to something flashy or sign a check to an organization that is booming progressive movements. I’m burdened with this desire every day. But I keep on coming back to ponder these words: To know someone else is to shut up and listen.
This has made me wonder if this undercurring desire to be used is an inward desire, in actuality, to be glorified.
This is where I don’t want you to get me wrong — I should continue doing the things that I believe are good things that bring more peace to this world and more authentic revival to our everyday lives. But if I’m doing something to be seen by men, my only reward is in them seeing what I’ve done. This leaves me empty and searching for bigger, shinier things and not the hard and silent ones He often leads us to. But when we sincerely serve God, it doesn’t matter whether we work from home or everyone knows our name, because all that matters is how well we are glorifying God with our lives.
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” – Genesis 12:1-4, ESV
When we start living life like we don’t deserve to be favored by God and when we start realizing how sinful we’ve been, and how perfect God is, we can see that everything is somehow completely grace. It is grace that we’ve been given the promise of eternal life. It is grace that we can walk humbly and serve. It’s grace when He uses us for His purposes. It’s not our guarantee that we will be the ones to usher millions of people to Christ. But we do the best we know how to do. We try to love people as we have been loved. We stay humble. We stay passionate. We keep growing. We keep walking.
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. . . . – Hebrews 11:13-16, ESV
If we live like Jesus and His earliest followers, we won’t care about our name being branded and our name being great. We’ll just want His name to be known, and maybe somehow through ours. We’ll meet people and see them as people, instead of numbers or projects or a chance to seem cooler than yesterday. We’ll be able to take the edge off our hearts and let Him fill our personality. We’ll walk towards our earthly destinations, never forgetting that a better heavenly country is our true inheritance. We’ll be able to quiet ourselves in His Presence. We’ll learn how to slow down our own desires.