Have you ever noticed humans are always doing something? Always. Do you ever wonder why we’re called human beings instead of human doings?
Ever notice Christians lead the pack in doing? It’s true. We’re always doing. Doing things for the church, doing things for God. Doing things for our neighbor. Doing things because we feel guilty if we don’t do something every second of every day.
If the church posts a need for workers, we’re signing up. We’re overbooked, over-stressed, completely cranky to everyone all the time. We suffer with health issues because we won’t just take a break and rest our weary souls and bodies. We have no more time for anything and yet, oh look there is another need for nursery workers, we’re already teaching Sunday school, singing on the praise team and serving as a greeter, baking snacks for Sunday morning fellowship time, but we’re sure we can squeeze in one more thing because “they need me. God needs me!” And off we rush to do one more thing for Jesus all the while thinking, “Man! God’s sure blessed to have me to do all this work for Him.”
We still find ourselves wondering if we’re doing enough. Are we doing enough to please Him? To prove to other Christians and the world that we are His disciple? Are we trying to prove our love for Him, or are we trying to just love Him at all? Are we trying to force the changes we need in our lives by our service to Him?
Do we really think if we just do one more thing, take one more Bible study, lead one more small group, volunteer for that extra Sunday in the nursery, deliver meals to those who visited is going to make God happy?
How many times do we mistake our doing things for God for being with Him?
It is so easy to forget in our rush to get the next thing done that we don’t stop to ask Him what He wants us to do. We’re simply to busy with things for God we can’t stop to chat with Him.
I’m not so sure we’re really doing them for God at all. No, I think we’re doing them for self, so we will feel better about our sin. The sin we harbor in our heart and hope if we do enough for Him He won’t notice or if He does He won’t care. Because “look at all the wonderful things you’ve done for Me! Man, am I blessed to have you!!”
I’ll let you in on a little secret I’ve learned. Lean in close so I don’t have to shout. That is called idolatry. We’re making our schedule an idol, we use it to replace time spent listening to our Savior’s voice. We’re making an idol of our own self, we are choosing to serve our flesh over serving the one who died in the flesh for us.
In fact, He didn’t just die in the flesh for us. No, in the whole process He securely killed our flesh! And made us, by His very Spirit, alive to Him.
He did not make us alive so we could rush around, wearing ourselves out in service to Him. As if our doing things for God could ever take the place of Him! He redeemed us to live a life of abundance.
A life lived in abundance of Joy!
A life lived in abundance of Peace!
A life lived in abundance of Love!
A life lived in abundance of Gentleness!
A life lived in abundance of LIFE!
Because He is our life! He is MY life. The gospel of John tells me that apart from Him I can do nothing. (John 15:5)
I can do nothing. There is nothing I can do apart from Him living in me! Nothing. I can’t even make my heart beat one more time, or take my next breath apart from Him.
Last night I was pondering all the things I’ve been choosing to do of late to grow in Him. To grow up in Him. And I was a little teary because it is such a slow process. I am too blind to see the changes He is making in me, all I can see are the old behaviors I want so much to be rid of.
So I asked Him in a teary prayer if all the things I’ve been doing have worked to bring about the changes I need so desperately.
Want to know what He said?
“Virginia, your “doing” doesn’t change you. I change you.”
He changes me and He changes you one obedient step at a time. When we rest in Him and in Him abide, we will begin to listen to His heartbeat for us and we will follow His voice because we are His sheep.
So all the things you’ve been doing to gain acceptance with God, stop. Just stop. Seek His face. Seek to hear His voice whisper in your dear ear, “This is the way, my child, walk in it!” (Isaiah 30:21). And find in Him the rest your body and weary soul needs so desperately.