Thursday, November 13, 2014
Offering God the leftovers of your life ...
I have had so many conversations with people who tell me they desire to do more for God but now just isn't the time. You see, actually doing so would be an inconvenience to the kind of lifestyle they have planned for themselves.
I remember a very talented executive telling me how he has been convicted for years to use his talent for the Lord, but he never has done so in any significant way. Oh, he does a little here and a little there to try to assuage his feelings of guilt, but the truth is he gives the world the bulk of his time, talent, and treasure so that he can receive from the world what he wants. He rationalizes that it's to provide his family with all the benefits of life, but the truth is his family doesn't need all that.
These stories flashed through my thinking yesterday as I came across this powerful snippet in my reading of "Wisdom of the Sadhu":
"Let one of your disciples come with two mangoes, one ripe and juicy, the other skin and stone with all the juice sucked out. What would you say if he gave you the withered fruit and sat down to enjoy the delicious fruit himself?
"Old sadhu: Such behavior would be inexcusable. It would be an insult and the height of disrespect.
"Young sadhu: Well, if in the days of our youth we waste ourselves in our own pleasures and then, in the weakness of old age, offer in service to God only the bones and skin of our former strength, have we not also acted selfishly and treated God with disrespect?"
Why are you putting off God?
What are you waiting for?
To have the years of youth and capacity to earn as much as you can get from the world so that your life might be one of indulging desires? You'll finally give something back to God after you've gained what you want?
Do you really think this honors God? Do you think God is impressed with this? Doesn't God deserve the best from you every day?
I'm not saying that we all should quit our jobs and use our talents only in full-time ministry. I am saying no matter what our jobs are, God deserves to be first in our lives every day, and to have our best. It does mean making room for Him to really be first, even if that means adjusting our lifestyles, or even if it means changing our jobs to accommodate Him.
"Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need," Matthew 6:33.
Fullness of life is not about our careers or maximizing our earning potential. Fullness of life is found only in a real and rich relationship with Jesus Christ.
"The thief''s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life," John 10:10.
Jesus created you, and He wants to give you a "rich and satisfying life." So what role do you give Him in determining what your life looks like?