Tonight I’m just going to share some of my thoughts, although I don’t have them in pretty little compartments for you just yet. But so often, the Lord leads me to share just this way when I am in this exact place. It’s that place where things don’t make sense to me, or maybe even to you, but maybe, just maybe, it’s a place where He can make sense out of the seemingly random stuff that flows out of our hearts.
What’s really most important to you? To me?
Is it our car, our house, or our financial security?
Is it our reputation, our grade card, or how many friends we have?
And, oh! Is it how very hard we work, or how much of an awesome servant we are in our jobs, our churches, our whatever?
Maybe it’s one of these or something else like it that’s really most important?
Understanding people better than anyone else can?
Is it seeking to make your point, because it’s right, of course, don’t ya know it?
Is it guiding and enlightening people to the truth and what is right and the err of their ways? Correction (lovingly done, of course) is important to the Lord, isn’t it?
Maybe one of those kinds of things signify what’s most important in your life?
I think my heart has been sick lately because I know what should be most important to me all of the time but I don’t live it and breathe it all of the time. My heart is not always all the way pure, you see (in fact, it almost never is). There are still plenty of dark places in there. And lately, I’ve been beyond aware of that fact. It gives me a scrunchy feeling inside that is definitely less-than comfortable. But I can thank Jesus for loving me enough to show me what I need to change….with HIS power and HIS help, of course.
I know what should be most important. I can even say I know what I want to have be most important and given that place or position in my life at all times. It’s Jesus, and giving Him all the honor, all the glory and all the praise, in and for and through everything that I do. It’s truly loving others more than myself and being willing to prove it. It’s presenting myself as a living sacrifice to Him on day to day and minute by minute basis and being the lowliest of all servants while being joyful and glad about it all at the same time. Whoa.
But too often, that’s not what I make most important. AND, too often, when I try, I try far too much through my own feeble power and fail to turn to Him for His divine and supernatural…everything!
Yes, too often, I think I’m “there”, in one area or another, because I think my intention and motivations are in the right place, only to find out later that, yah – no….I was still being selfish. It just got veiled under some cruddy mask of goodness.
Dig deeper, Annie – dig deeper.
I hate the word reputation and all that it stands for. Now that I know that character – TRUE godly character is what matters to Jesus, I think reputation is just…well, superficial. Yet I can’t say I don’t fall into the trap of wanting to care about it still…of worrying that if I don’t care about it that this thing or that thing might happen, and it won’t be pretty. Who said pretty was what we were supposed to sign up for anyway?
Jesus sacrificed it all on the cross for us, friends. And He walked as a living sacrifice every moment of every day when He lived amongst us….before He even reached that cross. The KING of EVERYTHING didn’t put “pretty” or “safe” up there on the top of the list of things to make most important.
Here’s what is most important, as displayed consistently by our Lord, Jesus Christ:
Loving the Lord your God, with all your mind, heart and soul. All the time.
Loving people and caring for them because they are loved by Jesus Himself!
Washing people’s dirty feet – gladly.
Healing people’s messy and ugly – mercifully and gracefully.
Throwing “reputation” out the window while still living the life you are called to by God.
Being more than willing to put it all on the line, regardless of what anyone may think.
Never forsaking prayer and fellowship with the Father. Not EVER.
Love over “works”
Works as an outpouring of love, or it’s just a pouring out of worthless junk.
Not forsaking truth for love and affection or love and affection for truth.
Being willing to lose it all.
Dying on a daily basis.
Yah….I can’t honestly say that I display what’s most important all of the time. I can’t honestly say that I feel it, or even want to do it sometimes. Honestly, what I can say is that dying just plain hurts. It squeezes and squishes and burns and stings and prods and pulls and grips and oozes. It’s not pretty. It’s definitely ugly. And did I say it hurts?
Thank God that He’s there to ease our pain. Thank God that He loves us so much that the price has already been paid for us so that we can truly live for all eternity with Him after all this “dying” business. Our kind of dying to self is minimal compared to what He has already done so that we can live.
If you’re ever like me and you know in your squishy heart that you aren’t in the right place sometimes – that you’ve forgotten to remember what’s most important – that you’ve forgotten then to ask for HIS strength to live that out, just remember this verse…
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
And then remind yourself of the fact that it is a privilege and an honor that Christ lives in you. That it may really feel lame by all fleshly standards, but we are already more than conquerors because of Christ Jesus. We just have to allow Him full reign so His power can be made “perfect in our weakness.”
Got Jesus? Well then…you’ve got “important.” You’ve got it all.