It's an exciting thing to feel called by God to go forth and spread His message to others. To lift the spirits of the downtrodden, to reach for the lost and the hurting, and to establish God's Kingdom in our community and beyond is a fulfilling and exhilarating experience. However, we can get so caught up the idea of going forth that we forget who we are serving. Amidst the planning and the activities we participate in, we can get caught up in the motions and forget Christ. At this point, we must ask ourselves, "Am I serving God or myself?" How do we get away from this mindset? Or, if we are just getting started, how do we make sure we don't fall in to the trap of serving ourselves or the "call" more than we do Jesus Christ?
It is something this world has lost sight of. The spirit of entitlement has never been stronger than it is today. We feel that we are owed things; from society and from each other. The access we have to so many resources that we didn't create or work to achieve have left many complacent. If we are not careful, it can even bleed over to our walk with God.
We can start to look at the study group we have started, the charity work we do, the involvements in church and so on with a "mine" mentality. Instead of remembering who gave us the resources and desire to start that study group, the leading to involve ourselves in our community and our church, we begin to become the king of our mission without even knowing it. We still pray to God, read our Bible and even fast, but we look at things as our creations rather than the gifts of God that they truly are. The danger of this? We turn down the voice of God in our prayers, Bible reading and fasting and turn up are own. We basically become our own god.
How we fight this is making sure to not be consumed by the spirit of entitlement, but rather, the Spirit of God and gratefulness towards Him. By giving God thanks for what He has blessed us with and letting that drive us, we place our lives in order according to His will. He becomes the head, leading and guiding us in what we should do. With God in the rightful place, we become far more effective in our actions and words than we could ever be on our own.
The apostles knew this mindset was necessary:
Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear (Hebrews 12:28)
The term for grace in that scripture means thanks. They had been given a kingdom which could not be moved. Basically, they were guaranteed to be established by God. Did they pat each other on the back or start making mental monuments to themselves? No. They focused on praising God because, even though they spread the Kingdom, it was God who gave it to them in the first place. It was Christ's power inside of them that gave them the authority to establish the Kingdom of God throughout the world. How could they not praise Him? How can we not today?
If we will make sure our mind is focused on God as we go forth to serve Him, we will be able to say that we have served him the right way. Our sacrifices will be acceptable and will be rewarded as they were done to those before us. We can be the next great era of the commissioned. All we have to do is have the right perspective.
List out every resource you have, both temporal and spiritual.
Be as thorough as possible (example: clean water is a resource that many don't have)
Give God thanks over for these things, honoring Him for putting them in our life
How does giving God this thanks develop your relationship with Him?
How does it open up ideas and doors for serving Him better?
This week, we offer you a great way to get started on thanking God by reading Psalm 136.
It shows the breadth of God's mercy and provision and is a great prayer to pray.
Look for other scriptures about giving thanks to God and write them in the comments below.
By doing this, you could help someone break through in their walk with God.
Finally, check out the video below and let it provide further perspective on our focus and where it needs to be as we Go Ye. Also, even though we renamed the destinations in the video, we used actual coordinates for cities in the video's creation. Their is something that all of them have in common. The first person to find this commonality and post it in the comments will receive a free digital version of The Way.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.