As I began to understand what God has ultimately called believers to do - serve Him by serving others - I began to see how much I stand in my own way. My heart was always being broken over something I thought I needed but didn't get. My own wants were always interfering with with what someone else wants or even needs. I tend to start out serving God but somewhere in that service I start thinking about me. Me Me Me Me...
As the journey began, I had my sporadic bouts of "me spells" and then they became less and less frequent. Just when I thought I could balance this "bicycle" called ME without thinking about myself, I got overly confident. I must have unknowingly said, "You can let go now, Lord. I think I can do this." And then, almost instantly I slammed my bicycle into the Great Wall of China and the crash landing wasn't very sightly.
I found myself angry with people close to me, feeling like my poor old self was overlooked and insignificant. I started focusing on what they weren't doing for me and how I wasn't being thanked enough. I voiced it many times and threw a few mini-tantrums as this thing ran it's course. I was so full of anger that I could have burst. But the Lord never stopped working on me even in my selfish feelings and shameful attitude. He was there talking to me even when I was drowning out His voice with such loud thoughts of myself.
Now some would have me think I was just neglected and was suffering from giving too much of myself - or some explanation that would only make me feel better about my feelings / attitude while excusing my actions. But I tell you that when I weigh it in the Word of God, I am flat guilty of selfishness. There isn't any way to feel good about that!
Please tell me you can relate because this story doesn't reflect my "shiny side" but it does reflect something deep in me that needs to be addressed. And as I look around I think other people must struggle with it too because we're all broken from sin. And since the root of sin is selfishness, I know I do not stand alone.
But it doesn't mean we're stuck with it. If God calls us to do it, He has already given us what we need and we need to focus on believing Him. If we fail, it's because we ceased to believe God's way is better than our own. He doesn't give us a calling and then say, "Here, go do it while I sit and watch." He goes with us and when we fall, He encourages us to get right back up. He cleans our scrapes and off again we go.
And I close, I want to share with you some things that always encourage me in a godly way. I hope if you can identify with me in any way, you will not let discouragement take you out of the battle. Continue to get back up no matter how long it takes.
- But what I do have, I give to you. --Acts 3:6b ESV
- We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up but love builds up.-- I Corinthians 8:1 ISV
- Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.--Proverbs 3:5-6
- So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. --Isaiah 41:10
- Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. --John 14:27
- Don't try to take credit for what only grace can do. --Rick Warren
- We get into bondage because we don't trust Him. --Beth Moore
- You grow when you do the right thing when you don't feel like it. --Joyce Meyer.
- Our gifts were given to us to help others. --Rick Warren
- Faith is acknowledging your brokenness with hope. --Paul Tripp
- When I forget who I am in Christ, I quit pursuing what is mine in Christ. --Paul Tripp
- There is no such thing as love without sacrifice. --Rick Warren
- Success is never God's endorsement of your character but His revelation of His.--Rick Warren
- Don't beat yourself up over how far you have to go but be encouraged about how far you've come. --Brian Batey