Monday, October 24, 2011

I Can Do All Things...But Should I?

“I have the strength for everything, through him who empowers me.” Philippians 4: 13

There is nothing that we cannot accomplish because the grace and power of the Lord Jesus Christ lives in us and if we are open to allowing this power to flow through us and animate us then nothing can stand in our way. It is this power and grace of Jesus in and through the Holy Spirit that gives us the ability to love, to be compassionate, to lead others closer to Christ, to be patient, to be humble, to follow in His footsteps along the Narrow Road. With Christ we can do all things, but apart from Him we can do nothing. Without God’s grace and power, martyrs wouldn’t give their lives, people wouldn’t repent and conform their lives to the Gospel, no one would answer God’s call as missionaries, no one would preach or teach the Truth and no one would be healed in body or soul.

But just because we can do all things through the power of God, does not mean that we are called to do ALL things. God is not giving you the power to do EVERYTHING, just the power to do His will for YOUR life. This many seem like an obvious distinction, but some people seem to miss it by the way they live their lives. The world is so busy and fast-paced today and we forget that our lives as Christians should be impacting our culture, not merely reflecting it. The reality is that even as Christians, doing Christian things, we can get too busy. We can begin to convince ourselves that because the things we do are for God or the Church, then we are supposed to be doing them.

All things we do for Christ MUST be because Christ asked us or led us to do them, not simply because we think we ought to because they are good in and of themselves. I am not speaking about moral good and evil here. Obviously we need to always do the good when compared to evil. I am talking about all the things we volunteer for, or help out with outside of our families. There will always be people in need. The question is not whether we should help or not, we should. The question is where and how much? And the answer to this not only depends on our state in life and other obligations, but most importantly, where is GOD leading me?

The only way we can be sure that we are doing the things Christ wants us to do, and no more or less, is to be in prayer and contemplation every day. If we are not always seeking deeper union with Him, if we are not listening to His voice, if we are not slowing down to contemplate and meditate on what is really important, then we risk missing the big picture and doing things for the sake of doing things. And at that point we don’t offer anything of value or hope to a world that so desperately craves it. We only look like a Christian version of everyone else and we end up burned out. Is that what God really wants of us?

Dear Jesus, I desire to serve you with my whole heart and with all my being and I know that with Your power I can do all things. Help me to spend time with You each day so I can authentically discern what exactly it is You are actually calling me to do and what You aren’t. Amen.

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