Today’s modern church is full of activity. Many seem to think that the busier they are filling their lives with activities and doing things for God will keep them in His good graces. This is not true. Our value to God is not connected by how much we accomplish for Him, or do for Him. Many of us do these things looking for justification, validation, or a stamp of approval from God, but these things are of no value to God for our righteousness, as our righteousness is found in Christ Jesus alone, in the grace that He provides freely.
Ephesians 3:20 “God can do anything. He is able to do above and beyond all that we ask for or imagine, according to his power by His Spirit that is at work within us.”
There are many people within the Body of Christ who seem impressed with their own works or ministry. It sometimes appears as though Christians believe God is amazed with all the things they do for Him and the church. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Nothing in all of God’s Word indicates that God is now, or ever has been, impressed with even the greatest of human accomplishments. God is not astounded by how large your vision is, how high you set the bar, how great your goals are, or the eminent exploits you plan to attempt in the flesh. There is nothing so significant, greater, richer, or more fulfilling than what God has planned for your life, compared to what you could accomplish on your own.
Philippians 3:7-8 “The very credentials and accomplishments these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why… because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him.”
What Paul is saying here is that everything he had ever accomplished was rubbish, or in his words—dog dung. All Paul had ever done was insignificant in light of the Lord’s ultimate goals and plans for Paul’s life. By accepting Christ and dumping his own plans, he embraced those of Christ. As he took on the mind of God in Christ Jesus, Paul’s potential for life changed, instantly. No matter how great we dream or how big our vision, it will always be insignificant compared to the plans God has in store for us.
Paul deemed all things outside of Christ to be but a loss compared to the knowledge gained in Christ and by assuming faith in His spirit and salvation. Paul’s words speak of the world and secular privileges which sought a place in his heart before knowing Christ. How could material things pretend to have had any merit? With Christ, Paul deserted and counted the past as a loss. For the knowledge of Christ alters and changes us completely—our judgments, thoughts, and beliefs. We are made into new creatures in Christ, with His thoughts and desires becoming the determining factor in our lives. In and of ourselves, we are undone without decency to appear before God, for we are guilty in our sin. There is a righteousness provided for us in Jesus Christ—and it is complete and perfect.
God does not define us by using the criteria people commonly use. God never uses a physical, or an outward appearance to determine beauty. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
I Samuel 16:7 Nothing in a person’s outward appearance impresses God. God looks upon the inner beauty of the heart.
We can tell how men and women look on the outside, but God can tell what and who they are on the inside. He judges of men and women by their heart. We often form a mistaken judgment of characters; but the Lord values only the faith, fear, and love, which are planted in the heart, far beyond human discernment and capabilities. And God does not favor us according to our popularity, but often honors and blesses those among us who have been least regarded by our fellow-man.
The best evidence of who we really are is being sealed with the Spirit of promise in the hope of Christ and the experience of His grace at work in our hearts.
Acts 10:34 God is no respecter of persons
God shows no favoritism. God makes no distinctions between one person and another. God doesn’t care who you are, He cares about who you are in Him.
The Bible goes on to tell us that if we are respecters of one individual over another, we are sinning.
James 2:9 If you favor one person over another, you’re sinning, and this law convicts you of being disobedient.
Translated what this is saying is – My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim that you have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people more than others? For instance, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in shabby clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, ‘You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor’—well, doesn’t this discrimination show that you are guided by wrong motives, and you are indeed sinning.
Many times I have set out to accomplish a task or achieve a goal in my life. Upon completion, I may have stood back and been pleased with my own efforts, thinking, “wow, what a great job I did.” Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying there is anything wrong with being satisfied and pleased with our own hard work. I am saying it’s easier for us to be enamored with the success of achieving our own dreams and goals than those of God. That is why I relate to Paul saying “all man’s greatness is insignificant compared to knowing Christ.” We find ourselves when we are led by His will to carry out His plans, goals, dreams and visions for life. This is true for all believers.
In order to realize our fullest potentials and achieve great and wondrous things, we must be sure that God’s will and direction is first and foremost in our lives. We must be submitted to Him, and follow the guidance of His Spirit working in us. As He directs our paths, we attempt to please him with everything we do—this is a prerequisite. By always remaining aligned with God, He will be pleased in what we do. Having God’s confirmation that we are on the right path He wants us to go in, helps us reach our final destination in victory.
Psalm 8:3-4 “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what are mere mortals that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?”
We are the creation, and not the Creator. As such, we can only see a small fraction of the overall situation and overview of our entire life. On the other hand, God, our Heavenly Father, sees everything. He sees it all—the Big Picture. He sees our whole life—from beginning to end. So no matter how great our designs are, or how vast our imagination may be, it is nothing compared to the wisdom, knowledge and vision of God.
So do not be satisfied with the mere dreams, visions and goals you have for your life. Let your agenda become God’s agenda. Let His vision become your vision. Let God’s plan become your plan. He alone puts our past, present and future into perspective—His perspective. In Christ and Christ alone, we have the “already done/not yet seen” viewpoint with God in our lives.
We must set aside our own aspirations and let His will and direction be fully implemented in our lives. By doing so, our lives will be full of great and wondrous feats for God, and we will exceed all we ever imagined or hoped for.
- The Sun of Righteousness – With Healing in His Wings – Inspirational Bible Verses (darrellcreswell.wordpress.com)
- Jesus Christ is Everything (justificationbygrace.com)
- To Live is Christ (loopyloo305.com)
- Morning Prayer ~ July 19, 2012 (ronpogue.typepad.com)
- Morning Prayer ~ July 18, 2012 (ronpogue.typepad.com)
- Abide in Jesus (cupofblessing.wordpress.com)
- Jesus is the Only Way (writeforacause.org)
- Evensong ~ July 18, 2012 (ronpogue.typepad.com)