Jesus. What would you say about Him? How would you describe the way He lived while He made His dwelling among men? What was He after? Why did He do what He did? Love would be a very good, and correct, answer…but not what I’m going for today.
Because I had an “aha” moment.
“And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because You were slain, and with Your blood You purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” (Revelation 5:9)
So I started thinking. Jesus didn’t die for me. He died because of me. I was purchased for God. His Father. Jesus died because God so loved the world. Jesus died for God, His Father. He lived for His Father, and He died for His Father.
And then I thought some more.
“Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)
The Father that motivated everything Jesus said and did is also my Father. With me so far? Good. Because right about here I started hearing questions, and things took a hard turn.
Is God the motivation of my life, or am I?
(By the way, this is the part where drawing near to God’s heart begins to burn. Read The Heart That I Want to know what I mean by that.)
When I am offended, is it because God wasn’t glorified, or because I didn’t get a “me” fix? Is it because God wanted that position in the Church? Because God wanted to lead worship that day? Did God need the attention, validation or affirmation that I missed out on? Did God want that invitation that I didn’t get? Am I offended because God didn’t get something that I desperately needed?
I will be offended on a regular basis if I am my biggest motivation.
Do I obey God at all costs, or only when it doesn’t cost much at all? Do I claim “legalism” at true sacrificial living and giving, while I pat myself on the back for not drinking enough to be considered drunk? Is my obedience based on what will make me acceptable to others, or on what truly pleases God?
When my motivation is me, mine is a cheap obedience.
Do I enter into worship because I need to feel that “something” that worship provides? Or do I enter in because my Father is God, and God is to be worshiped? Even if I don’t feel like it. Even if I don’t like the songs being done or the way they’re being done. Even if I’m lonely. Even if I’m hurting. Even if I feel empty, scared, worthless, neglected, dry or just plain tired. God is still worthy of worship. Because worship is not about me. And it’s not about you, so I can just forget about whether or not you’re watching or listening and think I’m spiritual enough or gifted enough or anything enough.
If my worship is based on what I like, how I feel or what I need, then the one I am worshiping is me.
Why do I serve? Why do I love? Why do I forgive? Why do I give?
“The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1Samuel 16:7
Motivation. It’s huge. Jesus had only one. His Father.
Can I really be…do I really want to be…that Christlike?
Something is burning.