We don’t run errands for the God of the universe.
We know that following Jesus isn’t a cause; it’s a calling. But sometimes we can overemphasize our part of that calling. We sometimes think or behave like our faith is based on what we do for God instead of what God did for us. And that’s where it gets twisted.
There’s this tension between grace and discipline that is sometimes really hard to navigate. We know that we are saved by grace and through faith in Christ alone. But does that mean it’s a Christian excuse to be lazy? Of course not! We do have a role to play in following Jesus. But we often think that it’s our part that makes the difference.
We know that if we want to be close to God, we have to invest in the relationship. Praying, reading the Bible, serving others, worshiping, going to church—we often refer to those things as spiritual disciplines. And all of those things are so important for helping us get to know God and become more like Him.
But we sometimes think those things are a gift to God. We think that doing those things earns us points for good behavior. In reality, those things are God’s grace to us.
He allows us to get to know His character through reading His Word. He gives us the divine privilege to get to talk with Him regularly—whenever we want—through prayer. He allows us the opportunity to praise Him, knowing that He could make the rocks praise Him. He doesn’t need us.
And that’s what makes it all the more beautiful. The God of the universe doesn’t need us. But He wants us. He made us. He pursues us. He gives us gifts and talents. He calls us His masterpiece. He allows us to do good works. And He loves us completely and uniquely.
Doing things for God is useless without spending time with God. And when we spend time with God, we can’t help but become more like God, which involves loving others the way God loves them.
So yes, we have a calling. Jesus invites us into it in Matthew 28:18-20 NLT:
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
We absolutely want to carry out this incredible calling God has for us, but we do so knowing that we can’t earn God’s approval. Nothing we do makes Him love us more or less. But He allows us to get to know Him and to be a part of inviting more people to Him. And that’s a gift from God to us.
Pray: God, thank You for allowing me the privilege of getting to know You. Thank You for giving us spiritual disciplines that help us get closer to You. Help me not treat those things as items to check off a list or as a routine to become bored with but as an incredible opportunity to know You more and to become more like You. Reveal more of Yourself to me today. Help me stop seeking approval from You and instead rest in the approval I already have in You through Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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