Can God Get Glory from My Life?
by Dominique Henderson
I will apologize in advance to the readers of this devotional if you are getting bored because I do not really know when I will stop writing on this subject. I have been dealing with this for some time and this series’ continuation will dive a little deeper into what I feel God has to say about which way is right. Today, we will look at what scripture says in light of a personal view that spends time trying to compromise that standard. Specifically, my personal view. I hope I have never given the impression that I have it all together. I fail sometimes and miserably at that, but I somehow wind up back in the same spot—seeking God. I have learned to be very cautious of the person that appears to have it all together. Mostly because it is hard for me to relate to that person with all my issues. I am just someone that wants to believe God’s word and apply it to my life but inevitably, I let second-guessing God’s perfect will get in my way of doing that. I guess what I am saying is that I can live with myself trying and failing versus failing to try. I have learned that the race is not given to the swift or to the strong but to the one that has learned to abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (see Psalm 91:1) This one puts his trust in God. I am striving to be like this.
So what is the right way? Proverbs says there is a way that seems right to a man and that way leads to destruction (see Proverbs 14:12). How could something that seems right be so wrong? Good question. It all depends on the definition of right (and the personal view). This is why, as a Christian, I must have the same definition of right as God does. His definition is the perfect definition. My definition will not always be perfect. Forget personal views. My perspective is usually based on my limited experience and quite honestly, that tends to get me in trouble. At times, it will involve me pleasing myself or doing what I think is best for the situation. But that is not trusting in the Lord with all my heart nor is it leaning to his understanding (see Proverbs 3:5-6). When I am guided by my own volition and trust in myself, I, by default, am not trusting God. This is the wrong way. And ironically enough, it is the path that leads to destruction. Listen. It’s going to be hard for a person to make it to a destination if he does not know the way. Have you ever left the house without directions to a destination and then tried to find the place on your own? It is a difficult, if not impossible task. Well how much more difficult is the path of life that we must travel. Who wants to try to guess at getting that right all the time? Well, no one in his or her right mind. However, here is what happens. Being creatures of habit and routine, we develop what we call a proficiency at certain things (e.g. going to work, being a parent, being a husband or wife) and we think that we know how to do those things the best way. When God is always showing us through life experiences that our way more often than not ends up in failures and mistakes. What did God tell Abraham? Go to a land that I will show you (see Genesis 12:1). If Abraham had got caught up in trying to figure out where before he decided to obey we probably wouldn’t know him as the Father of many nations. What if Joshua decided to handle his inadequacies himself instead of listening to the voice of God say, “only be strong and courageous?” (see Joshua 1) Look. God is standing right there as a loving father offering us to help us with our problems, but we act as the stubborn little child. We say, "No, I want to do it myself. “ I remember my children at that age struggling with trying to accomplish a task too big for them all by themselves. I would just watch as they struggled refusing my help until they got frustrated and ended up in tears—defeated by what they could not do. And you may argue with me that they did not understand right from wrong at that time. And maybe you have a point. But think about that innate feeling we are all born with to please ourselves. It starts from birth and sticks with us through our formative years. It has to be corrected by the teachings of a loving parent that that feeling is really just selfishness. This is what God says to us as we seek to please ourselves. There is a way that seems right to a man that ends in destruction. Of course, we never think that selfishness can lead us down that dark path but it can. There is a parable that Jesus told about a man that owed a ton of debt to his master. When called on it he pleaded for mercy and the master forgave the debt. However, the man went out and found someone that owed him also. Instead of showing mercy at this debtor’s plea, he had him thrown in prison over what was owed to him. When the master heard this he was angry with the man for not showing the same mercy that had been shown him (see Matthew 18:21-35). What would cause this dude to act such a way? I will argue that it seemed right to him to collect on the debt that was owed to him regardless of how he had been forgiven. How soon we can forget the mercy of a loving God when we are looking out for our own interest! In my case, God has blessed me so that I catch myself taking for granted the fact that I could be much worse off! Just like the man in the parable I look past those mercies (that are new every morning!) and I start on my day seeking to serve myself. When God wants me to slow down and acknowledge him. Seek to serve and bring glory to his name by doing something positive for his kingdom. However, in my own view I look for the way that seems right to me which ultimately ends in destruction. Maybe not today or tomorrow but one day. So what should I be looking to do as a Christian in the year 2008 in America? I should first learn to seek God’s will above all else in life. After finding his will for my life, I need to become obedient to his will. And last, I should prioritize his will over all other activities in my life. Easy to do? No, of course not but God has called us do what is right—not easy.
(TO BE CONTINUED)
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