Monday, August 8, 2016

Impressing God

"Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help." Isaiah 58:7
I have this devotional book that I get from work each month. Yesterday's Scripture reading was actually verse 6 of this chapter, which I will share in a minute...but I figured verse 7 would kick off my point.
Do you do things to impress God?
Maybe you don't do it on purpose, or maybe you do... but this passage in Isaiah really got to me.
God wants us to be REAL. He wants us to do things in His name for Him because we are living the way He wants us to. Not because we are trying to impress Him.
I worked at a church from 2007-2010, it wasn't until I stopped working there, and really dug deep into my heart that I realized under the surface, I was working there, thinking that God loved me more because I worked at a church. Not that He loved me more than you, but that He loved me more than He would have with me working a regular job. How silly of me to think that God is impressed by where I work.
That was a heart issue I had to deal with. Thankfully, I did, and He allowed me to work at a church again. Which I very much feel is my calling. I am not in a full time ministry position, by any means. I am support staff for the ministers...and that's what I'm good at. The behind the scenes stuff.
Anyway, my point is, if you feed a homeless person, take a meal to someone, or volunteer at church just to impress God and try to gain brownie points with Him, you are doing life wrong my friend.
God wants us to do those things... for sure. But with a glad, cheerful, and kind heart. Not with wrong motives.. and He always knows our motives.
In verse 6 of Isaiah 58, God is telling the people, "No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people."
You see, in verse 3, the people were trying to tell God that they have fasted before Him, and they literally said, "Why aren't you impressed? We have been very hard on ourselves and you don't even notice."
Those people had some guts to talk to God like that.
So, the second half of verse 3 says, "I responded. It's because you are fasting to please yourselves. Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers."
Something else, I'd like to point out here, is how God wants people treated fairly. He loves the homeless person on the corner with the cardboard sign just as much as He loves the CEO driving the BMW past that homeless person.
Whatever you are doing, we are called to do it as unto the Lord, and to please the Lord...but not to gain His approval or to impress Him. 
Just think about that next time you go to do a good deed. (Even if it's something no one else knows you are doing.)
God bless you today and always.

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