In many Christian circles, we are only as good as the last conference or retreat we attended, class we took, or book we read.
Our “goodness” and “Christ-likeness” are measured against our levels of involvement in church activities. We are often pressured to “do more,” “serve more,” and “give more.” We enter into the exhausting pursuit of “being a Christian.”
But pursuing Jesus is something altogether different. Pursuing Christ is actually a counter-intuitive, often uncomfortable, reversal of church life busyness.
At the Prism :: Overcome event two weekends ago, I had the opportunity to talk and pray with a beautiful woman about her heart to serve God. She began explaining to me how desperate she was to make His name known and how she feared she simply wasn’t “doing enough.”
Her heart and love and zeal for Jesus was so evident. She simply wanted to serve Him. But the lie she had begun believing was that she wasn’t doing all that she could do—and that perhaps, just maybe, Jesus was disappointed with her because of that fact.
So, I began to pray over her, and I knew what God wanted me to tell her, and the words caught in my throat because, to be honest, I didn’t fully believe them. I heard what the Spirit was telling me to communicate to her, but I began to process the words through the filter of my own disbelief.
That can’t be true, I thought. There’s no way You feel like that, God. How can that be?
But before I could fumble the words any longer in my mind, I began to speak and pray over her, allowing the words of God to pour out of me…
My daughter, I love your zeal and your desire to love and serve Me, but if you never did anything—if you sat in a room and only spoke to me for the rest of your days—I would still be proud of you, and I would still love you.
Just writing it I feel uncomfortable. I feel my flesh squirm and twist—the pieces of me that are still convinced that I owe God something and that I must prove myself to Him. I must do.
But, He did.
He did it all. Not so that we spend the rest of our lives on earth trying to repay Him, but so we spend the rest of our days telling others about how greatly He loves us.
And what of love? This immeasurable, undeniable, infinite love of Jesus. It is His love that compels us to do good works.
"...let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." -Matthew 5:16
His great love is what brings us to our feet and allows us to go, and give, and minister. But it is the same love that pulls us gently back to the lap of Jesus, where we can sit and be still with no judgment and no shame, where we can rest and choose the “more excellent way….”
And so as I wrestle with believing that I could spend the whole of my days at Jesus’ feet, determined to do nothing but gaze upon Him, I also acknowledge that loving Him means doing good works so that others might know Him, too…
Not out of busyness, or religion, not out of guilt or condemnation, but simply because He is worthy. He loves us wherever we sit and that frees us to sit at His feet and invite others to do the same.
Do you ever struggle with feeling like you have to perform, or do, or serve in order to please God? How do you feel about being free to do nothing?