“All their works are performed to be seen.” Matthew 23:5
Discernment is a difficult but necessary process. The obedience to consciousness, listening, and seeking sometimes leaves us in a state of confusion. We are swayed one way and then another, asking did I hear God right?
I recently experienced this during my Lenten journey and is the center of what I’ve come to God for. Did I spend enough time listening to you God? Praying? Hearing what is right? As we grow in the spiritual life, God expects more of us. Answers that may have come easy before are now far away. We find ourselves spending more time on our knees, more time asking, more time meditating on what His will is for us.
And that is exactly where He wants us to be
As in the days of Jesus, people want to be seen. This is no different in the church. We wonder why people are hurt by ministry, walk away from ministry when the answer is simple- it mirrors the world. The back biting, bending of the truth and promotion clothed in godliness are some of the ways that I have experienced the temple of my youth. And all of it amounts to one thing- a desire to be loved and seen. A showing that there is something lacking.
The questions that all of us should be asking ourselves are simple-
Is what we are doing for ourselves or for God?
For self-promotion or God promotion?
Are we doing it to be accepted and show our authority or because it’s a calling?
These are questions that anyone who is serving God in His church should ask and answer. They are difficult, but necessary.
Lent provides that space for the stripping away of self
Sometimes we must quietly and prayerfully walk away to a corner where nobody can see us to ask God these difficult questions about ourselves. Silence is the greatest producer of answers.
Maybe God is not calling us to serve in the church, maybe he is calling us to serve one.
Or maybe he is calling us to serve ourselves in order to fill ourselves with the things we are missing
Take each position you are in, every organization, secular or ministry and ask yourself why you are there. Are you trying to overcome a deficiency in your life by accepting a place of authority? Or were you rightly promoted by God into the place and space that you are in?
These questions take time and space to sit with and answer. They are convicting, and work on our inner demons of ego and pride. I can tell you from my own experience, that when I have given back all of my talents and gifts to God and let the chips fall where they may in God’s providence, I have landed in places I never expected.
God wants you to lay it all down- all of it. Place it before Him in prayer. Let Him decide where you need to be stripped, where you need to stay, and where you need to go. You may be pleasantly surprised at His answers.
I only want to be promoted or placed in a position to serve by you. Whether that is to one individual, to myself, or to many, place me where I am supposed to be. Strip me of my pride Lord, and gently allow me to see the areas where I need your help. During Lent, help me to work on myself so that none of what I bring to the table is me, but only you.
In Jesus Name,