For what are you living? We are all going to serve someone or something: money, reputation, appearance, a mission in which we believe, a company, happiness, retirement, a spiritual entity…the list is endless. There is a drive and reason behind the actions we take and the decisions we make. It is possible that we are unaware of those drives. It is possible that we were raised with a value and worldview which we have never stopped to consider or evaluate. Few people verbalize the typical American dream: get an education, begin your career, find a spouse, buy a house, have a few kids, take nice vacations, retire well, live out the golden years doing what you love. And while we may not have an observed passion while we are making these life decisions, we often do them because “that’s just what you do”. We are serving the American dream because we have no other option, or we have not considered the vastness of true opportunities.
If you have come to saving faith in Jesus Christ, however, we have professed Him as our Lord. That means that He is in charge, He gets final say, and everything we do should be done unto His service (1 Cor 10.31). Our education, our careers, our marriages, our houses, our child rearing, our vacations, and our retirement should all be considered in light of the fact that Jesus is Lord over our lives. And also our daily activities. Our hobbies, our interests, how we work, and how we play.
In our complacency and in the routine of life we often neglect this reality, unfortunately. It is easy to bring God in the loop when we are making big decisions, but we often get into our habits and go about doing our day-to-day. We might start out with the desire to honor God, but as we get into habits and forge to engage with Him daily, other desires sneak in and take over. We may take a job with the intention to serve God, but once the newness wears off, or personalities begin to rub, it might just become a paycheck, a security blanket or a need.
Thus we must intentionally and purposefully wake up daily and choose our Lord.
“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
– Josh 24.15
There might come a time that God changes the direction for our lives, and we must be alert and aware of His leadership. There might come a time that the big picture drives of our culture might interfere or be at odds with what God desires for our lives. There might come a time that we have to cut ties with something in our lives because it prevents us from serving God.
But if we daily and actively choose that we will serve God, it makes those decisions easy. It is when we get knee deep into something else, serving another dream, desire or pleasure that those decisions become difficult. It is much easier to wipe off a spill or bandage a scraped knee than to cut out a cancer.
God is our perfect Heavenly Father, and He knows what our needs are and He has His best in plan for us. That may not look like what we wish for our lives, but it will result in our Spiritual maturity and eternal life. That may include persecution, that may include suffering, that may include cultural alienation or even death. But God has promised to bring about our Spiritual good through all of these circumstances, and to supply all of our Spiritual needs throughout.
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
– Phil 4.19
So let us begin the discipline of not only having a quiet time each morning, but dedicating our day to God’s service and honor. Let us only what we can do to His glory each and every day. Let us set aside the idols of security, retirement, pleasure and reputation. Let us trust God to be who He is, to do what He says He will do, and let us abandon all in light of His perfect calling.