I received a kind, good reminder today from God. Actually, I would say not only a reminder, but a refreshing of the mind. I am thankful for the "pick-me-up," for lack of a better term.
"Ministry is giving when you feel like keeping, praying for others when you need to be prayed for, feeding others when your own soul is hungry, living truth before people even when you can't see the results, hurting with others when your own hurt can't be spoken, keeping your word when it's not convenient; being faithful when your flesh wants to run away."
I read this quote from a sister-in-the-Lord's update on Caring Bridge. She was recently widowed, and continues to keep folks updated on her life, though her precious Dear has been with the Lord for a little while now. I appreciate the updates; for they help me know how to pray for her and her family, encourage me in Christ, and challenge me in how I live for Him.
This quote (of which she was quoting someone else as well), challenged me. I cannot count the times I have given myself over to the evil thoughts of selfishness. Instead of going to Christ with the burdensome thoughts, that give way to burdensome feelings, then burdensome acts/words, I chew on their cud. G-R-O-S-S.
Well, though I have to give God credit for not having that bad attitude lately, I thank Him nonetheless for giving me a gentle prod, lest I slip in the way...again. How many times have I been on "cruise-control" in my life, forgetting why I made a certain turn? I instinctively know which way to go, but yet my mind kind of "shuts down" as my body does what it has been trained to do.
Take for instance yesterday. Yesterday, I was driving home after cleaning a lady's home for her. As I enjoyed the somewhat sunny day, and cool air, I decided to roll down my window. Usually, I like to roll down the opposite window, for a nice cross-breeze. So, I did. But, I do not remember doing it! I remember rolling my window down, just not the other one. I was totally in "cruise-control" mode, just like driving home. Ha! So often I do not even think about the turns and such to get there, because I have done so much of it.
Such is the way with my life. I often do what has become more "natural" to me, if I may put it so. Then, when something gets in the way of "cruise-control," I am jarred back to actually having to think! This quote was a nice "pre-cruise-control" moment for me.
I was reminded of Scripture as I read this quote:
Galatians 6:6, 9, 10 "Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things...And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."
1 Thessalonians 5 "But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. Brethren, pray for us. Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss. I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. The first epistle to the Thessalonians was written from Athens."
So, I plan on obeying, by the grace of God. I do not wish to be disobedient to God. I am encouraged to know that God will enable and guide me according to ministering: to whom, for whom, how, etc.; as He wishes. I take great comfort knowing it is not according to the will of man, but God's will, in my ministering. Amen!
I also take great comfort to not seek after my own; again, by the grace of God. I *know* that my Heavenly Father takes care of me. He knows what is best for me, what will bless my heart, what I need, what I like, etc. It is very easy for me to care about my needs/wants/desires/plans...You name it. It becomes even easier to succumb to selfishness when surrounded by worldly thinking. It is a constant battle against ungodly thinking.
Esteeming ones' self more than they ought is wicked. Of course, we all are guilty of pride. It is right and good for folks to see themselves as the Scripture portrays them. I have been blessed every time I look into the mirror of God's Word: I get an accurate depiction of me, which in turn gives me an accurate depiction of Him, which then reminds me to have faith in Him, not me/man/world.
When I esteem myself higher than I ought, it disables me. I am ineffectual in properly ministering to others. I am not blessing God. I am concerned for myself, not them. I seek my glory, not God's glory. Granted, I am to be responsible...But not selfish.
I have a good Father, though! He is quick to fix my heart and mind back to their proper disposition. He is not willing that I go off like a spoiled brat in this life, (even subtly), carrying His name through life. It is not right for His name's sake, my holy conversation, and the sight of others.
Remembering why and for whom I minister, in the first place, can snap me back out of myself and into God. Reading quotes like this dear sister shared can do the same for me. Listening to and observing others who are whole-heartedly following after God helps me, too.
I have what my Heavenly Father has recorded for me in the Bible to keep me on the right path. I only need trust in His words. I am the better for it, every time.