Whatever You Do

6/5/1998

After a recent conversation with a brother, the Spirit of Jesus kindly showed me some wrong thinking and faulty priorities that were in my life. I’m passing along what I’m beginning to learn—so we can all share in the benefits as we seek to allow the Father to renew our thinking and make us after His Son’s image.

The thing that dawned clearly on me was that I had allowed myself to drift to a place where I was blindly (though I’m POSITIVE it didn’t start as blindness, but rather selfish choices) making decisions to go to a movie (though always with others, of course), watch a basketball game, play golf, play a basketball game, go out to eat, etc., etc.—based on my flesh (my preferences, my desires, my appetites, my...).

Now, let me quickly point out that none of this looked nearly as carnal as it might sound. What it looked like was something like this: I would hear that so and so went to see a movie last night. My emotions and my desires came in and said, “I like movies too. And that one sounds REALLY good. Maybe I can go see it.” Before I knew it, I had come up (as my mind went into gear) with four or five very legitimate reasons to justify doing it (“spiritual” reasons, you know). “Well, I haven’t spent much time with so and so... maybe we could do it together.” “Well, you know, I’m really needing to reward my wife... she works hard with the children.” ETC. And to be perfectly honest, the reasons I came up with were usually completely legitimate and accurate and true. Had my desire to reward my wife with a night out been the initial motivation, then a movie, or dinner or whatever could have been perfectly in line with Jesus’ heart for that evening! The problem came in that I would not have thought of that particular activity had it not been for the initial selfish motivator! (important point!). And, when I can look back and honestly say that all of the other reasons were only secondary (though legitimate) to the initial motivation of my own desire—then I had better steer clear! “Flesh gives birth to flesh” every time, ya know! It really does!

Now, the call isn’t to hyper-analyze ourselves. It’s just to be honest. Why do I want to initiate this thing or do that thing, really?? Why? Is it initially out of love for another? Out of love for Jesus and simple, life-walking relationship with Him? Or did it start in my flesh (no matter how quickly it was drowned by dozens of “spiritually” legitimate thoughts and possibilities)? The Holy Spirit’s command to eat and drink ONLY motivated by desire to bring Glory to Jesus surely applies here!

As ambassadors of Heaven—one of our primary interests is working to see others free from the love of the world and filled with faith in Jesus, His love and His provision! With the advancing of our now native Kingdom at the forefront of our minds and motivations (just as with any earthly ambassador)—here’s how life will look instead: I notice with much gratitude how faithful and hardworking my wife has been. She has sacrificed much to see that my needs and the needs of many others are met. So, I begin asking God for a way to bless her and tell her thanks. As a result of that care, I may end up taking her to a movie or dinner, or... whatever. But, my life is spent to see others blessed, drawn higher, and served—never to bless or please myself. Can we agree that that is the only way to live? I know it’s what I want—I really do! Will you help me? I want to help you too. I know, without a doubt that all of Heaven’s provision is available for that kind of living. God’s Spirit rushes to bless the heart that cares only for Jesus and the things that concern Him!

Yours more and more as I learn to live as His....

I love you guys : )—b

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