Following God’s plans instead of our own

Published 5:50 am Sunday, August 26, 2018

The more we venture out of our comfort zone and look around in this great big world, the more we will run into people that are hurting. Yes, many of us are blessed and some of us have led sheltered lives, but if we desire to become more sensitive to those around us we will notice there are individuals that have not had it so easy. There are so many places to serve and so much desperate need that sometimes it seems overwhelming.

As a community chaplain, I’m surrounded by disturbing situations and within my personal writing and music ministry I am constantly being approached by those in this country and around the world who are crying out for financial assistance. Like you, I have concern and want to help everyone, but there is only so much we can do. It’s our responsibility to pray for everyone, but also critical that we listen to God’s response and react according to His directions. When we turn away from considering the burden of human suffering, this coldness turns our prayers into a private bless me confession and reduces the big picture of the world’s needs into a tiny peep-hole that is easier to ignore.

I realize it’s more comfortable to live in denial, and only focus on our own needs, but is this truly following Christ? We read about selfless individuals like Mother Teresa that abandoned her life so that she could help others, and we recognize she not only had a compassionate heart but was actually willing to sacrifice her plans in obedience to God’s voice.

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With God’s perspective, it’s not how many good deeds, how much money we give, or how much a person accomplishes, but it’s all about us knowing what He is saying and then being obedient to His instructions. In Mark 12:43-44, we read the account of the poor widow that contributed two cents into the church offering while some of the wealthy members were donating large amounts of money.

Jesus was watching and made a very interesting comment, “And He called unto Him His disciples, and saith unto them, verily I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: for all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in ALL that she had, even all her living.” The old saying, “things are not always as they seem” comes around on a regular basis and when we are sensitive to recognize what is happening, we can begin to understand the deeper meanings of life.

The widow realized that her two cents was not a significant amount but instead of being discouraged or embarrassed, she stepped forward in faith because she heard God’s voice and was expressing her love and worship to Him through obedience. This is an example of why we are encouraged to develop our spiritual awareness so that we can be equipped to comprehend God’s divine reality.

When it comes to our ideas about giving, it’s very important to realize that God is not always impressed with what we think. To Him, it’s simply about us listening for Him speak and then submitting to His desires. In this lifestyle, we can appreciate His grace and wisdom and know that He will receive all the glory.

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