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What God Delights In

story-4Although at the time I did not recognize the danger signs of what I was doing I clearly see them now. In my junior and senior years of high school I became totally preoccupied with a sense of duty toward the Lord. In addition to being a full-time student, going out for sports, delivering newspapers daily and working another part-time job, I also carried a full load of Christian activities.

My Christian activities included: going to church, Sunday school and youth group weekly; serving as president of our high school Campus Life Club; functioning as a charter member of a Christian fraternity called Alpha Chi; singing competitively with a Christian music group; counseling at summer and winter camps for juvenile delinquents; participating in a national contest selling Campus Life Magazine subscriptions; and taking a leadership role at the Youth For Christ rallies. I rose early each morning to keep my quiet time with the Lord in which I prayed and read the Bible. (I had faithfully kept up that habit since the fifth grade.)

But as you ponder the above list of activities, please don’t let your mind go where mine did! On the one hand I was proud of what I was doing for the Lord, but on the other hand I never felt like I was doing enough or wondered if the things I was doing were the right things.

Although my motivations may have been more pure in the beginning, they had degenerated to the point that I became totally preoccupied with what I was doing for the Lord and whether I was in his will. I felt desperate to know his will! You see my preoccupations were horribly misplaced!

God is not glorified or pleased by how much we accomplish for him, but by how much we love him. He wants us to find our genuine satisfaction and fulfillment in knowing him, not in working ourselves to the bone for him. And the beautiful thing is that when we pursue him instead of activities for him, he truly uses us and leads us to do those things that really do bring him glory.

In the context of the above read what the Lord spoke through the prophet Jeremiah: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight.”

I also recognize now that God loves me because I’m his child, not because of what I do for him. Knowing that frees me to serve him out of gratitude and love instead of out of duty and obligation.

©2009 Rob Fischer