Just for fun, let’s pretend you were asked to rate how you feel you serve God in various areas of your life. I mean, really put Him first. Now, I get that you have a job and you have to be in alignment with the company mission, policies and appropriate bureaucracies, etc. But…like in your heart, are you serving God first in that situation? Are you applying His principles and His characteristics to that relationship or circumstance? This is the kind of thing I mean. On a scale from one to ten in the following areas (and we’re just naming a few here). Go!
- “Down time”
How’d you do?
God wants ALL of us. He makes that pretty clear. In the Old Testament, He says, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5) and in the New Testament Jesus reminds us, “’…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment…”(Matthew 22: 37-38). But if we’re really honest with ourselves, don’t we like to think that is somehow an exaggeration. Like God can’t really mean “ALL all”, can He? Maybe in some situations and not others? Or maybe to varying degrees? Or maybe at different (dare I say more convenient) times? After all, God will understand…this is just a season of my life where my family needs to come first. Where I have a limited time period to advance my career. Where I have the opportunity to purchase exactly what want.
Er. This is the place God had me at recently with home ownership vs renting.
It all started out very practical. It was a stewardship issue, really. I was giving away way too much money in rent and, though home ownership as a Singleton was not something I was overly eager to take on, it didn’t really take much convincing.
I would just buy something small that fit my needs. I didn’t need much after all. It was just me and I was only home ½ the time because of work travel. Yes, something small. And safe. Ideally, gated. Well…and, while I’m at it, a few amenities would be nice. I mean, I may as well enjoy the time when I am home. I work hard. I deserve a little something. I make good use of the community pool where I currently live. I make some use of the gym. Yes. That would do. Small. Gated. Pool. Gym. But upon seeking the council of some wise local friends, I should consider school district (for safety and resale purposes). Oh, and resale…a one bedroom just wouldn’t do. It would have to be two. Minimum. Really, three would be better. And, you know, upon investigating, would you believe brand spankin’ new builds in up & coming communities weren’t that much more than re-sales?! And then everything would be under warranty. This was just plain smart!
Do you see how quickly this thing snowballed? I’m almost embarrassed to say (but I’m WYSIWYG – what you see is what you get – so I will) that my first thought was literally to buy something with wheels! (that lasted about 48 hours). Fast forward several months, one near miss/very discerning realtor (love you for that, Alice!) and David Platt’s book Radical, and I found myself saying, “God, I just want the house that you want me to have. Whatever it looks like. Whatever neighborhood it’s in. The house I can best serve You with.”
(I won’t lie, I did add, “If it happens to have a view that would be great.”).
I haven’t arrived in the “servanthood” department with God. I know I never will. But I so want to try. In every little circumstance and situation I find myself in I want to maximize the opportunity to serve Him with it. God, let it be so.
Lord, help me to serve you with my whole life –
in my relationships, in my job, in my finances, in my down time and, yes, Lord, even in where I live.
“Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people.”