My Performance vs. His Grace

This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands…. (1 John 5:2).

Sometimes I put way too much pressure on myself in life and ministry. Whenever I start to think that something depends on me, I always become weighed down by the burden of a responsibility that isn’t mine to carry.
 
I’ll think to myself,
 
“It’s my job to make this happen.”
 
“This is on me and time is short, so I need to see results right away.”
 
“What if the bottom falls out?”
 
“God didn’t work for you the last time when you prayed for that, so why would He now?”
 
It is remarkable to me how quickly my mind can spiral into wrong thoughts about God and myself. If I’m not careful, these thoughts can quickly take me into places of feeling defeated, worried and afraid. But, God simply asks us to love others and be faithful to Him. That’s it. He doesn’t place grand expectations on us to be the perfect spouse, parent, leader or friend. He simply asks us to love and walk in faithfulness. This is our greatest calling as Christians, not to build great programs, ministries or whatever, but to learn how to love like Jesus and walk in faithfulness to what He has asked of us.
 
I often wonder, within those large programs and ministries that we’ve built, if much fruit was produced there. Were love and faithfulness really the anthem that was driving our motivations? In light of eternity, was our investment in those things really making an eternal impact for the glory of God? Were we too concerned about numbers, how well “we led” things or what our leadership in this area says about us as a person. Maybe that’s just been me who wrestled with those things, but I’m asking the Lord to take those thoughts captive so that I can walk freely in the victory and grace of God as I learn to simply love others and walk in faithfulness.
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What if we all decide that this mantra would be our goal? To love God and walk in faithfulness? I wonder how different our churches would look because people wouldn’t be serving to be served but to simply shower others with the grace of God. It wouldn’t be about their egos, their need for approval or recognition.
 
It would simply be about grace, no longer leading from a place of insecurity, as I often find myself being tempted to lead out of, but a place of trust in the grace of God to work for us on our behalf. Maybe what we need is not another strategy to reach people, grow our ministries, change our kids, or fix all our problems at home, but what’s needed is a heart that trusts in the Lord to bring the harvest.
 
Lord, I long to see you bear fruitfulness in my life. Sometimes, I become impatient in this. I put too much pressure on myself as if it depends on me. Forgive me for my worry and fear. I want, instead, to walk in true faithfulness, for your glory, in Jesus name, Amen.

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