For a long time I believed that all God wanted from me was more. I feared he would lead me to more work, more giving, more sacrifice, and less fun. I viewed fun and God as mutually exclusive, as if he was the great cosmic killjoy who only wanted me to sing, fast, pray, and evangelize.
Wrapped up in all my misconceptions was a very me-centric point of view. I thought if I didn’t work my fingers to the bone day in and day out for the kingdom that God’s will wasn’t going to be accomplished. It’s as if I believed that I was a savior, the sole hope of the world. And all these misconceptions led to a constant weight I couldn’t seem to shake. But Isaiah 55:10-11 says,
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
The truth is that God absolutely has good works laid out before me every single day. He has a plan for me that will impact eternity. But his chief desire in everything he asks of me is that we would do it together. He doesn’t need me. He wants me. He is not a taskmaster, and I am not his slave. Rather, he calls himself my heavenly Father, and I am to see myself as his son, a coheir with Christ.
God doesn’t desire me to lift a finger if it’s not out of love for him. He doesn’t need or want any of my works birthed out of a place of striving. He doesn’t need or want petty activity, reluctant yeses, programmed words, or burnt-out offerings. Allow the full impact of 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 to hit your heart today. Read it slowly. Allow it to shift your perception of the heart of God:
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
In response to the truth of God’s word, we need to have vision for ourselves. We need to set boundaries around our own emotional, physical, and spiritual health. We need to allow God to minister to our weary hearts, shift our perspectives on work, and empower us to live a life marked by inward abundance. What do you need today to enjoy life? What can you do with God rather than for God? What would he use to fill you up to a state of overflowing rather than running on empty?
As you enter into a time of guided prayer, may you find freedom today from the mentality of a slave and live with the joy and peace of a child of the One, True God.