Tuesday, February 2, 2016

God wants us

I have a book called "A Year with C.S. Lewis" that I am reading every morning.  And what this book does is it takes a short section from his writings for you to read each day.  I have read C.S Lewis stuff and I appreciate how he thinks and gets me to think, and I know that he has some issues that I disagree with, but then again I don't agree with anyone 100%.  The Bible alone is where I find 100% truth, but nevertheless I really appreciate the thought process and some of Lewis's conclusions.  There is no doubt he was a great thinker but I wouldn't put him on the level that some do.  Anyways, today  the section opened up with the words "For it is not so much of our time and so much of our attention that God demand; it is not even all our time and all our attention; it is ourselves."  That is so well put.  That is so convicting and challenging.   God isn't so concerned with our time and attention, but ourselves.  This is about priorities.  This is about submitting our lives to God.  We may try to spend time with God.  "Oh gotta give God the start of my day."  So we make sure that the first thing we do is spend some time in prayer and in the word right when we wake up.  And that is good and needed.  But sometimes that can just come routine and that can just be so we can say I have given God the start of my day and did my God thing.  God wants more than just that.  He wants us.  See God knows that if He has us, He will have our time and attention.  If we are God's then everything we do will have pure motives and thus will be for His glory and for His attention and all our time will be for that purpose.  For me, I can think "I am a missionary.  I left my beloved Santa Cruz and moved to the Andes Mountains.  I am doing things for God."  But what does that matter if the Lord doesn't have me.  I think at times we can think that we have to do something extreme to be really sold out for Christ or to really be able to say we have given ourselves to God.  "Look at what I am doing!"  We can trust in our works and actions.  Even as I type that, "Look what I am doing" I can feel my skin cringing!  It was about me.  It wasn't for the Lord, so obviously He doesn't have me if I can truly think that.  And I know that there will be times that we all struggle and even have self righteousness which is one of the most ugly sins there are and it doesn't mean that we haven't given ourselves to God, but I can't look at what I am doing or have done.  That sure can be a breading ground for a self righteous pharisaical attitude.  That can also be a hinderance in being content with what the Lord has called you to do or where He has placed you.  I look at certain missionaries or pastor's and go "Wow, they are doing the thing, they are the real deal, I need to do more."  But God wants you and me, not our attention or time.  Attention and time come when we are His.  He knows that.  We can't reverse that order.  God has placed each one of us right where we are at.  We need to be content and we need to just be faithful and not look to others as our standard or our motivation.  We can't look to what we do but to who Jesus is and what He has done.  Trust me, God wants our attention!  God wants our time!  But first and foremost God wants us.  Those are byproducts of the prime product.  The giving of ourselves doesn't mean that we have to pack up and leave our town and move across the world.  The giving of ourselves means we walk in the Spirit and walk in the ways of Jesus.  It means submitting to the providences of God.  It means living for Him!  It means trusting in Him alone!  It means dying to self!  And don't get confused that the action is a demonstration of the giving of your self.  "Well I moved to Peru, so I have given myself."  No that means nothing.   You can do an action with impure motives, for selfish reasons, to bring glory to yourself or to try to earn God's love.  Be faithful where ever the Lord has placed you.  Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and then all these other things will be added.  God wants you.  God wants me.  So much so that He sent His only Son to take the punishment that we deserved.  To cleanse us from filth and our sin.  He laid down His life.  Imagine for a moment who He was.  What Christ left.  What Christ endured for His people's sake.  Put that into perspective and then allow the Spirit to help you lay down your life.  He wants us.  Every part. Jim Elliot said "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."  Jesus said "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."  Maybe today, we can loose our lives for Jesus.  Maybe today, we can give ourselves to God.  I was challenged by that C.S. Lewis quote.  I don't know about you, but there is so much of me that needs to go to the cross.