“For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them. ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’ “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”
Isaiah 58:2-4, 6-7 NIV
I have been guilty of a self righteous posture more than I care to admit. As recent as last week when a role I carried with pride was not recognized, cast aside, because of a “technicality”. But the beauty in seeing the underbelly of your pride is the release of your humility. The opportunity for you to adjust the motive and posture of your heart and set your intentions straight.
Who are we serving?
Ourselves or God?
For those that don’t follow…I get how that sounds very “coltish”. But let me explain what it looks like to follow God:
That’s it. For real.
The presence of God prior to Jesus’ existence did not come in a physical form. His lack of human presence made the need for “rules”, boundaries, commandments necessary. To keep his children from falling off the rails of greed and pride.
But then….oh but then, a sweet baby was born, Jesus. He humbly arrived in a manger & later made His presence known on the back of a donkey. This meek man, God, came to turn everything upside down. His physical presence didn’t replace the rules but displayed them….through grace, kindness, love, peace.
So following and loving God, which sadly has become code for hypocrisy and judgement, truly means feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, serving the least.
And not for accolades or applause.
How are we doing with this? I’m not fairing so well on the daily but holding my thoughts and actions captive to His word allows the space for correction, realignment.
How can we set down the titles, the roles, the recognition and silently serve from a place of surrender.
I need a constant reminder that it’s not about me. That this life is just a stopping point to get me to where I am going. That this cross fit training, full of sweat and tears, will deliver me strength and endurance for what’s to come. Not by my will, but His.
Let’s check our egos at the door and serve instead of being served.