May 1, 2010
Acts 21: 13 Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14. And since he would not be persuaded, we fell silent, remarking, “The will of the Lord be done!”
(And check back to verses 4, 11, 12)
That is what it is about: Your will! For our good. Even when – maybe especially when – we can’t see beyond our “here and now” earthly needs and desires and circumstances. You love us so much… and when we know and experience that love, we come to a point where whatever You will – we will. Because we truly do become one with You in Your love, in Your longing that all the world might accept You, abide in You, be one in You, forever!
But… hmmm… Papa … I have to admit I am still kind of wondering about that “You can do anything you want. Father gave you your unique personality and gifts, and He wants You to enjoy them and use them however you will.”
I don’t know about that, exactly…
I do know that You want us to enjoy and use our uniqueness created by You. And that You do value our will and free choice – because without it we could not choose to accept Your gift of salvation and to love You … (though, yes, I know some folks would argue that we are chosen… oh dear… another thing I need to learn the truth about from You… please…)
But Papa, when we ARE walking with You, it is such great joy to want Your will, because we’ve come to know You: and we want to live in Your love and Your goodness. And we long to do what pleases You because we love You too.
Acts 21: 19 … he [Paul] began to relate one by one the things which God had done… through his ministry. 20. And when they heard it they began glorifying God.
You should be glorified for what You do! (including what You do through us). And it is awesome to be a part of what You are doing!
I do think there is a bit of a difference in receiving compliments for things well done – and for glorifying You for the way You do things through us in Your kingdom.
In a sense, everything we, as believers, are, everything we do, is from You and for You. And yes, all is “for Your glory” because our lives do reflect You. (Or at least, onlookers tend to “see You,” define You, through what they see in our lives … And so we want to do what really reflects You, and glorifies You, because we want them to see Your love, and be drawn to You too. Yes, You do the drawing in their hearts, but – amazingly – You often choose to work it out through us!
And, yes, I can also see that You have created us, and love us, and delight in us as a human father delights in His children. And I can see that You would also be delighted when we are complimented (and then we appreciate and are encouraged by and graciously receive those compliments) for doing our best to develop our talents and gifts, and to bring blessings and enjoyment and edification (Your love worked out!) to others. (We just need to remember Who it all came from, and not become puffed up. And if we are really walking in Your love, that will be worked out, because “love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up…”).