Flowing Faith

What Is on Your Agenda?

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Serve Only God

I’ve always thought that we should only serve one God and we should not have idols. God should be number one in our lives. I had thought those possible idols would be other people or work or hobbies, somebody or something else than me. But then I read this from Isaiah:

“Why do we fast, but you do not see?
    Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?”
Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day,
    and oppress all your workers.
(Isaiah 58:3, NRSV)

If you refrain from trampling the sabbath,
    from pursuing your own interests on my holy day;
if you call the sabbath a delight
    and the holy day of the Lord honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
    serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs;
then you shall take delight in the Lord,
    and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth;
I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob,
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
(Isaiah 58:13-14, NRSV)

Do you see? We are our own idols. Me, mine, myself are on our agenda. We want God to serve us, bless us, take care of us but according to our whims, not according to his will.

We serve our own interest all day long and wonder why God is silent.
We pursue our own affairs and wonder why God feels distant.
We go our own ways and wonder why everything is not going well.

Lord, have mercy!

The Christian way of life is not self-serving but God-serving. It contradicts all of our selfish wants and desires. Are we ever able to live like that? Only by God’s grace. On our own we can not serve anybody else but ourselves. But this is exactly why God sent Jesus to die on the cross.

When we surrender our egos, God will pour out grace upon grace. When we let our Selves die on the cross with Christ, God raises our true selves from death with Christ. Hence We don’t capitalize our selves anymore (Not Self but self), but God. He is the author of life and all the good things. He is God and we are not.

When we submit ourselves to God, he enables us to serve God with everything we’ve got. When we give all the glory to God, he will bless us with his peace. When we humble ourselves before the Lord, he will guide us until the end of the world.

 

Gracious God,
Forgive our selfishness.
Forgive us for pursuing our own interests
even when we think we are not.
We submit ourselves to you.
Pour out grace upon grace!
Empower us to serve only you!
In Jesus’ name, Amen

Q4U: Are you serving your own interests or pursuing God’s will for your life?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you serve only God!

Image courtesy of Meliza Celeridad. Linking up today with Thought-Provoking Thursday and

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  • BonnieGray

    Hi Mari-Anna! your post reads like a song! Thnx for sharing in the faith jam!

    • http://www.flowingfaith.com Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke

      Thanks so much, Bonnie! Blessings to you and yours!

  • Cynthia

    Thank you – I’m learning everyday to rely on God, to trust in His way. This post spoke directly to me.

    • http://www.flowingfaith.com Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke

      How delightful to hear that, Cynthia. Thank you for sharing. May God continue to bless you and keep you in his grace!

  • http://stephandkim.wordpress.com/ Kim Fernando

    Mari-Anna, I have to admit I resisted reading this is full several times (we were next to each other in the Faith Jam). It’s a thought provoking one, and I didn’t want to have to sit still and consider the question. But it is so true. I have a strong desire to write and share God’s Word and the hope we have in Christ with others, but I am struggling to find when to fit this into my daily life with a demanding job and many responsibilities. Recently I thought I would use my Sabbath to write since it is for God, but last week I felt that it became too much about “my” writing and not about Him. Tomorrow, I think I am going to spend the day with Him, reviewing my quiet time journal and digging into what He’s been speaking to me this year. God is so good for giving you this message. Thank you for sharing what He’s laid on your heart.

    • http://www.flowingfaith.com Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke

      Wow. Thank you, Kim, for sharing. It’s wonderful to see God working. I didn’t want to spell out Sabbath-keeping too strongly but I do think it is very important. One way to do it is to keep Sabbath from 6pm on Saturday until 6pm on Sunday. Then you could dedicate Sunday evening for writing. I pray God will enable you to find everything you need to write for him. Abundant blessings to you!