I knew exactly what I wanted to write about this week. Thanksgiving is on Thursday so writing about giving thanks was an easy decision.
So, I wrote about it.
But God had something else in mind. So here I am, like always, about to share with you some really personal things.
Two nights ago, I was listening to one of T. D. Jakes' sermons, and he said something that spoke directly to my heart. He said, "You're praying for success, but God is looking for sacrifice."
Over the last 6 years, most of my sacrifice has been for me and my dreams, not for God.
I sacrificed my time, my friends, eating out, and buying nice things for the vision, but not for God. I went hard for the vision, but I didn't go hard for God.
I was a serious doer, but I wasn't doing the work of a serious believer.
"Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?" - Matthew 16:24
Lately, I've been crying out to God for direction, and His response has been, "You say you love me but are you taking up your cross to follow me?"
True love requires sacrifice.
Doing "great things" for God isn't a substitute for obedience to what He's truly calling you to do.
You can be the most generous person to others, but if you refuse to humble yourself to fix the broken relationships in your family, you're not taking up your cross.
You can take on leadership positions and spend most of your time helping out in the church, but if you aren’t finding time to spend with God and read/study the Bible, you're just doing busywork.
I'm the first to admit that I've done a lot of busywork.
There are days when I spend hours in the zone working on new projects, but when God calls me to drop everything to do something, I try to make it fit my schedule instead of adjusting my life to His calling.
4 years ago, on my 24th birthday (yes, I'll be 28 in two weeks), I asked friends to donate $24 to help me make inspirational t-shirts for the youth in a poverty-stricken community in Jamaica.
I rented out a section of a nightclub (don't judge me) and got the owner of the club to let everyone who was coming for me in for free if they donated to the cause.
This was a last-minute idea, but I invited just about everyone I knew in NYC. Only two of my friends showed up that night. A guy who felt bad for me and my roommate.
It was a sad and humiliating experience that I never told anyone about until now.
Although my intentions were pure, I wasn't taking up my cross to follow God. I tried to get God to bless my mess of what I wanted to do for Him.
Loving the Lord with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind is the first and greatest commandment. And it requires absolute surrender to God.
He will reward your sacrifice when you deny yourself daily to follow Him. God wants your obedience, not your busywork.
True love requires sacrifice. Are you really surrendering to what God is calling you to do or are you just doing busywork?
That's my question for you today.
Keep pushing forward and always remember to give God thanks no matter what you're going through. He sees the depths of your heart and hasn't forgotten about you.
Did you get anything out of today's message? Lets talk about this. Head on over to the discussion page where interesting discussions happen :).
You were born to do great things.