“It has yet to be seen what God can do with a man or woman who would give Him all the glory.” Joyce Meyer
A few years ago I was sitting in a friend’s truck, speaking animatedly about something to do with the Lord when she commented on my zeal. As much as she was struck by my passion for Jesus, I was equally taken aback that she did not feel the same way. I can understand how a non-believer might feel neutral, complacent or apathetic when it comes to the things of God but it never fails to boggle my mind that a person who professes to know Christ would be anything less than enthusiastic and passionate about the Father and the Father’s business. I mean c’mon! If this stuff is real, if God is real, if He is who He says He is in the Bible, if Jesus did what the Bible says He did, and if all the promises of God are ours in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:20) then I say woot-woot!! Seriously, that is the most mind-blowing, life-altering stuff there is. According to Scripture, the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in me (Romans 8:11). I have within my body, power to make dead men live! Can these dry bones live? You betcha (Ezekiel 37:1-14). So why do we wander around as though we were dragging a sack full of dead bones? I remember a vision someone had once about the blessings of God being like water but instead of falling on the people, they lay like puddles around them. Another friend saw Christians standing with their spiritual armor at their feet. We are perishing for lack of vision (Proverbs 29:18). We do not have an understanding of who God really is, otherwise we would have a vision for what He is doing and what He can do in and through us. We have visions of lots of other things though: vacations, vehicles, jobs, money, ministries, children and on and on. Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not saying we cannot enjoy other things in life. I love the theme of Joyce Meyer Ministries: “enjoying everyday life”. Joyce correctly points us to what Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). We are to enjoy everyday life because it is a gift from God. As we thank God for each new day we should remember that “in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). We wouldn’t even wake up in the morning if it did not please God to give us breath. Once we are Christ-followers, our lives are not our own; we were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:19,20) and we would do well to meditate on what that means. Jesus tells us to count the cost of being His disciple (Luke 14:25-33). The apostle Paul described himself as a bond-slave of Christ Jesus (Romans 1:1). How many of us could or would want to call ourselves a slave of Christ. This is the kind of zeal I’m talking about!! In North America, we dream and plan for all that we are told life offers and we forget that God may say to us, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you.” (Luke 12:20). “Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:14) yet so often we run after everything but God; a bigger ministry, position in the church, a bigger building, a larger congregation, a spot on the worship team, recognition from the pastor, the right music, the right style, a message that is “for today”, a fun youth group, a ladies retreat. But are our hearts captured by Him. Are we so in love with Jesus that when something comes to rock our boat our first response is not “fix it Lord” but “can I have more of You Jesus”. In Revelation (3:15-21) the Spirit says to the church:
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (emphasis mine).
I don’t know about you, but I so desperately do not want to come to the end of my life, squeak on by the pearly gates, behold the majesty of Jesus and find I have hidden my one “talent” in the ground (Matthew 25:14-30). And what is that one talent that I possess; it is a heart to love and pursue the lover of my soul. We love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). That is the first talent we are all given when we come to Jesus; the ability to love the Lord our God. And we know that when we are faithful with that one talent, when we use it to press in to and pursue Him, He will be able to lift us up and gift us with other talents to use in His Kingdom. But pursuing Him, the Giver not the gift, has to come first. If God doesn’t have our hearts, nothing else matters. We should heed the words of Isaiah, “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn – and I would heal them” (John 12:40). Oh that God would have compassion on us and stir our hearts to repentance and to desire Him once again. I wonder what God could do with a church that would give Him all the glory? I want to know what God could do with me, if I would give Him all the glory. What about you – what could God do with you, if you would give Him all the glory?