Why do we do what we do?
In meeting with church staff and praying over the last few days I have realized that I need to share a couple of thoughts. And it really revolves around what motivates us to make the choices we make. But I need to put in a little context, so bear with me here.
Isaiah writes this:
For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.
God is motivated to act in your behalf, my behalf, and all of history for one reason alone. For HIS GLORY.
I don’t really think I need to defend that except to say that everything in our culture opposes that truth. Many of us live under the belief that we should do all we can to be happy and God is on his throne cheering us on.
We read the Bible in a self centered way, like for instance the belief that the David and Goliath story is about us. It isn’t. That story is about being rescued by God.
Popular music celebrates freedom of choice and self pleasure. When we are no longer in love with our spouse, we leave. When our parents don’t give us what we want, we pout and act like we are somehow entitled to it. And when our church doesn’t serve us the way we want to be served, we find another one.
God is not glorified in this consumeristic mentality toward his Kingdom! The Israelites in the desert spent a lot of time essentially asking, “What do I get out of the deal?” In response God called them stiff necked people!
Please hear me. God is not pleased by self indulgence and people who run from one church the next seeking some sort of feeling of pleasure. God is not pleased when you teenagers get the things you want or when you hop from one spouse to the next.
God is pleased when people get involved and start shaping things to fit with his kingdom, his pleasure, his rule and his glory.
You might be happy when you run from one thing to the next seeking after happiness. You really might be. But one thing I can absolutely promise you, ultimately, you will be dissappointed. You will never be joyful. You will face rejection. You will suffer heartache and dissapointment, and before it’s all over you will probably blame God.
God calls us to faithfulness and to work. If you see things that you think a marriage, a church, a workplace, or a city could do better then you can be God Centered and get to work to make it better. This choice leads to real joy. You will one day be able to look back at what God has done and how you played a part in that.
Or you can be a self-centered consumer. You can look for the right thing to meet your needs but you will never find it. This will absolutely lead to dissapointment.
Essentially thats the choice we all face every day. Will I be self centered and disappointed (because God is not “you centered” and the universe doesn’t work that way)? Or, will I be God centered and make sacrificial choices for the benefit of others?
Let’s all choose the path to God-centeredness and Joy.