What do you want?
If we are completely honest with ourselves, would many of us find that comfort, ease, rest, and the absence of conflict are the overarching themes of the items at the top of our list of ‘wants’?
That what we really, honestly want is
all things good,
for things to go well,
and to see the desired results without the hard effort
(and to top it off, could everyone just loves us and agrees with us all the time so that there is no conflict?).
And yet, at the same time would we also say in the same breath that if God asked us what we want, our request would be that our lives have purpose and count, that we would fulfill our calling, because we know that we were created for something purposeful.
“….we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Eph. 2:10
But when we take a look at those two desires (“comfort and ease” and “fulfilling our purpose”), we realize and KNOW that they rival and oppose each other.
The Word of God tells us that Christ will manifest through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. That is beautifully poetic and a great promise and sounds easy.
But it goes on to say that the fragrance is experienced differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. And we aren’t in control of that. To one we are an aroma of death and to the other an aroma of life (2 Cor. 2:15,16). And we don’t get to choose to not ever be an aroma of death and thus avoid conflict.
To fulfill the great commission and GO and make disciples, teaching them to obey ALL that He has commanded, we will be loved and thanked as we are a fragrance of life, but we will also be hated by others to whom we are a fragrance of death. Jesus Himself told us so (John 15:18-24, Matt. 10:22, etc.). It should not be a surprise to us, nor should we search for ways to avoid being hated for His name so that we are always comfortable and loved.
As we desire these two ‘wants’ (ease of life and fulfilling our calling), they contrast each other rather than working together, thus perhaps bringing to light the reason behind many people’s internal confusion.
Will we lay at His feet the desire to take the ‘I only want my comfort’ route and surrender to the faith adventure of allowing Him to bring comfort and ease AS we take His yoke upon us and follow His lead?
Knowing that it has been ‘granted’ to us for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer (Phil 1:29) for His sake,
may we not be thrown off course
and abandon ship.
May we be able say, ‘Though it has not been easy, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.”’ 2 Tim. 4:7
“Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.” Col. 4:17
We need you.
What do you want?
With pen in hand (expecting Him to answer), here are a few things to talk to God about:
-Lord, show me if this is why I experience internal confusion over what I am supposed to be doing?
-Remind me of times when I have been a fragrance of life and instances when I have been a fragrance of death (because the good news was not received as good news) and give me Your perspective on those situations. And Lord, how would You encourage me for future times when I will experience both of these reactions.
-Pray a prayer of surrender, and resolve ahead of time, “Lord, I will follow You.”
-What do you ‘want’, in light of this time with God? Write it out.
Friend, do you have no idea where to start in answering one of those questions?
Just start writing and tell Him about how you don’t know, and let Him begin to show you.
To see where this series of thoughts begins if you missed it, click here.
And remember you can hover over any scripture reference here and the verse will pop up. Pretty neat!
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