Doing Good for God
others say the same thing?
There’s nothing wrong with that idea . . . it just involves a little “fuzzy thinking.” God is omnipotent and sovereign. He can do anything He wants, any way He wants. He doesn’t need me (or you) to do anything for Him. We can’t add a single thing to what He’s created. But when He invites us to participate in what He’s doing, it’s for our benefit! It’s His gift to us. God loves us . . . He’s invited us into the “work of the Gospel” to give us an abundant life, not because He needs us per se.
I believe God values us as His sons and daughters. When we obey His command to go “make disciples,” we get great joy. I’ve watched countless guys “light up” as they experience the Great Commission personally for the first time as Radical Mentors. I think it was Nate Larkin who said, “Something changes in a man when he first takes responsibility for the spiritual growth of another person.” Totally true.
It’s hard -- no, it’s impossible -- to decide prospectively to be “used of God.” We can obey Him and make ourselves available, but we’ll only be able to see how we were used retrospectively. We rarely know when He uses us in the lives of others. We “plant seeds” but rarely see them bloom. It’s His gift to us when we get to see the fruit of our lives and our labors. It’s His encouragement for us . . . both to remind us how much He loves us and to build our faith in Him and His work of redemption. I doubt Mary Magdalene was motivated to be “used of God” when she broke that alabaster jar and poured ridiculously valuable perfume on Jesus’ head. Acting from pure love, the disciples thought what she’d done was useless, even wasteful. But Jesus said, “She has done a good work for me.” (Mark 14:6). That’s what I’m talking about!
Love is doing for God, not because it’s useful or your duty or there’s anything in it for you, but because you love Him. If what we call love doesn’t take us beyond ourselves, it is not really love. God wants us to give Him things that are valuable . . . things like our hearts, our desires, our future hopes and dreams, our personalities, our souls. He’ll take those things and make them useful as He chooses and when He chooses. We’ll discover how He used us after the fact, maybe even after this life is over.
A lot of us think we have to be “holy” for God to use us. Not true. To be surrendered to God is even more valuable to Him than our personal holiness. Personal holiness leads us to focus on ourselves while surrender leads us to focus on Him. Once we are totally surrendered to God, He will work through us all the time.