Be Still Know
Psalm 44:6,8 NLT
I do not trust in my bow…O God, we give glory to you all day long and constantly praise your name.
I appreciate affirmation. When younger I think I probably required affirmation to function. Somewhat like our first dog, a golden retriever, I would wander around bright-eyed seeking the attention of people to secure a pat on the head and some affirming words. The danger is this can create a completely unrealistic view out onto the world. I have not been created for affirmation; I have been created to deploy my gifts in the service of God.
Liked or disliked makes little difference. Again this default nature transferred into my Christian life. I loved running around serving God and doing ‘good’ things regardless of the sacrifice involved, in the expectation that God would affirm me. And God did, as one might any youngster starting out and self-evidently seeking to do a good job and prove their reliability. Yet, I also had an unspoken aspect to this service/affirmation behaviour. It was simply that ‘nothing bad can happen to me if I am so faithfully following my God’.
Here was a fault line that I had to trip over. Such an attitude reduced faith to a transaction. ‘I do right and God keeps me safe from harm’ – but this isn’t how it goes. God’s invitation is that I become a slave and that I live out a God-filled life, thereby revealing the nature and character of the God I worship. Perhaps this is best illustrated in the story of Job; bad things happen to God’s good people. Each one of us who chooses to follow Jesus is actually declaring that we volunteer to become a conduit for the grace and love of God to find expression on the face of the earth. Sometimes this is best achieved through what we regard as tragic circumstances.
It is relatively easy to sing songs of celebration when life is going well. Yet, the acid test of our faith comes when we are invited to sing songs of celebration in a foreign land.
QUESTION: To what extent is your friendship with God ‘transactional’ in nature?
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, whatever happens in my life, help me to love, honour and serve you.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright C 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc, Wheaton, Illinois 60189 USA. All rights reserved.