Many months ago, I started on this journey to follow Christ. I don’t know if I can truly claim that I was a new believer, because I had believed in him since I was very young. I guess I can call it a re-dedication. It was and still is an attempt to find out how deep I can go and what it really means to follow this Christ that I have claimed to believe in but cannot see in the flesh. The following of Christ is indeed a foreign concept to most of us and when you don’t know something, you don’t know it. Right? Sometimes it is hard to understand, hard to comprehend, hard to fathom that which you do not know.

I indeed did not know God. I did not know Christ at the time. He knew me and he had faithfully taken me through many trials in my life, but I did not know him.

I sought him because I could see what He had done in my life. I was finally paying enough attention to see that whether I wanted to admit it or not, God is omni-present. He is always working. I sought him because I knew the way I was living wasn’t working and I thought he might hold the truth.   Like so many others, I desperately wanted peace. I wanted security. I wanted the elusive “happy” we all seek and I really didn’t understand why that seemed so hard to reach.

As I began that journey, I prayed that God would change me and bless our family and our church. I read lots of books on how God could work in my life and how I could live in accordance to his word. I trusted that my faith in him would be to everyone’s benefit, mainly my own. I went to church to feed my soul and indeed it did. I read the bible in order to figure out how to change my life. I prayed in order that I might avoid making the same mistakes I had in the past and consequently reliving some of the pain.

I think for many of us, this is the natural way we come to God. He allows us to hit some bottom or experience some pain and we realize that there is no one to help, no one with answers, no one to the rescue. And so the only possible answer is something supernatural. That hope that we laid dormant in the back of our minds, in the back of our hearts is now called to action. “If you are real God, I am coming to you, finally. Please help me.”

God can use all things for his good. And so he uses those bottoms to call us to him. And so I went. I have done many things in hopes that I might be changed and live a more Christ-like existence.

I believe all of the books I have read, all the sermons I have listened to, all the Godly advice, the classes, the prayers, all of that has indeed lead me closer to Christ.

But, it was all about me.

“God can you fix me, because I am a bit broken?”

“God, since I am doing a better job at following you, can you bless me and my family?”

“Let this church service minister to my heart, because I am in need.”

“Lead me Lord into your peace because I need some peace.”

You know, God does want me to bring my prayers to him. It’s ok to ask for blessings for my family and we certainly need to hope that our churches minister God into our souls.

But, what I have been realizing over the past few months is how selfish I am. How arrogant of me to think that I am here for God to serve me, to bless me, that it is the churches job to always serve me.

Let me say that in another way.   Am I so arrogant as to think that I deserve anything from a perfect God who created the heavens and earth, who sent His perfect son to die for me and allows me to pray to him and know him if I will just take the time and make the effort. Maybe I ought to think of it the other way.

God, what can I do for you today?

Today at church, God, may I worship you and sing praises to you and your perfection.

Lord today as I open your word, may I come to know you better.

Today at church, in my work, in the raising of my children, in all I do may my highest priority, my highest calling be to know you and to be bold enough to praise you all the time.

Seeking change from God for my benefit is selfish. That’s a little harsh, I know, but I will never forget the words of Daryl Strawberry when he spoke at our church. Somewhere towards the end of the time, he looked us all in the eye, in a way only he could do, and he said, “Hello people. Hello?   God did not save you for you.”

Why I never got it before then, I don’t know, but I realized in that moment that I should not be worshipping God in expectation of blessings to me or benefits to me. They might come. They probably will come. They likely won’t be in the way I expect them. But, instead, I need to worship God for who he is and by the pure fact that he is God.

Saying one is a servant of God, is a familiar phrase. I have heard it for years, but servant just seems yucky.

Until……until……I realized who it is I get to serve. Serving money, or success, or the pursuit of happiness is yucky. But serving THE GOD ON HIGH? Now, that is radical, an awesome privilege and the only thing worth serving.

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