by Edie Melson @EdieMelson
You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it; You are not pleased with a burnt offering. Psalm 51:16 HCSB
I don’t know about you, but I’m a doer. No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to help myself. And while I have made some improvement over the years, unless I’m really focused, I’m going to judge my day, my progress, even my worth, on the things I’ve accomplished.
I know in my head that a check mark by everything on my to-do list isn’t synonymous for how good I am. Unfortunately, I just can’t seem to get the default setting for my feelings to switch over to this way of thinking. Some days this unhealthy outlook permeates every part of my life, especially spiritually. That’s when I fall into the trap of believing I can win God’s favor by doing more.
And that’s when I know it’s time to refocus my life.
Being a Christ-follower has its emphasis on the state of being verb, rather than an action verb. Yes, we are supposed to put feet to our calling and our purpose, but God has always been more interested in the process rather than the product.
David wrote the above verse in contrition for his sin, a pouring out His shame and love for God. He knew from his predecessor Saul that actions like sacrificing were meaningless without heart behind them. After being caught in sin, Saul had attempted to make things right with God by making a sacrifice. But it would have been a superficial effort, avoiding the fact that what God really wanted was his heart. He was all about the relationship. As God told Isaiah: “[These] people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote” (Isaiah 29:13 NASB).
I must remember—especially on those frantic doing days—that God is relational, not task- oriented. Whatever needs doing, He can do. He uses us to accomplish His will not to keep us busy or because He Himself doesn’t have the time. He allows us to join Him where He’s working because of the relationship.
God wants to spend time with me. He wants me to be so familiar with His voice that I can instantly hear and respond when He calls my name. But when I fill my life with things I feel I have to do to win His favor, my focus drifts. Then things and tasks capture my attention and draw me away from the relationship.
So daily I’m evaluating my focus and readjusting my life accordingly. I’m looking at the person of God and making concrete plans to spend more time with Him, instead of for Him. Care to join me?
About the author: Find your voice, live your story…is the foundation of Edie Melson’s message, whether she’s addressing parents, military families, readers of fiction, or writers. As an author, blogger, and speaker, she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her latest book, Soul Care When You’re Weary, is available at local retailers and online. Connect with her further at www.EdieMelson.comand on Facebook and Twitter.
Join the conversation: Do you struggle in finding significance outside of your accomplishments?