As part of an online study, I was asked to reflect on Deuteronomy 6:5~~ And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. (NLT) Guess what I was reminded of? This is a command. The word must makes it a command. Ummm….ouch. I have failed. A LOT! Thank God for grace. So why don’t I follow this command? What is holding me back? Why have I not been willing? Why am I so selfish?
- Excuses~~ It is too hard. It may hurt. Not enough time. I need to put my family first (doesn’t that sound good)?
- I want to fit in~~ I hate it when someone doesn’t like me or I feel left out. (I really need to get over this and gain self-confidence).
- Fear~~ Does God really want me to do this? Am I hearing this right or is it my selfish desires telling me to act upon something?
- Someone else can do it better. (Again with the self-confidence).
- I don’t want to~~ I want to do something else. I only have this one life, and I want to be selfish with my time.
- I don’t have what it takes. My lack of faith wins with this argument. I am saying I don’t believe He will give me energy, knowledge, etc. to do what He has called me to do.
What have I missed by only going halfway and not completely serving Him? Have I not grown/matured as much as I could? How many times have I said no instead of yes that I have not allowed His light to shine and allowed Him to be seen? How often have I not let God do what is best for me because I only serve Him half-heartedly? How many people have I not served because I was disobedient by not following His command in Deuteronomy 6:5? What are those numbers? Do I really want to know? Have I missed more blessings?
So how can I serve God with all my heart? What do I need to do? One area is in my relationships. I need to forgive. I need to be a better listener. I need to not judge. I need to not expect perfection. Accept that there will be hurt from me and done to me. Don’t hold a grudge. Love more. This can be part of how I serve Him~~ by loving others with a desire to show Jesus.
What is holding me back? Fear. Fear of unknown. Fear of not hearing Him. Fear of messing up. Fear of consequences. Fear of others. Fear of not knowing if I am doing it the right way/His way. Sometimes, it doesn’t happen the way I thought it would/take a different route, but it does happen the way it needs to if I let God do the driving.
I need to read the Bible less and STUDY it more. There is a difference. I need to take it in. Think about His words and what He is saying. There is no way I have what it takes, but I do have God and He promises to give me what I need. Elijah is proof of that in 1 Kings 17. Hebrews 13:21 also says it:
may He equip you with all you need
for doing His will.
May He produce in you,
through the power of Jesus Christ,
every good thing that is pleasing to Him.
All glory to Him forever and ever! Amen. (NLT)
I need to make it about HIM and not about ME.