Too little listening and too much activity has the been the cause of burn out for several believers. That is not what it means to follow Jesus. You cannot equate being busy doing things in itself to doing the work of the Kingdom. In many instances, they are nothing more than dead works. “What do you mean, I did it for the Lord.” Perhaps, but then, perhaps not. This is not intended to question anyone’s intentions; rather, its purpose is to bring clarity. It is one thing to do a good thing; it’s another to do the right thing. We can do what is right in our own eyes and in our own strength, but that is not following Jesus. We can also get quite busy by not saying “no” to others when we should. Sometimes doing the right thing is not convenient on more than one level. There is the answer to the call for help at an inconvenient time, or to some unpleasant task, which actually would be the right thing to do. At the same time, something that is inconvenient does not necessarily qualify it to be the right thing. There is only One Savior Who can help everyone at one time –all the time. None of us are Him; nevertheless, as we listen to Him, we can be Jesus to whom He sends us. It is not always convenient to say “no” when we should. This is especially true for people-pleasers. It’s not a bad thing at all, if someone is blessed or even be pleased by what we do; but, if we fail to do things as unto the Lord, we are not doing things for Him either. Galatians 1:10For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. This is not some general call to say “no,” unless it is. Meaning, this very blog may be designed to get someone’s attention. You cannot keep going on as you are, and expect to thrive in the Lord!
Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” (Matthew16:24). We deny ourselves by not inserting ourselves into situations as if we are in charge. We deny our emotions the right to dictate our actions. We also quit denying God’s affirmation by constantly seeking affirmation from others. When another person’s opinion or affirmation has greater value to you than God’s, you make him or her your god. If you rely on man’s approval, you will be easily manipulated. You’ll find yourself doing things you shouldn’t be doing. That is unhealthy, and it is not stewarding yourself well. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit Who is in you, Whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body. Performances to gain acceptance are not “works of faith.” Likewise, if you have to perform to gain someone’s approval, you’re being manipulated. You’re not doing something out of love when you’re trying to gain love; you’re doing it for yourself. On a side note: master-manipulators recognize these things, and take full advantage.
1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. Kingdom work is a partnership with God, based on a loving relationship. Jesus did what He saw His Father doing, and spoke what He heard Him say. There comes a point in our walk when we must be still and know He is God. We operate from a position of rest, which includes ceasing from our own works. Hebrews 4:10For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His (“ceased from his own works, as God did from His -KJV). If you listen and obey, if you go along with His promptings, you’ll be amazed how much you will see accomplished. It all begins with listening. If you act before listening, you’re not walking by faith. If you try to get ahead of God, your timing will be off. In fact, it would be possible to delay your God-given destiny by not listening, and moving ahead on your own. The center of His will is found by listening and waiting on Him. Get still before Him!