In John 1:35-38, two disciples started following Jesus, & Jesus asked, “What do you seek?” Honestly, what are you seeking? I’ve visited a few churches here in Edmond. They all preached completely different sermons, but God tied them together for me & really made me think about what it is that I’m seeking. Picture the thing that you want the most. Success, a relationship, friends, health, happiness, whatever. Now what if God took it away, & there was no chance you’d get it back? Would you still follow Him, or are you just following God for the rewards He brings?
Think of all the little things that can go right during your day: the weather is great, you hang out with some awesome friends, you get to eat your favorite meal, you get a really big tip at work, the traffic isn’t bad… All sorts of things, big or little. Do you take the time to thank God for those, or do we blow them off as coincidence or good luck? James 1:17 says that “every good & perfect gift is from above.” That means there are no coincidences or lucky circumstances. Romans 8:28 says that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.” God is using every detail of your life to work for the good of His plan.
It’s so tough sometimes to find a balance between being thankful for our blessings & chasing after the things of this world. Sometimes I get so excited when God chooses to bless me that I forget it was from God. I stop appreciating it & start expecting it. God chooses to bless us. CHOOSES to. He doesn’t have to; He does it because He loves us. Think of it this way: You surprise a friend by getting them a really nice gift. They love it & use it all the time but never once say thank you. Then they expect you to keep buying them more stuff. How would you feel? I know I wouldn’t appreciate it, & I probably wouldn’t get them any more gifts. Yet often God chooses to bless us no matter how ungrateful we are.
I’ve found that sometimes when I finally decide I don’t need something anymore, God will choose to give it to me. When I finally give it all up to God & realize that my desire is just something I want, not something I need, God will sometimes choose to bless me by giving it to me. However, that doesn’t mean it will happen every time. I often find myself realizing that I don’t need something, that I only need to lean on God, & then get disappointed when He still doesn’t give it to me. It’s great that I’ve discovered I don’t need it, but that doesn’t mean God will give it to me just because I made that discovery.
That makes me think of the story of Jonah. When we think of Jonah, or at least when I do, I think of him disobeying God & ending up inside a huge fish for 3 days. But if you keep reading through chapter 4, you see that Jonah eventually obeys God by going to Nineveh, then gets upset with God for not destroying the city after they turn back to God. To teach Jonah a lesson, God provides a vine to shade Jonah from the scorching heat. The next day, God provided a worm to make the vine wither away. Jonah got upset, & God asked “Is it right for you to be angry about the vine?” Jonah said it was right for him to be angry, & God answered, “You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not make it grow. It sprang up overnight. & should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than 120,000 people who cannot tell their right hand from their left - & also many animals?” Wow. That’s a reality check.
Honestly, I’ve realized that I need to get over myself. God’s main concern should not be making every aspect of my life comfortable & happy. He has so many more important things to take care of, yet He still chooses to bless me. I need to start appreciating it more & thanking Him every chance I get.