When I think of the word permission, I think about allowing someone to do something. This is with the implication that they can’t just do whatever they want unless I say so. I want you all to think about the word authority. What does it mean to you? My iPhone defined it as the power to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience. There are many authoritative figures in our lives. Our first contact involves our immediate familial system. This could be our parents or whoever helps raise us. At some point, they establish rules and expectations to help you stay safe and ensure that things run smoothly. Although we may not always respect these authority figures, for the most part, they have our best interests at heart.
So what does this have to do with God? Well, he’s the ultimate authority figure in our lives. He’s the one who created us. A lot of times, we can take God for granted. We can get so high on ourselves and our capabilities that we forget who blessed us with what we’re able to do.
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30 (KJV)
We must remember that it is not about us. God deserves the victory in all things. This doesn’t mean that we can’t celebrate victories or blessings, but we must remember who all the honor goes to. In my last blog post, I spoke about how God has many promises laid out for us in the bible. He wants to bless us, but he also looks at our hearts to determine if we deserve the things we ask for. One thing we can keep in mind is that if what we want will glorify God, then we can have it!
“You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.” John 14:13 (NLT)
I mean think about it. Why do we praise God? Well, first of all, because the bible tells us to. But not just that. We give God praise simply for who he is! Praise shouldn’t be artificial, meaning you’re just doing it because that’s what you were taught. We need to establish a personal relationship with God. We always come to God saying, “Give, give, give,” yet we fail to acknowledge him for even the simple things he does for us. God wants to bless us with things, but who or what will it glorify if we were to receive it? People who have the least reason to praise God praise him the most, but in turn, those who have more than enough fail to do so. What’s wrong with our mindsets?
People will die for what we have; our liberty to serve and praise God, to have a variety of means to dive into his word. But we take it for granted. We need to ask ourselves some tough questions, one of which being, “How valuable is our salvation?” Perceptions need to change and vanity needs to go out of the window. Some of us don’t allow God to use us in the ministries we serve in. Some people glorify themselves and their abilities instead of God. Remember, God said in Exodus that he was a jealous God. So why should we withhold praise from him? We need to stop giving God permission and give him authority instead. He isn’t going to force anything on us because he is the perfect gentleman. But once we give him complete authority over our lives, we will begin to see major changes and see long awaited prayers begin to get answered.
He’s been better to us than we’ve been to ourselves, saving us from dangers known and unknown. He has angels constantly protecting us from things we can’t even see in the spiritual world. And when we do go through trials and tribulations, it’s relatively minor to what we could have experienced had God sent his angels away. I think that some of us truly need to have an encounter with God to open up our eyes. We are not greater than God. In fact scripture states the following:
“Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 (KJV)
If you are only seeking to meet your own values, then you are not of kingdom value. When the rapture occurs, why would God want individuals in heaven who only care about themselves? It just doesn’t make sense. Some people may say that they can’t hear God, but he listens to people who are committed to him. Commitment shows God that we won’t leave him. He promises to never leave us and we shouldn’t want him to. A life without God is not a life at all. When we ask God for things, it should be requests attached with commitment. If you’re praying for a new car, use that blessing to bring more people to church. You want a financial increase? Use some of that to help the family in your church that’s struggling.
But we can’t expect to receive anything from God without worshiping him. More importantly, it needs to be authentic worship. We shouldn’t make it about ourselves trying to put on a show for the world to see. That will ruin our witness to others and cause them to think of us as hypocrites. When we have a foundation of holiness in our hearts, we possess great power. Holiness is about the kingdom and it serves as our ambassadorship here on earth. As Christians, we are ambassadors for God. Our purpose should be to advance in the kingdom. To do so, we need to recognize our purpose.
No matter what our individual callings may be, we are all capable of helping others. In Luke 10:30-35, Jesus talks about a man got robbed and beaten and was left for dead. There were three people who passed him by, but only one of the three, a Samaritan, actually helped him. He bound the man’s wounds and even paid for him to stay at an inn. How many people can say that they would do the same thing? Last week, our state of Michigan received some unseasonably cold weather that had real temp feels of -35 degrees. On Facebook, I read stories about how the homeless were being found frozen to death and how many couldn’t find shelter. It broke my heart to read about these stories seeing as how I was shivering in my own home with the heat on 75! But one thing that brightened my day is reading about a woman who rented out hotel rooms for the homeless so they could survive the freezing cold. This is what Christianity is all about. Having compassion for others and promoting their well being. I’m sure this young woman did this with a good heart and not just to be featured on a news article. We must become selfless if we are to reach souls and bring them to Christ. It may require some sacrifice and grit, but at the end of the day remember, it’s not about us! Thanks for reading. Until next time!!