Being God-centered; June 16, 2017


2 Samuel 5:12 And David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.

Time and again throughout the Bible we see that God doesn’t do things just for some limited purpose, but as part of His overall plan that touches all humanity. We talk about “unintended consequences,” because they happen with us all the time, but such are impossible with God. David realized that God had exalted him to the kingship and given him victory after victory not just for his sake, but for the sake of the nation. We almost certainly aren’t as central to God’s plan as David was, but we too would do well to realize that what God plans for us isn’t just about us. Each one of us interacts with multiple people every day, and God loves them just as much as He does us – and that’s certainly a lot! We need to realize that what happens to us may be even more about other people than it is about us. That in no way diminishes our value before God. He, and He alone, is big enough to love each one of us as much as if we were the only person alive, while at the same time loving each other person with the same intensity. We can’t wrap our minds around that very well! We need to delight in God’s amazing grace and all-encompassing love for us individually, but at the same time realize that we are no more important than the next person. That is the perfect antidote for being self-centered, but we have a lot of time swallowing it. We tend to see God as though He were as we are, with all our limitations. The thing is, He’s not. He’s infinite, not to mention omnipotent and omniscient. The better we can grasp that, the more peace and joy we have in our own personal sphere of existence, because we know we are part of His perfect plan.

This of course applies to me as much as it does to anyone else. I had the advantage of growing up in a home where people who are literally in the history books would come and spend the night, and I learned at a young age that such people are just as human as I was. That should have made me totally egalitarian, but sad to say, it had more the effect of convincing me I was special. The irony is, I was and am special, but everyone is special in God’s eyes. I am to rejoice that God chooses to use me at times, and rest in the magnificence of His love for me, but realize that His love and grace for me aren’t just for me, but for those I touch as well. As a pastor I am constantly confronted with the problems people generate by being self-centered. I cannot look down on them, because I have the same tendency myself. I am to seek always to be Christ-centered, because only then will I see myself and others the way God does, and receive and rejoice in all that He wants to pour out through me for the blessing of many – not just me – and for His glory.

Father, thank You for this reminder. It’s interesting how often I am frustrated at how self-centered other people are, without realizing how much I operate that way myself. Help me rest, relax, and rejoice in You, just as You have told me, so that I may escape all the traps of the enemy and allow You to draw many into Your family through me, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

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About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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