We are beginning a new series in our small group about offense, and how Satan uses offense to deceive the believer. I was offended recently by my church. What I didn't realize is that it was my pride that caused me to be offended, not the actions of anyone at my church. That pride was causing me to be useless to God.
God actually dealt with me about this back in the fall before I ever started this series, but during the first week of the series I was able to see, in hind-sight, what God had been doing. Back in the fall, God really convicted me that I needed to stop worrying about what I wasn't being asked to do, and start saying yes to what I was asked to do, then do it to the best of my ability. I started to realize that God would give me the opportunities to serve Him, and I didn't have to go looking for them or be offended that I wasn't being asked to do certain things. I complained to God for over a year about how I wasn't being used to the best of my ability. It wasn't until I stopped complaining, and started doing, that I was most effectively used by God.
Satan had me deceived that my motives were pure, but the fruit of my life should have told me otherwise. If my motives were pure, then I would have seen results. Instead, I was in a spiritual stalemate, battling an enemy that was not my church at all, but pride. I was reading in II Peter 1:3-11 last night, and God revealed to me why I have been so much more at peace about knowing that I am operating in my calling, and why I was so spiritually ineffective and unproductive before. I was focusing on the reward or recognition for the calling itself. After I stopped being so prideful and began listening to what God was leading me to do, I was able to focus on the right things, which I discussed briefly in my previous posts.
God has given me everything I need to accomplish His will in my life through the divine power of the knowledge of Him. I am able to escape corruption when I focus on God and not myself. For the first time in my life, I am realizing exactly how to get where God wants me to go and finding peace in the knowledge that God has it all figured out. God is very clear about how to make my calling and election sure; I am called to "make every effort to add to my faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love."
I hope this will help any of you who, like me, have struggled with being in God's will and fulfilling His calling. Be encouraged that, "the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (James 1:3-4)
Thank you for the opportunity to know You more and to serve Your kingdom. Forgive me for allowing Satan to deceive me and be ineffective and unproductive in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Forgive me for being nearsighted and blind, forgetting that I have been cleansed from my past sins. Help me to possess Your qualities in increasing measure, so that I can glorify you, Father. I submit my life to you to be refined in the fire. Make me the purest gold, pliable and unresistant to Your Word.
In Jesus' name,