I love to write. God gave me a passion for it, and it’s something I both enjoy doing and enjoy even more so when I’m able to use it for God’s purposes. Occasionally I will be blessed with utilization, actually seeing God use my writing to the furthering of His gospel. And pride is right there on the other side of the door, waiting for me to let it in for a big congratulatory pat on the back, as if God was lucky to have me in His corner. As though God needed my mind-blowing wordsmithery to accomplish His goals. As if God needed me.
It can be easy to become zealous in our walk with God. Zeal is not bad. Passion is an integral aspect of faith, as the worst thing we could be is lukewarm. It’s when the servant’s heart begins to disappear from our service that we need to take caution. If you’re engaged in something God has brought you to, whether feeding the homeless or writing e-mails to people all over the world, and you find yourself prouder of the work than of the One working through you, remember the example we’re given in Cain.
Genesis tells us Cain brought his offering to God and it was declined. The reason isn’t specified, and isn’t important next to Cain’s reaction. Instead of setting his heart after God to understand what it was he was meant to offer, Cain chose to focus on the perceived inequity of God, convinced that his offering was exactly what God needed or deserved. This mindset was the spark that set him down the path of sin and stone-fisted fratricide.
So with us, albeit likely less overt (hopefully!). Whatever we find ourselves called to, we need to remember how God has no need for us or anything we could offer. It’s when self-righteousness begins to seep into our relationship with Him that we cease to focus on what God desires from us and instead focus on what we desire from and for God. We exchange God’s plans for ours, we exchange God’s voice for ours, and eventually we aren’t serving God at all – just a glorified self. We should never make the mistake of thinking we have something God is bettered by, something He requires of us. God can desire our inclusion in His plans, but require?
Realize that whatever plans God has He will achieve with or without us. He would much prefer that you and I join Him in the amazing, life-changing work He is doing, but if we refuse, I promise you the work will still get done one way or another.