In yesterday's My Utmost for His Highest devotional, Oswald Chambers wrote about putting "everything in your life upon God, going out to sea on the great swelling of His purpose." He warned us about spiritual sluggishness, and called us to examine points in our lives where we have started to "lose interest spiritually."
If we see we lack energy in some areas of our lives, O.C. says there may be some moment or "point" in our spiritual walk where we "did not do something" we knew we should do. He also says that when we obey, we learn more about the ways of our Lord, and when we refuse we end up losing insight and discernment.
O.C. writes this in harmony with what Jesus teaches in John 13 where Jesus, led by the Holy Spirit, does something he did not need to do: He washed his disciples' feet--and then says "I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you." There is joy in this going above and beyond what others expect! Once we've experienced it we want more.
There is a danger, however, in getting to addicted to the positive feelings we get when we serve, or when we leap out to do new things. We can, out of zeal, do things we're not called to do.
The counterfeit of obedience is a state of mind in which you create your own opportunities to sacrifice yourself, and your zeal and enthusiasm are mistaken for discernment. It is easier to sacrifice yourself than to fulfill your spiritual destiny, which is stated in Romans 12:1-2. It is much better to fulfill the purpose of God in your life by discerning His will than it is to perform great acts of self-sacrifice. “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice…” (1 Samuel 15:22).Today, as I leapt out to do a good deed, I think it went okay, but because there were some things that could have gone better** I'm pausing to consider if, in the future, instead of just doing what someone (like the dispatchers) give me the option to do, just because I like adventure, it might be better to pause a bit and check: Is it just adrenaline that's pushing me out? That's not a good reason to leap.
This is a small example. There are much more serious decisions we can make just because we think we "should" or because we think it would be fun. It's best when we pause and ask the Lord: Is this truly what you desire in my life, now.
* Yesterday, June 8, marked one year since I began training with Metro Transit.
** It went okay this morning on this completely new route, but I can see how it might have been otherwise. I rushed out without carefully examining the route details, so I didn't know about where a park and ride was, and didn't know about a construction detour. Thank God for passengers who let me know which way to go!