And be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
I remember after my dad passed away how lonely I felt.
Prior to his death, I would sometimes imagine coming home to an empty house. No one asking me to do anything or to go anywhere. I could just go home after work and do nothing (if that’s what I wanted to do).
After his transition, I wasn’t looking for another dad, but I was constantly searching for someone or something to fill the void and the emptiness I had.
But no matter what I did or who I was with, nothing or no one could fill that void. They could not make me feel better. Sometimes I walked away feeling worse.
I was still sad and empty.
But that’s because the Holy Spirit is the Filler. He fills the void. He fills the emptiness. He fills the loneliness. He fills those areas that are broken.
I had placed such high expectations on people. I was expecting so much from people that I had stopped expecting anything from God. I wanted them to be this in my life and I wanted them to do that in my life – not realizing that they needed the same Person I needed. They couldn’t fix me and I sure couldn’t fix them.
But to all the people I hurt along the way, please forgive me for putting so much pressure on you to be who only God can be in my life.
You’ve been used long enough by the devil (through people).
Now it’s time to let God use you.
For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for HIS pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
On this past Monday, the Lord shared with me what it really means to serve at my church. Serving is more than just teaching Sunday school or singing on the praise team. Sometimes serving is sweeping the church, vacuuming the carpet, picking the trash off the floor, just to name a few.
I work with some pretty cool people on my job, but there is one young lady who started recently that is teaching me a lot about attitude and character. First of all, she was hired for one position, but right now the company needs her to work in the area that is needed the most. What I love about her is that no one has to tell her what she needs to do and she does what is asked of her. She doesn’t complain, she is very helpful and always cheerful.
One day, a patient told her that one of the public restrooms needed to be cleaned. She never turned around and said, I’m not doing it. Who wants to do it? She immediately found gloves and cleaned the mess. Yes, the new girl!
Now, I’ve been there for almost four years and if it was me, my attitude would have been, They don’t pay me enough to clean no restroom. That is not in my job description.
But that’s the wrong attitude. You see, I want God to trust me with doing the ‘big’ things, but He is not going to give me the ‘big’ things until I faithfully do the ‘little’ things. Maybe your attitude was like mine. You don’t think you should do certain things. You think you’re better than that. That’s not your job. That’s someone else’s job. But the truth is – we’re not better than anyone else. If I clean at home (without pay), then what was the problem?
To serve means to obey. It also means to be of use – not when you feel like being used, but when you are needed. Sometimes you will have to go out of your way. Sometimes it will be inconvenient for you, but convenient for others. We don’t see it this way, but when you serve, you become the answer to a problem. Isn’t that what we want to be? An answer and not the problem. People have enough of their own problems. They are looking for an answer.
One of the things managers and pastors love is when they don’t have to always tell you to do something. They like it when you don’t wait for someone else to do it, but you see what needs to be done and you do it.
Even though the Lord was dealing with me about serving at my church, we should also serve well at home, on our jobs or wherever God sends us. Our attitude should be that we are doing it for the Lord, not for people (Colossians 3:23). Serve Him with gladness. Become a cheerful giver (and not just with your money). Don’t offer Him sacrifices that are blind, sick, or broken (Malachi 1:8; Leviticus 22:22), but give Him what You want Him to give you. Give Him your best!
I was raised a certain way and there were areas of my life where I needed to be disciplined, but I wasn’t disciplined. I’m not blaming the people who helped raised me, but for most of my life I’ve been like the ones who stood idle, waiting for someone to ‘hire’ them (Matthew 20:6-7). I didn’t look for something to do (Ecclesiastes 9:10). I waited for someone to tell me what to do.
But even though I’ve been that way for a long time, you know what?
I can change.