One of my daughters has a serious servant’s heart. She seeks out the downtrodden and knows how to love them like no one else I know. In high school she organized an outreach and donation drive for the homeless and then walked the streets delivering the donated items. After high school she spent a few months in Uganda being Christ’s hands and feet to people living in prisons, slums, and other needy situations.
When she comes home from each of her adventures she is overflowing with the joy of seeing God at work through the experience. She loves the genuineness of people that find themselves without much to fall back on. She often walks away feeling she received more than she gave away. Her unconditional love is always a challenge to me.
Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land,Zephaniah 2:3 ESV
who do his just commands;
seek righteousness; seek humility;
. . . but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.2 Corinthians 8:5b ESV
When people are humbled (whether voluntarily or by force), they come to a place of realizing their need. There is no faking it any more. They can’t pretend to be okay. They don’t have resources to help them keep up a polished facade. Sometimes these desperate situations lack physical resources and sometimes they are emotionally barren places, or both.
We don’t have to be pushed to such challenging places to come to God in humility, and not all those that live in humble circumstances have humble hearts. But, seeking God, seeking righteousness, and seeking humility are all wrapped up together.
As the Corinthian church sought to give out of their poverty, they first surrendered themselves to God, and then watched as He did amazing works through them. That first step cannot be skipped though. Sometimes I rush headlong into plans that looked good, or giving that gave me some emotional kickback, instead of first surrendering my plans to God and His leading in it.
Sometimes I hear about needs that are so overwhelming, and yet I want to be wise in responding. I need to remember to seek God first, and then proceed in partnership with Him, according to his design.
I will punish the menZephaniah 1:12 ESV
who are complacent,
those who say in their hearts,
‘The Lord will not do good,
nor will he do ill.’
However, sometimes I miss the call to serve others all together. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my everyday life and full calendar that I become neutral about God’s work around me. I don’t really see what He is doing, don’t really see the needs that I could meet, and I just float through life checking off the next item on my schedule and calling it a day. God says he will punish complacency. I might feel neutral or ambivalent, but complacency is not. Satan loves it, God hates it.
The Lord your God is in your midst,Zephaniah 3:17 ESV
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
Father God, You are anything but complacent. No one could accurately describe You as lukewarm or wishy-washy. May I never be those either. You are mighty, powerful. You rejoice. You love. You sing loudly. Thank you for that picture of your emotion. I sometimes picture You sitting stoically on a throne receiving all the glory and honor and praise You are due. But, you are also that loving Father that scoops me up, calms my racing heart, sings with joy over me, and is mighty to save me. I love you, my everlasting Father. In Jesus name, amen.