I admire missionaries. My heart yearns to serve in ministry, whether it is blogging or serving others around me or whatever else God has in store. Perhaps that is why I enjoy the Voices of the Faithful devotional books, created by Beth Moore and compiled by Kim P. Davis. Each day a story is shared by a missionary of how God is teaching them and using them. Emily and I start our school days reading one together, right after prayer time.
A few mornings ago, I read one that really resonated with me.
It was entitled Finding joy in God Himself and written by “J.W., Central Asian Peoples”. The verse for that day was as follows:
“Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; let those who love Your salvation continually say, ‘God is great!'” ~ Psalm 70:4 (HCSB)
This missionary and family had been kicked out of and banned from the country they had been serving in. In desperation, he had been pursuing God’s guidance above all else. “In every verse I read, I sought to discover God’s will for my family.”
That sounds a lot like me sometimes, praying for and seeking God’s will- what do you want me to do, Lord? And there is nothing wrong with that.
J.W. writes: “The Psalmist, however, did not say, ‘Let all who seek Your will rejoice and be glad in Your guidance‘. He said, ‘Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You‘. My problem was that I was seeking and pursuing the wrong thing.
“God’s guidance is good and necessary for all who follow Christ. Yet it is much less important than seeking God Himself. I was missing out on who God is because I mainly was interested in getting an answer from Him. The joy the Psalmist speaks of is not found in getting what I want from God, but in God Himself. When I began to shift my focus to knowing and pursuing Him, I experienced peace, joy, and contentment in the situation. In the end, I did receive the direction I originally sought, but it was a blessed by-product of enjoying God.”
How many times have we prayed for and sought after God’s will, instead of seeking after God Himself, which is what our main focus should be?
I realized that if I would seek to draw closer and know God better, that He would reveal not only more of Himself but also His very nature, His character, and His plans for me. As we grow closer to God, we naturally want to be more like Him and obey Him, which is a part of His plan for us. With any relationship, the more time you spend with someone, the more you learn about what that person is like, and what pleases them.
“‘Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.'” ~ Psalm 46:10 (KJV)
I am hoping to worry less about God’s plan for my life and more about getting to know Him better! 🙂
*Note: the book I quoted from (page 43) is entitled Voices of the Faithful Book 2 and is published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson; copyright 2009, International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. ISBN-13: 978-0-8499-2071-4