The past few posts I have been focusing on our salvation, which is a free gift through Jesus Christ, and our efforts as we attempt to put forth action to realize and benefit from our salvation. Through our actions, thoughts, words and deeds, our salvation can enhance our own life, and the lives of those who come in contact with us.
Here is the big question. Are our efforts acceptable and correct in the eyes of God? I am here to say that we are all in the same boat, some of us paddling with all our might. There have been many examples of questionable effort, for instance, the Inquisition, the Crusades, Jonestown, a certain compound in Waco, and perhaps even the Nazi Holocaust. These are all powerful examples of effort gone terribly wrong.
Is God asking me to move my family to Colorado Springs to start a mega church? I doubt it. Is He asking me to take my life savings and donate it to charity? Is He asking that I quit my job and minister non-stop to the homeless? These efforts all seem noble and just. But are they acceptable? How do I know what is acceptable effort?
It is a heart/mind/spirit/Christ thing. And often it is a mystery, sometimes known as the Messianic Secret. Those efforts that are bombastic, ego centered, or efforts that will take advantage of someone may not be what God has in mind. I pray to learn and know the will of God in my life.
The suggestion that I would have, if ever asked, would be to start small, and test the waters as you paddle in that boat. Before action is taken, examine whether any of the Ten Commandments will be broken. Ask whether anyone can be harmed physically, emotionally or spiritually. And then doubt, because Satan would hijack our intentions. By all means, pray for guidance. Sometimes I know in my heart that I am doing the right thing by a certain inspiration that seems to pop into my head, and fill my mind and heart. I pray that I may be a small instrument that can be useful in furthering the knowledge of Christ on earth.
One of the pastors at a church I once belonged to would always begin his sermon with the prayer, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14) I remember, and count this prayer as wisdom. The meditation of our hearts can be put into action. Have faith.