“As Christian workers, worldliness is not the trap which most endangers us; nor is it sin. The trap we fall into is extravagantly desiring spiritual success. Never seek after anything other than the approval of God.”
You can have those moments where you are waltzing around life then you oh my the Holy Spirit hits you with such honest conviction. Like now. Or I suppose, first, that moment around 8:30 this morning where this quote leapt out of an email from my mentor, former teacher and outreach leader. Tucked in a quiet corner of my computer lab at school, I had indulged myself in hearing from home before starting my meta-reflection. So, the Holy Spirit doesn’t need any particular environment to speak. He just needs a willing ear. Or, in the case of reading emails, a receptive eye. Oh how He loves me. How He loves me enough not to leave me where I’m at, but still continues to show me His word.
Yet… He loves me now. Even when I think I have so far to go, He loves me right here. Uniquely, specifically, specially. Ideally, I want to love Him like that, too. But when my craving for belonging gets lopsided into thriving on the praise of man? That’s not right. I was made to live for an audience of one. Not many, nor even none. Just one. Jesus. Therefore, seeking approval is not a syndrome but in fact a desire only to be fulfilled in Him.
Ask Jesus the question, “How do YOU feel about me?” after you have been encouraged or put down. That changes everything. What I have found is that He clarifies the words, disbands the lies, and beautifies what needs to be beautified in my own heart. There’s the ugly, yes, but there’s also the wonderful. He sees that when I don’t.
But in saying that, how faithful is God.
He has saved me, and even when I’m tip-tap-typing on my Macbook Air with my head tipped to the right in concentrated thought with this concerned, tired look on my face (I know because I’m in front of my Post-it Note-covered mirror)… He still wants me and loves me just the same. THAT’S CRAZY. I LOVE HIM!!!
Jolt the brakes on for that one moment and give yourself a break. Keep going, then keep on loving. I tell this to myself. Gaze at Jesus. When your eyes are on the right thing, your heart will follow. You “behold what you become”. Keep going after Him. He loves you. That’s about it.