Get To Not Got To
God's will for me is _____________ not _______________ .
Think back to the times in your life when you have been eager. Anticipation + can't wait + excited + happy all mixed together. Don't you just hate the got to's of life. But we love those get to's! God's will for you and me is that we live our lives with a "get to" attitude.
#1 - I am eager to ______________ .
We live in an amazing world of God's creation. When was the last time you just stopped to wonder?
"All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." John 1:3 KJV
You can look at any creature and be amazed at God's creativity. I knew a Giraffe was tall (18 ft.) but did you know it can run 34 mph and sleeps only 30 minutes a day? Closer to home - why do squirrels have such long busy tails? Counterbalance. Coat when rains. Flicks when danger.Why do catfish have whiskers? Barbels - tiny taste buds + sense of smell. Can't see in muddy water.
Just gotta stop and say:
"Blessed be the Lord God Who alone works wonders. / Let heaven celebrate! Let the earth rejoice!" Psalm 72:18 NAS / Psalm 96:11 CEB
Some of us have a harder time at this than others. I don't tend to notice things outside my own head. So I need help to remind myself. Breathe app - for me is a "wonder" and "pray" app.
#2 - I am eager to ________________ .
God gave us giant brains not only so that we could wonder, but also learn and apply knowledge - wisdom!
Solomon: "Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people." 2 Chronicles 1:10 NIV
God is pleased when we are eager to learn.
Students - you have just a few weeks before school. What will be your attitude when you go back? Eagerness or compulsion? You may say I don't need to learn all that stuff or it's just not the things I want to learn. You don't know yet what you don't know! Keep an open mind to things you're being taught.
Older folks (out of school), have you stopped learning? You shouldn't. You should always be looking for the next thing that God could teach you. WISE!!!
"Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning." Proverbs 9:9 ESV
Wise people look for application. Here's how I could use that. Here's how I could profit from that. Notice how the Scriptures connect learning to righteousness. It is right to always be learning. There is an opposite application that we use for toddlers who misbehave - he was ignorant, he just didn't know any better. The truth is this could also be said for many adults! Don't live your life in ignorance! Be eager to wonder and to learn!
#3 - I am eager to ________________ .
For some of us, change is a frightening word. We don't know what change will bring. Will be different. But for Christians, change should be a way of life!
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
Stop and think about this - the old can't pass away and the new creation come without change!!! In fact if you say you are a Christian and yet your new life in Christ appears to be exactly the same as your old life without Christ - no change - then something is wrong. We should be eager for change, eager to literally crucify our old patterns of living...
"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20 ESV
Can I be honest with you? I used to really struggle with this verse. Who wants to be crucified? Not me!
But then I noticed the rest of the verse - 4 "lives"! This verse is not about death as much as it is about life. What God wants for us is to really live. What he wants to crucify are those things in my life that lead to a downward spiral of death. Bad habits. Selfishness. Sick thinking.
Then I realize (from this verse) that I am not crucified alone, but with Christ. This is why HE was crucified. So that I could really live and not be stuck in death. Not just a euphemism. Not just that we are all going to die someday. Without Christ we are living a dead life already - a life of habits, thinking & attitudes that are killing us!
#4 - I am eager to ______________.
God is a giving, generous God. If we want to be like Him, we need to learn to be generous too. Not a got to!
"Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:7 ESV
This is one place where God's Word could not be any clearer to us. If we give reluctantly or under compulsion, then we've lost the attitude battle within us. What does God love? Not just any giver. He loves "cheerful!"
This is one area of attitude where it literally pays to be eager. Oh you don't give for this reason. But those who are generous with their time, their money, their very lives with others discover that what goes around comes around. Some people call it Karma. It's just the way God made it.
"Generous persons will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed." Proverbs 11:25 CEB
The more generous you are, the more you prosper yourselves so that you can be generous. The more you refresh others, the more you will be refreshed. This is where attitude matters the most. We get to, not got to!
One last area where eagerness matters...
#5 - I am eager to __________________ .
In one sense this pre-dates Christianity. Yet in another it is the very essence of it. When Jesus was asked about the most important commandment, here is what he quoted:
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." Deuteronomy 6:5 ESV
Yet if we read this like it IS a commandment, like a got to, as in you SHALL love the Lord your God or else, then we totally miss the point. The starting place for both Judaism and Christianity is NOT that we have to love the Lord but that we GET TO love the Lord our God. He is lovable. He is approachable. He loves back. No hanging "I love you's!"
In fact God created us to love Him and to be loved by Him. He created us as love receivers and love givers. We forget this or confuse this by putting another label on it - worship. But all worship really is ... is love!
When the writers of God's Word tried to describe it they included all of us - heart, soul, mind and body! Just as a deer pants... we love God!
"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God." Psalm 42:1 NIV
Cools when they're hot. Few sweat glands. Also hides their scent in streams from predators. Protection. We are protected in our God love!
Conclusion - What about you today? Is there one of these areas where God's Spirit confirms with your spirit that you could be more eager? Then work on it this month - in August. Make that your focus - an attitude of eagerness. Design your daily quiet time around this question. Have I been eager today? OR... God help me to be more eager!