The most amazing thing happened to me just now. It reminds me of God's awesome amazingness.
I was sitting here, thinking of a realization I had tonight. Often times, I feel like I do things that look good because... they "look good." As a Christian, I want to appear a certain way to certain people, so I do the actions while my heart is somewhere COMPLETELY different. I was disgusted with myself tonight and thought, "Taryn, you are so FAKE sometimes!" I want to be REAL... I want to be who I am in Christ and with that comes glorfying HIM through all that I do and say. And Him and ONLY Him. Not Him AND me. Just Him.
So, anyway, I was sitting here, thinking, "Yeah, it'd be cool to write about that, but I probably won't because I have absolutely NO idea where that even is in the Bible (and I was too lazy to look it up). I was at biblegateway.com, a place I visit every day to read devotions, and I did something that I have only done one other time. I typed in a random bible reference to see what verse it came up with. The last time I did it, Psalms 37:4 came up, and I have found that chapter an AWESOME comfort to me since, and it was exactly what I needed to hear at the time. Well, TONIGHT, what verse do I type in? Matthew 6:6. Without knowing what in the world that verse even was, I was amazed to read,
"But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
Now, I know that isn't EXACTLY what I was just talking about, but upon looking up chapter 6 in Matthew, here are the verses up until verse 6:
1"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
That is EXACTLY what I was looking for! God just showed me. I love it when that happens!
Often, even after I've said something wonderfully spiritual or have sung a song of praise to God, I realize that my motives were completely off. Why? Because after I said my clip of wisdom, I became proud and puffed up and inwardly patted myself on the back for being so wise. Or, after singing that song, I realized the whole time I was singing it, I was in a different world while trying to LOOK like I was a wonderful Christian who was praising Him the whole time I was singing it.
It forces me to try to figure out how to avoid this. One way is to pray BEFORE I even go to a bible study, to church, to college weekend, or wherever. It is good to pray for ministers, speakers, and coordinators. It is also good and vital to pray for an open heart, and teachable heart, and a heart with the right motives. If we prepare our mind and attitude before we go, motives can be kept in check.
Letting God use us through words of wisdom and Truth, songs of praise to Him for his glory, and acts of servanthood are amazing! It is always the challenge to keep a humble heart and in-focus motives. Upon reading the beginning of Matthew 6, it is a great reminder to remember that God is the One and only receiving the glory in our acts of service, not us.
Today, say a prayer of thanks to God, our Father, and ask Him to help you to get the focus off of yourself and onto Him and His glory.
He is amazing and will work through His word to help you and teach you!
I love you all!