I’ve had a lot to say lately about trusting that you are holy and righteous in the eyes of God. You don’t have to perform for God to be accepted by Him. He already accepts you. You can trust that, and live from it.
So what is the difference between performing for God, and acting as a representative of God’s Kingdom? When is helping the hungry, the homeless, or the enslaved a performance for God, and when is helping them the act of a holy and righteous child of God?
Being loved and accepted by God is your identity. Walk in it! His Spirit guides you to reflect His Kingdom in everything you do. Suppose you see a homeless person that needs money. You look at him, and the Spirit says, “Yes.” So you give him money. The Spirit of God, who lives within me, my encourager, counselor, and adviser, says, “I advise you, Jeremy, to give that guy money.”
Sometimes the Spirit says, “I’m advising you to not give that guy money. I know the heart of that man and I’m advising you not to do it.” Alright! So I walk by! I’ve walked by homeless guys and not given them money because I didn’t feel right about it at the time.
But my heart is always in it. I don’t walk past without giving money because I don’t want to. In the same way, I don’t give the guy money simply because I feel bad for him. Or, I don’t give him money because I’m thinking, “Oh, man, I did something bad yesterday. So I’m going to give this guy money so that I’ll feel good.” No, no. I give money when the Spirit tells me to. That’s who I am, and that’s who I want to be.
Performance is based on trying to make somebody like you. Right? We all perform at our jobs. It’s definitely true for professional athletes. An athlete’s performance pays the owners’ bills. If the fans don’t like you, they don’t come to the game. They come if they like your performance, and that’s how we get paid. So we have to perform.
That’s how we end up confusing performance with action. But there is a difference, and it lies in the heart. If I build a well for a village that needs clean water so that God will love me, He will frown on that. God looks at that and He says, “Jeremy! I love you. You are in my family! You should build a well because you come from my family, not in order to be in my family. You’re already here. The well that you want to build comes from the aroma and the environment that my Kingdom naturally provides, and you already live in that. Love, grace and mercy are a part of that and you reflect it. That’s my Kingdom.”
When you come from His Kingdom, and you see pain, you’re going to help. Jesus said, “I only do as my Father does. Forgive, because my Father forgives. Heal the sick, because my Father heals the sick. Turn water into wine, because my Father is the author of miracles, signs, and wonders. I’m going to take those who laugh and I will make their joy plentiful.”
That’s what God does!
More on this next time. See you Thursday.