The enemy would love for you to think if you were proficient in using every gift of the Spirit, you’d be more worthy of God’s love. He’d like you to believe that if you were endowed with the intellect and academic understanding of Solomon, then you would hold more influence in God’s kingdom. The enemy’s aim is to distance you from God in whatever way he can. He will do everything in his power to draw your attention away from God’s heart. He’ll do anything he can to distance us from our Creator who loves us passionately.
Our enemy knows that If you are more interested in receiving the gifts of the Spirit than you are interested in knowing God’s heart and being transformed into His likeness, you are in grave danger of being deceived. If you seek after doctorates so you can flaunt your linguistic prowess in biblical languages to your peers, you are at risk of facing rejection and pain. If you think you’ll have an ‘in’ into an elitist clique by flashing “I pray two hours a day and fast once a week” credentials, you are setting yourself up for a significant fall. Yes, Satan knows that if our motivation for seeking after God is so we have spiritual stuff to show off to friends and others, then we are grieving God’s heart.
Think of it this way. Suppose you invited someone over to your house frequently, hoping you would hang out with them and get to know them a little better, and they could get to know you. However, it’s been an ongoing pattern that upon their arrival at your door, they only play with your toys. Your guest takes a few Instagram worthy selfies so they can prove how cool they were because you gave them carte blanche access to your stuff.
Enjoy God’s presence and give heartfelt thanks for his presents
Now, suppose that guest regularly raids your fridge to take food home yet they refuse to sit at the dinner table with you and your other guests.
Would you feel exploited? Would you feel disappointed? God wants to lavish upon us all His gifts, but He isn’t an emotionless vending machine in the sky. He wants our hearts, and above all else, He wants to make His heart known to the world.
Does this mean we are not to seek after his gifts? By no means. Bill Johnson says it best. “No one was ever discouraged, corrected, or criticised by Jesus for seeking His gifts. ‘Seek the Giver, not the gift’ is a religious idea that comes from people who fear excess more than they fear lack. If you happen to find ‘His hand’ instead of ‘His face,’ just look up. They’re not that far apart.”
It’s all about relationship. If you feel a tug at your heartstrings as you read this, don’t take that as condemnation or that the Holy Spirit is sending you on an all-expense-paid guilt trip courtesy of the Holy Spirit. God’s not chastising you, he’s wooing you. Take him up on his offer and draw near. Your creator designed you to be at your happiest when you are in fellowship with him. So, enjoy God’s presence and give heartfelt thanks for his presents.
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All Bible verses attributed to the ESV version unless otherwise indicated.
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Until Next Week,
©2020 Katherine Walden