God sees all. God created us and knows us intimately
Today as I read the three passages from the Bible, (I am reading through the Bible in three years) I saw this theme.
God knows us well.
What a powerfully packed lesson. I want to read it again and again.
Today, once again, I see pride as something that God detests. He mentions those who are upset with God when an answer doesn’t come to their liking. He doesn’t like them asking pridefully, “We fasted, and we humbled ourselves, and You didn’t listen or answer.”
But they also complain, ‘Why do we fast and you don’t look our way? Why do we humble ourselves and you don’t even notice?’ “Well, here’s why: “The bottom line on your ‘fast days’ is profit. You drive your employees much too hard. (Isaiah 58:3, MSG)
But God explains that their fasting was a show when in reality they were not acting in God’s way – they exploited others, they quarrelled.
Their fast was for “show”.
And when they humbled themselves they did that in a showy way by lying on sackcloth and ashes.
What does God suggest instead?
Once again it comes back to love God and love your neighbour.
so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ 31 And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.” (Mark 12:30-32, MSG)
God wants us to loose the chains of injustice, untie chords of yoke, and set oppressed free.
How can we do this?
God gives us the means.
Those are the basic needs of life. If people don’t have those we need to help.
In Matthew 6:1-6 and 16-21
We are told not to brag about doing things that we feel God wants us to do. For instance, giving is important. But not telling what we give. God knows it anyway. And we are to please Him and not try to be noticed.
The same can be said for fasting. If we fast, we do it in secret too. Secret to the world – but not to God.
And having things we don’t need – storing up stuff here on earth. Instead, we are to look for those things that please God and store up them.
I love the way the Message tells us how to do these things.
“When you practice some appetite-denying discipline to better concentrate on God, don’t make a production out of it. It might turn you into a small-time celebrity but it won’t make you a saint. If you ‘go into training’ inwardly, act normal outwardly. Shampoo and comb your hair, brush your teeth, wash your face.
God doesn’t require attention-getting devices. He won’t overlook what you are doing; he’ll reward you well.
A Life of God-Worship
“Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or – worse! – stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being. (Matthew 6:16-21, MSG) Bolding mine.
Confession. This is one spot we forget. I do too. I like the ACTS way of praying because it reminds me that confession is a part of prayer.
Supplication (praying for ourselves and others)
This Psalm has the scripture that I memorized. Make a clean heart in me, O Lord.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10, ESV)
What does God desire of me?
A broken spirit (confession)
A broken and contrite heart – seeing what God wants and not what I want.
And it talks about God knowing us – our inner beings, our secrets.
Because He made us, He knows us. Psalm 139:13-14
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13, NIV)
He wants a humble people. Not a proud people.
What did I learn?
We must see ourselves as God sees us. That means I need to remember to confess, because what I see God sees and what I do, God sees. And I know some of the things He sees in me is not to His liking.
Our hearts have to be softened. I need to think more about others.
Humility is important. So, don’t brag about anything.
And lastly, I want to help others with the basic needs of life.
What can I do?
A few practical things to start.
Go through my closet again and getting rid of clothes I do not wear.
Pray for inspiration of how to help people get their basic needs.
Confess daily those little things that God sees and I ignore.
What will you do?
I would love to hear your decisions. If we work on this together and encourage each other, without bragging, God will see us and be pleased.
May I pray for you and me?
Lord Jesus, thank You for showing us today the way we are to live. Thank You that You see and listen to us. Help us to be humbler and in tune with Your ways. Help us love our neighbours. Help us be aware of opportunities to serve others. In Your name. Amen.