Nothing Less than Jesus

Posted on: October 8, 2014, by :

Preparing for new things is hard.  I have always enjoyed planning for stuff, but have rarely looked at my planning in the light of spirituality.  I like planning vacations, road trips, lessons, and even trips to the grocery store.  My planning is rarely perfectly accurate, but I guess in the back of my mind, I think that if I plan my day, my efforts will be less wasted. 

Fewer strokes of the brush, a better portrait makes. 

But today I am confronted by a question that has previously escaped me, “What is my goal for every day?” 

I suppose my goal in the past has been to be efficient, or effective, or utilitarian for those who I engage.  I plan, and I work in order to do a good job.  I have always wanted my work to be of sufficient quality that my church, my family, and my friends feel that they I am a benefit to them. 

Deep down I guess I was thinking that if I make myself useful to other people, they would be less likely to discard me for a newer model. 

Interestingly enough, this kind of philosophy has not really proven itself.  Instead, the contrary is true.  I have been let go by employers, and have been rejected by friends and other acquaintances.  My desire to be indispensible is not predominantly effective, but the minority reports that suggest that people appreciate what I do have, in the past, afforded me the opportunity to wave periodical success in the face of predominant fact. 

I cannot ensure my own value. 
I cannot determine my own steps.
I cannot maintain my own universe.

Listening to a sermon this morning by Matt Chandler, I heard him make a statement that, for the purposes of his sermon was a passing comment, but in the context of my own journey with the Lord, was transformative. 

My success or failure in regards to life on earth has absolutely nothing to do with my perceived value to the people around me.  My reward for serving Jesus is that I get more of Jesus. 

If my success is rewarded by a deeper relationship with my wife, then she has become my god, and such idolatry will not be tolerated. 
If a larger salary at my job rewards my success, then the job has become my god, and such idolatry will not be tolerated. 
If my success is rewarded by an increased dependence on me by any person in my life, then that person has become my god and I have become theirs, and such idolatry will not be tolerated. 
Making plans for the future are good, and planning to do a good job is great, but if I pursue the pleasure of man, I will be consistently unsatisfied by my toil. 

I need Jesus.  Nothing less.