Posted by: piersdy | April 8, 2013

Extra is Required

DoMoreFasterHave you ever felt that being a Christian amounts to feeling that you should always be doing more?

The nature of teaching is to stir you to action in some way, such as personal witness, service or prayer.
This means that at any one time there is a short-list of things that you should be doing to be up to the mark.
On top of that, the things that you are persuaded to try and do are often things that you do not feel confident about.

So you carry a nagging sense that extra is required of you which you do not feel equipped for.

Of course faith and God’s grace and the Holy Spirit’s help all enable us to do what we could not do otherwise, so maybe there is no limit to what we can add to our repertoire. We can always do extra…?

I was dutifully out for evangelism on Friday night. I met some homeless guys and enjoyed talking to them and praying with them. A brother said to me ‘You’re anointed in that’. I said ‘I’ve worked with them for ten years so it comes naturally’.
In fact in that time I have been stretched, stressed, worn out, burnt out, inspired, encouraged and eventually felt very comfortable with that involvement; faith has grown, and confidence and scope to bring God to people. Plus I always wanted to do that. So there are ways into ‘more’, in God’s training.

On three Sunday mornings recently I have taken a seat and then a new visitor has sat next to me and I have enjoyed welcoming them and talking to them. I can do that, and it seemed that God put them there. No sweat.

The net of all that is to say that for most of the time we are already doing what we are supposed to do and God uses us there. We should (must, ought to, need to – all that stuff) exercise faith to be used by God in our normal course of life to bless others, along the line of what we are confident in. But think twice about trying to take on something extra.

Sometimes we experience changes – job, home, etc, that take us into new areas and require some kind of extra, and that stretches us even to breaking point. If the change was right we can grow through this into new confidence and greater capacity; fair enough.

Often too, we realise that we have slipped back from, or are resisting obedience in, something God has already given us – hence the need for exhortation. A lot of the new testament is about realising who we are, and correcting errors or backsliding. The exhortations are often to be wholehearted in what we are already doing – ‘love and good works’ – and not much about ‘you ought to be doing something extra’.

So I don’t think we are meant to be always burdened with a sense of obligation to try and do something extra on top of what we are already engaged in.  Correct me if I’m wrong.

Just be alive in what you are.

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