I cannot tell you the number of times I've heard this or similar phrases.
"Give God your best." "Do all things with excellence" "Let's be professional"
This myth of somehow God wants your best. So what do people do they either don't give God their best, or say forget and don't give God anything at all.
God doesn't want your best. He already owns everything. He wants us to be good stewards of what we have and manage it well sure. God has got everything. What God wants isn't the best, He wants YOU!
Sometimes I think we focus too much on the show. Best style of music, best dress, best musicians, best speakers, websites. We spare no expense.
Problem is that God sees through all that. They are all tools, just tools. Even our buildings are just tools to the ultimate goal changed lives to love God and love others.
I've been through the mistake of this. Do all things with excellence. Fact was one of my past ministries Mission statement had that in their mission.
The issue then becomes taking it too far. Balance. The thing is we are indivine, not the Divine. We tend to put God in this little box. We package ministry. Excellentify it. Thus we can depend on our own ability rather than God's availability.
Thus we get into the whole debates of Dress. (Should one wear their "Sunday best" or not?)
We get into debates of styles of Worship (Actually music and who is to say what Music is best - God is the creator of all music and thus all music whether just sound, vocal, instrumental or not or a certain style can glorify Him) And even with styles of music - the lost don't know the variety of styles of music of Christians. We say contemporary but is that Christian hip-hop, rock, pop, country, (Trust me the Christian Music Industry
a near billion dollar entreprise
Worship should be an attitude. Giving our best to God is up to you. Personally, there are times I don't give my best. I want to see the best done, but it isn't always the best. Could we do better? Sure. But if we get so caught up in excellence ...we miss the point. What did Jesus see in the 12? how about the woman caught in adultery? Even with the story of the King David - God looks at the heart. How about Paul? How about Jesus' last words on earth? to Go and make disciples. Jesus didn't say bring me your best disciples, or Go and do your best ... He said: "Go and make disciples."
Jesus doesn't want a "Hit me with your best shot." Sometimes we have to let God use us. Use us and recognize that God's ability is beyond our own capability.
Otherwise, if we depend on doing our best; doing it depending on our own skills and abilities - it would lessen what God is able to do even moreso.
I've been amazed at services and times when I felt that sermon didn't go well, or that didn't go off as planned that God used it.
Some questions to consider:
How is God using you?
Are you putting on a show, or are you focusing on the audience of ONE?
Should we give God our best?
How about coming to Christ, does one NEED to be sinless and be the BEST to come to Him?
Why is it that God seemed to use the Misfits of this World to change it? Those whose lives were messy?
(Noah, Moses, David, Paul)
What is it about our own messy lives?
Do you think we like to put on a mask to be the best?
use to say "To be the man, you gotta beat the man." Seems God is saying to be the man or woman of God, I've already got you beat. I've given my Son for you. I just NEED you to follow Him.
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