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One of my favorite quotes (not for great theological content, but because I say it so often and am taught by it) is “Tell me when, tell me where, tell me how… and THEN I’ll trust you, God!”

It happens so much. Lately, with being an intern this summer and all, my biggest “AHH” topic of discussion is whether I’ve actually been serving God. I had a TON of fun this summer – I could go on about how I learned how to teach a lesson, or stole keys so my brother in Christ could play a prank on someone, or how I got sick in the middle of VBS week but God provided, or how I prayed with my big sister at 1:20 in the morning, or how I did so much in the kitchen {unintentionally} that my boss told me I was overworking {and that being the cause of my fever} and he helped me rest, or how I acted as a boy in a drama who loved X-Men and Transformers (and who wore a boy outfit with skinny jeans), or how I played guitar with my other brother Ehkaw, and eventually with the band, LITC (Light in the Community). Or how my boss gave me priceless biblical insights, how my big brother prayed for me when I was sick, feverish, stressed, and obviously not-okay, how God worked everything out for gym on a day I thought I couldn’t do it, how my big sister and I really had good times, even though we’re really different.

I had fun.

And while serving the Lord is indeed a joy, I know sacrifice has to be involved. The passage in scripture I really hung out with was 1 Corinthians 13 – a passage that teaches agape love. Self-sacrificial love. The kind of love that gives itself up. 

Even Jesus, who was the perfect example of Agape, said “For whoever desires to save his life will loose it, but whoever looses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:25) “Whoever loves his father or his mother more than Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matthew 10:37)

It kind of involves sacrifice. Jesus is God, and serving His Father involved sacrifice. Yea… so needless to say, I feel like a slacker. I hardly sacrificed anything. Yuck.

So I actually talked with my boss about this… my exact words were “Micah says there’s definitely a problem when you’re a Christian and you’re not being persecuted. So Jeff, where do I go to get persecuted?”

Jeff talked for a while with me about this. I shared every problem I’d had that summer, like “I wasn’t serving the Lord.” “I’m not living my faith enough because CLEARLY I’m not getting persecuted.”

His first words of wisdom were, “I don’t think persecution’s the kind of thing you need to seek out…if you’re serving the Lord, it will definitely come.” {Sure enough, the next week, I got a fever.} He pointed out that if my heart was serving the Lord fully, my actions probably wouldn’t change very much. Maybe not at all. It’s all about the heart! When I was talking with some teen girls {we were discussing Ecclesiastes together}, I asked “So what’s the difference between a non-Christian helping the homeless, or running an after-school program and a Christian doing all that?”

The heart!

There’s a Proverb that says for us to guard our hearts, because out of them spring the issues of life. Oh yes. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Where was my treasure this summer? Where is my treasure right now?

It’s so easy, when life goes bad, to rely on God. To confess sin, and trust Him – because clearly, in those moments, the world is fallible. But when things are going well – when we live in prosperity; have luxuries and comfort; are having fun – we love to take God’s blessings and act like we were the ones who initiated them.

But no matter what season of life we’re in, we are called to serve the Lord and lean on His strength. {Someone once said that it’s easier to lean on God in the hard times than the good; so when we have good times, it’s spiritual discipline to really lean on His strength.}

If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

-1 Peter 4:11

My ESV study Bible explains this as actually drawing on God’s strength – as in, not using our own strength, but God’s. And that kind of serving brings glory to God!!!

To somehow tie this all together, God has you and me in a specific season right now. It may be one of material prosperity; it may be material poverty. {Or maybe just being okay ;).} But wherever you are, it’s absolutely NOT by accident.

Use whatever season you’re in to bring glory to God, and God alone. Serve God; serve others with the ability God supplies… that in all things God may be glorified!

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