What do I still lack?

“The young man said to Him (Jesus), “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?”” Matthew 19:20

Jesus is talking with a young, rich man who had come up to Him during one of his teachings in Judea. Jesus had been tested by the Pharisees and His own disciples on what the Scriptures say about divorce. Children were brought to Jesus so that they could get to know Him and the disciples tried to stop the people from bringing them to Jesus. Jesus laid His hand on them and blessed them. This young, rich man was watching from afar, then approached Jesus and asked, “Teacher, What good deed must I do to have eternal life?”

Jesus reminded him that only One person is good and that in order to have eternal life the young, rich man must keep all the commandments. When the man said he had kept these from birth, Jesus told him to go and sell all his earthly possessions and give to the poor. The young, rich man turned and walked away.

This morning as I was doing my devotions, God spoke to me about why I write my blogs. He led me through Scripture like the one above. You see, the young, rich man story is not just of how hard it is to get rid of your possessions to follow Jesus, it is a story of why we do the things for Christ that we do. The man had studied the Scripture from birth, but he had only done it to satisfy the Pharisees, his parents, his obligation. He had not ingested the Scripture to know God.

I confessed to God that there were selfish reasons I had written these blogs, and now I confess them to you. I had always thought that my primary goal was to bring others to a saving relationship, a closer walk with God. And that is a true statement. But along with that is a goal that I allowed Satan to slip in and cause me to lose what should have been my primary goal: to draw closer to and follow God myself.

When I open WordPress, the first thing I see is my stats page. How many followers do I have, how many read each blog, how many clicked “Like” and what comments did I get. I would spend valuable minutes taking all of this in. Often, I would lose focus completely and not even start writing. And that is exactly what Satan wanted to happen.

When we say we are following Jesus, what does that mean? This morning I realized that I am writing for you and not for God. In order to follow Him, I must write for Him. I must have an attitude of “Lord, I give this blog and podcast to You. I want You to be satisfied with what I write and when I write.” In order to walk with Jesus, I must let Him be the guide. All that I do must be strained through Him like flour through a sieve. Each thought, each word I write must be like the fine grains of flour falling into the plate, cleansed of anything that He has not blessed.

But you say, if I am writing, isn’t it for the people to have a closer relationship with Jesus? I will respond with what I feel God gave me this morning, if I am writing through and for God, He will bless you. It is not my job to bless you, it is my job to write. God will do the blessing.

Following God is all about the attitude. I know many people who have almost memorized the Bible word for word. But the fruit of that knowledge has dried up and died. The young, rich man had knowledge, but he was not willing to filter his service to God through sacrifice of self.

I challenge you today, no matter what you are doing, to filter every action through God. Test the attitude to see if it is for the world or for following Jesus. And I will take the same challenge on myself. Be blessed today, and others will be blessed through you.

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